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A Change Would Do You Good November 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Music & Dance.

Take a minute to look around your life.

What’s working?  What needs fine tuning?  What would benefit from a complete overhaul?

* Maybe you have the perfect job, but your finances or relationships are in shambles.

* Maybe you have hobbies you enjoy, but you never find time to enjoy them.

* Maybe your life is picture perfect, except for a job that is sucking the life out of you week after week.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. ~ J. Pierpont Morgan

Once you know where you are, think about where you want to go.  List a few tweaks and fixes needed to move you closer to living the life of your dreams:

* Get finances in order
* Have More FUN!!!!
* Find a new job in an inspiring field
* Learn to cook healthier meals

Once you’ve identified a few items in need of fine tuning, create an action plan for making the transformation from where you are to where you want to be.

* If you choose to focus on your finances, some actions steps might be:  calculate net worth, record every expenditure for a month, set up a budget, balance the checkbook, cut up credit cards, stop buying shoes, bring lunch to work, no more take out coffee, research tips on money management, open up a savings account, start an IRA, etc.

* If you desire to have more fun, some action steps might be:  call a friend and invite them for dinner, buy a book you’ve always wanted to read, check out the paper for current shows and exhibits, sign up for a pottery class at the local community college, spend 30 minutes a day pursuing a favorite hobby, audition for the local play, go to the park and swing on the swings, limit TV time, etc.

* If you decide to focus on switching careers, some action steps might be: do an on-line search of jobs in fields of interest, update resume, attend a job fair, contact alumni services about placement assistance, etc.

IMGP3562b* If you want to learn to cook healthier meals, some action steps might be:  search recipes on line, find a cooking blog to follow, look through cookbooks for healthier recipes, research nutritional guidelines, visit a farmer’s market, create menus featuring fruits and veggies, ask friends for favorite recipes, etc.

Now that you’ve got some action steps identified, pick one and do it.  Don’t worry about which one to pick first.  Just pick one and do it.

Then pick another action step and do it.  Then another.  And another.

As you start moving from where you are to where you want to be, keep your eyes and ears open to winks, whispers, and nudges from the Universe.  If something appears on your radar screen, add it to your list of action steps:

* Call Sally and ask her for the recipe for stuffed zucchini.
* Ask George how he paid off his credit card debt.
* Call last employer and see if he’ll act as a reference.

As you focus on where you are and where you want to be, don’t worry about what you wanted out of life 20 years ago.

What do you want right NOW?

And don’t worry about what others want you to do.  What do YOU want to do?

The more we look within for guidance about what we want, the more clarity we gain about who we are.

And once we know who we are TODAY, we no longer need to analyze who we were YESTERDAY.

Step by step, the  past loosens its hold on us.

By embracing this moment, we find that we no longer need to rewrite or overcome the past to move forward in life.

All we have to do is let it go.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you’re not actively involved in getting what you want, you don’t really want it.

Action is the antidote to dis-ease.



1. Rainee - November 13, 2014

I enjoyed your post Nancy. I have given myself permission to just cruise along between now and Christmas without any projects. It is interesting that so many ideas are coming to me but I just look at them and let them go…. until after Christmas :-). Your advice is really practical and wise!

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

I debated waiting until January to post this (on the crest of just created New Year’s Resolutions). But since most NYRs sputter out pretty quick, I posted it for anyone interested in making changes NOW. After all, there’s no time but the present.

Enjoy cruising from now to Christmas. We don’t have to Do Anything to Be Happy!

2. Jill Weatherholt - November 13, 2014

Although most people, including myself, don’t like change, it’s always good to periodically examine our life to see what’s working and what isn’t. I’m currently doing a little examination myself, Nancy.

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

I’m pretty satisfied with life as I live it, with a few “nips and tucks” to foster good habits while allowing bad habits to atrophy.

3. Pix Under the Oaks - November 13, 2014

Another very good and post Nancy! Works for me.. 🙂

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Thanks, Pix! Hope you’re getting some positive news on the health front.

4. Silver in the Barn - November 13, 2014

I have to say I’m really happy with where I am in life right now. The things within my power to change have been addressed and the ones that are not, i deal with. And I do love Sheryl Crow.

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

I’m right there with you, Barbara. The outline of my life as I’m living it is great ~> I make the best choices I can from the options available and don’t fret about the #$%^ that’s outside my sphere of influence.

Sheryl Crow makes me S~M~I~L~E! “I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other is playing the piano.”

