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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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11 Change Indicators

As we know, change is inevitable. Sometimes it just happens without our participation, and other times we proactively seek it out. How do we know that it’s time for a change? How do we know that it’s time to be proactive? What are the clues or change indicators? There are many, and we experience them in different ways. Noticing the indicators is important because once they are brought to our consciousness, they become the seeds that flourish into motivation and action

11 Change Indicators . . .

1. The Boredom – While I’m not an advocate of the need to be constantly entertained, there’s something to be said for being too bored. A little boredom is both healthy and restorative. However, if long stretches of boredom are what you’re regularly experiencing, this could mean that something needs to change.


2. The Spark – Do you remember recently hearing, reading, or discussing an idea that got you jazzed up? Perhaps you had an “ah-ha” moment. Maybe it was something that connected the dots, or something new you could imagine pursuing. Perhaps you are experiencing some positive anticipaton. The energy surge or “spark” that you felt could be change calling you.


3. The Agitation – Are you in a perpetual state of irritation? Everything annoys you. Nothing flows. More of your day is spent angry and agitated than is happy and relaxed. This is a big change indicator. What’s your next step for moving ahead?


4. The Sleeplessness – We need sleep. It renews us. It allows our bodies and minds to relax from the active part of our day. Lack of or interrupted sleep negatively affects us. Sleeping issues can be a major change indicator. What might be the cause?


5. The Drama– Have you recently experienced a big life event such as marriage, birth, death, divorce, job loss, or move? Change is inherent in these times of transition, and not all are welcome or anticipated. As a result of these changes, you might feel out of balance. You haven’t adjusted to the new patterns. Feeling out of balance can be a change indicator.


6. The Exhaustion – Are you getting lots of sleep, yet you’re constantly exhausted? Do you have low energy or motivation? Physiological or emotional issues might cause this. Seeking professional help could be beneficial. This is another change indicator.


7. The Numbers – Are you a metrics tracker? Do you pay attention to numbers such as financial investments, banking balances, business statistics, or inventory supplies? Have you noticed unusual trends? Depending upon what you’re observing, the numbers, which are exhibiting a shift, might lead you to making a change.


8. The Plateau – There are times when we hit that wall. We’ve learned all we can from a situation. We’ve seen all there is to see in a place. We feel like the opportunity to learn and grow has leveled off. We’re ready for that next challenge. We might experience this in our careers, a job, or a place we live. Reaching a plateau could make us chase change.


9. The Scale – We all do it. We step on the scale and the pounds keep moving in the upward direction. Maybe our pants are getting a bit too tight. Maybe we run out of breath as we climb a flight of stairs. Physically, we just aren’t feeling quite right. Change is calling.


10. The Environment – How is your physical space? Is it designed and organized in a way to support who you are and what you do? Do you find it difficult to locate what you need? Do you find it challenging to function properly in your environment? When your space isn’t working, you might feel overwhelmed or frustrated. This is another change indicator.


11. The Thoughts – What are you thinking about? Is your mind filled with negative thoughts? Do you find yourself wishing you were somewhere else? Are you having challenges experiencing gratitude, joy, and mindfulness? The restlessness and discontent we can feel internally could be an indicator for change.

A first step for proactive change is noticing the indicators. Once we observe what we’re seeing and feeling, we then can begin to identify next steps. Next might mean, simply acknowledging our feelings. It might mean enlisting help from a professional. Or, it might mean changing what we eat, where we work, or how we live.

What are your change indicators? Are there any ones you’d like to add? Let's open up the conversation. I love hearing your thoughts.





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Reader Comments (16)

All those points are great, Linda, and very true! I can totally relate to each and every one of them from past experience... I agree that change is inevitable and the secret is learning to adapt to/go with the flow of change so that it is not so uncomfortable during transition times...! A wonderful blog to read!! :-)

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElisa Macomber

I find that when we choose to make a change, it feels good, but when it is imposed upon us, not so much. However, sometimes an unwelcome change can be the catalyst that triggers us to make other changes we've been wanting to make, but haven't got around to yet.

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

So great to see you here, Elisa. As you are in the midst of many changes, I can imagine how this post especially resonates with you. Between getting married, changing your name, and redesigning your website, you are in a highly intensified change-mode. Wishing you all the best as you shift to the new normal.

