Mary Collins "Agony Aunt" & C.H.A.N.G.E Therapist answers questions and provides help each month here on Simply Living France Magazine .
This months questions are;
"How do I make a new life for myself" & "What are the steps to making a big change".
As an expat in France or anywhere in the world, the idea of "starting fresh" is a dream come true. March is derived from Old French "Marz" or Latin (month of March) and Marche meaning "boundary or frontier" or to "advance from one halting place to another". Known in the Roman Calendar, as the first month (as March brought the first day of Spring with the vernal equinox) the symbolism was the start of new beginnings.
Whether there is a a hint of spring in the air or an opportunity to move countries, jobs, etc., it's good to be prepared for when that "new beginning" comes. Positive change is good but can still be daunting, overwhelming even. So, let's talk about what it takes to create new opportunities, and how to get a handle on both positive changes as well as fresh starts.
Firstly, how does one create new opportunities? For some people it takes planning, storyboarding, research, and for others it takes an idea, luck and timing. Both eventually do lead to research and planning, and here are my top tips to getting started.
Write it down!: When that idea or motivation flows easily, write it down ! If those ideas come in the middle of the night, have a pen and paper, the phone, etc., to make notes while that mind spring is open and flowing.
"The Early Bird Catches the Worm" That saying stems from getting things done upon waking or as soon as. This is because we are more productive first thing in the morning than after having processed through other activities .
Even if you are a late riser, avoid wasting time on things that aren't helping you keep to the idea, goal or plan. We can all get pulled into social media grazing using the plasticity of our neurotransmitters, energy and dopamine wasted on things that place us last in the race and our goals. Unless part of your future involves social media, marketing, research, do not get pulled in. If social media is something you love, then make it a treat after you have completed a personal goal, something that gets you closer to your dream.
Set a time: Saying to yourself "One day I will" isn't good enough. Say to yourself "Today, tomorrow, next week, month, year" etc., and make smaller tasks that push you towards that time limit weekly, to keep you on track.
Be accountable: If you can, tell a friend or family member and ask them to remind you, especially for the steps/tasks you have planned monthly towards the main prize.
Put notes in places where you will definitely see them. It's all good and fine to write something down in a diary that you look at once a year, however, it is more propitious if you stick a note on your fridge (as you have to eat) and it will remind you daily!
Most importantly, connect the goal to emotions : Whether you are having a bad or good day, when you have an emotional rise, connect the determined "I will" to this goal scape, and breath through it. This should not only lift your emotions as it's a goal of improving and change, it will also set that goal to an emotional level, which in turn makes it more probable.
Finally , when you start to gain success in accomplishing your goals and changes, be aware that strong emotion will be involved and sometimes the emotion can be scary. When that moment comes; that you've thrown out the old clothes, packed that last bag, or have to say goodbye to friends, family or an old habit, it's likely to be full of mixed feelings. That's ok and that is normal. Breathe through it, and remind yourself why you need this, why you deserve this and that now is the time for change!
For more information on how to re-assert your neural habits check out time4change.info