How to change your life: quit smoking, find a job ... When to start?
You want changes in your life, but all the time something distracts, does not allow you to focus on the main goal? The ideal time will never be, says an American business coach. What can be useful "not that time" in order to find or change jobs, stop smoking, play sports?
"Not the time" - the most beautiful time to start a change
Trine was out of work for five years. She could not concentrate on the search because, according to her, "too many other things happened in life." During this time, her cat died, her boyfriend went to another, her mother came to visit six times, the water pipe in the apartment burst ... The list goes on. Whatever happened, Trina always had one excuse: "not that time" for what she wanted to get more than anything in the world - a work filled with meaning.
But there is one thing that Trina cannot understand in any way - there is no “right time” for action. Life goes on, with ups and downs. And therefore one of the secrets of successful change is the ability to find a middle ground. Dr. Pamela Peak, a fitness expert, says that if you, for example, want to be in better shape, and your mother is in the hospital, then you should walk more in the hospital.
In other words, you need to find a balance between what is a priority for you personally and what needs to be done for others. That is why it is so important to make sure that your goal is very significant. Usually no one forces us to change. We must set priorities for ourselves. Otherwise, the fulfillment of desires will always be postponed due to the growing number of responsibilities and imperfect time management.
Recently, I started working with a woman - a top manager who wants to change jobs. She is married, she has children, and the work requires considerable stress. This woman’s daughter has recently gone to high school and needs increased attention. The corporation, in which my client works, reduces the number of staff - and on the shoulders of this woman is a big responsibility for a lot of what is happening there. Not the best time for a change? And in fact, she was so busy that they didn’t get around to changing jobs.
My client really wants to change - and stubbornly goes to the goal. What did she do for this? She set herself a specific task - to leave work by November 1, for which she focused only on this task, and not on a global goal. Now this woman is preparing for the appraisal program necessary for her new job, she has found reliable support (weekly meeting at dinner with a friend who has about the same circumstances, and with me in the same schedule) and considers all delays as an opportunity for learning. But she would never take action if she told herself that some other more appropriate times would come.
Of course, there are exceptions. If you broke your leg, then obviously not the time to start running. And by the way, I recently read that it is much easier for women to stop smoking within ten days from the third day of the menstrual cycle than on any other day. Only 25 percent of women who quit smoking in this way returned to this habit again, unlike 75 percent of the rest who tried to quit smoking on other days (this proves the relationship between the desire to smoke and the hormonal background).
For most of us, time frames mean nothing. In college, I had a friend who said:
- I'll start doing the task at nine.
Then he looked at his watch (which was already showing 09:10):
- Oh, well, I'll start in an hour. At ten.
And so on. We laughed at him, but in reality he was just pulling time. And no magic would make him start work in an hour.
But! The same thing happens when you want to start doing something from the first of January, after your cousin's guest has departed, or after you have a good rest during the weekend. My friend Molly Fumia was able to write three books already, bringing up six children. She did this, reasoning that she would not have the best opportunity to realize her dream of becoming a writer. Did she write more when the youngest of her children went to school for a full day? Of course. But she began to do this long before she received almost “ideal” working conditions, and she also had to play ball, go to kindergarten, and take care of her sick children ...
It is likely that for you "it is not time" to change anything in your life. Interference to this will always be, believe me. I often advise everyone who addresses me to consider this fact as a test of their own readiness for change. In other words, are you ready to do sports seriously, to find true love, to stop spending money on meaningless purchases? And do all this despite the obstacles.
Listen to your heart. If it says yes, then you will succeed! As the old saying goes, "there would be a desire, but there would be an opportunity."
"Not the week to quit smoking"
Almost everyone remembers the funny excerpt from the eighties movie “Airplane”, where the hero Lloyd Bridges, the head of the Chicago airport control center, who complained about a difficult, almost catastrophic situation, said: “I obviously chose the wrong week to quit smoking.” Further, as the danger grew during the film, he stated that it was “not the week to quit smelling glue and take stimulants.”
On August 29, 2005, I myself became the same as the hero of Lloyd Bridges. While the radio talked about the terrible consequences of Hurricane Katrina, I was lying in bed with an anti-nicotine patch on my arm, with a cowering stomach, all in tears. Three days before this, I finally decided to break with my thirty-year habit. And the only thing I could say to myself was: "Not the week to quit smoking."
The picture of the evacuation from the congress center in New Orleans, with victims shouting for help, made me go down to my husband’s garden near the house to take a few puffs of his cigar in the hope of easing the agony. My lungs were painful, but I quickly realized that it was not worth it. The torments of nicotine starvation could not be compared with the feelings that I experienced after the terrible reports of victims during the hurricane.
And then I firmly decided that I would never allow myself "one more." Can you imagine that? My habit was so strong that at the moment of stress I would immediately return to it. Instead, I went upstairs again and lay down in bed, sobbing and praying for the hurricane victims and for myself too.
Creating these lines, I thought that a full 340 days had passed since I quit smoking. Exactly, the worst time was over. Earlier, starting to fight smoking, I occasionally experienced anger or self-pity, but I was saved by a paper with the slogan "Live with it!", Recalling that it was a decision regarding life or death.
Would I prefer to smoke in order to calm my nerves and feelings during those terrible events with Katrina? Naturally! But I understood one thing - “by that very time” was exactly the moment when the decision to quit smoking was final, so I could not resist knowing that it was still possible to wait for the approaching week.