Last year I made one of the most important decisions in my life. The promise to leave
corporate America and give my entrepreneurial calling a shot. I declared New Years Eve of 2006 that I would not enter the comfort of my workplace of 14 years, one day beyond December 31st of the new year.

Here we are one year later and I DID IT! I managed to work for 11 months setting up my new business on nights and weekends and even managed to take a night class for my coaching certification.

Here are five ideas to help you successfully work through a significant transition.

Figure out what you really want change and allow a minimum 12 months to do it.

Allowing a significant time line helps you stay on task. Doing a little each day over a period of time will make any transition much easier to work through. Consider, weight loss, Career Change, Starting an exercise program etc. Some things should not and can not be done with thoughtful consideration in an instant.

Involve your family and close friends

Sharing your plans and dreams with the people who know you the best is an excellent way to surrounds yourself with honest feedback and people who hold you hand along the way. You will be thankful for family and friends who believe in you and may even contribute significant suggestions along the way. I found that declaring my plan for independence helped me stay on the path to personal freedom.

Allow for setbacks and second guessing

It is a daunting thing to give up a life that is ordinary for one that can be extraordinary.
You are only human if you fall back into your “normal” patterns. Pay attention, allow yourself a hiccup and then start over again toward your plan. I was extremely uncomfortable giving up a significant income to go out on my own. For awhile I tried to trick myself into staying in the MONEY. Then I would ultimately realize how many people have gone before me and taken a leap of faith. What ever you want to achieve you can accomplish with discipline and hard work. Hurdles and setbacks are a part of the process.

Set clear and specific dates of completion for each part of the transition

Sometimes all of the components of a plan can be overwhelming. Break down your goals into manageable increments and set a critical path time line to bring your work to fruition. For example, if you are working on losing weight start by making a list of what you need to do to achieve your goal. Start by logging what you are eating each day for a week, discover where you might eat foods that you want to avoid or time of day you get extra hungry. Then you can start working on a new grocery list. After that you can work on an exercise regimen. Everything needs to be worked on one day at a time. Before you know it, you will have made significant changes in your life and the weight will come off. When you get overwhelmed, write everything down and become accountable for the things you want to accomplish.

Be flexible and find humor in the difficult situations

Some times deadlines and commitments come together a little sooner or later than we plan for. As long as you are working towards your plan, the timing will come together.
If I quit my job when I wanted to, I would never been able to negotiate a severance package. Thankfully, I counted on family and friends to help me stay focused on the finish/start line. Finding humor in the day to day corporate environment was the greatest blessing. Do what ever you can to NOT take yourself too seriously when working through a life changing transition. When I discovered professional humor, I could function day to day and find some peace in the transition. I will forever be grateful to my mentor coach, Diane Helbig for this sage advice.

In summary, everything boils down to several simple ideas. Allow yourself the time to work through a serious transition, keep your family and close friends involved, allow for setbacks, work on a reasonable time line and find humor in the day to day journey. Before you know it, you will be where you want to be by design.

These practical ideas are designed to help you work through significant transitions. Get started today! After all, your life is not a dress rehearsal.

Author's Bio: 

For 15 years Shann Vander Leek has inspired sales professionals and entrepreneurs. Telephone and email consultations make her accessible to clients all over the world. Visit Shann's website at to subscribe to The Path of True Balance - E-Zine or to schedule your complimentary 30 minute discovery session.

Shann is the founder of True Balance Life Coaching and is accredited by the Coach Training Alliance.