February 12, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Janet- I know exactly what you mean. The distinction you make between "imposed" vs. welcome change is important. As we know, change comes in both flavors. So much of our experience is about the perspective or attitude we choose to adopt. Recognizing the silver linings on the imposed changes can make all the difference to our success with transitioning and growing.

By the way, just love this month's PO Blog Carnival about "Success" that you've put together. I encourage everyone to stop by and check out the amazing collection of posts by 20 professional organizers (including me) that are sharing their thoughts about success. Here's the link:

February 12, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, these 'Change Indicators' are brilliantly thought-out.
The key is to recognize them - Self-Awareness (Step #1 in my PowerPlan to Success!).
When something isn't 'right,' it is important to reframe feelings of discomfort with feelings of anticipation - that here is an opportunity to move forward in life; towards something new and better. Too often we think we need to know the exact path of change, and if we don't have clarity, we feel overwhelmed and stuck. What is more useful is deciding what isn't working in our lives, and making the commitment to let it go so we provide an opening for a more powerful and fulfilling life. HOW we get there isn't the immediate issue. Begin with the conscious decision that where we are is not working, and that we WANT to make a change.

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Lasky

Susan- I'm thrilled that you joined us for this conversation! I know that "change" is one of your hot buttons. And not only that, but you're an expert in helping others make positive changes. I love what you say about reframing "discomfort" into "anticipation." Wonderful!

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda - thank you so much for mentioning the Professional Organizers Blog Carnival! Many of the information shared, including your own post about coping with life's surprises, are very relevant to the subject of change.

February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

You're welcome, Janet. The PO Blog Carnival is a favorite monthly event. I always look forward to it. Change does manner to filter into the topic of success and noticed that in many of the posts. Thank you for all that you do to bring us together as a community.

February 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Love this post on change! Change is inevitable so embracing change is my mantra. Why embrace rather than fight it? Because you find inner strength and meaning in embracing change. Thanks for sharing these indicators as they all ring true.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Ellen- So glad that you joined us. That's a powerful mantra, "embracing change!" There aren't too many people I know that openly are able to do that. Just curious...does adopting that perspective help to eliminate the fear factor we often experience when change is upon us? Would love to know more about your experience.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

You know how much I love to discuss the process of change! Did you write this one for me, Linda? I'm almost done with my blog series on how to make the change you seek a reality and I love how you've identified and named the indicators for change. Thanks for a great post!

February 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanine Sarna-Jones

Change is a "hot" and ever-present topic, Janine. I know that you love helping others seek the change they desire and am glad that you found this post particularly timely and interesting to you. While I'm sure you love all the posts you've written about change, do you have a favorite? If so, please feel free to share the link here with us and let us know why it's your favorite.

February 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

"Some of these will probably resonate the most with me," I thought as I began reading. Curious. They all did. Different situations, some in combination, some alone. It's amazing that you knitted these together.

So many people talk about "self-care," but the discussion really is what you have here, knowing your own indicators that a change is needed. If we can slow down enough to recognize that an indicator is raising its hand, asking for attention, then we can acknowledge, listen and actually DO something. We (and that can be the "royal we") don't pause often enough to hear our own intuition. Thank you for this list; it makes all of this seems easier somehow.

February 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSue West

Sue- I love the wonderful visual you shared for noticing that a change indicator is "raising its hand, asking for attention." Just fabulous! As you brought up, this ties into the piece about allowing ourselves to slow down enough to notice something needs or wants attention. It's noticing those first clues that begin the conversation..."it's time for change." Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. I always enjoy your thoughts.

February 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thanks for this thoughtful post Linda. My husband and I are currently vacationing on the Big Island of Hawaii and I just shared your post with him because we have been discussing change for a couple of days now. The change is being motivated by exposure to a new way of life / a new way of being, a pulling back of the veil you might say, which most closely relates to the "Spark" you're speaking of above. The changes we're discussing won't happen immediately, but the hope of change on the horizon and knowing we can begin to make small changes now that can lead us to bigger change is invigorating. Your post timing couldn't have been better!

February 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Sharb

Andrea- I'm excited for you both…not just because you're vacationing in Hawaii (which must be amazing,) but because you're feeling inspired and hopeful about changes you're envisioning. There's nothing quite like getting away from our normal routines and places. Feeling more relaxed creates the frame of mind for possibility thinking. We observe other ways of being and imagine different options for ourselves. Enjoy all aspects of your journey! And…as a huge snowstorm is on its way to the east coast, also please enjoy some extra sun and warmth for me.

February 12, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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