Expat Life

Change: Are you doing what you’ve always done?

“If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.”

This message hit home for me this week. Quite literally, as it was written on a wall sign given to me by a dear departing friend. And then it showed up in the book I’m reading about about change: Atomic Habits by James Clear.

In the run-up to the new decade, it is a good question to ask yourself. Am I doing what I’ve always done? How is that serving me?

If you are happy with the results you are creating in your life, by all means, continue doing what you’re doing.

But what if you are trying to make a change?

When we make changes, it is inevitable that we encounter resistance in ourselves. We leave our Comfort Zone, and inner saboteurs and gremlins pop up. That doesn’t mean we need to stop doing what we are doing.

5 Signs of Resistance to Change

Do you notice yourself for example:

– Being too busy for change (I have no time)

– Procrastinating (I’ll do it later, one day, when life is perfect)

– Being scared into inaction (but what if)

– Being forgetful (I meant to but I forgot)

– You feel paralyzed or stuck (I just can’t think or get going).


According to author and Money Expert Barbara Stanny, these are 5 of 12 signs you may be resisting change.


Start recognizing where you are resisting change and sabotaging yourself.

Start noticing your behavior. Just notice, without judging yourself. Observe how you talk about yourself to others or in your head.

Common examples I see with expat clients:

  • I want to do a studies but I do not know what (and that is the end of the discussion)
  • I want to develop myself abroad/ change careers/ stay connected to my old career but… (I have no money/ I don’t have time/ I don’t know what)
  • I’ll do it when the kids are older/ when my partner travels less/ once I have a new computer (and this can take years and years)
  • I want to get a handle on my pension deficit (but never take the first step to figure out how large this deficit is)


Start doing things differently little by little

Doing what you have always done might not be the best way forward. After all, many a change is not completed, despite all your best intentions. Instead, start experimenting with doing things differently and see what happens.

Cleary describes how even making tiny (“atomic”) changes in your habits, can create vastly different results over time. A 1% difference can mean a world of difference in later life. And 1% is doable and a lot less scary than the usual 360 degree turn you try to make when attempting change, right?

And together, these tiny changes create a new image of yourself. You do not have to be perfect, you just do things differently the majority of the time. And that creates a different self-image.


Who do you want to be by the end of 2020?

Who do you want to be by the end of 2020? The Mum who always eats the kids candy when they are in school or the mum who usually eats fruit?

The wife who has no energy left at the end of the day or the wife who cares for herself, works out, rests well and is still fun to be around after dinner?

The woman who is killing time abroad waiting for the next move or the woman who is in touch with her dreams and takes active steps to make them come true while living abroad?


What are you choosing?

If you want to do things differently in 2020, and want to build accountability for yourself through coaching- then book a 30 minute complimentary call with me to see if we would be a good fit.


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