You’re probably here because I’ve enticed you with my title. Or, as I refer to it, “click-bait”. There are two things I’d like to address before getting on with this article:
1. I’m glad you’ve come to the conclusion that you’d like to change your lifestyle. This is healthy. It’s scary and not-at-all easy, but the realization is the first step to a new “chapter”, if you will.
2. The second item is something that you’ve probably already guessed (but maybe you were still just a little hopeful. Understandably so.): There is, in fact, no tell all guide to changing your lifestyle. I hate to break it to you. Really, I do, but I’ve tried to create one and it’s really just a little unrealistic. So what’s the secret? Well, there isn’t one, really. But I’d be happy to share some small bits of advice with you that I’ve learned for myself.
A changed lifestyle usually stems from one thing: you. There are no “for dummies” books or YouTube tutorials for this one, folks. It’s all on you. You’re the only person in your life who knows exactly what you need. Sure, your friends and family may often claim to know you well enough to make those decisions for you. And the temptation to listen to your loved one’s suggestions often trumps the gut feeling you have within yourself. Be conscious of this; don’t be afraid to challenge those who are close to you-- especially when it comes to your happiness.
To state the obvious: everyone is different. Our lifestyle choices, our preferences, opinions, beliefs, etc.-- they all vary in one way or another. This being said, it only makes sense that when we come to a time in our lives when something needs to change (and, 9 times out of ten, you will come to that point), those changes probably aren’t going to be the same for you as they are for somebody else. We all develop and grow at different speeds so don’t compare the steps you’re taking to change your lifestyle to what somebody else may be doing. It’ll most likely cause negative feelings such as jealousy and doubt.
My first (and I’m sure it won’t be my last) with a lifestyle change occurred to me towards the end of 2015. I jumped into the next year with optimism and positivity; my steps were drastic in some areas and less noteworthy in others. Nonetheless, they were all steps that needed to be taken. I was expecting this new lifestyle to bring me a newfound peace of mind and in ways it definitely did that. However, we can’t always expect perfection from just one or a few changes--no matter how big or small they may be. We, as people, are in a constant orbit of development. It’s a beautiful thing, but also very frustrating--especially when it comes to new lifestyle changes.
As this year comes to an end, I’ve pondered a lot about whether or not I would alter anything about my recent lifestyle changes. When it comes down to it, there are definitely things I could have done differently; better, even. But I don’t think the point of changing your lifestyle is getting everything right. The point might just be to help us learn along the way.