Silver in the Barn - November 13, 2014

I’ll share a little Sheryl Crow story with you, Nancy. When my daughter came out of her coma and we were unsure of her level of cognition, we put headphones on her and played some Sheryl Crow, her favorite. And I remember her looking up at me puzzled… “Steve McQueen?” I never hear that song without thinking of that day. A good memory.

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Yay! I love that, Barbara. But my favorite quote from your daughter will always be . . . “Nice Sweater.” :mrgreen:

5. Don - November 13, 2014

Practical, down to earth and wise Nancy. You got me moving with that song. Great rhythm and lyrics. Imagine if you could just dance in to change. 🙂

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Music can be motivating. If I’m dragging my heels, putting on peppy music perks me right up.

Soon I’m doing the Can Can!

6. valleygrail - November 13, 2014

Great motivational words!

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Judging from people’s comments most days, I’m not sure most of you need motivation. But when I posted the Femme Fatale Hug post about worrying on Monday, an exchange with a reader about the meaning of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” made me think of all the times I’ve moved from “where I am” to “where I want to be.”

Change always starts with a single step.

7. suzicate - November 13, 2014

Sometimes it’s amazing what a difference a few changes can make.

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

It is. When we want to eat better, we don’t have to overhaul our entire diet at once ~ we can cut out the “worst offenders” and add in a few healthier options with minimal discomfort.

Every time we substitute a healthier choice, we’re moving in the right direction.

8. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - November 13, 2014

“And once we know who we are TODAY, we no longer need to analyze who we were YESTERDAY.” <—– Yes, this!!!

And, as I'm working on that with me, I've discovered that I can also apply the same to the others in my life, and accept them for who they are now, and not who they were in the past!

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Yes!!! Once we accept who we are NOW, without analyzing all of our “mistakes and missteps” from the past, it is so much easier to let everyone else start with a Clean Slate too!

And life is better when we aren’t wasting time keeping Score.

9. Grannymar - November 13, 2014

Nowadays I live by my body. If it says work/play, then I do, but when it says rest… I must behave. That is where the knitting or crochet come into play. The ‘listening’ and ‘resting’ took some time to get used to, but I actually achieve more that way.

PS: IRA has a totally different meaning in my part of the world. Not a cause I encourage.

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Yes! Here, IRA => Individual Retirement Account. If I were where you are, I would NOT want to invest in the IRA.

I’m glad you’re listening to your body, GM. When we’re tuned in, we tend to make better choices.

Grannymar - November 13, 2014

I will help those in real need, but not put my health at risk for whiners.

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Being around whiners is like bathing in toxic waste. 😛

10. Val Boyko - November 13, 2014

You would make a good coach Nancy 🙂
Lots of practical steps to bring about lasting change!
Val x

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

I did act as a coach for about 10 years in non-profit land ~ first with volunteers (and victims) of domestic violence and then with AmeriCorps members.

Sometimes the slightest change in our habits creates grand and glorious ripples.

11. Yolanda M. - November 13, 2014

Great post Nancy – I especially like the fact that you included action steps. Considering our family will be making a MAJOR move in January I’ve had to do a lot of ‘re-valuating’ of late. I LOVE this
‘And once we know who we are TODAY, we no longer need to analyze who we were YESTERDAY’ 🙂

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Major moves really shake things up. Best of luck with yours, Yolanda. We’ve re-created ours lives in a big way every 8 years or so by moving (SC, NC, NJ, VA, MD, FL), switching jobs (3 law firms) and switching careers (from law to non-profit work).

Big changes are invigorating! (And exhausting.) I use LISTS!

One of the best books for making Big and Small Changes in a sustainable way ~> Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James. It contains 100 essays addressing areas of life that tend to gather dust or clutter ~ from holidays to periodicals to diets, etc.

Yolanda M. - November 13, 2014

Nancy you have described my feelings exactly – I am both invigorated and exhausted (and we haven’t even started packing yet). I think the knowledge that we are moving is tiring 🙂 Wow! I am blown away by how many times you have moved from state to state. We are moving to another province and it is feeling like we are changing countries 😀 Thanks for the book recommendation xx

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

My pleasure ~ the year I read the book, I bought 10 copies to give to friends and family for Christmas. It just made so much sense to me.

One thing all that moving did is encourage us to Let Go of stuff we no longer needed. With our last move, we sold most of our furniture with the house, then “lucked out” by buying a furnished villa down here.

