Here are 8 simple rules for change that have always helped me to reinvent myself, especially when I felt scared. I found them a long time ago in a woman’s magazine!
1. Follow Your Bliss – Think about what you like to do in your free time, what you’re naturally good at, what you enjoyed before marriage or children. If you’re not passionate about your new pursuit, you might be quick to give up if you don’t see success right away.
2. Dream Big – if you want to be an art collector, for example, see yourself with a gallery in many cities. “This way you’re more likely to come up with a plan that excites you,” says Karla Freeman, LCSW, a psychotherapist and author of Creating Magic in Midlife.
3. List Your Barriers and Concerns – Putting obstacles down on paper gets them out of your head and into the open, where you can start dealing with them. Think of tools you used in the past to overcome similar obstacles, such as lack time or money.
4. Act Your Way Into Your Next Life – Every day, take a few minutes to stand up and teach that yoga class or gather inventory for your shop. “Pretending to be the person you want to be strengthens your actions and builds your sense of yourself,” explains Freeman.
5. Give Yourself the OK to be a little selfish – As a woman, you’ve likely spent years putting your family’s needs ahead of your own. Midlife is a time to put your needs first, at least part of the time, and not feel guilty because you want to be happy.
6. Try hard not to think about hard it is – “If you only focus on how much time or effort it will take to put your plan into action and make it happen, you’re not going to want to do it,” says Freeman. Alternate difficult tasks with ones that are relaxing and fun.
7. Align yourself with the right people – Discuss your plans only with family and friends who offer encouragement and believe in your ability to make over your life. Also, find people who are already doing what you want to do, and ask how they got started.
8. Ask yourself, “If not now, when?” If you don’t start now, you will still be a year older next year. “Once you take the first few steps, momentum builds,things start happening and you start seeing your life in a new light,” Freeman adds.
These rules for change can also work great when you’re starting to consider doing something different and new. They don’t necessarily have to be for reinventing yourself.
(Women’s Day, Live Well 8 Rules for Change -August 1 2007)
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