5 Ways to Start Changing Your Life — Womanhood Unwrapped
Over the past decade, I have made a number of consequential changes in my life. Some of these changes have been harder than others — hence the lessons. But, I have never looked back and regretted my choices.
What I believe is that all women deserve to find the happiness they are seeking. And that doesn’t mean the same thing for all of us, but it is something that I am passionate about. I hope the lessons I’ve learned will help you in some way, whether you’re a 25-year-old starting down the road of womanhood, or a 40 or 50-year-old, like me, looking to transition to the next phase and a more gratifying future for yourself.
HONESTY IS ESSENTIAL
Have you ever taken a personality test or assessment? If you’ve taken a personality test for an employer, your answers could be swayed by what you think they want to hear. Alternatively, if you only assess your character and skills for your own knowledge, it’s a different story. You can be honest, and in turn, get a fair evaluation. The same is true for making life changes.
If you are truthful with yourself and dig into what you want on a deeper level, the next stage will likely be something that makes you happy and fulfilled. But if you move through your life aimlessly, or with someone else’s desires at the core of your decision-making, you will likely end up unsatisfied and lost. I’ve been there. I know how that feels. It doesn’t matter how much “success” you achieve; it needs to be the achievement you’ve gained based on your ROOT desires, or you will end up lacking and unsatisfied with your life. Maybe lost and unsatisfied is where you are at right now, so try and sit down and get honest with yourself. Here’s a helpful exercise you can do to clarify where you are at and discover the next indicated step:
What’s Not Serving you in your life?
What Do You Really Want?
- Actually get straight with yourself. It’s not about what you think others will respect you for doing, or what society says is the path, or what your partner or family thinks you should be or do — it’s what keeps reaching out to you from the depths of your soul, whispering “if only I could…”
- Write down your strategy or plan for change. This will keep you accountable and help you to start envisioning a life that includes that job, or relationship, freedom, or place being part of your life.
OBSTACLES AFFECT THE OUTCOME
Here’s where most of us (including myself, historically) get hung up. It’s easy to imagine but can become impossible to actually make significant changes in life when you ignore the root problem. That’s why you’re still at that job you promised to quit five years ago or promising to start that workout regime…next month.
The truth is that you have likely sabotaged yourself before even starting by failing to remove the obstacles that are blocking you from moving forward. Whether it be something small like keeping junk food in the house when you’re trying to eat healthier or staying in a toxic relationship that’s no longer serving you, if you don’t remove the obstacles that are keeping you stuck, the likelihood of actually making a significant change in your life is slim.
SMALL STEPS IN A BIG DIRECTION
I have struggled with change. I have stayed in situations far too long because I was scared, lazy, or in denial. In the past, the thing that held me back from moving forward in a different direction was the assumption that in order to grow, I would be forced to make all of the changes all at once. If you’ve ever tried to make a big shift in your life before, then you know that trying to make all of those life decisions at once is daunting, confusing, and can push you back into a bad place before you’ve even given yourself a chance.
I recently read the book Atomic Habits , by bestselling author James Clear, and I was amazed by simply he explained how to change your habits and behaviors in a way that actually works. If you are on brink of transition right now and need a little extra courage. Read this! It holds so many wonderful nuggets of wisdom. But, to paraphrase, the key to making lasting changes in your life is to do it in small ways every day. These micro-changes are easy to do, and over time add up to transformation in your life.
ACCOUNTABLE EQUALS ACHIEVABLE
Psychology Today noted in a recent article about changing habits that the biggest indicator of success or failure when trying to break a bad habit or cycle is accountability. Read that again.
The article goes on to recommend making sure you have some system or person in place to hold you accountable for your choice if you truly want to succeed in changing your habits and/or life.
This really hit home for me. I have found this accountability piece to be the biggest sticking point in my own life over time. And the times I have successfully changed were times when I did have accountability. But wait. Before you get all freaked out about what that will mean, just know that there are lots of different ways to stay accountable. Here are some helpful suggestions from Whole Life Challenge about staying accountable if you need some added inspiration.
REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S A FRESH START
The thing about lasting change is that throughout the journey you will likely take a few steps backward from time to time. It realizing your dreams and goals was easy, everyone would falling over with joy about the amazingness of their lives. But most of us settle more than we strive. And surrender to the status quo rather than get uncomfortable in order to become happy.
If you stumble or give up one day, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed; it means that you are human! Tomorrow is always there to welcome you, fresh-faced and ready to regain your footing.
Cheers, to you and your journey!
We’re actively seeking guest authors to tell their stories and share impactful life experiences on Womanhood Unwrapped. Contact us if you are interested.
Originally published at https://womanhoodunwrapped.com on September 27, 2021.