Making Changes and Transformations In Your Life – Change Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Although circumstances may change in the blink of an eye, people change at a slower pace. Even motivated people who welcome change often encounter stumbling blocks that make transformation more complicated than they’d originally anticipated. ~ Amy Morin
Signs of Spring are all around me this morning. As I sit outside and drink my morning coffee I see so many of life’s little miracles! Spring is all about making changes and transformations. This change doesn’t happen overnight.
There are the birds next door tending to their nests. Two Canada geese flew over head honking merrily on their way.
My little ‘friends I like to call Peter and Paul (more than likely Paulina) the rabbits, hop by and seem to stop and say, ‘hello’.
There’s the squirrel – I like to think of him as ‘Smarty or Zen’ squirrel. He’s manages to escape the hawk in our neighbourhood and is quite the ‘mindful ‘ little guy too! LOL
BUT what really caught my attention this morning is the caterpillar crawling along my deck making its way to our tree.
All these little miracles made me think of the quote by Amy Morin about ‘making changes and transformations’!
Each person is so different and not so unlike the caterpillar crawling across my deck. Our metamorphosis – just like the change to a butterfly – will ultimately take place in some point in time – – – it just may take some people longer than others to transform.
Caterpillars are quite the interesting insects to study. Did you know that some species take more than a year to transform into a butterfly and yet others will wait until a ‘certain’ season before they change into a beautiful butterfly – Fascinating!
Just like butterflies some of us will transform more quickly than others! Allowing our magnificent beauty to shine in this world.
Yes, caterpillars have a place and purpose and often are beautiful in their own way too, they just are not meant to stay at that phase or stage forever.
Just like the caterpillar we are meant to change, grow, and mature too!
There are certainly events in your lives that can block this change and often stand in your way causing you to remain stuck in the stage that you are at.
Or you may even feel quite comfortable in your present stage. But there are those of you who want more. You want to become who ‘you were meant to be’ and this motivates you to continue through the changes whether pleasant or painful until you transform to ‘whatever’ that is you were meant to be.
Interestingly enough there is not any species of butterflies that I know of that go back to being a caterpillar instead of a butterfly. These insects shed their chrysalis and move on to becoming beautiful butterflies and never give it another thought (or so I think).
If we compare people to butterflies, you often see that some people have a tendency to ‘flutter’ back and forth between the many stages of their life. It is easy to love the up times but may struggle with the hard or down times.
Each person – just like the caterpillar – is different and unique and won’t transform all at the same pace. Some will do well, some will fall, and some will fail, but as long as you keep getting back up and trying your wings – you will succeed and possibly beyond what you could ever imagine.
Let’s take a look at change. Some people want to change at least one aspect or more of their lives. Some are looking for simple and easy changes and others are looking at making significant changes that will last a lifetime.
Transformation involves you being able to go beyond the way you live, and changing the way you live. It requires you to look at your thoughts, words, faith, actions or a combination of all these things.
When you transform you are actually looking at self-improvement and changing your mindset. These changes do not have to be huge, but can be simple steps or options that improve on what and where you are already.
What you will need though is to be consistent, have a determination to try a few new things and be willing to challenge yourself.
Sometimes we can get overwhelmed when we set our sights way off into the future. I suggest you stay in the present and look at how you can incorporate a few of these effective self – improvements into your already daily, weekly, monthly routines.
The following steps can have an immediate impact on your well being if you are willing to take the action and put in the effort. Change begins within. As you start the process of little steps, you life’s outlook will begin to change bit by bit.
Not only may you find you have a better life, but that many of you life dreams may begin to come true too!
STEPS TO MAKING CHANGES AND TRANSFORMATIONS IN YOUR LIFE
1. FIRST AND FOREMOST YOU MUST BE WILLING TO PUT IN THE WORK – Most things in life come with a commitment to put in the work that is necessary.
