How to know if you’re ready for a change

Six signs you’re ready to make a change

There are natural change points in all our lives. Some of the big ones include graduating from school, starting a career, getting married, having children, the empty nest, retirement. It often feels like there’s a set path for you to follow, expectations you need to meet, and milestones you must achieve.

If you’re anything like me, you may have checked all the boxes. Yet you still find yourself asking, is that all there is?

Here are six signs that you’re ready to make a change:

  1. You’re in a toxic situation. Whether it’s your boss, the company culture or a bad relationship, you know in your gut that things are dysfunctional. The environment is tense, people are unhappy, communication is poor. You feel stressed out and it’s having a negative impact on your mental and physical health. If this is the case, it’s time to take action now.
     
  2. It feels like you’re settling. You have a good job, your lifestyle is okay, and for the most part, your relationships are solid. But life is predictable and you’re starting to feel restless. Deep down, you want more. Your desire to explore how life could be different is starting to become more powerful than the safety you feel from maintaining the status quo.
     
  3. Your priorities have shifted. Your goals, circumstances and what’s most important to you have altered. This is often triggered by a life change. You’re a new mom and don’t want to work late anymore. You’re an empty nester and you’d welcome the opportunity to do more traveling. You’ve moved and your long commute doesn’t make sense anymore.
     
  4. You’ve got the Sunday night blues. When Sunday rolls around, you start thinking about your to-do list for the week ahead. Stress and worry immediately set in, stealing your enjoyment of the present day. You find yourself feeling sad, frustrated or angry. You may notice this pattern, but find it hard to take action to break this cycle.
     
  5. You worry that you’ll have regrets. Though change feels daunting, you find yourself thinking more and more about things you’ve always wanted to do. Pursue a different career path. Run a half marathon. Finish that book you started. Become an entrepreneur. You’re feeling more strongly, it’s time to take action. You have the sense it’s now or never.
     

Old choices don’t seem to fit anymore. You look in the closet and wonder: what was I thinking when I bought these clothes? These colors and styles don’t match who I really am. Or maybe you’ve recently changed the cut or color of your hair. These are signs that your subconscious already knows what you may be reluctant to admit: it’s time for a change!

No matter how mightily we resist it, change is going to happen. When you recognize the signs, you can take charge of change in a thoughtful and strategic way, instead of waiting until you’re forced to react when circumstances beyond your control make it your only option.

This quote reminded me to take action instead of procrastinating about making some changes of my own:

“Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself!”Mark Cooper

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