So you want to change your life. The first question that is probably going through your mind is how long does it take to change your life? Or perhaps what you really want to know is; ‘’How fast can I change my life?’’. I’m sure you have heard many self development timelines being thrown around when typing that question in google. Wondering which one is actually true is a normal process so here is a breakdown of how long it actually takes to completely change your life.
The Official Answer
The official answer to how long it takes to change your life is: it depends.
It depends on so many factors that are unique to each person. If you infer from this that I am talking about personality traits then you are not completely wrong, but you’re also not right. What I mean by unique for each person is each person’s life. For example: it could very well be that two people want to change their life by getting a degree. Even though the goals seem the same, it doesn’t mean that they are.
The circumstances from where you are starting matters. Someone starting their new life path with a lot of savings to cover the degree costs necessary has a very different path than someone who has to have a job next to trying to obtain the same degree. Just to name a very classical example.
So how long it takes depends on the above but also what it is you actually want to do. Do you simply want to change your life by starting to work out or adopt a whole new mindset? Each has their own timeline that NEEDS to be respected. Trying to change your life in 24 hours is hardly ever successful. Can you make a decision in a day that will change your entire life afterwards, yes! Can you start taking steps to change your life in twenty-four hours, you better.
The difference between the three is that changing your life means taking action after making your decision. No life is ever changed without actions and actions take time. How long? Well that brings me back to the original answer of it depends with the nuance of it depends on what it is you want to do and something else.
The Honest Answer To Completely Change Your Life
The honest answer to completely changing your life doesn’t differ much from the official answer. Much being the keyword.
Putting yourself in a position to completely change your life needs to go hand in hand with the question of ‘’How long does it take to adjust to a major life change?’’. This question for a lot of people resonates with something that has happened to them that was outside of their control, such as a loved one passing, getting sick or a global pandemic.
However that is not the full picture of the question. Or to use a popular saying it’s only one side of a two sided coin. On the other side you will find the changes that you yourself decided to make. Examples are going away to college, going bungee jumping, staying home instead of going out. How you respond to things that happen after you have made a decision plays a major role in how long it takes for you to change your life.
The time is in the process
Now why would you need time to adjust to major life change such as changing your life when you made that decision consciously you might ask and If you weren’t you should’ve. As it is the right question to ask at this moment in time.
The answer is simple though. It’s because change is deemed scary no matter how much you want it. You might be thinking I want the change regardless of what will happen. I agree with you to a certain extent and I know you will change your mind too after the next sentence. While changing your life you still have a life going, you have friends, jobs, family, partner, and other routines, you making changes to your life will affect these in some way or another. Positively or negatively and this is something you need to take into account.
In what fashion or extent those aspects get affected depends greatly on what you are trying to change in your life. Everytime the system gets shaken up there’s a new adjustment period. You can’t simply blaze trough thinking of only you, you and you. I know it seems that way by taking a quick glance at the self-development industry but that is not the reality of life unless you live super remotely and don’t have anyone in your life at all.
The time it takes to change your life is thus in the process and absolutely not in the decision even if you act like me and take your sweet four months and nine days to come to it. Yes, that is how long it took me to decide to start changing my life.
So if you ask me how long it takes for you to completely change your life I will always inform you of the above aspect and of one more. If you are thinking that I am raining all over your parade, I do apologize but I am all for creating a real life dream life and not one of them was created in 24 hours.
Don’t want to go through the process alone? Needing to know where to start to change your life?
Starter Steps To Creating A Life Story You Love is for you. It’s your guide to changing your life while taking everything discussed in this post and others on the blog in account so you won’t fall for common self-improvement traps.
We’re only creating real life stories here.
Speed is not your friend when changing your life
As I have said a couple of times already no life changes were done overnight, well at least not the ones that were planned. If you get hit by a bus and break a large number of your bones indefinitely that will most likely change your life but that’s not the kind of life change that we are talking about I hope and assume.
One of the reasons that speed is not your friend I have already mentioned. It’s the fact that hopefully you are not going through life all alone and thus have people in your life who will notice the effects of your decisions alongside you in some capacity.
The other which has, in my opinion, even more to do with speed, is the often forgotten fact that you have to stabilize the changes. Making a big life change often causes a bit of a ripple effect. This effect is sometimes noticeable immediately, but sometimes it needs a little time. The time it needs usually coincides with the time you need to make sure the change you made becomes a permanent fixture of your life. I call this part stabilizing the changes. It is a vital part of changing your life. You need to get to a point where the ‘’new’’ thing in your life feels no longer new but normal. Basically it has to become something you do as casually as eating breakfast in the morning.
To get to that point you have to keep going. The continuation of whatever change you are implementing is important. You have to keep doing it, even if the weather is scaring you off (now of course be sensible with this, but you get my point!). The obstacles you face are all adding to the time it takes to change your life. Speeding over the stabilization period will cause a fall back at some point in time. You can already guess what a fall back means? More time added to changing your life.
What do you see as a changed life
When you want to change anything, you have to determine what it is you want to change. Once you have that clear you’ll know what to look for in order to know that it has changed. For example if you want to stop eating candy, you know you made this life change when for example you have gone a month without eating any candy or when you no longer crave candy. It’s easy to set a benchmark for that to know when you can declare that part of your life changed.
However when we are talking about life in general the situation lies a little different. You need to declare when you feel your life has changed to the desired way while taking in account that things will always be changing with or without your active involvement. So when you say ‘’I want to change my life’’ or ‘’ I want to change myself’’ you have to also determine what that means, but more importantly what you must have accomplished for you to say “I’ve changed my life in X months”.
For example, for me it was a feeling. A feeling that I was going to brave through obstacles without overthinking it 10million times. Mind you, not all my obstacles were bad, some were things I’d always wanted to do but was scared to or in my own head about doing. Once I felt that I had that feeling under control and started making memories I wanted to have I felt that my life had changed because I finally felt the feeling I was after. For those of you curious I first felt it after 7 months and it was stabilized after, I think, about a year. Do be mindful of the fact that I decided to flip the entire script of my life.
When seeing the headlines change your life in 3 months, 6 months or a year don’t immediately believe it. Can you change your life in those timeframes? Yes you can but only when accurately accounting for
- Your definition of a changed life
- A stabilization period
- How you respond to major life changes
- How you respond to the ripple effect
- Where you are starting from
- What you want to do
Changing your life is possible in every way, shape or form but the time it takes varies in as many ways.
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