You’ve just found out your life is going to change and change seriously. You might have decided to get a divorce. Maybe a loved one is about to die. You can have just lost your job….You get the idea. You’re probably a little scared and you might even feel stuck. At the same time you know that you have to make changes that will have long-term effects in your life.
What’s going to change?
This is the first question I might ask. Is your economic situation going to change? Is this change catastrophic? If it is, you probably need to pay attention. If not, it might be able to be put on the back burner.
Start with listing all of the things that are going to change. You want to rank each of the changes in order importance. I would start with high importance, medium and low. First, just look at the high ones. Does it need to be handled now or could it be put off? If possible, have no more than one or two things you need to address today.
What does this change mean?
If you’re going through a divorce the change might mean some of your friends are no longer your friends. If you’re changing a job, does it mean you have to move? What about when a loved one dies? Are you going to have to move out of your house?
As you can guess there are tons of actions you’ll have to think about. Some of them are crucial and some not so much. Writing them down allows you to think about them in a systematic manner.
Do I need to take action now?
This is the big question in this exercise. If you have to deal with it now, get to it and get to it with some help.
The help can come from a friend or it can come from a professional. Depending on the type of help you need will dictate who can be your advisor. The important thing is to ask. If you don’t, people might not know what you need.
What if there are just too many things to do?
This could be a very real problem. There might be ten or more things that are all demanding your immediate attention. If this is true, you really do need help. You not only need help, you have to delegate things to others. That means you’re going to have to either manage others or just hope that they’ll do what you need done.
I find that often when you think there are too many things to do you’re not thinking about whether something must be done now. Often those things that you believe must be done are because others are telling you that you need to do them. When someone else tells you that you need to do something, ask them why? If they don’t have a good answer, you know what to do…..put it on hold.
I’m feeling really tired.
As you’re going through a major life change I bet you’re going to feel very tired. Let’s face it, change is a challenging activity that is just going to tire you out. If it’s a positive change you might be energized. If it’s something you believe is a negative change, it’s almost a guarantee you’re going to get tired.
Managing your energy is an important part of change. You can’t do things when you’re depleted. Make sure you take care of yourself. Otherwise, the decisions you make might be ones you’ll be sorry about in the future.
We have a when in transition workbook that you might be interested. This workbook will help you think about issues you’re likely facing if you’re going through or about to go through a major change.