Two years ago, I decided (again) that it was time for a change in my life. I needed more time with my family – quality time. Not just being in the same house and meeting up for dinner three times a week time, I mean proper, meaningful real-life time.
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I hear so many parents complain about how hard it is being the adult. How they wish that they could trade places with their kids, disappear to their rooms and lay on their beds chatting to friends for hours.
But here’s the thing. Being the adult is the best thing in the world because when you’re an adult, you get to choose what your life looks like. You don’t have rules, age restrictions and someone telling you to get off your phone.
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Time For A Change? 5 Habits That You Can Try Right Now
You have the freedom to do whatever you want to do. You just have to be a little bit courageous and you have to want it badly enough.
I wanted to badly enough, and I’m guessing that you do too, or why else would you be reading a post called time for a change your life so that you can be the happy one?
The secret to implementing these small changes and finding your happiness is by listening to yourself and by following a few rules. Grown-up ones that will benefit you.
Here are five little ways that you change your life because you count the most.
1: Say No
If you are a people pleaser you will find this one difficult. I am and I do but it becomes easier with practice, I promise.
I’m not saying that you must refuse every single request that is made of you; life wouldn’t function if the master of controls officer went on strike, I’m merely saying choose carefully what you answer yes to. And if you do say yes, don’t do it out of habit or out of guilt.
Let’s say the kids are bored. They want to go out. They need a ride. They want to see friends. But you’ve just settled down to scroll through Pinterest in the hope that you’ll find inspiration for the next phase of your life. You don’t want to get into the cold car and drive across town. What are you going to do?
You are going to say NO.
- Let the kids be bored for a few hours, its okay. They’ll get over it, they will learn to be resourceful and will learn that you are not at their beck and call. Say no. Say you’ll take them later. In a few hours or maybe tomorrow. And then snuggle down with Pinterest and give yourself a pat on the back.
- A friend who drains your energy and brings nothing to the friendship table, asks to see you next Thursday. Your stomach lurches and you dread the thought of the meeting.
- Say no. No rambling excuses about why you can’t make it, say no and tell the friend that you will call when you’re free. It will be hard at first because you are not in the habit of refusing people but the more you do it, the easier it will become. Say no and don’t feel bad for doing so.
- Whenever someone asks something of you, ask yourself this question. Will this give you energy, or drain it?
- If the answer is drain it, then the answer is a big fat NO.
Remember, by saying no to whatever it is you don’t want to do, really, you are saying yes to you. The woman who needs you more than anyone. You are saying yes to her!
Try swapping yes for no three times in a day and see how much better you feel. And no, you are not being selfish – you are being kind. To yourself.
When someone asks for your time, no matter how small and insignificant (oh! It’s only a twenty-minute drive into town, I’ll be back before three!) if it doesn’t give you energy but drains it: say no.
If it’s a filler say yes. If it’s a killer say no. Simple as that.
2: Write Morning Pages
This practice works best in the morning before you begin your day, but I understand that people have different routines, young babies, jobs, animals. I know all that and am sympathetic, but this takes no more than 30 minutes of your 24 hour day and is something that is going to benefit you. Please try it.
- Writing morning pages is about emptying every single thought and worry onto three pieces of A4 paper before you start your day. When you are finished (it shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes -max) rip the paper up and throw it in the bin or stash it away under the bed and read it again in two years time.
- Throwing my notes away or keeping them under the bed is much the same thing for me. My writing I undecipherable – even if I did want to read them back I couldn’t.
- Morning pages is a method that takes discipline and practice, but I swear to you, once to have been doing these notes for a month or so there will be no going back. Your thoughts will become less crowded, decisions will become easier; your whole thought process will become clearer. I can’t recommend this exercise highly enough. This is not hocus-pocus witchcrafty new age drivel. This practice works.
I have been doing it for six years and it works so well that on the days that I don’t write my three pages my mood and outlook changes dramatically. (Think Bruce Banner from the Hulk) If you are keen to no more about morning pages then read the book that changed my life.
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3: More Travel
If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you will know that this is how I found my mojo. 18 months ago I made a plan to take our two teenagers backpacking the world for a year and this is what we did.
But travel doesn’t have to be as drastic as this. I understand that you may not be in a position to up sticks and travel the world, although in saying that, we spent less on our trip than we did at home, so if it’s money that’s stopping you living your dream you may want to reconsider.
- Travel can mean packing the car and going to a campsite for the weekend. Staying in an Airbnb. Couchsurfing if you are seriously broke. There are lots of ways that you can go away for a few days and take a break.
- Taking some time away from the ‘norm’ will always, always, make you feel better.
