Changing your life is serious business. As far as we know, you only get one life. Making the most out of your life is a form of taking responsibility for the way it turns out. But there are many common mistakes made by those seeking to make significant life changes.
Avoid these mistakes as you work toward changing your life for the better:
1. The belief that you have to change everything. Your life probably isn’t that bad. Make a list of things you’d like to change and then prioritize the list. Put your energy into changing the one item that’s most important to you. If you’re still dissatisfied, move down to the second item on your list.
- Everything affects everything else. You might find that after changing a couple of things that you’re happy with the other aspects of your life.
- Trying to change everything is a recipe for disaster. Your entire life will be in chaos and making multiple changes is much more difficult to manage successfully than making one change.
2. Doing it for others. On some level, we feel a need to impress others. We consider how our career choice will appear to others. We wonder if our friends will approve of our choice of a mate. We purchase a car with some intention of showing off to our friends, family, and neighbors.
- If you make changes for everyone else, you’ll eventually be resentful. You’ll realize that no part of your life is exactly the way you want it. There’s no emptier feeling that working hard to impress others and succeeding. You quickly realize that you’ve made a huge mistake.
3. Believing that money is the answer to all your challenges. As great as having money is for providing necessities, there are just as many things that money can’t purchase: love, friendship, a shoulder to cry on, a purpose for your life, joy, and more.
4. Believing that a relationship is the answer to all your issues. If you’re lonely, bored, and lost, it’s common to believe that a relationship is the answer to your troubles. But there are many flaws with this type of thinking.
- A relationship created under this context is formed on a negative concept. A relationship is for sharing, not for solving a challenge.
- When you have a lot of challenges, your choice of potential partners is limited. Emotionally healthy people look for others with similar qualities.
- Create a life that excites you. Then find someone that you can share it with. A relationship ought to be the last step in changing your life, not the first.
5. Not having a purpose. Why do you want to make these changes? What is the underlying theme? If you have a driving purpose for the changes, decisions are easier to make.
- Are you seeking greater freedom?
- Do you want to make a bigger impact on the world?
- Are you rearranging your life so can go back to school?
- Are you downsizing for retirement?
Most people are content to play the hand that life deals to them. There are few things more noble than taking control of your life and making positive changes. But many people put in a lot of work to change their lives, only to feel disappointed in the end. For your best success, know why you’re changing and be congruent in your decisions.