February Theme: How to Make the Changes We Know We Need


It’s 3 a.m. and I’m plagued by a faint yet persistent scratch at the back of my throat. I cough, but it remains. I swallow hard, but it’s still present. I hack and toss and turn and complain to myself for a good forty-five minutes before I do the obvious: just get a glass of water already.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has willfully endured an uncomfortable situation fully knowing that all I need to do to find relief is make a small change.

Was it the comfort of my bed that made me so irrational? Or is it that moving toward relief can feel just as painful as accepting the low-grade state of discomfort? 

Why do we resist making the changes we know we need? 

Sometimes we choose the comfort of the uncomfortable parts of our life because we KNOW them. And even though they can cause constant suffering, we fear the discomfort of the unknown more than the choice to stick with our status quo. 

Sometimes we choose the comfort of the uncomfortable parts of our life because we KNOW them. And even though they can cause constant suffering, we fear the discomfort of the unknown more than the choice to stick with our status quo. 

This month, our theme centers around why the change we so often resist can be the impetus for transforming a small (or sometimes massive) part of our lives. 

Just the decision itself can be transformative. The decision to be done with whatever it is you’ve been sustaining. The decision to try something new. The decision to leave a relationship. The decision to quit a business. The decision to start a business. The decision to make a new friend.

It all starts with the realization that you need something new in your life. A change of perspective. A fresh start. A way to shake things up. And in those moments of change, we find ourselves with new vantage points. We start making decisions a little bit differently. There’s new data. There’s new information coming in, and that can be incredibly powerful. So how can we make it easier to move past the discomfort and into that magic moment when the whole world looks new?

In February, we’ll be sharing stories of change. Our contributors will be writing about ways you can make a shift in your finances in under an hour, and how to change your approach to purchasing goods by learning to thrift like an expert. They’ll be exploring how you can change your vantage point through traveling and style and decorating your home.

I’ll be writing about how to know when it’s time to take the next step in your relationship (and diving into your relationship questions on the podcast with everyone’s favorite guest, my husband, Joe), and sharing a love letter to all the homes I’ve lived in. This is a bit of what we’ll be sharing this month on W&D, but there’s plenty more to come!

It’s not the act of making the change that’s hard. It’s seeing what’s possible by making the decision. It’s believing that change is available to us. It’s believing we have what it takes to be worthy of what change can bring. Sometimes the change we need is more obvious than we realize.

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BY Kate Arends - February 1, 2020


add a comment

  1. ez1019

    February 3rd, 2020 at 11:09 am

    This post (as well as the upcoming month’s series) makes me simultaneously hopeful and terrified. I’m hopeful that there will be some nugget of wisdom that ignites me to finally make the changes I know I need to make. I’m terrified that nothing ever will.

  2. Kate Arends

    February 5th, 2020 at 10:32 am

    I understand that mix of emotions well! I’ve felt it before making some big decisions in my life. If you don’t feel comfortable making the changes all at once, right now, can you begin by making a list of small things that would start to move you in the right direction toward those changes?

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