Change is good. Change is scary. Change is inevitable. I am about to face a big change. I don’t normally make a blog specifically about myself or my life, but I need to use the 51% as much as anybody so I am writing this for myself, and I hope it helps some of you in the meantime.
We just found out last week that my family and I will be relocating to Seattle. It is an exciting and wonderful time. My husband will be starting a new position during the last month of his Master’s degree. That leaves me mostly responsible for getting us, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cars and a house full of stuff packed up and moved to Washington.
It is a lot and I need to take my own advice to make sure I get it all done, without getting sick or causing myself too much stress.
Change can be good, and this is how I plan to make it happen.
A 51% plan for change:
Take out a knife and carve out the time. I need to be aware that I will not have time for much other than the move this next month, on top of my regular obligations to feed and clothe my family of course. This is important, because without this awareness, I will find myself frustrated that I am not getting more writing done, or working on other projects. If I accept and focus my energy I will feel less disappointed with myself that I am behind on things.
MAKE IT SMALL
This is always my number one rule. I need to say this to myself all day long. If I let it get too big, I get frustrated and overwhelmed, because the dominoes start to fall. If I make it small I just do one thing at a time.
I try to find one focus- like today find a rental, tomorrow organize toys, the next day find a mover. I find if I set goals and make them small it motivates me and I actually get more done.
The other day I didn’t really have a goal, I was just trying to get stuff done, and I felt like I was walking in circles. I’d start organizing one thing and then realize I needed to call someone, and then everything was half done, and it felt terrible.
Making it small and focused is very important. I have to remind myself to keep working on the one thing I’m doing. If I get distracted, I will actually talk to myself, “No Kristin, keep going, you can make that phone call later, finish organizing the garage.”
FIND THE POCKET
Making it small does not mean, doing so little that you don’t get everything done. On the contrary it is a much more systematic way of thinking. When we move in all directions we don’t get very far. If we move in one direction and feel like we’ve made some headway we get motivated, then we can move onto the next. I still am filling my day enough that I am tired and have checked many things off my list. I just need to make sure I’m not exhausted and staying up until 3 in the morning.
This is called finding the pocket. I have two kids, and this move will be hard on my toddler and all of our schedules. Taking care of myself needs to be a priority, because if I get grumpy I will become short tempered which will be unhelpful to him as he will already have to get used to a whole new environment without a grumpy mama.
Finding the pocket means pushing forward enough to get a lot done, its that place where you feel a little more uncomfortable or tired than usual, but also making sure that I don’t push so hard that I sacrifice my health or well being. It is difficult for me to try to prioritize my own needs, but I will need to set some boundaries. For example, not staying up past midnight, and taking my “me” time bath a couple days a week, so I have the energy to handle this change without making everyone else miserable.
IN A HEALTHY WAY
Like finding the pocket I need to do these things in a healthy way. We all have different ways of coping and some of these choices are not the healthiest. I need to be aware of my own bad habits.
When I get busy, I can often skip meals, or make bad food choices. This will not help my mood or energy level. As much as possible I need to do this move in a healthy way. That doesn’t mean I can’t occasionally have some extra caffeine or order out, I just don’t want to fall into perpetual bad habits. So at least 51% of the time I need to keep my healthy routine.
Another unhealthy coping mechanism I have is to “give up”. I don’t usually actually give up on an outing or an appointment, but I start verbalizing my intent to do so. If I get to busy or overwhelmed, I just think, “nevermind, this isn’t going to work”. I spend a half hour worrying about why it doesn’t work, and then I rebound and do it anyway. This is a waste of time and energy. I will need to make sure I keep focused and make it small, so I don’t become overwhelmed and get into a “give up” state of mind.
RULE OF THIRDS
Change can cause people to disagree, there are so many moving parts that the way you, your spouse, or your friends/family handle different situations is bound to be different. Instead of being resentful of these differences use the rule of thirds.
When facing a big change or a large to do list. Break it up into thirds.
1/3 – ABSOLUTES – this is the third you can’t compromise on, it must be. For example I have to have an apartment/home that takes dogs. I can't compromise on that obviously.
1/3 – COMPROMISE – this is the third you stick to your guns for the most part, but are willing to compromise. If we find a house with 2 bedrooms instead of 3, perhaps the kids can share if the room is big enough. I will be willing to bend on this.
1/3 – LET IT GO – I would really like to be able to walk to stuff from our home, so location near a coffee shop or store would be nice, but absolutely unnecessary. I can let that go if we find the right house.
If I can follow some of my own rules, the 51% principle can help me make it small, find the pocket, and reach my goals in a healthy way.
Just remember that time will change, but you can’t trace time. Meaning stop worrying about the change, as there is nothing you can do to stop it.
Focus on what you can control. Use the 51% principle to make the change successful, and keep you healthy and happy along the way. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.
Make it Small