Changing your life fast or slow? Which is better?

Light trail of fast moving train

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

People seem to be split into two groups when making changes. Some like to dive right in and turn their lives upside down in one go. Others prefer to start slowly, and focus on long-term results. Which approach is better, fast or slow? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of changing your life fast.

Diving right in

So are you the type of person who likes to make big changes in lots of different areas at once?

Perhaps you’ve been stagnating, vaguely wondering how to make life more fulfilling. Suddenly, one final day of frustration or boredom triggers you to act. You feel impelled to change your life and start afresh, no matter what the cost. There’s no point waiting, so you leap right in.

If you want, you can jump-start a new lifestyle or rejig your health. You can set up a new business or creative venture, or completely change careers.

But does this approach of changing your life fast really succeed over the long-term?

Advantages of changing your life fast

It’s true that making fast and furious changes can have huge benefits.

Let’s look at how the best-case scenario could play out to your advantage. 

Quick progress

You’ll make big strides in several areas at once by fast-tracking your achievements. Seeing big results happen quickly boosts your confidence. In turn, that inspires you to even greater heights.

You’re fired up by boundless energy to achieve your vision. Your whole life is focussed solely on reaching your goals.

Sure, there are bumps along the way that could derail you. But you’re so motivated that you overcome even the worst setbacks. You continue to strive and do your best through what can seem like dark days. 

And somehow, you rise stronger and more determined than you were before.

You’re speeding along a mainly upward trajectory, absorbing new knowledge and skills. And these new vistas trigger more great ideas and more goals to aim for.

Motivating

You’ve got a great team of people around you who support and believe in your vision. If you’re lucky, you all feed off each other’s energy and motivation to inspire further ideas and action.

Best of all, your example may inspire others to make big changes in their lives as well.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

But things that sound too good to be true often are. In reality, this approach doesn’t work for everyone.

So are you the right person to pull this off? Do you have the right skills and mindset to succeed at making big changes in your life? Do you have long-term support to keep you sane through this upheaval? 

Because there’s no denying reality. This high-pressure version of changing your life fast has many disadvantages. For every high-flyer who makes this work, there are probably hundreds who fall by the wayside.

Let’s look at a more realistic scenario.

Reality of changing your life fast

1 Impacts your whole life

Regardless of what you see on the internet, most people don’t reach success overnight. Instead, it takes years and years of hard work, commitment and sacrifice.

So changing fast still needs vast amounts of time and dedication. And it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

You may have commitments which will limit the time you can devote to yourself.

Working, caring for dependents, and limited support can slow you down. Events like holidays or celebrations will often interfere with your goals.

2 Can be chaotic

And don’t forget the possible negative impact of the upheaval on your relationships. Others may complain at the chaos you’ve brought into their lives. They may feel abandoned and annoyed that you’re no longer focussing on them. If you’re not careful they may become resentful and even sabotage your efforts.

Of course, it’s easier for someone who’s single, with few commitments. They’re free to use their time and energy any way they wish.

However, take note if several areas of your life start to unravel. That may be a sign you need to rethink your strategy of changing your life fast.

3 Support base is vital

So you need to get others onside before you begin. You’ll manage far better if they’re interested in and understand what you want to do. If not, they won’t be supportive either emotionally or practically.

And having some sort of a support base is vital.

4 Needs a lot of planning

Even if you manage all these demands, changing fast in lots of different areas can still be stressful.

Succeeding in the long-term requires a lot of planning. Impulsively jumping in without any preparation could lead to wasted energy and opportunities. You may run down dead ends, or even head in the wrong direction.

You may also lose track of the progress you’ve made on each goal, and what you need to do next.

And if you don’t tweak things that aren’t working, you may wander off course again.

Then the end result of changing your life fast could be entirely different to what you expected.

Sometimes that’s a creative and interesting experience. But more often, it’s dispiriting and takes a massive effort to correct.

5 Results may not match expectations

However, getting caught up in too much detail can lead to you losing sight of the big picture.

Small successes spread over many areas can make your true progress seem less than spectacular. It’s only when you add all your tiny successes together that you realise what you’ve achieved.

So be careful not to expect fast progress in every area you tackle.

Unrealistic expectations often lead to what appear to be disappointing results. The reality isn’t always as mind-blowing as some make it out to be.

6 Easy to burn out

Even if you’re passionate about changing your life fast, the long-term effort needed is exhausting. You may start to struggle after the initial burst of enthusiasm has passed.

Without regular rest breaks to rest and recharge, your motivation will drop. Aspects of your project that you enjoyed previously will begin to feel like chores.

Once procrastination creeps in, you’ll avoid the unpleasant but important tasks. Then your schedule will be thrown out of whack, leading to problems down the track.

And after each setback, you’ll feel more and more frustrated and disillusioned.

Unless you safeguard your health, you’ll burn out mentally, physically or emotionally.

7 Self-doubt can creep in

Now you’re plagued with doubts about whether you have the qualities to do what you’ve set out to do.

You’re flooded with negative thoughts about how badly you’re managing. Overwhelmed, you blame yourself for being lazy, disorganised, or just not clever enough.

Unless you have the resilience to manage your worries and forge ahead, you’ll be tempted to give up. 

Is changing life fast for you?

So what do you think? Do you have the right mindset to make widespread changes in your life, all at the same time?

Are you willing to do the planning needed to get this approach up and running?

What qualities and resources would help you in producing such a sea-change in your life?

Learn which personal qualities and habits you’ll need to succeed at changing your life fast.

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