Have Purpose During Transition

Are you in between jobs? Transitioning from one school program to another? Moving on from your current city, apartment, or relationship? Transitioning is a common space to be in, especially as a quarter lifer.

How do you create purpose, productivity, and a feeling of grounded-ness when it seems like the only constant in your life is change itself?

Feeling connected and meaningful is an innate human desire — one which can be lost sometimes when life seems to be changing quickly. You may feel unattached from your goals, weighed down by a hectic schedule, or like you’re floating in limbo. We often tell ourselves that once ‘x’ is over, we’ll address ‘y’ and ‘z’ and consequently feel more like ourselves again.

Sound like you?

But when that moment of settling happens, something else will be thrown your way and transition commences again. So who is going to give you permission to find purpose during change? How will you make sure you feel like yourself and are moving forward even when your everyday life is a bit up in the air?

I have a couple tips for you. This is something I struggle with sometimes as well. I’ll give myself a pass on the gym, volunteering, or that hobby I love because I’m busy with what’s currently going on, I feel unclear, stressed, or like I’m just about to get to the finish line of something, so everything else can wait until I’m there. Overtime, I’ve realized the instability of this habit and am working to change it.

TIP #1 Pick one simple thing that makes you feel purposeful and do it at least once a week. For example…when I was working at my previous job and feeling dissatisfied with what I was doing from 8:30 to 4:30 everyday and looking for ways to make a change, I knew that one thing that would make me feel like I had done some good and fed my soul that week would be to volunteer. I started just by running an art program at a family shelter once a week and then added something else to my plate by becoming a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto. It helped to balance the tumultuous nature of how my job was feeling with something that I knew did some good for me and my community. If volunteering isn’t for you, try writing for a blog you love, creating a little side endeavour that feels creative, or do one thing for your personal development each week.

TIP #2 Find one healthy habit that grounds you and do it once a day. For me, this was the gym. I knew that as long as I kept this as a constant, I would continue to feel like myself and bring myself back down to earth as things shifted around me. Don’t make excuses or exceptions for your habit. You could spend an hour playing music each day, meditate, go to a fitness class, or talk to someone you love. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that reminds you of you and holds you down in a time of change.

TIP #3 Write things out. Get your thoughts out of your mind and on to paper. This will help you to make sense of your transition with more ease, bring clarity, and calm your busy mind. Write things that encourage you and make a point of looking back at them when you need it most. I use this technique in times of transition. I write everything that I know to be true about my abilities, my positive attributes, and strengths. When I was doubting myself and lost in limbo, I could reference what I had written and soothe myself back to a level headed place.

Transition is inevitable. It doesn’t mean though that you need to fall victim to a confusing space of limbo and feel helpless or without purpose. Just because one piece of your life looks a little grey, doesn’t mean that the other parts can’t stay bright and clear.

Remember, you are worthy.