This doesn’t mean you should work until you are exhausted. It does mean that when you want something badly enough you will put aside some time to work on what’s important for you at your stage in life.
2. USE YOUR TIME WISELY – This may sound like a cliche – but you only have one life to live – so how you use that time is basically up to you.
Many people say they do not have enough time in a day to do all the things they want to get done… Does this sound like you?
My suggestion is to take a look at how much time you spend on the phone, watching TV, playing video games, social media.
Your time is precious and I’m not saying that you should stop doing these things, but perhaps you need to take a look at how to rearrange the things you do and the importance you place on them.
If these time users are preventing you from making that transformation – this is an area that you will need to work on.
Perhaps starting with trying one new thing – go for a walk in the early morning or after supper; learn a new language; meditate; take up a sport or learn a new hobby…
3. YOU NEED TO HAVE A DESIRE – If you are serious about making changes whether small or large you need to have a desire. This desire needs to be strong, so dig deep and light a fire within yourself so that you have the fuel you need to transform your life.
4. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET – Often when you change how you think and the thoughts you think you are able to change your mindset. This usually means you need to take a look at how you perceive things and act from a new more aware perspective. Continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is not going to happen.
5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH FRIENDS – Being able to share and communicate with people close to you is important with any self-improvement plan.
It is often helpful to get feedback on how you are doing and also to have friends that can ‘cheer’ you on when times get tough. Having people around you that you respect will help you with those often hard to hear opinions.
6. TAKE SOME TIME TO FIND OUT WHO YOU REALLY ARE – Yes, you have lived ‘blank’ number of years (Go ahead and fill that number in if you like.) BUT do you really know who you are? Check in with yourself – You are NOT your job title, or your body or your name. We have a tendency to believe we are who we are because of these things that we do and that have happened to us… but these thoughts and ideas can actually limit us.
7. TRY GETTING UP A BIT EARLIER – Sometimes when you are trying to change it’s good to try to change one of your habits. One that many people find doable and makes a difference for them is changing the time they get up in the morning.
I never thought of myself as a morning person until I started getting up a bit earlier than normal. I now enjoy the quiet of the morning and I feel it is the best time to get my writing, exercising, meditating etc. done.
There have been some studies that show your brain is the most active first thing in the morning… now this may not be for you… just saying it really works for me!
8. BE FLEXIBLE – Try to adapt to your circumstances rather than trying to out think or overthink them. There are going to be or may be times that are tough – perhaps you’ve lost or are having to change jobs, or someone is ill in your family…
Try not to over analyze the issue at hand but allow yourself to acknowledge the issue and come to accept it for what it is.
Sometimes we tend to dramatize things out of proportions – Tara Brach has a term for this FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real)
It’s not that the problem doesn’t exist we just tend to make it worse by worrying and spiraling things into a tale that may not be true or may not be what’s going to happen.
REMEMBER – my article ‘where your focus goes your energy flows!’ By focusing less on the problems or issues, you will feel a lot less burdened by them
9. COMMIT AND BE CONSISTENT – Try to start living the way you want your life to be. Talk the talk, walk the walk so to speak. Your actions, words and thoughts throughout the day will decide on how your day will unfold.
If you are wanting a change then you need to start living the change. Once you have committed, stick to the changes you are implementing and be consistent.
If you are the type of person who starts things but doesn’t follow through or quits after a couple of weeks – set yourself up with supports to ensure that you will continue.
Perhaps it’s working out with a friend or having a goal to run a marathon after so many weeks.
Whatever it is know that whatever you tackle you will finish because you have committed and you are going to be consistent and accountable to someone.
10. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE – Not to worry, this is not to make you anxious or paralyze you with fear. This does not have to be anything crazy! Don’t feel you have to go and jump out of a plane or climb Mount Everest. What I’m suggesting is you try something that you once may have feared doing – like going to a restaurant and having a meal by yourself or just try something new – it should be something that will challenge you!
