There's no avoiding it; life is simply full of change. From the big moments to the small, nothing ever stands still for long, especially in today's 'always-on' world. Things are constantly shifting; and sometimes it can be difficult to approach everything with the same gusto or excitement that you need to. Change can feel difficult - but it doesn't have to be.
New research from Skipton Building Society shows that people tend to be wary of change. Nearly one in ten (8%) even go so far as to say they hate it. Personally, I prefer to think about change as an opportunity, and something that's exciting.
There's no question that when it comes to navigating things like moving home, having a family or planning your future, the more prepared you are the better position you will be in. That preparation might be mental, physical or financial. Jacqui Bateson, Senior Propositions Manager at Skipton Building Society, believes that it's never too soon to start preparing for the big (or small) moments that lie ahead:
"Preparing for your life ahead is an important decision in itself but it's not always clear where to turn or which approach to take, especially when it comes to financial planning. The main thing to keep in mind is that most financial decisions are best viewed in the longer term. From starting a pension to writing a will; these sorts of decisions are vital to our financial well-being later in life so it's never too early to make a start."
"Our recent research shows that not seeking financial advice is a common regret for one in ten people and that many more underestimate the impact that this could have on their life - so taking action and doing something about the future now is an important first step."
Whatever's coming your way, there are some simple things you can do to help change your mindset and the way you approach the big and small moments of change or importance in your life:
1. Big change, small change
Help yourself feel more comfortable with change by introducing other, smaller elements of change into your life first. Challenge yourself to try something new on a monthly basis - whether that's going out with a new group of people, trying a new hobby or visiting a new place. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone regularly will help to build your resilience. You'll be surprised at how conquering small things will help you feel better equipped to deal with the bigger changes in life.
2. Know when to let go
It's perfectly natural for us to want to have control over every aspect of a big life moment; whether it's a wedding, a house move or a new job. But there has to be a point when we accept that there are simply some things that are completely outside of our control. Focusing on what you can influence can really help; sometimes there is real empowerment in realising when it's fine to let something go. Stressing about what might go wrong can also put you in a negative mind-set and mean that you're less likely to achieve success in reality.
3. Treat yourself
A little reward can go a long way. When it comes to saving for example, think tangibly about how much you could put away and what this looks like for you - whether that's £50 a week, or a couple of pounds a day. Make a plan and set a particular goal that you want to reach, building in smaller rewards along the way to help you stay motivated. A nice meal or half a day off work can be a great incentive and doesn't have to break the bank.
4. Shake off the 'should'
It's natural to compare yourself to others but at the end of the day, everyone is different. So shake off the idea of 'should'; instead, identify two or three of the things you feel are most valuable to you personally and try to keep sight of these. Spending a lot of time on social media may mean you're more likely to compare yourself to what other people are doing. To help combat this, consider taking a social media break or cutting down the number of hours you're spending on Facebook each day - this will help you focus on yourself and what you're doing.
5. Know when to ask for help
It's not always easy to admit but we can't do everything by ourselves. Accepting that sometimes we just need some help goes a long way. Sometimes it's enough to ask friends or family, but when it comes to planning for your life ahead and making the right decisions financially, an expert view can (quite literally) pay off. There is no shame in asking for help, and it is often easier than we think to ask. So remember, there is help out there for you, for all your life moments, big and small.
Skipton Building Society are right here to help you plan for your life ahead: find out more by visiting their website at http://www.skipton.co.uk/life-moments or pop into your local branch.