“Change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological. It is not those events, but rather the inner reorientation or self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life. Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture. Unless transition happens, the change won’t work, because it doesn’t take.”- William Bridges
Life is ever-changing, but there are moments in our life when the transition can seem a bit more substantial than others. Graduating college, changing jobs, getting married, having a child, moving out of your parents house, these could all be classified as “big life transitions” and are defining moments in our lives. Many of the above mentioned transitions are also highly stressful and disrupt the established patterns we have created in the rhythm of life. That being said, big life transitions also give us the amazing opportunity to re-evaluate our day to day patterns and begin determining what was working for us previously as well as what we may want to incorporate into the new life we are creating.
Take a moment to pause and reflect
Our daily patterns, from where we buy our coffee to when we check our phones, often become habit by the third or fourth time we have done them, and we are slow to ask ourselves why we are doing things a certain way. When we change the scenery of our lives, with a new home or relationship, we get the opportunity to see our daily routine in a new light. Utilize this big life moment to step back for an hour (or even just ten minutes) and think about the pieces of your daily life that were life-giving and the pieces that were life-draining.
Write it down
After reflecting, spend some time writing down the things that were working well and those that aren’t working currently. Create a positive and negative list that helps you see whether a majority of your time is being spent. Once you have created this list, see if there are any behaviors, actions, or relationships that you would like to eliminate and those that you would like to see more of.
Imagine a Miracle
Imagine that a miracle has occurred and everything in your life is exactly as you would want it. What would you be spending your time doing? How would you start and end the day? Who would you hang out with? Use the information you have gathered from your positives and negatives list along with your miracle day to create a plan of action.
Create a plan of action for integrating these new ideas:
Amber Reed, LSCSW, LCAC