Change is a natural part of life but, for some of us, it can be harder than for others. Closing a chapter in life in order to move forward might seem like a gigantic challenge at times.
Whether you want to change the way you manage your finances or walk away from a toxic workplace, getting comfortable with ending things is vital.
In the following guide, we will delve into why it’s important to move forward and how you can start doing it.
Why do we find it challenging to move on?
Moving past the old and welcoming the new can be difficult. You may find yourself holding onto something in your life — even if it’s not doing you any good.
Whether it’s a job that you hate or a spending habit, it can be tough to let go of something that has become comfortable. There’s a reason that you struggle to move forward.
No change can mean less anxiety
Experts suggest that this is because we are in our comfort zone. Quoted from arraybc.com, a comfort zone is “a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress.”
Put simply, when you avoid changing things in your life, it is so that you can lower your stress levels. However, when the thing you need to rid yourself of is causing you stress, that presents a conundrum.
For example, if you always spend too much on expensive clothing and it’s getting you into debt, walking away from that problem will make you happier overall.
The importance of closing a chapter in life
There’s a lot to be said for closing a chapter in life and moving on. When we stay in one place, we may stagnate and not progress as far as we could.
While it’s human to want to hold onto comfortable situations, we need to learn when the right time is to quit something and move on. Here are some of the ways that taking this leap can help you improve your lifestyle.
Avoid repeating old patterns
Are you repeating the same patterns again and again? If you tend to find yourself in the same unfortunate situations — by your own choice — now is the time to stop things. Changing your perspective and attitude will help you redefine your future.
Make room for new experiences
The age-old saying by Alexander Graham Bell goes “when you shut one door, another one opens.” Before you can start having new experiences, you need to stop repeating the old ones.
Or you might be so busy dealing with the chaos that surrounds you that you can’t enjoy new things.
Change your financial future
Your financial future is in your hands, and it always will be. If you are caught up in old habits — such as overspending or failing to save — you can overcome those obstacles.
It is only when you start closing a chapter in life and moving on that you can do that. Learning from your past mistakes will allow you to make a solid financial plan for the future.
Figure out what you really want
What do you really want in life? Chances are, if you’re constantly repeating the same mistakes, you don’t know yet. People stick to comfortable situations when they are unsure of how to move forward.
It’s a common pattern but you have the opportunity to change it. When you close one chapter, you can stop, and consider how you want your story to go.
7 practical tips for closing a chapter in life
Now that you understand the importance of closing a chapter in life and moving forward, let’s go over how you can do that.
The truth is that you need to change your behavior and actions if you want different outcomes. Let’s take a look at seven small (but significant) things you can do that will help you switch the narrative.
1. Focus on yourself
Before you can leave one chapter behind you, you have to change your perspective. Sometimes, it’s as simple as starting with why.
Why do you do what you do? Who are you doing it for?
Often enough, when we are hesitant to move forward, it is because of someone else. Perhaps you overspent to show off to others and got yourself into debt. Maybe you are staying in a bad relationship because you do not want to hurt the other person’s feelings.
Whatever the reason, you need to start focusing on yourself. When you’re clear on how you want your future to look — without considering everyone around you — you can start taking the steps to get there. Be selfish in a positive way, and think about what you want.
2. Reflect on what you’ve learned
We all make mistakes now and then but that shouldn’t hold you back. While it’s normal to mess things up, what matters the most is what you do next. When you’ve done something wrong, how do you fix it and start to move forward?
If it is time to close a chapter and move on, take a moment to consider what you have learned. In every experience that we have, we learn a new lesson that we can use.
For example, if you have always lived paycheck to paycheck but have no savings, that can be a scary position.
If your car breaks down and you need cash to pay for the repairs, you may find that you come up short! In that case, you have learned the value of saving and can apply that lesson to your future finances.
3. Avoid repeating the same mistakes
What you were doing before now wasn’t working and you should recognize that. For example, if you were running up debt from overspending, that was causing you a problem.
By acknowledging and accepting the mistakes you’ve made, you can start to move past them and avoid making the same mistakes time and time again.
4. Try journaling to stay on track
When you are struggling with change and closing a chapter in life, one of the best things you can do is journal.
Writing down the problem or the experience can be a cathartic activity. What’s more, there are many mental health benefits to journaling that you may not have expected.
As an added bonus, you can also use your journal as a financial planner. If the thing you want to change is your budget, you can write down your spending habits here.
5. Start a new hobby
Think about what it truly means to try something new. Research suggests that doing something fun, such as a hobby, can improve your mental health.
Look for hobbies that don’t cost a lot of money. You don’t want to ruin your finances by doing something expensive. Instead, you might want to try a free activity, a sport, or even volunteering opportunities.
6. Make some plans for the future
What would future you thank you for doing today? Can you make your life easier and, of course, happier as you get older?
If you are focusing on the past, you need to switch things up. Envision the financial future that you want and start working towards it.
7. Start tracking your finances
As you move into this new financial future, you should keep track of your progress. For example, if sticking to a budget is difficult for you, try looking at ways you can stay on track (even when it gets tough!).
For example, you might want to use a spreadsheet or app to see how much you’re spending on a month-by-month basis. If you have always been bad at monitoring your finances, this tip will help you to close that chapter of your life and move forward.
The more on top of your money you are, the easier this whole process will be. Think about which tracking approach will work for your lifestyle.
Closing a chapter in life can be an opportunity for something new
Does the idea of closing a chapter excite or scare you? When you start to clear out the old, unhelpful habits, you can make way for the new. That rule is especially true when it comes to your finances.
If your budget is not in tip-top condition, it’s time to make some positive changes. It’s only when you wave goodbye to bad financial habits that you can start better ones.
Whether it’s saving more or spending less, these practical tips can help you succeed!