The previous post on this issue was the easy part–the stuff that worked, the things that went right. This post is even more important though–what I did wrong, what you can do to avoid the same thing.
The mistakes I made were mostly about poor communication with my family and friends–primarily my wife.
In a lot of situations, I tend to study things in my head for a while (a long while) before I make a move, or decide to do something. While this has many benefits, an important drawback is the people close to you have no idea what you’re thinking about until you announce it to the world as a ‘fait acompli’. “There it is, thank you ladies and gentlemen! Gaze upon my awesomeness.”
As you can imagine, this can really backfire with your family when making a huge lifestyle change like this. 😉
This is what has caused most of the problems I encountered while making this transition. I would spends days, weeks, months working out things in my head–never once telling those closest to me what I’m considering–and then, at the very last minute (even sometimes AFTER I started doing something…good lord) I’d lay it on them with no warning whatsoever.
(It’s even going on right now–I’m thinking of developing a DVD offering for my special needs students and families, and…have I discussed this with anyone at home? Euh…no. Shhh…don’t tell anyone 😉
This is a VERY important point for me–realizing that most of the resistance I faced was due to poor communication on my part. This meant that, as much as the resistance was frustrating, I had some control over the situation: I could simply communicate more and better.
So, for me, it is critical to keep important people–especially my wife–in the loop as I sort these things through.
And this is very, very hard. Changes like this are difficult on those around you. These folks could be forgiven for thinking, ‘things are pretty good here, why are you changing them?’ So, it’s natural to want to avoid discussing it. As the person creating the change, it’s easy to think, ‘I’ll just keep this under my hat until I’m sure it will work, or I’m sure I’m ready.’ But no–usually this is just another form of avoiding healthy discussions and kicking the can down the road.
So, my #1 recommendation to anyone pursuing big lifestyle changes like this is: keep people in the loop, especially those closest to you.
Next post: how to deal with the resistance you get as you adopt a new lifestyle.