Change is a powerful part of life. Without it, we remain inactive and stuck. With it, we push ourselves to new heights, conquer fears that have plagued us, and occasionally, we try something new. To change your life, you must challenge yourself.
So you see – change is a necessity to continue moving forward. Although you may not always see it, deep down your soul knows change is a necessity.
Once you go through a few major changes in life, you start to notice them coming or begin to crave them. You want to learn, to grow, to constantly be moving forward, to be affecting change in any way possible in your life. To never look back.
When life becomes stagnant, you’ve embraced comfort and security a little too tightly. Occasionally we need it, but more often than not we don’t. It’s simply a way for our minds and bodies to resist. They’re deeply rooted in fear. Fear of the unknown. You’ve been there – you like life the way it is now, or think you do and you don’t want to upset the apple cart, so you keep plugging along the same path.
Change requires willingness, a strong desire to take action every single day. Imagine this – you’re so tired of occupying the same lifeless space; you finally realize you’re ready and willing to get up and take action. And it’s all because the alternative does not look pretty. Standing still – not pretty.
Since 2009, my life has been embroiled in change of one kind or another – divorce, losing 30 pounds, a new job, losing a job, travelling solo, etc. Some of these were extreme changes, others were slow and gradual. But I believe that if I hadn’t gone through these life-changing events, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Of all the experiments I’ve done over the last 6 years, one thing always rang true: you won’t change your life unless you keep at it every day. To make progress, you must commit to change each day.
I’ve set those big yearly goals only to fail because I simply wasn’t taking action every day. Your brain procrastinates, it puts things off thinking you have 9 months left, that’s plenty and you’ll get it done. But you don’t. Instead, you have yet another failure and wonder why another year has gone by with little change and you’re more depressed than ever.
If you’re not willing to get into the weeds every day, you’re not ready and willing to change. You don’t want to do it. You like the idea of it (losing weight, learning the piano, getting out of debt), you’re in the dreaming starry-eyed stage, but you don’t really want to do it.
So commit already. Commit to making a daily change. Don’t get angry with yourself, just keep trying. Get up off the couch and go for a run. Even if it’s for 5 minutes. Then tomorrow, try again, and run for 6 minutes. Each day commit to changing just a bit more.
The key is to take action and make some kind of progress toward your goal. No matter how small it is, it’s progress towards permanent change.
How to create daily change and change your life
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou
I’m sure you have at least one (if not more) habits that you’d like to change, let’s look at a few:
- Lose weight
- Get out of debt
- Be happy
- Become a writer
- Take more pictures
- Hike a national park or two
- Learn French
- Play the piano
How do you take the big goals that seem unreachable and make them a reality? Start by thinking about the goal and working backwards until you have a daily ritual. Let’s look at losing weight. When I lost 30 pounds, I had several goals and I associated feelings with those goals.
First, I made a SMART goal: Lose 30 pounds by September in time for my trip.
Second, I associated a feeling with it: I want to feel confident, happy and healthy.
Last, I had a secondary goal: I want to learn road cycling and be able to ride a 100K-charity ride.
Now the secondary goal happened to combine nicely with my first goal of losing weight, but this is entirely optional. If you feel it would overwhelm you and you’d be overcommitting, don’t do it.
It’s never easy to create lasting change. You must take daily action and defeat your mind – it will try to tell you not to change. Your ego and its associated fears do not want to change, it wants to stay comfortable, so you always have to remember your why and associate a feeling with your change. Let’s look at what you could do for each of these:
Lose weight – start by walking every day for 20 minutes, then after a week add 5-10 minutes, once you are walking for 30-40 minutes a day for several weeks, make another change. Try adding 1-2 minute running intervals, eliminating sugar, or playing your favourite sport.
Get out of debt – sit down with all your bills and figure out how much you owe. Then start a budget that balances. If it doesn’t balance, figure out what you can sell or how you can earn extra income.
Be happy – start with daily affirmations when you wake, then after a week, do your affirmations in the evening before bed. Then you can try practicing gratitude.
Become a writer – start by writing for 10 minutes at the same time each day. Sounds easy but it always isn’t, you’re often battling your mind, insecurities and doubts on this one. The key is to get your butt in the chair and write about anything. Do a brain dump if that works, similar to the Artist’s Way Morning Pages.
Take more pictures – create a mini project for yourself and take one picture each day. Post it to your Instagram and/or blog with a quick note. Project tip: create a story or have a theme with your pictures.
Travel – choose a destination, research how much the trip would cost, then save money. Even if you can only devote $10 per pay, that’s more than you had saved yesterday. Or, as with debt, figure out what you can sell or how to earn extra income. I hope you’ve paid off all or most of your debt. Not always possible, but do try.
Hike a National park or two – head out on the weekends and hike a small trail near where you live. As you become more experienced, try longer distances or harder trails.
Learn French – Rosetta Stone? 🙂 Ha ha…gotcha! No matter what your budget or schedule is, there is a way to learn a new language. I find I can focus for only 30 minutes at a time, so start with 10 then work up to your maximum time. If you’re worried about cost, consider books from the library, or free language apps that let you learn on the train to work. Or you can splurge on Rosetta Stone if that’s your deal.
Play the piano – if you were in music class, you’ll remember scales. Start out by practicing your scales until you can do them proficiently. Then move on to small songs and eventually you’ll be playing those masterpieces you dream of.
All of these goals require a daily commitment. You must practice, practice, practice. You will never get good or great at something if you don’t sit your butt in the chair and do it regularly.
Don’t over commit either. Wait, you just said I have to commit. Yes, you do. But let’s not try to learn the piano, a new language and a new sport all at the same time. To get great at something you must not only commit but also focus. If you’re being pulled in too many directions or force too much change on yourself at once, you’ll burn out or give up on all of it.
You don’t want that. So take your time, commit your heart to that one change, and then add another when you’re ready.
What are your tips for changing your life? Do you have a daily ritual that works? Share it below!
Budget Bloggess is becoming The Classy Simple Life.
I believe you need to recognize when to change and to be ready for it. I also believe that we change and enter new growth periods of our life. We outgrow things, just as a child outgrows clothes or toys, as adults the same happens. I’ve known for some time now that Budget Bloggess needed to change, the name no longer fit with where life is headed.
It’s been such a privilege having all of you along for this journey through budgeting, debt and shopaholism. We’ve shared stories, laughs, and embarrassing moments and now it’s time to embark on a new journey.
Without further ado, on September 5th Budget Bloggess will become The Classy Simple Life. Not to worry, I’ll still be writing about money and personal finance. But there are so many things in life that affect the way we deal with our finances. I knew that the madness and chaos of my fast paced life was taking a toll on me, and I vowed to slow down and live a much simpler life. I’ve stopped accumulating things that bring me no joy and instead I am focusing on family, friends and helping others.
I’ve always explored the why behind what we do in our lives and I want to continue on that path. We’ll talk about the why behind living simple and pursuing an unconventional life. The Classy Simple Life is about finding simplicity and leading a classy life. It’s about creating an amazing life you love, finding happiness in the world around you (not stuff and chaos), and being a classy, elegant woman. Being classy doesn’t equal spending loads of money – it’s being respected by those around you, and providing a great example to others.
If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll still be on the email list. If you’re not, I’d love to have you as a reader, subscribe in the sidebar, just to your right. 🙂
The old site will automatically redirect to the new one, so if you happen to have a bookmark, it should send you to The Classy Simple Life on Sept 5th. But please also consider updating your bookmark, just in case 🙂
I’d love to have you along for this new journey, so stick around!
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