As we age and progress through life we deal with many changes. Most of these changes are small enough that they often can be integrated into our lives without much difficulty. Sometimes though we face a change that is large enough to push us into a new phase of life. These changes require us to evaluate our current set of routines and sort out what actually needs to happen verses what can be pushed to the back burner for the time being.
This phase shifting can be difficult to grapple with as it is hard to set aside routines that have taken months of effort to build up in the first place. In my case my phase shift that I am experiencing right now is the birth of my son. Adding another member to the family comes with many changes and requires the vast majority of my attention. My wife and I now need to divide and conquer to ensure that both our new born and toddler are being taken care of. This has of course impacted many of my other pursuits. I am unable to train BJJ for the time being as we get into a new routine with the four of us (as much as a new born can even be in a routine).
This is challenging for me as it is something that is really important to me and a big part of me staying in shape and my mental health. Though I did have the benefit of being able to expect this change and know that I was going to not get as much time to train once he joined us. Expectation is a pretty big part of this and it can make a new phase even more challenging when it catches you by surprise. Since I knew that this change was coming for me I was able to come up with some alternatives that I can do in the mean time such as just getting a work out in at home and keeping up with the intellectual study of BJJ.
I believe the first thing that you need to do once you have realized that you are in a new phase of life is to adjust expectation. Once you see that what you were doing before just is not going to work within this new life phase it is time to start to let stuff go. Bear in mind this does not mean permanently (sometimes it could depending on if that thing serves you and your new life) it means that until you can adjust to this new phase you are releasing yourself from prior commitments. This is not easy but it is an essential step to give yourself the space to establish the necessary habits to get things flowing smoothly with the new changes.
Once you have established the new habits you will then have the space to start to re-prioritize and start to insert your old habits back into your new set of routines. Bear in mind that this should be approached slowly to allow yourself time to adjust as you expand your expectations. Some back sliding is to be expected when making adjustments to ones life I would just recommend stabilizing again after each habit is brought back into your life. As you start to piece everything together you may find that some things just do not fit within your new phase and you may have to let them go permanently or figure out a different way to approach them.
I know this sounds like a lot of work and really that is because it is. It is going to be a lot of work for me to reestablish my training habits while ensuring that both of my kids and my wife are properly cared for but it is worth the effort. I refuse to allow this new phase to result in me stopping things that are important to me just because they are difficult. I have gotten to the point in my life where I know that I can deal with change and adjust to still work towards my goals. This almost never ends up looking like what I expect it to but I always have managed to find a way to get back onto the path towards my goals.
Let me know below what changes have led towards a new phase of life for you. Follow the blog to receive regular updates on when new posts go live.