Taking steps to change

To change your life, you must change.

What does that mean? It means if you are unhappy, you need to figure out what makes you happy and work towards that goal. It is difficult to change existing patterns in your life after spending so many years establishing them. It is challenging for a smoker to give up smoking not only because of the nicotine but because it is difficult to institute new habits to replace old ones. Another good example is someone who has struggled with their weight. Food may have provided comfort or filled some sort of void, now there needs to be a substitute for food. One habit needs to be replaced by another. None of this change happens overnight, just as weight isn’t gained all at once. You gain one pound at a time, one day at a time. You cannot expect to lose weight or establish a new routine without giving yourself or your body time to adjust.

You may ask yourself, why change at all? If you are happy with your life, grateful for what you have and take each day as a blessing, then you are on the right track. However, most people find themselves asking the questions “Why do these things keep happening to me?” “Why is everything so difficult?” or “Why can’t I get a break?”. If this applies to you or you find yourself searching for a better life then take charge and do something! Perhaps you realize that you need to change but you are just trying to keep your head above water and do not have the time or emotional wherewithal to try something new. This is precisely when you must act! Once you have introduced something new, stick to it. The less you feel like doing it, the more important it is to see it through. Each time you defeat your negative tendencies you will feel more empowered. Every action you take to improve your life will demonstrate that you are capable of change.

Making small adjustments is only one way to revitalize your life. The most important step is transforming your way of thinking. It is easy to throw around cliche’s: view the glass as half full or life is what you make it. The fact is that it takes effort and determination to change your life and it really begins with your outlook. Anyone can analyze their life and see where things fall short. The challenge is looking at the same life and choosing to be grateful. As a young woman I recall looking at myself in the mirror and thinking how unhappy I was with my body. When I look at old pictures of myself now I think it is sad that I did not realize how beautiful I was at that time. So whenever I am feeling a little insecure, as we all do on occasion, I am aware of how important it is to appreciate who I am now. It takes dedication to recognize the value of what you have at every turn. When your children are running around and not listening, take a moment to be grateful that they are healthy enough to drive you crazy. If you have been let go at work, maybe it is time for a fresh start and you can finally go after your dream job. Take the opportunity to spend some quality time with your children for whom you would not otherwise have the time. Of course, you need to take action to resolve the problems you are facing but if you take a moment to be grateful, you will be more prepared to find a solution. You will eliminate anger from your circumstances by looking at the benefits of your current situation.

We are faced with challenges to prepare us for life.  It is not meant to be a road block to permanently stunt our growth but an obstacle to provide us an opportunity to evolve beyond our comfort zone.  Instead of looking at life as one miserable experience after another, find the lessons and take each trial and tribulation as a step closer to attaining your goals.  Just like a video game, every stage that you pass makes the next one more difficult in order to test your skills.  The closer you get to “saving the princess” the bigger and more dangerous the dragons become!

If you find yourself unhappy and unfulfilled, decide what makes you happy.  Visualize the goal and make small changes that bring you closer to achieving it.  Trust that any challenges you are faced with are necessary to prepare you for the next step in your path.  There has to be a journey.  Without the journey, there is no destination!

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