When change happens, even small change, it creates a ripple. It’s so important to ride that wave and embrace the momentum on your journey to change. But just because you’ve gained momentum, be careful not to make the mistake of leaving everything behind in your pursuit to move forward.
First, it’s imperative to know your destination. If you were shopping and packing for a trip, you would know where you were going. That way, you know whether to bring boots or sandals, swimsuits or sweaters, books or your Kindle. Determine a “why” for each item to help you decide what to bring.
How to Determine What to Take With You
If you feel like change is on the horizon:
- Take a moment to pause, reflect, and process. Imagine a grocery store filled with all the things that could end up on the chopping block for change. The shelves are stocked with things like your hobbies, habits, pursuits, and maybe even other more tangible things like your current job, your support system, and your house or apartment. What’s working for you and what structures need to change to bring you where you want to go?
- Take inventory of what’s in stock — skills, talents, goals, interests, values, strengths, even other people in your network. It’s tempting to toss it all and start fresh, but that’s often not necessary. You usually have some key ingredients already available to you. Picture yourself in the store with a shopping cart — you’re deciding what to bring with you on the journey to change. What comes with you, and what stays behind? How can you reuse your ingredients in new and unexpected ways?
- Figure out your strategy — are you a power shopper or a casual browser? Do you need to put a couple of things in your cart and sit with them for a minute to determine whether or not they’re right for you? Your strategy is highly reliant on your personality, which is another good reason to invest time and energy into self-awareness. Like Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Match your strategy to you, instead of what you may hear from others.
Change can feel elusive, but a lot can happen once we start to build momentum. Just be careful that you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you’re preparing to go on a journey, you can probably leave certain things behind — those “items” that don’t serve you anymore — but you should still pack a bag filled with your strengths, passions, and support system.