Today’s post is for those who want change. People who want to try something new, fix an area of their life that they’re not completely satisfied with, or, to use the latest buzzword, want to change direction.
My current experience with a change of brand…
As many of you know, I recently decided to pivot and change my blog and career.
I’m also one of those people who loves change. I love the excitement and motivation that big new changes bring, whether it’s getting a haircut, painting your living room a bold new color, taking a big, exciting adventure trip, or changing the name of your blog. I love them all!
So after 11 years of blogging at The Travel Hack, I decided to switch gears, change my blog name to my own name, Monica Lucy, and blog less about travel and more about my family and my lifestyle.
However, after changing my blog name, I realized something important. Changing the name doesn’t change anything. The name has changed, but it’s still the same blog. (I know, I don’t even know why I didn’t see this before!)
All I did was make life difficult for myself by creating a new brand name that no one knew about.
I wanted my blog to reflect myself, my personality, and where I am in life right now. I don’t currently live my life around travel, so when I was primarily writing about my life as a mom, I was a down-and-out travel blogger who started a blog called “The Travel Hack.” I felt like a complete fraud.
So I changed the name and realized that no one cared what the blog was called. I don’t think anyone cared what name I used as long as I was creating content. Then I had some legal issues (someone tried to use my brand name to sell a product) and it could have cost me a lot of money, so to make my life easier, I decided to use The I decided to keep the name Travel Hack.
We’re happy to be back as The Travel Hack. But it’s like Travel Hack 2.0. It’s not the same, but it’s not entirely different either.
I don’t regret switching brands!
It was something I’d been thinking about for years, and it was a little itch I’d always wanted to scratch (sorry for the itch metaphor!) It would have been something. ” I tried it, but I always wondered if I should have done it.
I did learn some important things through trying this change
- If you have an idea, you should try it. Otherwise, the idea will keep coming back to you in your head
- They say that “change is as good as rest,” but in some cases, “rest is better than change.” Sometimes you need to take a step back to appreciate what you’ve got.
- Changing your mind is not a failure – for me, not even trying is more of a failure
- Worrying about how you appear to others is pointless and takes up important time, energy, and headspace
- But in order to not care what other people think, you have to feel really comfortable with yourself
- Feeling comfortable in your own skin happens as you get older, and it’s the best feeling. Every wrinkle and gray hair has value!
After my experience with change, I wanted to share 14 thoughts for anyone considering making a big change….
#1. Changing something external doesn’t change it internally
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you change the outside, you’ll change the inside as well. I wish life was this easy!
Let’s say you hate your car. Old, rusty, unreliable and not suitable for everyday needs. Getting a new coat of paint on your car won’t change anything. Sure, the rust may be covered up, and an exciting new color may add some temporary love to your car, but it’s still the same car. After a few months, the rust will start to show and it will break down again in rush hour traffic.
It was a sin to do that with my own hair. When I feel bored and unfulfilled, I cut my hair or dye it a crazy color, as if a new hairstyle would breathe new life into me. And it will be. A new hairstyle temporarily energizes, increases enthusiasm and brings a short-term feeling of well-being. I’m not saying it’s bad, but it’s temporary and won’t change anything in the long run.
#2. Small, daily changes can have a bigger impact than you think
There are often two hurdles when people make changes:
- The changes seem so big and scary that we don’t do anything because there’s too much to do
- They jump in from the feet without the necessary knowledge or experience, go too fast and often fail
I don’t know if it’s because of my age or the pandemic, but this past year of lockdown has made me realize how much impact doing one small thing a day can have. When I was younger, I wanted to do it all, and I wanted to do it right away. I’m so impulsive and impatient and want to do everything at once that I often ignore the impact of doing small things every day.
I think it’s because over the past 12 months I’ve been very conscious of the passage of time. I can’t help but think, “If I had just done this for 30 minutes every day since lockdown started, I would have really improved by now!’
If you’re looking for big changes in your life, there’s no need to jump in and make big changes right away. If you take small steps in the right direction, you can get there within a year or two.
You don’t have to sprint to the goal right away, but if you don’t start walking, you’ll never get there.
#3. Nothing is forever
This is something I always like to say to myself, so I’ll say it again. ‘Nothing is forever.’
I don’t mean that in a dark sense, I say that in a liberating sense. Don’t be afraid to make decisions. Because that decision must endure forever. That won’t happen. Nothing lasts forever.
Just because you decide you want to be a nurse doesn’t mean you have to be a nurse forever. Just because you buy a house doesn’t mean you have to keep owning it forever. Just because you moved to the other side of the world doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever. You can come back! Just because you shave your head doesn’t mean you’re hair-free forever!
I am often afraid to make decisions because they feel like they will last forever. I mean, some things are. Waxing is not recommended for eyebrows and other areas as there is a possibility that they may never grow back to their original state. But you get my point.
You can also train to be a photographer, work as a photographer for five years, and then decide you want to do something else that’s ok. You can also move to Australia and return home that’s ok!
#4. Show, don’t tell
I see this a lot when people decide to change. They tell everyone about the big changes, but they don’t necessarily do anything to make the changes happen. Remember, talking won’t change anything. Change only happens when we take action!
#5. If you can’t stop thinking about it, you need to do it
Is it something you’ve been thinking about for years? What are you obsessed with? Is there something you always talk about with your friends? Something that makes you think, “Maybe I should do that…” No, not yet….’
