In early March 2013 me, my husband and our son moved to Vancouver, Canada to live from Ireland (we had lived in Ireland for seven years having moved there from our home country, England, in 2006).It is a change we had been working on making happen for quite some time as part of our design life plans. Achieving such a big goal and dream has been exciting, deeply fulfilling and a hell of an adventure. But the path to making change happen isn't always been easy......

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15 Important but often overlooked factors that contribute to creating change successfully

Stunning Vancouver Nature

Stunning Vancouver Nature

In early March 2013 me, my husband and our son moved from Ireland to Vancouver, Canada to live (we had lived in Ireland for seven years having moved there from our home country, England, in 2006).

It is a change we had been working on making happen for quite some time as part of plans to design our ideal life.

Achieving such a big goal and dream has been exciting, deeply fulfilling and a hell of an adventure.

But the path to making change happen hasn’t always been easy. We have had to navigate all sorts of challenges.

Challenges like dealing with serious long term health issues and a horrific car crash that my husband was lucky to survive (you can read more on that in Lessons From A Wake Up Call).

And there are all sorts of logistical, practical and emotional challenges that come with creating change too. They all have to be dealt with. Being willing to deal with the challenges, discomfort and uncertainty of creating change is an important part of achieving the results you really want to make happen.

My husband and I were chatting recently about the valuable lessons that we have learnt over the years that have helped us create the changes we have wanted in our life, work, business and relationships. Here are:

15 Important, But Often Overlooked, Factors That Contribute To Creating Change

1. Expect obstacles, setbacks and mistakes. They happen. Learn the lesson. Apply the learning. Move on.

2. Have a plan with deadlines but be flexible and open to the plan needing to be altered.

3. Change doesn’t always follow a linear path. Accept that.

4. Create reserves of everything – time, money, energy, support etc. You will need them and they make the journey smoother.

5. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to create change so having a self care programme that keeps you mentally and physically fit and strong is a no brainer.

6. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who encourage and inspire you.

7. Steer clear of the BMWs (Bitchers, moaners, whiners) and negative, unconstructive people.

8. Foster the habit of persistence. When the going gets tough, it is persistence that will get you through.

9. Change takes you out of your comfort zone so get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. (Read more on this topic in Why You Must Get Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable).

10. Create a haven – something that helps you step out of all the hoopla for a while and regroup.

11. Break plans down into small steps and then just focus on the next small step. This keeps feelings of overwhelm at bay and helps keep momentum and motivation going strong.

12. Don’t become all work and no play. Take time out. Life happens in the present, not the future.

13. Seek out people who have made the changes you want to make and learn from them.

14. Hold the faith. Hold your vision. When the going gets tough keep focussed on the positive outcome you will achieve once you have navigated your journey of change.

15. Keep a sense of humour.

The pain of navigating the change process is temporary. The pain of staying stuck is permanent. So don’t let the challenges of creating change put you off.

What valuable lessons have you learnt about creating change? What would you add to this list? Please share in the comments below.

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  • Congratulations on your move and the start of your Canadian adventure. Thanks for the 15 very useful tips.

  • Thanks Delia. Glad you found them useful.

  • Bogar Ardiansyah

    Thanks, I really get this heartwarming feeling when I read your blog, especially this one. But what about the cultural changes? I see that you’re moving several times now. But I guess that it is alot of fun just to be able to do that, experience something different in another part of the world.

    point #14: I’m learning from you now. If you don’t mind.

  • Thanks Bogar. Glad you liked the post. Yes, cultural changes are a big factor when moving from one country to another. But getting to learn how other cultures live and learning new perspectives is really interesting and a lot of fun too.

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  • Team myBestHelper

    Great post – and glad to see you are enjoying Vancouver. Another word for change is adventure… and while change can conjure both positive and negatives feelings, adventure is usually associated with fun and ups/downs leading to an ultimate payoff.

  • Agree – what we associate with a certain word can have a big influence on how we feel about how it impacts our life or work.

  • Ahh, Canada, the kinder part of North America. I loved your list, especially 7 and 8.

  • Ali Davies

    Barbara, glad you liked those two – they are both very important things that make a big difference.

  • These are all such great pieces of advice. Four years ago my husband and I packed our whole lives up and moved 400 miles from the only home we’d ever had to start over. I was also in a traumatic car accident that has changed my life forever. We made it and our lives have never been better. There were plenty of scary moments, worries and stress in the beginning but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  • Great tips – I deal with change inside organizations, and I think your tips would work there as well. Particularly the one about taking change in incremental, small steps. That’s so critically important. Thank you!

  • Ali Davies

    Wow Rena, sounds like you have been through a lot. Delighted to hear that your lives are now in a good place. Enjoy!

  • Ali Davies

    Donna, I agree, some of the steps of creating change that lasts can apply to many different circumstances. And taking small, incremental steps is one of those.

  • Haralee

    These are GREAT tips and very inclusive. #1,#3,#4,#15, so helpful in many situations! I love #8. I used to work with a woman who only drove BMWs that were never in good working order and now I know why, they were kindred spirits.

  • Ali Davies

    I can relate to what you are saying. People who are BMWs are not the best company to keep!

  • Your tips are right on target. My husband and I moved from a life in the city, to the country. It was the best thing we ever did. Brenda Coffee

  • Ali Davies

    Delighted it worked out for you Brenda. So important (and fulfilling) to live somewhere you love.

  • Fantastic tips Ali! It is scary making a change as drastic as yours, but you are helping so many people overcome that fear.

  • Thanks Rena. Fear is such a big factor for many people when they want to create some kind of change in their life. I love helping people deal with that so that thee can create the life and results that they really want for themselves.

  • Haralee

    This is a fabulous list. #4 is so true and I think the zigs and zags of life are what keeps it interesting as long as you have some of your other tips to use like, #1,#7, #8, and all of them!!

  • Great list Ali! I hope you’re enjoying Vancouver? It’s so beautiful, and we figure it must be great to live there because when ever a friend or a family member goes there, they never come back! 🙂
    We’ve been going through a big change too, though we didn’t travel quite as far! Your list rang so true. I found my biggest challenge was with expectations, mine and others.
    A big part of enjoying the journey is all about “let go and let be”. (The reserves helped a lot too!)

  • well said.

  • Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Thank you

  • Yes, expectations can be a challenge. Learning how to manage them is liberating. Totally agree re. your comment anout let go and let be – helps a lot. Yes, we love it here. Fabulous place to live.

  • A fantastic list and a great reminder of why we need to kick the negativity to the curb.

  • Thanks Sara. Delighted you enjoyed it.

  • Terri

    “Steer clear of the BMWs” – priceless! I am writing this in my affirmation journal. Best line I have read in a long time. Thank you Ali! Loved the entire piece, much goodness shared, thank you for your generosity! Wishing you a peace filled weekend with no BMW’s!

  • Hi Terri, I am delighted you found it useful. Have fun steering clear of those BMWs!

  • Sue Loncaric

    I love reading about people who take up a challenge such as moving to another country. I was not happy to read about your husband’s accident though. Change is something that happens to us all, even when we don’t realise it is happening. However, major changes can be very challenging and I agree with point about breaking it down. Small steps are so much easier and confidence building rather than jumping right in. I enjoyed your post thank you.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond.