Have you ever started down the path to change your life with the best of intentions only to see those intentions fall by the wayside and there you are, back where you started? I wrote about how to create lasting change in your life recently and it was a gentle post on how to make those changes in your life. This will be the less gentle version.
You can change your life forever. If I can do it, so can you. It is important that you hear this. I am no different than you. I have made a ton of mistakes and have had moments of being a less than stellar human. I have also created monumental change in my life and I know that you can do that same thing.
Here is the not so gentle part: you can change your life forever. You have total and utter responsibility for the life that you are creating and what you are experiencing in your life. That may be hard to hear. You may instantly think: “you have no idea what pain and trauma I have experienced.” You are correct, I have no idea the pain that anyone has experienced. I do know that I have had my fair share of pain and trauma and while it has left its mark, it has not defined who I am as an adult. I have defined that.
Seeing the Truth – Step One to Change Your Life
The most terrifying and empowering thing to realize when you are changing your life is that you are in control. You must acknowledge and accept that you are the driver of the ship and that the decisions you have made have lead you to the exact place that you are in. When you do this, everything changes. When you own how you are showing up right now, you can begin to change your life forever.
This truth may overwhelm you and it may devastate you. The key is that you have to accept it as truth before you can begin to take action. I believe that acknowledging your role in your present circumstances is incredibly empowering, because it means that you do not have to wait to change your life.
What’s the Bigger Picture?
I was telling a story the other day about my 30th birthday party. If I look back on that day, I hardly recognize that version of myself. I love that I have that reminder, because in my remembrance of who I was, I can see my capacity for change.
I have a very good reason for making the necessary changes in my life. I have a monumental why that informs the basis of all decisions I make. I had to tune into my inner compass and learn to own my voice in order to create these changes. Having a big why is vital. When you have clearly articulated your why and it resonates deeply with you, it becomes impossible to make decisions that counteract or detract from that big why.
Do you know why you want to change your life? Do you have a specific, burning desire that fuels you? It is vital to create a statement that you feel in your bones because in order to change your life, you will encounter obstacles, setbacks, pushback, resistance and struggle. It won’t always be hard, but it will not be a walk in the park either. Clearly defining for yourself your big why is the first step to change your life.
Fall in Love
I want you to fall in love with making this change. I want you to fall in love with yourself. I want you to fall in love with your life.
Making a change because you hate yourself is not going to work. Let’s say you want to change something about your physical body. There is a very different energy that motivates you if you go to the gym to punish yourself versus working out to strengthen your body and improve your vitality so that you can feel healthy, energetic and strong. Let whatever change you are making be an act of self-love. If you really want to change your life, you are going to have to love your way through it.
I work with truly amazing people that oftentimes struggle with this concept of self-love. This idea that they must love themselves fully, right now before they can change their lives. That negative relationship to themselves is second nature and it can seem impossible to silence the voices in their head that don’t support them. Our minds are utterly powerful however, and I often tell my clients that the power with which they berate or beat themselves up is the same power that they can choose to employ to create a loving relationship to themselves. This power to choose is profound and necessary if you want to change your life.
Keep it Real
If you want to change your life, you are going to have to get incredibly honest. You are the common denominator in your life. Radical honesty is the key to understanding where the changes need to be made and how you are participating in the circumstances of your life. We can spend our entire lives in distraction. Self-awareness is a super power that must be cultivated to change your life. When you can assess how you are participating in the things that you don’t want and validate yourself for making the changes that you want, you will be empowered to create real and lasting improvements.
The difficultly with radical honesty comes in the moments when you are wrapped in the comfort of your excuses and justifications. This is how you derail any chance you have to change your life. These excuses look like this:
- I have no time
- I have no money
- I have no support
- I have no energy
The excuse or justification never makes you feel good about not doing something to change your life because you know, deep down, that you have let yourself down. Think back to your big why and get back on track. Fall down ten times and stand up eleven.
This is a powerful force. When you decide to change your life, discipline will go a long way to support you. It is a skill I called upon regularly as I was making shifts in my life. When you begin to make a change in your life you may need to rely heavily on discipline. It may be the thing that empowers you to make a decision that is in alignment for you. Once you start to make these shifts in your life, however, those shifts begin to sustain themselves and you need to rely less and less on brute force because you can feel how the decisions you make are supporting your big why.
Change Every Area of Your Life
This is another brutal truth. If you want to change your life, you are going to have to look in every nook and cranny. Have you ever been in a situation when you are making some positive shift in your life and feeling great about it but then you find yourself in a situation that derails all of the good work you have done in that one area? Why were you in that situation? Think back on a time where this happened. Could you have chosen differently?
In order to change your life, you will need to redesign every area to support your big why. This is where most people stumble. It isn’t easy. You will need to say no to things. You will need to create boundaries. You will need to listen to your voice over the voices of others.
Putting It All Together
Let me give you an example of how all of this informs my decision making. I wrote a series about how my husband and I embarked on the road to better health. What that means for us currently, is that we work out with a kinesiologist once a week and then go to the gym two other days per week. We shifted our budget to allow for this necessary expense and therefore say no to other things. It isn’t cheap but it is worth every penny and that is why it is a necessary expense. In the last five months of working out with, and learning from this incredible person, we have experienced a strength and vitality that we didn’t know we could and it has positively impacted every area of our life. We have not missed a workout since we started. When booking my time either with teaching or coaching I do not schedule myself in the time that we go to the gym. I call it a standing appointment and nothing interferes with that hour three times a week that we show up for our greater health. I will work out forever. This is my lifestyle now. I haven’t lost any weight (it wasn’t my intention to start with), but my energy and the wellness that we have experienced has improved so much of the rest of our life. I work out because I love myself and I want to experience true health and vitality for as long as possible.
The reason that I decided to change my life is linked to my big why: make the most of the precious time that I am given. This big why has shifted every area of my life and it has empowered me to create a life I am in love with. It also means that I have had to create robust boundaries around how I spend my time, with whom I spend my time with, how I spend my money and how I show up to serve clients and students. Everything is my life is adding value and I am in a place of deep gratitude for the abundant goodness I get to experience every day.
You have the power to change your life. You can decide right now. In fact, waiting for something else to happen before you change your life is a dangerous trap. You will never be less ready or more ready to change your life. Listen to the voice inside that tells you there is something more. There is. There is absolutely so much more to life, so much wonder and excitement, joy and love to experience every single day. I invite to take action right now to define your big why and to commit to fall in love with your life.