What Made You Decide To Make a Change?

There are many readers here at CK who have made major changes in their lives.

Some readers switched from mostly eating takeout to mostly cooking at home. Others decided to embrace simple, healthy, low-cost home cooking. Still others lost significant amounts of weight--and kept it off.

I have readers who started saving money aggressively, who paid off substantial credit card and student loan debts, who started tracking their spending, who began exercise programs, who quit drinking, quit smoking, quit eating meat, went vegan, un-went vegan, and more.

For some of you, the catalyst may have been a health issue--perhaps a severe health issue--that drove you to make a change. Others hit a major financial crossroads, and decided what they had been doing just wasn't good enough any more. I'm also guessing the recent financial crisis was a catalyst for many of us to rethink how we spend, save and live.

The thing is, something brought about your decision. Something was the catalyst. Maybe it was a specific event, or something someone said to you. Maybe it was a realization of how your future might look if you didn't change things.

And then you decided enough was enough, and you took action.

What was it? What was it that caused you to change?

This post was inspired by Andrew at Eating Rules.

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Owlhaven said...

I was motivated to start exercising by the thought that I wanted to be healthy and active long into my grandparenting years. John and I were motivated to knock off our last debt and start saving more because we wanted more options for investing, and other possibilities for his career in the future. Oh, and travel. We really want to travel more, and that was more important to us than impulse spending.

chacha1 said...

I've made two major changes that had financial and health ramifications. The first was booting out a live-in moocher. That decision/change cost me tens of thousands of dollars and the stress facilitated a case of flu that kind of wrecked my immune system for ten years.

The second change was to leave a toxic job, where I made a lot of money but spent almost all of it (therapy shopping). I deliberately chose a 30% pay cut over staying in a situation that had resulted in disordered eating, excessive drinking, chronic insomnia, and general malaise.

After that, incidentally (when I could no longer afford to eat out all the time) was when I started learning to cook.

The first change was prompted by, believe it or not, starting to take ballroom dance lessons. This activity was a real catalyst to changing almost everything about my life.

Melissa said...

I think you know this, but for me, change was inevitable and necessary because the alternative was early death. With alcohol, cigarettes or food - or really the combination of all three - I was putting myself in an early grave, mental and physical.

Sounds dire. It was. You know my stories. ;) If you're asking what was involved in the moment of decision, though, I can't say entirely. It was just an all or nothing must be done moment with all of those things and I never looked back.

Jen Blacker said...

Having my son. I got remarried (after a long depressing marriage that made be gain A LOT of weight). Lost 80 pounds and met someone new. We had a son in 2008 and I wanted to do my best for him and my family. I started cooking things from scratch, got rid of processed foods, and did my best to exercise most days.

Fast forward to now, I still cook from scratch, I've lost more weight, and we are moving towards our ultimate goal of paying all of our debt off and saving for a downpayment on a house.

It isn't easy, people want us to go out or go out to eat often, but we say no. We cannot afford it. We "pay" ourselves money that goes directly into savings and into my 401K. We have "family movie night" every Friday where we eat dinner in front of the TV as a treat and watch a movie together. Costs nothing.

I have a long way to go, need to keep up on the exercising. It's hard sometimes to be motivated at the end of the day to get back on the treadmill. I try to keep in mind what I was like several years ago and who I am now. I love the person I am now and want to make me stronger and healthier (and skinnier!) than ever for my son, husband, and myself.

Am I perfect? Oh hell no. I do stick to cooking every night, but the exercising is tough some nights. You don't need to be perfect, just keep going and you'll get there.

Daniel said...

These are beautiful comments. Thanks to each of you for sharing. I'm grateful!