4 FOCUS AREAS TO MAKE REAL CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE
Making changes, especially big ones, can be scary and confusing. It’s sometimes difficult to know what to change, let alone how to do it. In this post I hope to support and encourage you by suggesting 4 focus areas to make real changes in your life.
WHY WE NEED CHANGE SOMETIMES
Do you ever get the feeling that your life isn’t quite going in the direction you’d like? Perhaps there are things that frustrate you, or that you feel you could improve upon? You might even be searching for ways to make life easier, simpler and less stressful. What about creating some more time for yourself or for your family?
I think these are questions that many of us consider from time to time. It’s only natural to look around you and wonder what other peoples’ lives are like. Do they have the same stresses and strains or do they have everything figured out? The answer, probably, is of course not!
KNOWING WHAT AND HOW TO MAKE CHANGES
Life throws up various challenges at different times and part of our own personal growth and self-responsibility is to be able to meet those challenges and rise above them.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” (Jimmy Dean)
However, finding our destination or making change isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s difficult to work out what’s wrong or what needs to change, let alone find ways to do that.
This post isn’t so much about practical ways you can change your life. You’ll find plenty of posts elsewhere on my website about that and I’ve listed a few throughout this article!
Instead, I’d like to invite you to think about some broad areas of your life to focus on if you feel change is needed but you’re not sure where or how to start.
The four areas I’ve chosen might not speak to your heart directly. You might have different priorities. However, they’re the areas that have been impacted most by my own exploration into simplicity and if I could suggest some starting points for change in your own life, then these would be them!
#1 YOUR HOME
Home is where the heart is and everything begins at home. For many of us, our homes are our sanctuary from the world and the one place we come back to at the end of each day.
Keeping that home clean, tidy and managed can also be a burden on our time and energy. The last thing we feel like doing is housework after a long day at work. I’d rather spend my time and energy on plenty of other things!
Even though I don’t like housework, I do prefer a clear, calm and tidy home. The way I achieve this is very simple. I don’t have much clutter, I create as much space as possible and I have flexible routines and rhythms which keep my home running smoothly with minimum effort from me.
All of this means that I’m no longer tied to my home or what’s in it and I can use this new-found freedom for living life.
If you’re responsible for managing your home, I encourage you to take your first step to real change by decluttering your home, setting up some simple routines and letting your home run on auto-pilot.
#2 YOUR TIME
As regular readers will know, I love writing about time management and ways to help you be more effective and productive with the time you have.
Time waits for nobody. If you reflect on how you spend your days, it will paint a picture for how you spend your life. Are you living your daily life according to what’s important to you, or are you busy doing things for others or so you can tick things off your task list?
Being clear about how you spend your time, how you waste it, whether you’re busy doing the right things or just busy because you don’t know how not to be, are such important points to think about if you want to make change.
Change can only come about if you have space to let that happen. That means space in your heart, mind and schedule.
When you’re overbooked and overstretched that emotional and mental space is squeezed because you’re thinking instead about what you’ve got to do next or where you’ve got to be. You just don’t have the time to think about what book you’d like to read, what skill you’d like to learn, where you’d like to go on holiday, or whatever your true priorities are.
Your mind and time is drawn to whatever is calling you the loudest.
If you feel that time is running away with you, you’re always chasing your tail and you have no time left to listen out for what you really want and need, then this could be a second step to real change.
#3 YOUR SELF-CARE
It’s obvious but I’m going to say it here for emphasis – there’s only one you! Whether you have lots of people relying on you or you just have yourself to think about, the one constant is that there’s only one you and you need to look after yourself.
We demand a lot from our bodies over the years and they have to work hard for us for as long as possible. To help make that happen we need to tend to ourselves like we would tend to our loved ones.
Speak kindly to yourself, prioritise your own needs every now and then, eat healthily, take regular exercise, think positively and listen to your body when it says it needs to slow down.
This isn’t about being selfish and putting yourself before others. It’s about being kind to yourself like you would be kind to others.
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming or costly. Self-care can be little things that you do on a regular basis to look after your body and mind in whatever way they need at the time.
If we look after ourselves, we tend to feel better. When we feel better, we’re more receptive to change and more able to make those changes happen, instead of feeling worn out and worn down.
If you’d like to make changes then take some time to focus on yourself. You’ll make better choices and decisions and be more able to see them through if you’re feeling your best self.
#4 UNDERSTANDING YOUR PRIORITIES
Change is great. We all benefit when we have a fresh perspective on things and get to try out new opportunities. Change for change’s sake isn’t always so helpful.
Before you make change, I feel it’s important to understand why you’d like to make those changes and what you hope to gain from them.
This is where understanding your priorities comes in. Your priorities will change over time. They could be work-related, family-related or health-related but there are plenty of other examples.
Before you plunge into making sweeping changes, just make sure that the changes you’re planning are the right one for you at this time. Otherwise, you might just upset the applecart for no reason.
If you feel in need of change, for whatever reason, I encourage you to check-in with yourself.
Ask yourself a few questions about how you’re feeling, why are you feeling it now, what lifts you up in life and what brings you down. Exploring your answers to these questions will help you define your priorities so that you can bring about effective, sustainable change in the best way for you.