5 ways to Kick Start Change

Live a life closer to the one you dream of with these simple tips from local life coach Merna Dwyer.

Set Goals

We all spend time thinking about our lives and how our futures are shaping up. Whether family life, friendships, career or finances, most of us have things we want to change or make progress with. The first step is to set goals. “Goals create change,” says Merna. “Goals fulfil dreams. A goal gives you a focus, a purpose and a reason to take action. If you align your goals with what is important to you, and you set them in all areas, you will find that life becomes more fulfilling, enjoyable and balanced. You’ll lose that feeling of being overwhelmed and time poor. Goals should be POP (prioritised, organised and performance orientated) so you can do more in less time, have more fun in life and be happier.”


Take it outside

Going outside and spending time close to nature, taking in the beauty and peace around you, is a great way to help you centre and ground yourself. Take that one step further and the benefits are manifold. “Getting outside is about expanding your awareness,” says Merna. “It’s about travel and new experiences. Getting outside your comfort zone breaks patterns and redesigns your life. This allows you to shift from ordinary to extraordinary, boosting your desires and creativity. New activities can challenge us and make us uncomfortable, but stepping out bravely lets us embrace change and grow your world. Start small by finding something that you are comfortable learning and grow from there. Work at the pace that works for you – it’s not a race.”


Enjoy great company

Being with loved ones gives you the space to relax and be yourself – and allows you to enjoy life. And it’s not just your nearest and dearest who matter here. Evolve your thinking to include those who believe in you, think like you and wish the best for you. In other words, those people who want to see you succeed. “One of the three human drives is connection, or belonging,” says Merna. One place you truly can belong is with loved ones. Spending time with people who love you, or who think like you can give you a greater connection to yourself and to the world. It strengthens your bond to your identity and gives your life meaning. This allows you to grow and your potential is enhanced because they (your pride, tribe or group) will hold you up, encourage and support you. “Loved ones could mean a mentor or teacher, a coach or simply your tribe. And we're not talking about having to spend hours and hours with loved ones; something as simple as a chat over coffee, watching a movie or doing something you both enjoy is often all that is needed to let you find yourself.”


Change your scenery

Changing your immediate surroundings is a simple way to not only refresh the senses but help you accomplish more, be more creative and free up more time. “Imagine your favourite place in the whole world: is it that quiet beach with golden sands and clear blue ocean, or the pyramids of Egypt?” asks Merna. “As you imagine being there, notice how you feel. It may well be a sense of peace, relaxation and fulfilled wonder at the world. If you can create a safe space where you can sit and connect with your dreams – whether it’s where you live or work – your environment should reflect what is important to you. Find something that represents what you are trying to achieve and have that around you to serve as a reminder of what you wish to do. This is how you can stay focused in those times when it may all feel too difficult.”


enjoy some me time

It’s natural to want to help others. Yet we also need to take time to relax, switch off and do what we love. Me time means setting boundaries and rediscovering who you are, so you can give and receive even more. No time for me time? Oh yes there is. “Remember what all flight attendants tell us to do in case of an emergency? Put on your own oxygen mask first,” says Merna. “That’s what ‘me’ time is – your oxygen mask. You need to look after yourself, so you can give the best to others. Switching off helps you become even more creative. You know that problem you have, that you just can’t seem to find a solution to? Well, taking some well earned time out for yourself will get your creative juices flowing – and an answer that seems so obvious will pop into your head. Don’t know what to do for you? Perfect! It’s like being a child in a candy store – you look around and you simply pick one thing and try it. It could be visiting your favourite aunt, watching a movie on your own, having a one-off massage or learning a whole new skill such as belly dancing, yoga, meditation, zentangles… You name it, then try it.”


Merna Dwyer is a Toowoomba-based life coach and founder of Doing Life Differently, a program that helps people to expand their thinking and enhance their skills.