Oldie but a Goodie: The Slow Burning Fire to Change

This is a pretty old piece I wrote a few years ago but every time I go back to my old writings I'm just like ??? wow maybe I'm actually good at this. Read below.

Self-evolution is a weird thing. The opportunity for change presents itself when we least expect it. And, it is up to us if we want to follow this change and do something entirely new. For me, this change was sparked over my winter break from school. Without the constant go-go-go of the school work, I was able to reflect and realize what needs to be done in order for me to be sincerely happy. I realized that those things don’t lie in the people I surround myself with, but within myself and my ability to take control and do what I really want and need to do. So, after much self-reflection, I have figured out how to slowly start changing my life into what I want. 

A bit of background on why I decided to do this: Since I am in college, there is a huge

pressure on me to “fit in” and do what everyone else is doing in order to be happy –

apparently. Personally, I feel like most people my age don’t understand that you really

don’t need to be following the crowd to be happy. I didn’t really have a snap realization

about this, I just was looking at the people around me and what they were doing and

wondered, “are they really happy just following along?” So, after looking at a lot of people

I know, I realized that I am not happy just following the flow. Thus started my slow but sure

journey into changing my life into something I want. 


Realizing You’re Not Happy

“Realizing you’re not happy” isn’t something that comes to you as a revelation and not being

happy doesn’t mean you’re depressed. It means you’ve found a new reason to be happy and

are ready to pursue it. For me, I’ve realized that the people that I surround myself with don’t

have the power to influence my happiness. I used to be so hyper-focused on how the people

me made me feel, but then, I realized that I am the only influencer for my happiness. For

example, I like to write and read and do yoga to be happy. That’s not necessarily what my

friends like to do, but I can still be happy around them and have my own happiness as well.


Start by making a list of things that make you happy and then a list of things that you are

still doing that don’t make you happy. From there, slowly try to remove the things that don’t

make you happy. If you do it all at once, it’s going to come as a shock to you and not be as

effective. Also, by changing slowly, you have room to adjust what you want to change. A

lifestyle change is very fluid and not set in stone, and that’s the thing that makes it the most

fun. 


Breaking Free from the Flow

“The flow” refers to what everyone else around you is doing. This is the hardest part but the

most renewing and amazing step of following your path. This coincides with figuring out what

makes you happy and what doesn’t. But, this step involves the people around you and what

they do and what you do. This may not be everyone’s issue, but if you are stuck in a “flow” you

are not happy in, it’s time to change the current. 


Set some time aside to really view others and then compare their likes to yours. Are they the

same? Vastly different? Whatever it is, try to distinguish what you like to do and how you can

incorporate it into your everyday life. Doing this slowly is the key, and after incorporating it

slowly, before you know it, it will be a new lifestyle.


Setting Goals to Change Your Lifestyle

These goals are something little or something big you wish to accomplish within the next year

or so. For me, I hope to become almost completely waste-free and detox of material objects.

Maybe for you, your goal is to start doing yoga three times a week or write in a journal every

day. Whatever your goals may be, write them down and make them tangible. That way, it feels

more real and you can keep updating yourself on where you are. 


Journaling may not be for everyone, but writing down tasks and goals are a great way to

stick to them. Even a few bullet points updating your progress can help you see how far you’ve

come. For me, since I am trying to detox from material objects, I try to throw something out

or donate something every week as part of that. This way it’s just not one huge change and I

end up going out and buying new stuff. By getting rid of things slowly, it is allowing me to

get used to the idea and not go back on my word. 


Becoming That New Person

This change isn’t going to come overnight. Evolution is a slow-burning fire that has to be

fueled by self-will. Keep a journal or a goal tracker is a great way to track your progress and

look back on where you came from. For me, writing in my journal has been very therapeutic

and a great part of my journey of slowly changing into the life I want. Take a few of these steps

and try them out yourself…it might be a great thing. And feel free to adjust this to however you

think works best for you. Everyone isn’t the same in how they change and evolve and that is

the beauty of it. 


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