Self-help books often recommend that you give yourself a week or a month to prepare for a change. On one hand, this suggestion makes sense, because it provides structure and allows for planning. It would most certainly work in an ideal world.
Unfortunately, however, life rarely works out like that. This, after all, is the real world, not the ideal one.
Once, a coaching client told me that her previous executive coach made her write out and sign a service agreement for her personal life! She had to itemise and schedule everything. Her list included “I will take two hours on a Monday to do my personal admin”, and “I will spend one hour every day with my husband”.
Can you imagine?
Yes, planning is important, and as we’ll discuss shortly, making lists can be powerful.
Nevertheless: There is an element of timing that can’t be managed, scheduled, or planned for.
Epiphany is not a process.
Your “enough is enough” moment may seem trivial to others, but it cuts you to your core. It can be a stray comment from a friend, a billboard on the back of a bus, or a life event.
Progress has not followed a straight ascending line, but a spiral with rhythms of progress and retrogression, of evolution and dissolution.
Now, here’s the tough part. You’ve had the epiphany. You made the leap. You didn’t dawdle. You decided to get unstuck. Now, things slow down. When we’re stuck, we can remain stuck for years. It’s not very realistic to imagine we are going to become unstuck in a matter of days. The process of change is never linear. Often, we will take two steps forward and three steps back.
That’s perfectly normal. You may walk in circles or seem to go in reverse. That’s okay!
Give yourself the time you need to make the transition the way you want to and feel comfortable with.
And yes – you can make lists.
Here are three tips to get you moving:
- Make a list. Are there practical things you can do now that can help prepare you for the change and smooth your progress through it? Write them down. Not only does this offer a practical outline of all the issues you need to deal with, but it breaks your goal or outcome into bite-sized, manageable chunks. As you tick things off the list you get to feel good, gather momentum, and improve your self-confidence and self-belief as you take each forward step.
- Do what you love. Consider what you enjoy doing and do more of it. Yes, this may sound trite, but it’s essential: When we are making changes in one area of our life, it can easily destabilise the rest. Stay connected to good friends and family, look after yourself physically, and find your happiness where you can.
- Practise new habits. Review my blog post here on habits, and try one of the exercises. Perhaps it’s time to think about the words you use?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed after reading this, that’s ok. All I’m asking is that you make the leap. The rest will come with practise. I promise.
Don’t wait for the right time: Make the right time
If you are ready to make that leap and need a little more guidance why not check out my book - Your Life Your Way. It's packed with practical advice, ideas, and exercises to help you live the life you deserve!