How To Know When To Make A Change
People often put off their own goals because it never seems like the right time. And it’s understandable. I spent a significant amount of time trying to figure out when to make a change in my career, but it never felt like the right time. Even before I had kids, life felt too busy. After I had kids, it felt impossibly hectic. It was never the right time.
But I eventually reached a decision point, in which I realized that if I didn’t make a significant change, I was going to end up at a dead end. It was not a good or convenient time to make that decision. It didn’t feel like the right time at all. We were overwhelmed with juggling two kids who were both in diapers, my husband was traveling a lot for his job, and I was preparing for a major trial in my own job.
And yet, in the midst of all of that, I committed to making a change. I started by working with a coach to clarify what I wanted. Approaching my situation with a different mindset allowed me to get unstuck and we created a strategy so that I could begin to work towards my goal.
That strategy would take almost two years to fully implement, but with a clear goal in mind, I started by taking small, consistent steps that led me to achieve it.
Small Steps Forward Are The Key To Change
Since I had precious little free time, I started with the smallest possible steps. I knew I wanted to help people figure out what to do with their lives, so I began reading and listening to personal development books on my daily commute and while running errands.
Then, I began researching coach training programs and found one that was compatible with my schedule. I began coaching a few clients for free and confirmed that I did indeed love coaching and my clients told me that I was “a natural.” This allowed me to test out my idea and continue to pursue it with even greater certainty.
I continued learning everything I could about coaching in my spare time and then I found a coaching method that ended up changing my life. I got certified in that method and took on more clients to perfect my skills.
Beginning The Journey Will Transform You Into The Person You Want To Be
What I did not expect when I started out on this journey was that taking action to change my career would end up benefitting every area of my life, long before I reached my ultimate goal.
I begin applying the coaching tools that I was learning to my own life and started getting amazing results. My health and relationships improved. The way I showed up at work improved. I started becoming more confident and asking for feedback at work so that I could improve even more.
I became much more conscious of how I spent my time and learned how to be more productive and efficient at juggling demands both at work and in my personal life. Although I previously thought that I didn’t have time for anything, I learned how to manage my thinking around my time and ended up finding that I had more time than I ever realized. I even started learning to play the guitar, for just 15 minutes a day.
Above all, I started asking myself: “Am I taking full ownership of every area of my life?” The answer was clearly “no” so I began to change that. When you start taking ownership, you begin to really understand the power you have to change things and to take control of your life and your career.
Over that two-year period, those small steps that I began to take changed my life completely and everything got so much better, even though my circumstances hadn’t yet changed at all. I was still at the same job and had the same demands. Yet, I was happier and more energized than ever before.
The Trap Of Waiting
Had I waited for the “right” time, I would probably still be in the same place. I wish I would have realized earlier that there is never going be a “right” time to go after what you want and that I had the power to decide that the present moment was the right time all along. I would have gotten to where I wanted to be a lot sooner.
In her book The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying, palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware says that the thing people regret most is not taking action and going after what they really wanted. They waited until the right time, which never came, and their dreams remained unfulfilled. She writes “it is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
You Can Make Today “The” Day
You have time now, but time is finite. What are you going to do with it?
Is there something that you want that you’re putting off until the “right” time?
What if the right time were right now?
What if you could begin to take small, incremental changes to move in the direction you want?
All it takes is one decision, which you can make today.
Decide that you’re going to go after what you want. Commit to taking action, even if it just means taking small steps. And then begin.
I can’t wait to see where you go.
P.S. If you need some help figuring out how to begin taking action in your specific situation, I can help you create a plan. Change can actually be simple when you have a solid strategy in place.