Most people look at career change, or any change for that matter, as a difficult challenge. May Kathy’s story inspire you to ease your way as you navigate career change and any other changes you desire in your life.
Kathy (not her real name), one of my coaching clients, wanted to develop her new business after coming home from her not so satisfying day-job. A job she wanted to transition out of in the near future. To make her career change smooth and easy, she needed to boost her energy daily.
The quickest and most enjoyable way for her to renew her energy after a long work-day is by practising 15 minutes of qi-gong. Even though Kathy knows that a daily qi-gong practice provides the fuel to build her business to the point of being able to leave her day-job, more often than not, she forgets. Instead she gets busy checking e-mails, making dinner and before long it’s time to go to bed without having moved forward an inch on her new venture.
There is a big difference between knowing something is good for you and actually doing it. Otherwise more people would be fit, healthy, energized, happy and navigating career change with ease. To turn knowing into consistent doing, you need to form positive habits.
Most everything we do throughout the day is habitual. You don’t have to think about brushing your teeth, getting dressed, locking your front door, driving to work and many other things you do every day. These activities have become habits and happen automatically, without you making a conscious decision each time. It’s a good thing, as it is very efficient.
Positive Habits Make Career Change Easy
When you want to create a meaningful, positive career change, it is essential to create habits that support your desired goals and shed old habits that don’t serve you in pursuing your dreams.
In one of Kathy’s coaching sessions we explored, how 15 minutes of qi-gong, a practice that fuels and renews her, could become a positive habit providing energy for her career change.
When and where did Kathy want to practice qi-gong, so that it would give her the maximum benefit? Kathy wanted qi-gong to be the first thing she did when she came home from work. And she enjoyed practising qi-gong the most outside in her back yard.
I asked: “What would make it easier for you, Kathy, to stay in your yard, practising qi-gong, rather than going into your home, when you come home from work?”
“Well, if I lost my keys, that would make it a lot easier!” Kathy exclaimed. We both laughed.
This ‘crazy’ idea sparked a few other ideas. The idea that Kathy liked best was to create a sign for her back door knob similar to “do not disturb” signs often found in hotel rooms. Her message “Do not disturb until after qi-gong” was written from the perspective of her cat and was decorated with a drawing of her cat. Kathy imagined that her cat did not want to be disturbed before Kathy had practised qi-gong and was filled with positive energy.
What’s an energy-boosting habit that you would like to establish in your daily life? One that will provide fuel for you to invest in your positive career change and life transformation?
Going for a walk, practising yoga or meditation, singing, dancing?
Maybe just like Kathy you already know what you want to do to boost your energy. Perhaps you’re just having a hard time turning your best intentions into reality.
How to Create Positive Habits to Support Your Career Change:
- Choose a specific activity (e.g. 15 minutes of yoga practice)
- Choose a specific time of day and location (e.g. 6:30 am in your living room)
- Ask yourself, “What would make it easier for me to follow through with my intentions than not?” and brainstorm ideas. (e.g. put your yoga mat in the middle of your living room in the evening before you go to bed)
- Implement the most promising idea(s). Sometimes you have to try a few, before you find the one that works best for you.
- Enjoy your renewed energy and use it to move forward on your bigger personal and professional goals.
After practising qi-gong for 22 days in a row, something she had never accomplished before, Kathy missed her after-work qi-gong practice once. She didn’t move forward in her business that evening and the next day at work she got really frustrated with the office politics. Surprisingly this little slip served to deepen her commitment to her energy boosting habit, as it reminded her how much more productive and happy she can be when she practices qi-gong after work.
Kathy’s qi-gong practice is now well established. It has become a daily habit that she no longer needs to think about. She has poured the energy she gets from her qi-gong practice into her new venture and trusts that her days in her unfulfilling day-job are numbered. The positive career change Kathy envisioned for herself is becoming more real every day.
Just like Kathy, you too can establish positive habits that serve you well as you navigate your career change.
Julia James is a certified life coach and award-winning author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution. With over ten years experience coaching people through positive career transformations, Julia is passionate about helping people connect with their true calling.