Now, what I’m trying to say here is that if you’ve been thinking about it this long, you’ll probably still be thinking about it next year. And probably the year after that. And maybe the year after that.
Stop thinking and just do it!
The sooner you start, the sooner you can make that change happen.
#6. You don’t need to change your whole life
Even if you want to make big changes, you don’t necessarily have to give up on your entire life right away.
Many people I talk to want to change something about their career. Maybe they want to start their own business or retrain to do something new. However, many people hesitate because they have a comfortable and secure career and know that giving it up is a big risk. Would you like to start a side job? Use evenings and weekends to get started. Sure, it takes time to start a business if you have limited time to work on it, but you can get started much faster if you start today!
You can incorporate new changes into your existing life without giving up anything. You just need to be dedicated to make sure you continue to give new things the time and energy they need.
#7. It’s all about you
We all like to think that others will be just as enthusiastic and excited about our “big change” as we are, when in reality, it’s not directly impacting us. Most people don’t really care unless you give it to them. And you have to accept that. You need to be so excited and enthusiastic about your change that you don’t need energy from others to stay motivated.
Those closest to you will give you support and encouragement, but change needs to come from and from you.
#8. Recognise procrastination
When I was a kid, I learned both obvious procrastination, like cleaning my bedroom before doing homework, and hidden procrastination that I would tell myself I was doing that would help with long-term planning, when in reality I was just procrastinating. There is procrastination.
I strongly believe that we learn best by doing. No matter how much research, reading, studying, courses, and certifications you acquire, you will never gain as much knowledge as first-hand experience.
Sometimes you just have to get stuck in there and get your hands dirty and make mistakes. I think it’s better to spend a year making mistakes and getting everything wrong than spending a year researching how to get it right. Sure, you may start with a stronger foot, but it’s not as strong as someone who has already made the mistake directly.
#9. Don’t be afraid to fail
Which brings us to our final point, which is often easier said than done. Don’t be afraid of failure.
We live in a world where everything is perfect and everyone seems to know what they are doing. We can use social media to make everything look perfect, but we all know that real life isn’t like that.
Through many failures and many terrible cakes, I learned how to bake. I’ve followed recipes and watched YouTube tutorials, but I always fail. But I learned from each horrible cake and it finally clicked!
#10. Listen to the advice of experts
I would say that it’s best not to get too hung up on researching and studying, but I think it’s important to listen to other people’s advice and put it into practice.
I’m currently learning about gardening and my mom keeps telling me that I need to start and learn as I go. There are so many variables in gardening, so many things you can’t plan for or predict, so you just have to go crazy, try, and use everything you fail to improve year after year.
#11. You might be a bit shit when you first start
People come to me all the time and ask how they should start a blog, and I always tell them to start a blog on WordPress and start publishing weekly posts. Be consistent, keep writing, and don’t worry if it’s crap. That’s probably crap. Everyone is a little bad when they first start that’s ok.
You wouldn’t expect a toddler to get up and start running. You can’t expect a young child to ride a bicycle and pedal without falling. You can’t expect a new employee to start a new job and do everything perfectly from day one!
So don’t expect to do something new perfectly from day one.
Accept that you might be a bit of a shitty person from the beginning. Embrace it and feel liberated that you don’t have the pressure to be perfect.
#12. Mindset is everything
I’m not a mindset expert, so I won’t go into detail here, but I do know that mindset is extremely important and something we have complete control over.
Let’s say you start a cake business and sold 10 cakes last month.
Someone might say, “I only sold 10 cakes. My business is a failure and will never take off. Everyone must hate my cakes!’
Whereas another person might say, “Wow, I sold 10 cakes.” These cakes must have been a big hit with 10 families! We have 5 more cakes than last month, so we hope to sell 15 this month. And next month is the 20th! My business has been growing slowly and steadily, which is perfect for maintaining growth without expanding too quickly.’
I’m a naturally positive and optimistic person and tend to naturally see the good in most situations. If you’re feeling negative about something, why not see if you can turn it into something positive? Even if you don’t fully believe it, you can see how other people see this situation. Ask yourself. I’m sure I’ve been in a situation where I thought it was great, but I thought it was terrible for someone else. It’s all a matter of perspective and anything can be spun to feel positive or negative.
#13. Get happy with what you’ve got
Now, I don’t want to prevent anyone from making a change. If you feel a little itch to try something new, you should go for it because that itch will never go away.
But I think sometimes you just need to sit back and appreciate what you have.
Sam and I often look at new homes on RightMove. We start dreaming of bigger and better things, with more land, more space, and outbuildings.
But I have to periodically sit down and remind both of us to enjoy the home we’ve got. We worked hard to make the house exactly what we wanted. It’s beautiful and we’re so lucky to have it. Just try to have fun without always wanting more.
#14. If you started a year ago…
It’s really motivating to ask yourself, “If I had started this a year ago, where would I be now?’
When you think about not seeing any change for a year, it can seem overwhelming and far away.
Let’s say you want to get healthy and want to run a marathon, but it takes a year of training to get there. All year round! One year is a very long time. You just want to be able to do it now.
But think back to this time last year. March 2020, just recently. If I had started training then, I would have been able to run a marathon by now.
Start doing something today that you will thank yourself for in the future!