Very often, people think the “best next step” for creating a life they love is to change huge parts and pieces of the life they have. These huge parts and pieces of unhappiness may be the easiest to feel and see, but they are not always the most achievable way of making lifestyle change.
Many times, people will come to me and say they need therapy because of big dissatisfiers like, “I chose the wrong profession, or I am not happy in my marriage, or I am completely exhausted by my life”. Clients don’t often come to therapy until one of these huge desires to change rises up from deeply within them. These pieces of life – when they are missing – are a very powerful motivator.
I am honored when someone finds me and says they want to change their life through working through large adjustments. I know from my own life experience, and those that I serve, these fundamental pillars of happiness and joy need to be worked through, AND we have to be strategic because sometimes making big changes can create an experience of feeling paralyzed.
Even though these big changes sometimes speak to us the loudest and so we know them the best and are easily recognizable, they are hard to change rapidly. Very often we have set up a structure in our life to keep these dissatisfiers in place. These are patterns built over a long period of time, so sometimes we have to start with where we are most motivated (the big things in our life that scream to us to be moved) and we have to recognize the amount of work that will come with that change.
There are several categories of big actions that can be taken that make people feel less depleted, lonely, frightened, angry and under motivated. The best place to start in making big changes are in one of those categories, which over a long period of time drive us either to wellbeing or misery.
- The wrong kind of nourishment over a long period of time.
- The wrong kind of sensory stimulation compiled over a long period of time
- Not enough rest over a long period of time
- No movement for an extended period of time
- Not enough fulfillment in relationships/connection over time.
When we are attempting to make change through big actions to adjust the above categories in our life:
For example: Say I have a client that wants to change careers.
Tips for making big changes:
- Understand that big change takes big work over big time.
- Be kind to yourself as very often the patterns we have created are not all our own doing.
- Push forward, the reward on these changes are life changing and worth every second of tension.
- Remember, when making changes for your wellbeing, it will feel hard because these patterns run deep.
- Make sure you are breaking down the bigger tasks into chunks.