- Don’t worry about taking time away from the job, the kid’s education, their after school clubs. These are all fears that are based on age-old routine and the fear of missing out. Fomo. My kids hate it when I quote this acronym but its true. You fear that they will miss out on something important when in reality, they miss out on sod all.
- We have been an away for a year, and NOT ONE THING had changed when we returned.
- Bar the supermarket getting a new pharmacy aisle.
Please don’t put off a well-needed family break because the kids are learning about trigonometry at school or your daughter’s ballet teacher is teaching the new dance step for the end of term show.
Remember what I said. They can catch up very quickly. If you need a break. Take one.
We homeschool, and so I have never had to fight with the education system about taking time off for holidays. We have other issues to deal with but not those.
If you can’t arrange time off with the school, use your weekends. Take off on Friday night and don’t come back until late Sunday.
Go to a city that you’ve never been to before or a village in the county. You don’t have to go far to get that feeling of refreshment.
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4: Change Paths
You may have been in the same career for donkey’s years. This is because it’s what you know. You trained for this in college; this is you and it’s what you do.
But sadly, you’re as miserable as sin and the thought of doing this for another ten years makes you want to tear your hair out and eat it.
- Start a new career. Look for a part-time evening course. Search online for as much free information as you can find. Attend a workshop. There are heaps of free community courses out there. Start your own business. Open a cake and coffee take away outside the school gates, sell a course online, become a plumber, a teacher, a piano tutor, a travel blogger. What have you always had an urge to do?
- Take what you’re doing now and consider swapping it for something that will make you happy. Don’t worry if that means taking a pay cut, once you are doing what it is that you love you will find money will make its way to you.
- The more money you have the more you will spend. Things and possessions don’t make you happy. Doing what you love is the only thing that will do that.
Remember when you were a kid and played with a dolls house? One day you would decide that you didn’t like the current set up and you’d shift all the furniture out of the dolls house and change all the rooms. Then you could have a fresh new game with an exciting storyline.
Think of your life as the dolls house. A game. You’re simply changing things up. Change is good. Change means you are planning and risking. Risking means you are alive and present. A present is a gift and nobody is scared of receiving a gift. Peel back the wrapping and become excited at what lies ahead.
I have had about ten different careers and jobs in my life. If I get to the point that I am unhappy with what I am doing then I look for something else; something that will stretch me and make me happy. Sometimes this is unsettling, terrifying even, but afterwards, I am always relieved that i pushed through and did what it was that I wanted to do.
It’s not that difficult. If you are successful at what you are currently doing now, be that your job, raising your kids or getting yourself out of bed and into the gym in the mornings, then you will be successful at whatever you do, it’s as simple as that.
Don’t expect miracles; I’m not saying give your notice in tomorrow. Set a specific date and make towards that plan. Know that things are going to change for the better.
Learn everything you can about what it is you would rather be doing instead and then go and do it. Little baby steps, putting one foot in front of the other.
Ask yourself what you can do today that will get you closer to your dream? That may be something tiny like lifting the rucksacks out of the loft or it could be something huge such as asking a real estate agent to come and value your house so you can put it up for sale.
Whatever you choose to do to get closer to your new path, do it today. One small step after another. By the end of the week, you will be almost a mile closer to your dream.
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5: Listen To Yourself. (Face it. You’re the only one that Speaks Any Sense)
In the past decade, I have emigrated to the other side of the world, homeschooled both of our now teenage children (even though I am neither religious or weird – well, a bit weird but that’s another story) backpacked around the world for a year on $50 a day, and now, am about to start an online business.
I have never done anything like this in my life. Ever.
People saying to me: “how did you know that it would all be ok? What if you had failed.”
The answer? It couldn’t have failed because I wanted it to succeed badly enough, I was determined that it wouldn’t fail. I listened to what my instinct told me and that isn’t often wrong.
- There are so many books, blogs, courses and blah blah blah’s telling you that THEY will give you the answer to how to change your life.
- There is only one person that can change your life and that’s you. LISTEN TO YOURSELF.
- Listen to the gut feeling you have; there is nobody in the world out there who wants you to succeed more than yourself. Yourself is the person that knows every single fear and dream that you hold. Yourself is the one that has your back, your front and your side. Yourself will never lie to you. You just have to have faith and trust in what you hear.
Listen to your self. You know best: they’re your kids, this is your life. You know exactly what it is you need to do. Be brave enough to take the advice and trust that it will be alright.
You’re a grownup. You can do it.
If you feel as though it is time for a change in your life then I hope you have found a snippet of inspiration from this post. If you like it and want more, then leave a comment below, and I’ll share some more tips with you. Please don’t finish this post, take a deep breath and then forget everything that I’ve told you. Promise, that you’ll implement at least ONE of these things into your life, you will start to feel better for doing so. I give you my word.