Changing your life

7 Secrets for Changing Your Life

Are you ready to make change in your life? If you’re reading this you probably are. Maybe you’ve got started following your dream and have been making some changes already. Hopefully, you’re open to change, you have an idea of some changes you’d like to enjoy and have started making those changes or you’re planning to very soon.

Life’s all about change and learning how to cope with change is a key life skill. As a mother you deal with it regularly. Having a baby is the ultimate life changer and just when you learn how to cope with a new born baby your new charge starts demanding solid food. Before you know it, that helpless baby learns how to crawl, walk, talk and answer back. Life is an evolution and if you don’t change you’re not growing.

If you look back at your life over the past five years you’ll see how much has happened. Try making an overview of all the things that have changed in your life over a five year period to show you how your life has changed radically during that time.

Here’s an overview of the  major changes in my life since 2005 to give you an idea of how much change we deal with:

  • My dad died
  • Gave birth to my third child and first daughter
  • Sold our home in New Zealand and most of our belongings
  • Moved to Costa Rica
  • Learnt Spanish and how to surf
  • Moved to Australia
  • Set up a new business
  • Started writing this blog
  • Began weekly dance classes
  • Joined a business networking group
  • Bought an online course

Phew, it sounds unbeleivable but when you’ve made your list of past changes you’ll see that there are plenty of them. Change is not only normal but necessar.

Why Change is Good For You

  • Change challenges you;
  • It encourages you to reassess your life;
  • It helps you learn;
  • It makes life interesting;
  • It gives you confidence.

There are two ways of anticipating change ~ fear or excitement.

Dealing with Fear

If fear’s holding you back from making change then you need to learn how to give fear the finger. When you do tackle fear head on by doing what scares you, you’ll see that thinking about scary things is the worst part. Actually doing them isn’t that bad and once you get started and regularly practice doing things that scare you it becomes second nature. Often when you try something that scares you, after you get over the initial butterflies or nausea depending on how deep your fear runs, you want to try it again. Not convinced? Read these stories about people overcoming fear and changing their lives for the better.

The Six Stages of Change

  1. Denial
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
  6. Ongoing results

7 Secrets for Changing Your Life

  1. One change at a time
    Don’t try to change everything at once. Make one change at a time and let yourself get used to it before making another. Focus on the present, the one change that you’re making today and don’t worry or project into the future too much.
  2. Practice change
    Make small changes to your routine so your outlook and lifestyle are flexible, then when change does come you’ll be able to handle it better. Accept change is a normal and desirable part of life. Use change as a learning tool to help you grow stronger and more confident.
  3. Plan for change
    Understand the stages you’ll go through and talk about the changes before, during and after. Be ready for problems and work out how to deal with them before they derail you.
  4. Get support
    Find people who know what you’re going through and have made the changes you’re dealing with and survived them. Head to the Internet, a book store or the library to find stories from people who’ve been in your shoes or to get advice.
  5. Stay positive
    Look for the positive side of things. Even when the changes are bad like the death of a loved one, illness or relationship breakdowns try to find positive aspects anywhere you can to help you pull through. It’s hard when you’re in the throes of something so devastating but try to look for opportunities in everything. Learn how to handle stress and find ways to deal with it. Exercise and meditation are healthy ways to offload stress and make coping easier during stressful times.
  6. Keep some things the same
    Remember the good habits you have and the things you enjoy in life and make them a constant – walking, reading, talking, listening to uplifting music and writing have all helped me cope with change. Learn what activities are vital for your sense of well-being and keep up with your old friends too.
  7. Remember your long term plan
    Remember nothing is forever. Change might be hard in the short term but you need to remember the big picture and remember it during the tough times.

Now all you need to do is work out what changes you’re going to make first.

I Need You!

Finally a reminder that if you like my blog I need you to help spread the word.

Please help me grow my blog so that I can achieve my latest dream of being a full time blogger. You can help by sharing this post on Facebook, tweeting it, emailing posts to friends, relatives and colleagues or just telling people about Get In the Hot Spot. It all helps promote the blog and frees up my time for more writing which I hope helps you because that’s the kind of win win scenario I love.

Thank you for reading and supporting me.

Share Your Experiences

What changes have you coped with in the past? What changes are you making now or planning to make soon? What helps you make changes and stick to them?

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Photo credit: Doug8888
Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin Dickinson June 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Isn’t change just part of our life?

Your post got me thinking, Annabel. What doesn’t change?

* Aging is a constant process of change;
* Diurnal rhythms of nature – seasons, cycles, tides are constantly moving;
* Our physiology is defined by change;
* The tectonic plates of our plant, the orbit of the Earth – moving, spinning;
* Evolution, the paths of history…

I could go on, but need to change topics. ;)

What if we just surrended to becoming the change organisms we were designed to be. Embrace change. Live change. Maybe that’s the one constant I strive for. ;)

Best, Robin

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Annabel Candy June 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Hi Robin, yes, it is part of life but some people don’t cope with change very well. Great to see it’s not a problem for you. Maybe I lost something when I changed the title which was how to cope with change:) You’re so right though, we all need to strive to handle change gracefully, be flexible and adapt ourselves to the circumstances. Hopefully the 7 secrets will help with that! Just knowing that it’s all change all the time is a start. Trying to stay how you are is a waste of time….

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Robin Dickinson June 1, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Hang on a minute, I’ve just changed my mind! ;)

“How to cope with change” makes more sense to me.

However, I guess what I failed to communicate is that we are naturally designed for change. It’s like a super-power for us. So rather than ‘cope’ with change, we could ‘own’ our change powers; use them; get even better at changing – rather than make them wrong or believe there’s something wrong with us because we a struggling to change.

