10 things I've learned about change so far

So I’m on day 27 of my 365 Days of Change project.

I’ve thought about doing a progress update, but at the moment I feel like it would be boring. I’ve been able to make small changes that lay the foundation for more, but it’s that “more” that radical kind of change I’m struggling to make right now. Life the last month has been chaotic and I am tapped out. I am in survival mode and doing the best I can but it’s not a place I can make radical change from. I’m trying to just accept that but keep my focus on moving forward and making incremental change. I’m not giving up!

So, I wanted to share 10 things I’ve learned about change so far, mostly analogies because that’s the language my brain thinks in.

  1. Change is like driving a car with bad wheel alignment. Ever had a car that needed an alignment? It just keeps wanting to veer to the left and the whole time you’re driving it, you’re having to hold the wheel extra tight? Sometimes I feel like the car with bad alignment - my wheels have a rut they naturally want to go in. I have to struggle just to get my wheels going in even a slightly different direction. For instance, I want to spend less time on my phone and laptop but I have a habit of going to it when I’m bored or need a break. My hands, going to the device are like the wheel veering to the left.
  2. Change is like unraveling a tangle of yarn. I have one thing I want to change, but it’s tangled up with other things. Let’s say I want to go to bed earlier but I just can’t seem to make it happen (real life example). I’m staying up too late because it’s my only time with my husband and I don’t want it to stop because I’m getting my son to bed too late and we’re not getting enough adult time and I’m getting my son to bed too late because I’m starting his homework too late because we’re eating dinner too late because I'm napping too long in the afternoon because I didn't get enough sleep the night before. Phew. Yeah. Sometimes I have to reconsider the whole flow of my day and change something else, earlier in the chain of events to make it work.
  3. Change is like musical chairs. I make a list of to dos for the day and only 50-75% of them get done. I try not to make my list too long, but something is always left out. If I do my daily movement, less work gets done. If I get more work done,  my son has too much screen time. If I have lunch with a friend, my daily cleaning doesn’t happen. This is frustrating, but illuminating. I always think I can achieve more in a day than is possible. I’m starting to accept it and realize it all evens out over time. 
  4. The energy to change is like a jar of water with limited capacity. My capacity is limited and extra busy days consume that energy. These disruptions are like stones dropped into the water and the water overflows and spills out. There’s not much energy left to power me forward. There’s been a lot of these disruptions in my life lately. And on those crazy days, I can’t make big moves.
  5. Change in the morning is easier than at night. I’m a morning person with more energy, motivation, willpower and clarity at the start of my day than the end of it.
  6. Change that’s quick is easier than change that involves a series of steps. It’s easier to swallow a supplement daily than to develop a whole plan to self-publish a book. So I tend to procrastinate more complicated changes.
  7. Change that involves stopping a pleasurable or comfortable habit is sooooo hard. Eating at night? Stop browsing the dang internet? Yeah. I like that stuff. I do it on the regular. It's a habit. Stopping it? So hard.
  8. Change that involves fear of the unknown is the hardest. Yeah, that self-publishing plan? Hard. Even publishing a blog post, fearing reactions or non-reactions can be hard.
  9. Change is like dominoes, knock over one and more fall. This gives me hope - I might not be making a big difference yet, but I'm starting the process of building momentum.
  10. Change is like tennis. I used to play tennis with my dad. I was awful. Truly awful. He’d constantly have to tell me to watch the ball and not him! Well, I find it’s necessary to keep looking every day at what I’m trying to do and remind myself. So I have a notebook I write in daily about the changes I want to make and it helps me focus. If I don’t keep my eye on the ball, I can’t change. 


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