What’s The Deal with change?


In the last two blog posts I’ve been taking you on a guided tour through the four phases of the Cycle of Change. We covered The Toss-In, which marks the end of something and/or the beginning of something else and The Shuffle, which is when you get your footing again and weigh your options.

The third phase we’ll talk about is The Deal. You’ve accepted and processed the reality that things have changed, and you’ve taken stock of your situation and assessed your resources. The Deal starts the moment you have made a decision about what you'll do next and ushers in a time of planning and prepping for your new life/job/relationship/situation. There is some action involved, but it’s all in the interest of serving a larger goal in the future.

Like the other phases, there is typically a beginning, middle and end, though everyone experiences it differently and maybe not in the same order. At first, it is exhilarating to exit the comfort and safety of The Shuffle and plow forward with the initial planning. In the middle of The Deal, it can be a slog trying to keep track of every detail and stay on track. By the end of this phase, you are finalizing the details and tying up loose ends.

This can be a time that is both exciting and frightening because there are two opposing dynamics at play. Just like in a card game, you can be the dealer, who is dealing the cards or a player, who must work with what is dealt to them. In this case, you are both.

There are days when you will feel the empowerment of making a choice and taking ownership of your future. At other moments, you are coping with all the consequences and unforeseen factors that come with making a big decision. It can feel like you are walking through waist high mud one day and walking on air the next.

For the next two months, Andrew and I will be in The Deal. In April, we made the decision to relocate to the Berkshires (Yay!). In July we bought a house (Yay!). Now, it’s time to get organized and put all the logistics in place, so we can settle into our new home in October.

I feel like the Mayor of Halloween Town The Nightmare Before Christmas, whose head spins back and forth from happy to sad from moment to moment.

I’m thrilled to be a homeowner, which seemed impossible a year ago. I feel relieved that we know where and when we are going, and we can start planning our new life. I’m also terrified that we still need to find jobs and make friends and adapt to all the responsibilities of owning a home. We’ve accomplished a lot, yet it feels like there is so much more to do.

If you find yourself in The Deal, here are some simple things to do that I don’t always remember to do:

  • Ask for help. Think about who you know with the skills, knowledge and time that can help you along the way. This is great way to build up your network and connect with people.

  • Focus on just the next thing. It’s important to know what the big goal is, but don’t let the enormity of it paralyze you. When you feel overwhelmed, just concentrate on what you can accomplish today. What you can you do to just move the needle.

  • Prioritize. It can be easy to get lost in the weeds when you are amidst a big change, so take a moment to understand which tasks are important and deserve your immediate attention, which tasks are important but can wait, and which tasks are just noise.

  • Find gratitude. This can be as simple as mentally thinking about one thing you are grateful for a few times a day. Especially when you are feeling stuck. Even a small shift in your mindset can turn the tide.

So that’s The Deal. If you need some support or want to explore the Cycle of Change in more depth, you can schedule a free 15-minute session with me. Email me at janet@janetforest.com.