Looking forward to your party. Is it fancy dress? :)

Robin :)

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Annabel Candy June 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Hi Robin, lol! It’s complicated isn’t it? Some things don’t change much though, like our core values or general outlook on life. The super powers sound handy though.

Looking forward to seeing you at the party. Another of my little experiments, a reason to force myself to change and also in line with my aim to do something that scares me every day:) Yikes, a live stream video but I’m committed to it now…. looking forward to it actually, I’m sure there will be some surprises. As long as it’s not just me…

Fancy dress? If you like please come as your favourite blogger. I’ll be coming as me unless I can get hold of a bald wig like Leo, Darren or Seth’s of course… You can come as anyone you like but I don’t think I’ll be able to see you!

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shant June 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm

awesome blog post Annabel!

we’re looking forward to your vokle event :)

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Annabel Candy June 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Hi Shant, great to see you here and thanks for being the first person to register. I’ve done a test run and I think it’s going to work thanks to the Vokle technology:) Exciting!

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Nunzio Bruno June 2, 2010 at 1:27 am

I loved those 7 action items! Your post got me thinking about my last 5 years and it was chock-full-of changes most were reactionary and had I done a little better planning the transitions could have been way easier for me. I can’t wait until the launch party too! I think you do an awesome job here. My goal is to be a full time blogger too :)

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Annabel Candy June 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Hi Nunzio, thank you. It is good to plan ahead but also be flexible so you can cope with change. Here’s to our blogging success:)

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rob white June 2, 2010 at 3:54 am

Hi Annabel,
Great advise for coping with change. Indeed, from cradle to grave, our world of conditions and circumstances is forever changing. Our Conditioned-Self will have us resist change and keep us in our fixed habit patterns.

I have found my own evolution includes revolution. Revolt against the Conditioned-Self when it advises me to resist anything new. We can only fulfill our purpose and aim when we enthusiastically welcome change.

Your 5 year review exercise was quite fun and worthwhile… I came up with quite a few that I had plum forgotten!

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Annabel Candy June 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Hi Rob, love that – we have to revolt against staying the same. Glad you remembered some new things. It goes to show how much change we do handle without missing a beat:)

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Dia June 2, 2010 at 7:07 am

Thanks Annabel

I agree fear is the main reason we get don’t follow our goals and don’t change. Change for the better is needed, otherwise life would be boring.

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Annabel Candy June 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Hi Dia, yes, change keeps things interesting, keeps us on our toes. That’s why I like travel – you never know what’s going to happen next:)

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Sandra Lee June 2, 2010 at 8:12 am

Excellent! I love “give fear the finger” !!!! Often, we just let change happen without approaching it systematically as you describe here. Taking it on directly and planning for it makes so much more sense!

Change and impermanence is indeed the very essence of life. Knowing this helps us get our priorities straight.

(Speaking of change, did you change the blog background a bit?)

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Annabel Candy June 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Hi Sandra, lol, love it too:) Yes, I redesigned the blog:)

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Teresa June 2, 2010 at 8:15 am

I think this is one of my favourite blogs ever! I love your style! I really want to do a list to of the last 5 years…Maybe I will do my top ten tonight and send it to you….I love this blog Mwaoh xxx

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Annabel Candy June 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Hi Teresa, looks like you’ve had a busy 5 years too:)

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hellen June 2, 2010 at 9:48 am

Great post!
Change always makes life interesting and also give fear.
But when you overcome the fears, you may realize that the fear is interesting too~~
Now I plan for change, sometimes it scares me , but I believe it’s worth it.

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Annabel Candy June 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Hi Hellen, change can be scary but as you say, changing things is rewarding so it’s worth it.

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Farnoosh June 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

Annabel, what a long hard list of things to have endured……and the blog is such a gift to us and a great outcome of your hard work……thank you for a great article! I had to share it with a special someone who needs this advice right now!!

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Annabel Candy June 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Hi Farnoosh, thanks for reading it and sharing it. Has your life changed much over the last 5 years?

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Roman Soluk June 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Thanks for this, Annabel! Changes are very important in our life. I already know it. Very true and helpful tips for making changes, I think. (I’ve already come through it some time ago.)

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Annabel Candy June 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Hi Roman, glad to hear you’re embracing change:)

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Kate June 3, 2010 at 2:21 am

Reading your list of the changes you’ve recently experienced was eye-opening! It made me think about the changes I’ve undergone in the two years. Here’s a list:

1. Moved to Manhattan
2. Started a Master’s program
3. Graduated
4. Got engaged
5. Started a blog
6. Started writing for Huffington Post
7. Quit my teaching job
8. Started learning Spanish (I’m very, very bad at it!)

I love your lists. Breaking big things down into simpler categories makes anything feel possible. As always, thank you!!

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Annabel Candy June 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Hi Kate, you’ve been having an exciting time on all fronts – geography, career, personal. Que buena de apprendar espanol tambien. Me encata apprendar mucho y hablar espnaol y frances:) Felicitaciones para todos y buenas suerte. Don’t worry if you’re bad at Spanish, as long as you’re having fun learning it and getting better. My grammar’s terrible but I can make myself understood and understand lots too:)

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[email protected] June 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I have read the entire article and I am bit confused i.e if a person suffering from clinical anxiety read this article, can he change himself without taking those anti anxiety medicines. My point is a normal person can come out of his comfort zone easily as compared to a person who is suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder.

Can he change his life without taking medicine and only reading motivational articles. ?

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Jennifer Garza July 9, 2010 at 3:29 am

I totally agree that people resist change. During my stint as a therapist, I saw this time and time again. People will even choose chaos over change just because they have become COMFORTABLE with chaos.

I find it too funny that instead of giving the finger to Fear, as you did in this post, I gave the “proverbial finger to Failure” in my post Life Makeover Lesson #5. Love your blog so far..will be back!

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