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You Know You Need a Change: Now What?

You know you need a change: now what?

Questions To Ask When You’re Ready for Something Different

Are you in a place of stagnation, where you know you need a change but aren’t sure what or how to adjust?

Maybe you’ve recently hit a wall and realized what you’ve been doing is no longer working. Or maybe you’ve felt a growing dissatisfaction for some time now. Whatever the case, even once you acknowledge that something in your life needs to change, it can take some time and work to know exactly what that change needs to be.

So here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started making that change you know you need.

[See the end of this post for the accompanying free worksheet!]

1. Why do I need a change? How do I know?

Sitting in a desert
Photo by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash

Knowing you need a change can be a rather abstract feeling, a sense of being stuck or of wanting something different than what you have now. It’s frustrating, because you aren’t sure where exactly this feeling comes from.

So the first step is introspection. Try to identify why you’re feeling this way. What about your life has you feeling dissatisfied or stuck? If you still can’t find the source of your restlessness, move on to Question #2:

2. How do I feel about my life right now?

Man thinking with journal
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Be very specific and thorough. Try dividing your daily life into categories and describe how you feel about each one of them. What is going well? What isn’t? Which areas make you excited about the future, and which areas leave you feeling exhausted or frustrated? This can help you identify what kind of change you need to make — and what kind of change you don’t need.

3. What do I want my life to look like in the near future?

Now that you have a good sense of what your life currently looks like, take some time to imagine your life six months, one year, maybe even five years into the future. What do you expect it to look like, and what do you want it to look like? Try to imagine or even plan out a typical day in the life of your future self.

Then compare your current life to that future life you want to build. What would have to change about your current life in order to make that desired future a reality?

4. What small change would make the biggest difference in getting me closer to where I want/need to be?

Setting up a domino effect
Image by SparrowsHome from Pixabay

Now you’re ready to work on an action plan. But don’t rush in headfirst and burn up all your motivation at once. Start small.

What is one small, simple thing you can change or adjust that would put you one step closer to that version of yourself that you want to be in the future? Once you make that small change, you’ll get a little boost of satisfaction and confidence that will help you keep going.

5. What obstacles are likely to keep me from making this change? How can I prepare for them?

Hurdle race
Photo by Vladislav Vasnetsov from Pexels

Once again, be realistic and detailed. What will get in your way, both internally and externally? Do you tend to procrastinate, or get tired quickly? Will other commitments eat into the time you’ll need? What about other people in your home/life?

Write down everything you can think of that could get in your way, and make a plan for how you will handle each of them.

6. Why haven’t I made this change before? How can I approach it differently now?

Standing at the bottom of the stairs
Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

Maybe you’ve simply been happy with the trajectory of your life until now — and if so, that’s fine. But chances are, the need for a change hasn’t popped up overnight. Be honest with yourself about why you haven’t actually done it before.

Have you tried and failed in the past? If so, what went wrong, and how can you approach it differently now? Having a plan in place will help you avoid falling into the same trap again and again.

7. How will I motivate myself to keep going when it gets hard?

No matter how committed you feel right now, you’re going to hit a point where your feelings wear off and those reasons you didn’t make this change before rear up again. Even though you have a plan for dealing with those reasons, you’re going to get tired. Unexpected problems or events will compete for your attention, and it will get hard to continue. What is your plan for staying motivated?

This is where it’s necessary to know yourself — do you perform best when you have accountability, or a reward system? Figure out what it will take to keep you on track when the track gets bumpy, and start putting that plan into action now, before you get started.


Even when you know it’s needed, change is daunting. But taking the time to understand what needs to change and why, and making a plan for how you’ll meet the inevitable challenges, can remove some of the fear that holds you back from taking that first step.

Change is daunting, but understanding and preparing for it can be an important first step.

Free Worksheet: When You Know You Need a Change

Download a free printable worksheet to walk you through each of these questions, any time you feel stuck.

You can find this worksheet in my free resource library, along with other worksheets and planning pages designed to help you simplify your life and reach your goals. Sign up with your name and email using the form below to get access.

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