The phrase, “life-changing experience,” conjures up images of extreme joy or of undue hardship. Therefore, the act of changing your life implies momentous decisions involving career transition, financial risk, and emotional upheaval. Actually, changing your life can be a series of small actions that together lead to big change. These small actions require no resignation letter, no lien on the house, and no melodrama. However, changing your life even in small steps does require an open mind and a willingness to start today.
You need an open mind to put yourself first and to not feel selfish about doing so. Your boss, partner, kids and friends will be thrilled because you will be so much more fun to be around. Small actions that put yourself first:
book that doctor’s appointment for whatever has been ailing you and, if nothing ails you, get a physical;
finally book that eye checkup;
see a live show or sporting event and savor the rush of the crowd around you;
rent that movie, read that book, or visit that museum on your I’ve-always-wanted-to list;
eat your favorite food slowly;
put an object of beauty (e.g., flowers, painting) in your workspace;
reserve a three-day weekend with no plans;
take care of a nuisance on your I-must-attend-to-that list (e.g., tailor those pants, frame that photo);
open a retirement account or stick an extra $50 in your existing one;
write a thank you letter to your partner/kid/best friend (yes, even this one’s for you b/c it will remind you how lucky you are);
enter appointments in next year’s planner for next year’s dates with yourself.
You need to start today because change feeds on momentum. Lack of change feeds on inertia. If you get moving now, whatever baby step you choose, you put the process in place. Plan one small action each day. In a week, you’ll feel energized. In a month, you’ll be renewed. In a year, you will have 365 rich experiences that you made happen, and you will recognize your power to change your life in the direction you choose.