Change is not equals change. Therefore, one of the things you need to consider when thinking of making a change in your life is: How radical do you want to be? Do you feel like making a sweeping change, or will some well-placed tweaks do? Both can work equally well. What you choose depends on where you are in your life, your circumstances, and your level of comfort with taking risks.
Read on to find out what’s right for you!
Change is not equals change.
There’s the sweeping change.
Like when we leave our corporate job to take up olive farming in Tuscany. Or become a mum (or dad), and start a part-time online baking business from home. Or join a kibbutz, commune, ashram or a convent.
You get it:
A sweeping change is when we change pretty much everything about our life – our work; the country, city, or town we live in; our friendships and relationships, our lifestyle and our habits. Just letting go of what we’ve been doing altogether, in one sweep, like shedding an old skin. And starting afresh, on a clean slate.
Radical, isn’t it? And liberating, too!
My sweeping life changes include moving to Basel from Zurich, after completing my Biochemistry MSc, then spending a year in Spain to learn Spanish and Flamenco dancing, and then, on my return, getting into international management consulting. Coming to live and work in London. Or leaving a corporate job, becoming self-employed, and training as a contemporary dancer and choreographer.
A sweeping change can work for you when:
- changing little by little just won’t do, and you need to burn the bridges so to speak, to really be able to move forward.
- it’s the end of an era in your life, and you’ve come as far as you could in one particular life area.
- it’s the only way you can keep learning, progressing and growing in your life.
- it’s time to draw a line under whatever has happened in your life so far, and make a fresh start, on a clean slate.
- you’re stuck in a rut, and long for the adventure and the profound renewal that only a sweeping change can bring.
- you love variety in your life and want to experience a lot of different things, and a challenge doesn’t scare you, but revives and refuels you instead.
And then there is the tweaking change.
Check out my 25 small tweaks to make a difference in your life
Like when we decide to start buying our vegetables from the farmers’ market instead of our usual supermarket. Get up half an hour earlier in the morning to do some yoga. Work from home one day a week, or go part-time. Reduce our time on social media. Socialise more. Or less, and have more time for ourselves. Spend more time outside. Move more, or differently. Listen better, or stop interrupting others.
You get the gist:
Tweaking changes are small things or specific aspects of our life that we change, while leaving the rest of our life as it is. So we get the buzz, interest or growth of experiencing something fresh and new in one area, whilst still enjoying the comfort and security of most of our life as we know it.
Feels a lot safer, doesn’t it? And friendly, too!
I make tweaking changes in my life all the time, on an ongoing basis, but also quite formally and consciously at the start of each term of the year, when I have a little awareness check of what’s working well for me, and what isn’t. And then I see what I can tweak to make a difference.
So last year, I enrolled in a Pilates class in order to strengthen my core. I did that for a while, but I’m afraid to say the teacher’s style was a bit too ‘bootcampy’ for my taste. 🙂 And I was longing for more fun in my life. So I changed to dancing salsa instead. And when that didn’t work for me anymore, I found a local contemporary dance class to go to.
Tweaking changes may be small, but they can have great impact.
Some of my most effective ones include: Starting to eat breakfast every day. Taking regular singing classes. Planning my working week to bunch up similar activities – having a writing day, a coaching day, a marketing day etc. Clarifying my priorities and starting to say no to what doesn’t fit these.
A tweaking change can work for you when:
- there’s only one particular aspect of your life that isn’t quite right or irritates you.
- you got what you needed from something you’ve been doing.
- you just want a little boost, a little variety, a little something new.
- you want to work on a bigger overall change little by little, managing the risk and upheaval of it as you go along, and getting gradual improvement, too.
(My Create the Life You Love coaching programme can support you with that.)
- you haven’t got time nor resources to focus on a sweeping change.
- you need to build your confidence, and don’t want a massive challenge.
Over to you now:
What are the sweeping changes you’ve made in your life?
And which tweaking changes have made a big difference to your life and your happiness?
I’d love to hear what those are for you, so why don’t you share your experience in the box below?
And if you’re contemplating making a change in your life, I hope that this post will help you figure out what kind of a change that should be!