I can’t decide what aspect of change is the most tedious- deciding to, preparing to or adjusting to it. The adjustment period feels like the biggest mind screw because if it’s not intentional it leads to unrealized dreams, which lead to disappointment and regret. As the longest period of the transition process so far, it has the most steps (and I’m still noticing them) so this post will come in two parts. Here are 8 ways to start adjusting to change:
- Don’t rush, it creates short-term solutions. There’s a difference between rushing and moving quickly. When we bought our house, I rushed into buying a living room set so we could have something to sit on and spent the next 3 years trying to decorate that room around it and everything about it was wrong- from the chrome accents to the psychedelic pattern, it completely messed with my french country theme. I had plans to reupholster the chair and switch the legs but instead we just gave it away when we moved. It took us a year to pay off that stupid furniture. This time around, I quickly unpacked and I am taking time with furniture decisions.
- Be patient, everything will take longer than you want it to. My big, audacious goal at Comcast as the first manager of employee experience was to create a playbook that could be used across the company, which meant I needed to create success in my region then try and replicate it. I guesstimated this would take about 3 years. I left Comcast 4 years later having trialed like 4 versions of my playbook, unsuccessfully. I left right when I felt like I had a workable model, still a while away from taking it across the company. This is true for the big things, and the small things. The amount of time it took me to remember the alphabet soup that was the acronym system at Comcast was absurd.
- Take a breath. Step away from the transition and do something fun. We went to a wedding on a cruise the week after we moved- a weekend on the ocean, dancing the nights away with some of our favorite people was the perfect medicine to rejuvenate me for what’s ahead.
- Experiment. The way you do this now, doesn’t have to be the way you do it next time. The options entrepreneurship provided for my schedule was overwhelming, it took me a solid 8 months to decide that I was a morning workout person. I tried early morning, mid-morning, lunch time, evening time and just sporadic workout routines only to end up right back where I started.
- Ask for help. I’m usually pretty comfortable with this but I’m noticing that the harder, more personal the task, the less help I want yet the more help I need. This past year has been the most tumultuous for me financially. As a new entrepreneur, I know this is expected but I hated every second of it because I’m used to being more-than-comfortable when it comes to finances. I almost skipped my best friend’s birthday weekend because of a late invoice, it was so hard to ask friends to spot me even though I knew I’d pay them back. But the flip side? Missing a much-needed weekend with the people who fill my soul.
- Plan rest. This is different from taking a breather and doing something to take your mind off of all.the.things, this is deeper. The week I moved, my FitBit registered 11 hours of sleep across 3 days and more than 40,000 steps. I wanted to unpack the day I moved in but I couldn’t move, I was so exhausted. What I needed was pure rest- naps, reading, time at the beach, Netflix & chill, early bed times, masturbation… Check, check, check.
- Do things that are familiar. One of the smartest people I know told me that familiarity and repetition gives you confidence (which was the genius of Blue Clues), in transition, nothing feels familiar, which is probably why change makes you feel so insecure. Something that always feels familiar is talking to my sister in the car. Every.single.time I run an errand, I call Jo, sometimes we talk about the move or the babies or nothing at all.
- Focus on progress not perfection. Everything I do feels like it sucks. I made the most awful tuna for lunch the other day and I’m usually great at tuna salad, I put everything in the wrong place, I make multiple trips every time I move around…But I found my white jeans today RIGHT when I was looking for them. Baby steps.
Adjusting is like putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle and not being allowed to look at the finished picture first, you have no idea what’s the full picture will look like. The point isn’t to rush and finish the puzzle then admire the work, it’s to take joy in the process and appreciate the work as you go. What are you adjusting to in your life? How can you use one of these things to be more intentional?