When you’re ready to make a big lifestyle switch, you know it. It’s almost like your life will pull you toward it, showing you the articles online (ahem, maybe this one, too!), the people, the opportunities and the more subtle signs popping up that yes, it’s time to finally make that big lifestyle switch you’ve thought about and maybe talked about…
Now, that fresh path is about to become a reality.
And you may not know what to do next!
Here’s what I see most often (two extremes!):
- diving in so full-force that there’s no “building up to” a new way of life. This works for a rare two people I know in the world really well. Lots of others get overwhelmed and never get past the initial dive into action.
- researching for a super-long time. This leads to a sort of analytic blockage that’s so hard to get past because, well, there are so many people who claim different ways work well and so…that “perfect” way is elusive.
The “middle” between the two is sort of a genius zone. It’s where you can gather up your research, refine things as you go, but you’re in action on your new path- be it marathon running, finding a life partner, buying a home or eating a new diet or anything else under the sun- you’ll be far more likely to have big success in your daily transformation!
If you’ve wavered on making a big lifestyle change (like my personal vow to myself to start hiking again)… its time to finally pull it off!
Easy first. You might want to change 20 different things about your life to meet an ideal vision that you have. My suggestion if you’ve been idling for a while and there are lots of changes you’d love to make is to start with an easy one, so you’ll build momentum.
For example, if you’ve got “eating more fruit and veggies every day” on your list, you can, right now, decide where and how to get or make daily salads and…. you’re off to the races.
Keep that up for a while and it will become second nature.
Knock a few of the easy new habits off the list for a week of two and you’ll get into momentum. Soon, bigger lifestyle switches will feel easier and more approachable because you are in an energy flow!
Operate newly. When you’re in a new zone you need a new way to operate. If you don’t change the way you operate in your days when you expand, untimately you’ll crumble.
Here’s a minor example: If you’re used to watching an hour or two of Netflix a night and you just started working on a big creative project that’s gaining speed… but that Netflix is calling you… you might try to do it all instead of changing the way you operate in the day. By doing it all, you’re exhausted, less inspired and that creative project may not feel as fun.
The same “new ways of operating” goes for creating healthy boundaries in relationships and cutting out the “less-than-healthy” socializing you might have in your life that can keep you captive and unable to shift the way you operate to support all your nwe dreams coming to life.
When you don’t practice, your brain won’t “pick it” first. When I started doing all kinds of work to “re-program” some very deterimental habits and beliefs I had for a lot of my life I was told by a wise practitioner of Psych-K that I had to practice and reinforce the changes I was making to my belief system or else I was literally just adding them to the zillions of thoughts and beliefs already in my subconscious.
It’s one thing to HAVE a new idea or a new belief, and it’s another to practice it.
I liken it to the guru-type people I know who speak good sense and live in ways that I find shocking even for non-gurus-types! (*You are your own guru!)
Your brain works in a pretty simple way when it comes to decidind what to do next. What you’ve practiced most is what your “automatic” subconscious mind will direct you toward. Those grooves in your brain are the most robust and magnetic.
If you’re breaking long-held habits, start practicing the new ones all day, every day. This kind of focus and practice will show you the results!
Yes, people can change for real, if they dig in. A very vital part of all these big switches is that yes, people can change. You can change your DNA! You can change your energy field. you can change your habits, goals, spirt and brain.
When I hear people saying, “Oh, you know, people don’t change…” I cringe. I was severely anorexic, deeply depressed and super-introverted as a teenager. I did the work for many, many, many years, and yes, I changed to the point where saying those words I hardly remember that phase of life viscerally.
I’m always changing. It’s what growth is, you know. I’m sure you’re always changing, too.
The big deal about change and why people think it’s not possible that I’ve witnessed over and again is that it seems that the change being focused on is the stuff on the surface.
If you make lifestyle changes that are big and vibrant, the inside is as important as the outside. More important, in my opinion.
I once knew and loved someone dealy that I met when he was making a big life change. I didn’t know what his life looked like before – and if I did, I likely would never have gotten to know him because it was full of habits and energies I don’t play with at all. But, he was so committed to these changes in routines every day I admired it. In fact, I thought it was incredible that he could change so instantly.
But…he made so many changes at once on the surface and absolutely little to none beneath the surface.
The move away from deep addictions, rage, lies, secrets… it crept back under the surface and I couldn’t “see” it but I could feel it… until, one day, it was so apparent that I couldn’t ignore it any more and had to seperate myself from it completely.
Inner work can be anything from meditation to spiritual practice to therapy to holistic healing to study and practice of art to…. anything that helps you to declutter at your core and make the type of expansion inside that slays the demons rather that covering them up and hoping one day they’ll go away.
When you do this “inner work” you won’t need willpower and all kinds of forcing to make changes because it’s far easier to surrender, clear space inside your mind and heart, and keep transforming.
I’ve seen so many people so frustrated and so convinced they can’t change or their ship has sailed or they’re a lost cause… but it’s not true. It’s all possible. Changing anything is possible. If you’re willing to expand on the inside as well as the outside, if you’re able to pace yourself and get help if you need it and you’re honestly, earnestly ready… you can do anything…!
Here’s to moving up, up, up…!
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