Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes

I don’t know about you, but for me, life seems to be moving really fast. Tonight I was having dinner with a dear friend and we realized that we hadn’t seen each other in over a year.  This is a friend that I consider family and used to see at least once a month. How did we let so much time pass since our last visit? Life. We both have kids, jobs, husbands, and a million commitments on our plates, so it makes sense that it is hard to plan time together. But here’s the deal, I don’t want to go another year until I see my friend again, so something has to change. “Albert Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  If I want to see my friend more than once a year I have to make it a priority. I can’t keep making excuses for not calling her to schedule a coffee date or inviting her family over for dinner. The line “I am just so busy” is getting really old for me. But if I am not willing to change, then shocker, nothing will.

What are you doing that is making you insane? Are there areas in your life that you desperately want to change but  you don’t know where to start? Maybe it is your relationship? Your health? Your friendships? The balance in your bank account? Your addiction to social media or dare I say french fries? If you want to change something that is happening in your life, most of the time you have the power to do so, but you are not going to change by doing what you are currently doing. Change doesn’t work that way.

If you want to change your current circumstances, it isn’t enough to say that you are unhappy with your situation or to complain to your bestie about it.  You have to take action.  Einstein’s thoughts on insanity seem so obvious, yet many of us struggle with taking action when we want real change. Here are some concrete steps you can take when you want to change something in your life:

1.)  Get clear about what area in your life you want to improve. Are you feeling overwhelmed with everything you have on your plate? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time for the things that are important in life?  Are you hoping for more balance? What is it you hope to do with your time and energy? Once you have a clear idea of what you hope to improve, you can get busy taking action.

2.) Start tracking your habits. It may be helpful to start writing down how much time you are spending on certain areas of your life each day. If you are frustrated with not having enough time, but you are spending three hours a day on Instagram, there is probably a connection there. Once you take the time to understand your habits (both good and bad) it will be easier to figure out what needs to change.

3.) Hit Reset, or At Least Pause. If something isn’t working for you, it may be time for a complete reset. If you are struggling with a particular person or commitment maybe it is time to walk away, or at least take yourself out of the equation for the time being. Remember, if you want to accomplish real change you are going to have to have to make real changes. Sometimes this means letting other people down, in order to take care of yourself. This doesn’t mean you can never commit to others, but it does mean you are going to have to prioritize yourself while you are working through your change.  

4.) Take Action. This is usually the part where most people go back to their old ways. Taking action might be challenging and usually makes us feel uncomfortable, but this is where the magic happens. If you want to improve something in your life, you have to do the work. You can’t keep online shopping every night and expect your savings account balance to increase, it doesn’t work that way. So figure out what action steps you need to take and make it happen. If it is helpful for you, tell someone what action you are taking and ask them to hold you accountable. Write down your action steps and put them on your bathroom mirror so you have a daily reminder of what you need to do. I can’t promise you this will be easy, but I can promise you that if consistently take the action, you will start to see change.

This week I encourage you to consider an area of your life your life that you would like to improve and make a plan for improving it. Take the steps necessary to start the process. I believe in you and I am here cheering you on. Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes. Shine on Shine Girl!