11. EXERCISE – You may wonder why I included exercise. Change or transformation is often difficult to do. You will find you have good and bad days.
Exercise is important not only to your physical health but to your mental well being too. It is a great way to lift your spirits if you are feeling a little on the downside.
Studies have shown that when you exercise you feel brighter and more positive. It is not just to lose weight and get that perfect body – it’s more about making one feel good inside!
I’m going to throw in another cliche – ‘with a healthy body comes a healthy mind’ – and isn’t that what we are trying to work on in our transformation process.
Exercise does not have to be running a marathon, it can be as simple as a daily walk at lunch with a co-worker or a walk after dinner with your partner or puppy…
12. TRAVEL – Sometimes we get stuck in a rut – which may be quite comfortable. If you are like me, I enjoy being at home in my own environment.
I have lots of things to do from gardening to inside projects – reading, crocheting, sewing… and more.
So I’m suggesting you try checking out different places. They can be within your own city or you can travel further away from home.
Venture away from that comfort zone of the people and places you know and challenge yourself to see a little more of the world around you.
By doing this you may be surprised at what the world has to offer.
13. BE GRATEFUL – There are so many things we have to be grateful for.
There are the biggies – your health, your ability to walk, see, talk, hear… but there are also other things we take for granted – the fresh air, the water, nature around us…
Take a few minutes to think about what you are grateful for. Who can you thank for these things. How do you feel when you give thanks.
There is research to support that when you show gratitude you release endorphins that make you feel good.
Gratitude can help you cope with stress and is good for your health and well being.
Gratitude is one of those things that when you give you receive even more… not only for yourself but to share with others.
14. HELP OTHERS – When you help someone it is a wonderful and simple way to make steps towards self-improvement. There are lots of ways to help others. You may find yourself helping a stranger, a friend or a family member. Giving help to others either in giving your time, money or a helping hand is not only beneficial to you but it can take your mind off your own problems or worries.
15. LASTLY – MY FAVORITES – MEDITATE or MINDFULNESS – I love to think of meditating as going to my quiet place. I usually like to meditate first thing in the morning and I typically like to go to my favorite spot that I’ve set up in ‘my room’.
It is a corner area that has my meditation music and programs as well as my meditation pillow.
It’s a great way to follow a guided meditation or just listen to some quiet music where I can lose myself and feel content.
Please note that you do not have to be good at meditation or mindfulness to get the benefits of either of them. You also do not have to spend hours on a meditation pillow.
There are many ways to meditate – from sitting, lying down and doing a body scan, to washing the dishes or taking a mindful walk. If you are interested in learning more check out my articles here.
Mindfulness is a great way to work on your self-improvement. Living in the present moment help you see the beauty in even the simplest things in the world around you.
Being mindful helps you deal with your current circumstances and helps you live a happier way of life instead of worrying and stressing about the past or the future.
(Remember both of these do not exist. One has happened and you can’t do anything about it and one hasn’t happened yet).
If you get into the habit of living in the present moment you will feel you can handle situations in a much calmer manner. When you get used to living this way you will never want to go back!
MY FINAL THOUGHTS…
Transforming your life and making changes and transformations can be challenging but a wonderful thing! Yes, change doesn’t happen overnight, but just like the caterpillar you need to remember that making these changes can and will happen if you are willing to put in the work and effort.
I feel I am still transforming and like to think that I am moving forward and hope that I will never go back to the caterpillar stage as I know that I was made to do more… and so are you!
This transformation will have its ups and downs, yet it will be exciting and rewarding. If you want a better life with the things you truly desire, then take action today and try implementing a few of these suggestions.
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Hope you enjoyed reading my article as much as I enjoyed writing it!
So what self-improvement steps are you going to take to change your life?
Leave me a comment as I love to hear from my readers.
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Quote: “Transformation isn’t a future event. It’s a present day activity.” Jillian Michaels
Affirmation: I am destined for change. I am growing. My life is on time.