Process to Change with Jana Arellano
What does your daily routine look like? Do you get up on the morning, hit the snooze button a few times, hoping that first cup of coffee would magically appear next to the bed. Then you muster the energy to get out of bed, decide on the wardrobe of the day, and look at the time to see is it full make up or full hair today? The morning does not stop there, are the kids ready, is lunch packed, and good heavens “where are my keys?”
Now you are off and ready to face the commute to work. If you are lucky there are no accidents and no construction delays, you might just have a chance for that second cup of coffee. Or the first if the magical one never appeared. Lucky you have made it through the morning, but there are hundreds of those following and there were a hundred of those prior.
When do we notice that the routines are not working for us anymore? When do you review your level of happiness with your families, career, and relationships? What if you are not feeling happy with the routines and not feeling joy in the work that you do?
This was my story. I had the complete vision of working for money, pushing myself at all cost and keep going. Then I realized that I was not a happy in my career, for over 15 years I was a Radiation Therapist. I wanted more and had some goals that needed dusting off and goals that had not existed yet. The problem was that I worked hard for this career, my children sacrificed a lot for me to go to school and work two jobs. Not to mention, there was not another option at the time, or so I thought.
I was ready for change and the first step to make a change is acknowledge it. I had to be ok with wanting more. My co-workers were happy in their roles but why wasn’t I? Once I had a family member ask me, “why can’t you be grateful?” Just because I want more does not mean that I am not grateful. I had to let go of all the outside influence and listen to myself. I had to acknowledge that I wanted to change and to become okay with it.
The second thing, I had to look at my skills and see what I needed to move forward. I knew that I wanted to move my career forward, and this change would not be backward. I could not decrease my annual income. In looking at my skills, I realized I could not speak publicly. In fact, I could bomb public speaking and have dates and times to prove it; college graduation, autism presentation, and the managers meeting which was the ultimate speaking bomb. This was the one skill that kept popping up and I kept ignoring, but after the managers meeting and looking at my skills, I could no longer ignore it. I went to work on it.
Building that one skill alone made the most drastic change for my day to day life, while at a career that I was not feeling happy to be in. I still worked hard and still was very compassionate and caring to my patients. I loved the work that was being done, but I was ready for more. Unfortunately, many of us cannot just quit a job or change careers when we have a family to feed at home. You can start building the skills you need, and you will start to feel a greater sense of accomplishment.
This brings the third step of change, action steps. Again, you may not be able to quit your job right away. Now that would not be very smart if there are mouths at home and utilities to pay. However, you can start working on the skills. The way to build skills is by taking action steps. Steps being the key word. This means small steps to the skills and have each step lead you to the goal. I share my running story to make this visual. I started running and when I say started, I could not run. I went to the track at the local high school and planned a routine. I would walk the length and run the edges. Then it became run the corners and walk the length and eventually I could run a lap, then two laps and it lead to half marathons which is 13.1 miles of running. Yes, I did run the entire 13.1 miles without stopping. My goal was a half marathon but really it started by running the edge of a track. When you look at building skills or making changes, please realize it is the small action steps that are repeated that will lead to the big changes.
The process to change that I utilized, first acknowledge the change. You must accept that you are ready for change and be ok with the personal desire for it. Second, look at your skills or the skills that you are lacking. This will give you an idea of what you need to start working on. Third, you need to act and small action steps lead to big action. In all of this remember that you are not a tree and are not stuck in one spot in life. You can make a change that you want and improve the level of happiness in your life.