Change Your Life: No Relocation Required

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"So what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow."

-Rainbow Rowell 

How many of you would like to change your life in 2018?

The assignment seems daunting, I know, or at least it did to me when I realized I was not living the life I wanted 7 months ago. 

I had tried complete overhauls before: I purchased planners, meal-prepped, set up budgeting apps, signed up for gym memberships; I canceled Netflix, donated clothes to Goodwill, purged my inbox of unread emails - sometimes all within 24 hours. 

I wanted to feel perfectly in control of my life, and in no time at all, I simply felt more aware of my own shortcomings. I grew frustrated. I let little things upset me on an embarrassing level. (I wince even now thinking about the fit I had over my inability to find a single pair of matching socks one morning.) 

I spent a lot of my free time on Pinterest, so I looked for inspiration there. I didn't want a how-to guide to change my life; I just wanted a little perspective. I do not remember the exact moment I came across the quotation at the top of this page, but I do remember that I never thought about my problem the same way again.

"So what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow," by Rainbow Russell.

It was such a simple revelation, but it spoke volumes to me. I set out to grow my pile of good things one addition (and subtraction - surprisingly) at a time. I asked a friend out to dinner; I packed my fridge with my favorite fruits & veggies; I bought a $2 lingerie bag for laundry - and I'm happy to say I've never lost another pair of socks since.

I found myself taking charge of the minor inconveniences I'd allowed to take too large a toll on my daily happiness for so long, and in taking charge of those little things, I found that facing the big ones did not seem quite as impossible. 

Instead of setting myself up for failure with a list of lofty goals in an unrealistic time frame, by correcting individual problems one at a time, I allowed myself to win small victories which built my confidence and momentum to make even bigger changes in my life - like relocating to a new city.

Today, I feel confident saying that if you want to change your life in 2018, start with paying attention to the little things, the small conveniences we can give ourselves, the small gestures that go such a long way. Add: the five minute phone calls "just to check in," a daily mantra to keep your goals top of mind. Subtract: the midnight snacks, the bar bill and the voice in your head that keeps you from trying something new. 

Change your life without trying to change everything at once. 

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What little things have you changed in your own life that made a huge difference for you? I would love to hear more in the comments below. See you there.