How To Make Big Life Changes (Even If You Don't Know Where To Begin)
For many years I wanted to make a lot of big changes in my life, but unsurprisingly felt stuck and unsure of how to actually go about making change. I admired and envied certain other individuals for their strengths. It seemed like everyone around me knew their goals, how to balance their commitments and were constantly evolving.
And yet I also felt plagued by the cliché saying, “People don’t change.” It sang in my head like a catchy pop tune, but certainly didn't sit well with me in my own process of trying to grow and change. I knew that in order for me to find my inner happiness I would need to get unstuck, which would include getting over my biggest failing: not believing in myself and my capacity to change.
So I asked myself the only question any of us can ask when we are trying to shift gears in our lives: Where should I begin?
Well, I began by reading books, speaking to experts and questioning my motivations. But it seemed as if I was moving backward instead of forward. I knew where I was and where I came from but I was unclear where it was that I wanted to be in the future. I was complicating my situation by trying to answer big questions instead of answering the small questions first. Furthermore, I eventually realized that I didn’t need the advice I was seeking because all the answers to the questions I was asking were truly already within me as they are in each of us.
So, through my own (many) trials and tribulations, I have come up with a few simple tips in order to help you figure out how to begin the process of change, and how to find more your direction in life.
1. Acknowledge yourself.
Don't put pressure on yourself to compliment yourself constantly if that feels like too much. I know, putting yourself down feels like the path of least resistance. So choose the middle path, and simply acknowledge yourself. That is the best thing you can do in the present moment.
While brainstorming about all the different areas of my life that I felt needed to be revamped, I realized that I wasn’t giving myself credit for the incredible and amazing abilities I already possessed. At this time, I began to observe and take note of all the things I had accomplished, the lessons I had learned and the goodness that I had already shared with the world. I didn't feel the need to jump up and down, but I did feel automatically more self-assured and ready to move forward.
Over a short period of time, my small acknowledgments began to make me feel more confident and valuable. This created a solid foundation upon which to build and grow my life.
2. Focus on the here and now, and nothing else.
If you're trying to create big shifts — whether in your career, your relationships, or simply the way you think about the world — you're probably wondering where you should be focusing your attention and energy. It can feel overwhelming, or even almost impossible, to answer if you're thinking about long-term change in the abstract.
But go easy on yourself, and slice things up into bite-sized pieces. Believe it or not, our lives can be broken down into an array of categories. For example: physical environment; fun and recreation; spirituality; romance; friends and family; health; money and career. Just to name a few.
At different points in your life, one category will be more important than another and this is completely normal. Our priorities are constantly changing and evolving to fit our circumstances. So, right now, where are your priorities? Which of these categories are most important to you at this very moment?
This step can bring a lot of clarity to an individual who feels overwhelmed with the multiple areas in their life that currently need attention. By putting your life’s categories into perspective from least important to most important, you can begin to find a good starting point for your journey.
3. Tap into your power — it's already in there!
That’s right: You are powerful, and everything you need is already inside of you. How freeing is that! You have the ability to create a life that you truly love. Every moment you are given the opportunity to make a choice for yourself. This can be something as simple as choosing water over wine or something more complex such as what type of educational path in which to invest.
Knowing that you are in charge of yourself, your actions, and your thoughts gives you a lot of power. By recognizing the control that you have you will begin to understand true independence. No longer will you be expecting other people to improve your life. Instead you will be making your own life better by taking back your power. So decide that you have the power within yourself to change your life and go for it!
While the evolution of my own journey continues until this day, I have been able to make many changes one-step at a time. The process of change starts with you wanting to change. So if you have decided that change is something that you definitely want (and need) in your life, then you are already on the right path.
Don’t have a good life … make a good life. I believe in you and I know that you can make the changes in your life starting today.
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.