Every move we made was the “right for us at the time” move, but my favorite move was here to Florida. Unless the entire state sinks into the sea, this is probably where we’ll stay.

12. Eric Tonningsen - November 13, 2014

That’s a lot of homework for one post. 🙂 But yes, Nancy… Once we know who we are, our needs shift dramatically. For the better.

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

It would be a TON of homework for the folks who hang out with Dr. Phil ~> they’ve got LOTS of bad habits to “kick to the curb.”

I bet that most regular visitors to SLTW only need a quick nip and a tuck to get things sorted. They might only need to remind themselves to “step away from the doughnut” or “go for a walk” (after eating it). 😛

When we know WHO we are . . . we know HOW to live! So much better!

Eric Tonningsen - November 14, 2014

“Step away from the doughnut” I could adhere. Had you proffered “Step away from the chocolate,” we’d have a problem Houston.

nrhatch - November 14, 2014

We just replenished our stash yesterday ~> dark chocolate is a GOOD habit! :mrgreen:

13. ericjbaker - November 13, 2014

I just cleaned the basement/my man cave (well, I consolidated stuff and organized… still needs a vacuuming). That was quite satisfying for one night.

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Is that your Writing Space too? Glad you got it consolidated and organized. That’s always more fun than vacuuming.

Oh, who am I kidding? Nothing is more fun than vacuuming. 😕

ericjbaker - November 13, 2014

Please don’t tell a soul, but I sorta like vacuuming. The dirt is there one second then gone the next. That’s tomorrow’s adventure.

nrhatch - November 14, 2014

Vroom. Vroom. I like vacuuming if I hear the vacuum sucking up the dirty dirt over its incessant roar.

14. jannatwrites - November 14, 2014

Great post – very rational and reasonable steps to changing what isn’t working. It’s sometimes hard to extricate ourselves from some things (as I’m finding out) but the reward is worth it 🙂

nrhatch - November 14, 2014

It’s hard especially when you are trying to give your kids a well-rounded set of opportunities and experiences. It’s somewhat easier as they get older and can act on their own behalf.

At that point, your priorities are your own so you can smile, shake your head, and say “No thanks, been there, done that.”

15. Behind the Story - November 15, 2014

I’m not surprised that you acted as a coach for a number of years. You’re a natural.

I like your advice to “not worry about what you wanted out of life 20 years ago.” I could have used that advice about 30 years ago when I was holding on too long to an old plan.

nrhatch - November 15, 2014

Thanks, Nicki! Coaching relies on the right chemistry ~ many volunteers and members found inner motivation and strength from our chats. Others did not. 😛

When I debated leaving the practice of law, many people didn’t feel I should switch career/ life paths because of “the investment” I’d made or because I “used to” enjoy hanging around the courthouse every day ~> they seemed to believe that we should carve out our dugout and sit in it for the duration.

Consistency is over-rated ~ people enjoy predictability and the sense of certainty that comes with seeing people playing the same roles over and over. I expect we benefit from letting go of past plans to make way for the present. In some spheres anyway.

16. Carol Balawyder - November 15, 2014

A wonderful, encouraging and uplifting post. 🙂

nrhatch - November 15, 2014

Hi Carol! Thanks for stopping by. Sometimes we all need that reminder that every journey begins with a SINGLE step.

17. NancyTex - November 15, 2014

I’m not sure I can adopt a whole lot more change than I have these last few weeks. 🙂

nrhatch - November 15, 2014

You’re the Promo Girl for how to make change happen!

18. Three Well Beings - November 16, 2014

i really like this post, Nancy. I think I am fairly sensitive to making the necessary adjustments when I begin to feel dis-ease. I don’t think it’s because I’m so enlightened–I think I just really do NOT like to feel stuck in something uncomfortable. Currently I’m focused on the largest “clean out and give away” I’ve ever taken on. We are downsizing right in our own home and this came about because I was tired of feeling like were smothering in too much stuff. It’s taking a lot of time and attention, but we are eating the elephant one bite at a time. 🙂

nrhatch - November 17, 2014

Yay! That is the BEST way to eat an elephant.

Clearing clutter is one of the best ways I’ve found to eliminate the extraneous and make room for what matters. As we “let go,” we “free up” time and energy for “infinite possibilities.”

One fun thing I did ~ invited friends and co-workers over for a FREE Dining Room Sale. We filled the room with all sorts of stuff we no longer wanted, gave each friend a box when they arrived, and asked them to help themselves. They had a blast and it was so much fun watching them.

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