Prepare to Change Your Life – 3 Steps

My Amalfi Coast Copyright Carla Coulson


I hope you all had a great weekend full of relaxing moments, friendship and happiness.

My inbox continues to fill with letters about how to change your life so I felt in the mood today to write about some positive steps you can take towards changing your life even if you don’t know what it is you want in life.

Years ago when I lived in Sydney and my life was becoming smaller and smaller and I was becoming unhappier and unhappier there were a couple of things I knew.  I knew I was in the wrong career and this was holding me back from finding ‘my tribe’  and man was I sick of being single!

At the time  I didn’t know how to get out of my career and into a new one but I started my own search long before I finally left my life.

Here are some of the things I did which helped me a whole lot later down the track.

1. Decluttered.. I had always been a maximalist, I loved my things around me. There came a day when I looked at all my things and thought ‘how can I get out of here with you guys weighing me down’? I started to cull, I cleaned out all my cupboards as though I was ready to leave the next day and somehow it lightened my load and gave me clarity.

2. Budget… I made a budget. I realized although I earned a decent amount of money I was wasting it on buying things that made me feel good for a short amount of time. I had an empty bank account and cupboards full of clutter. I started to reverse this with a strict budget, I wrote down everything thing I spent and saw that I wasted so much money on nothing.

3. Explore.. I started exploring different courses and work options. I knew in my heart that it was my job that was blocking me from the life I wanted to live. Although I worked with a small group of marvellous people in the 13 years I had my business I hadn’t made one friend with my clients. I was in the wrong world. I thought maybe I needed to move to the country, work in another business or do something creative. I started to try all of these..Before I arrived in Italy and photography I had worked in the outback for a month (loved it but couldn’t see a life for me there), worked for a sports marketing company working on the Olympics (after the Outback i didn’t like being back in the city in a routine) and started an Italian course..

Change needs time and if you approach change as though it’s all about the journey not the destination everything you discover along the way will be a piece to your puzzle.

All is possible


a fresh start
If you want to know how you can live more wholeheartedly, reconnect to your joy, creativity and purpose, download my Free Workbook above.
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Louise Fletcher
Louise Fletcher
10 years ago

Love it Carla! I don’t want to change my life, but this is a great reminder of how to get some clarity back!

Beverly Genevish
Beverly Genevish
10 years ago

Decluttered – CHECK!

Budgeting – CHECK!

Working on #3!!

I’m starting to think we were separated at birth! I discovered you thru your photography (one of my two passions). The more I’ve learned thru your writing the more I realized I am on the same path as you…just several hundred yards behind! Thanks for being such an inspiration. Keep blazing the trail!

10 years ago

Thanks for sharing this Carla. It’s wonderful advice. Jx

Meredith Mancini
Meredith Mancini
10 years ago

Your story is an inspiring one Carla and you have inspired more people than you know about. Good on you !

10 years ago

Decluttering is the quickest way to instigate change. I do it often.

Great post!

10 years ago

That’s exactly what I am doing :o))
I will not join a language course because I would love going to UK and I feel pretty confident but I am already exploring and made the steps for the recognition of my degrees.
About being single …. I have been single for the last 5 months after 20 years and I love it.
It was also a good occasion for a major decluttering.
Thank you again for sharing your experience, Rosanna

10 years ago

Words of wisdom! very inspiring….

10 years ago

I had to declutter last year so I could downsize. It’s a constant job though. Funny, I thought you were born with a camera in your hand.
Wonderful advice,

peggy braswell
10 years ago

Great thoughts!

10 years ago

Thankyou Carla I am on that mission this very moment and your advice has just made it even clearer for me x thanks so much x Kate

Christopher Frost
10 years ago

Gail and I need to declutter and put a load of things on Ebay. Partly to pay for our splurge on new cameras. But we just don’t know where to start, or have the motivation to start.

I know we do spend too much time on the computer, either looking at photos, downloading photos or wasting time on Facebook.

We too need to spread our wings and fly.

10 years ago

So many great ideas for simplifying your life even if you are not searching for change.

lisa clifford
10 years ago

And all the time you were garnering your courage, I’ll bet. Such courage! Great tips Carla!

lisa chiodo | renovating italy

Moving house every year keeps us ‘Decluttered’ and I especially love the advice to keep learning, and exploring new options. Keep a childlike enthusiasm for adventure….see you soon.
ciao lisa x

Francesca Muir
10 years ago

Love this advice – especially the declutter, as that’s what I am about to do again in my life – it’s SO liberating and I can’t wait! Also love the advice about exploring – apart from opening doors, I think it’s what keeps us young! Great inspiration and LOVE the photo. Waiting for another book please? Fx

Josephine Nyga
Josephine Nyga
10 years ago

Facebook: Vintage Venus Fashion, Art, Collectables and More! Brisbane, Qld. Aust.

I just want to thank you, grazie mille Bella Carla soooo very much for your inspiration! You saved my life, literally!!!!!

I had been married for 30 years, married at 20, doing the corporate thing, following someone else’s, including parents, societies expectations, conditioning and indoctrination. Having my daugher Holly Jade in 2001 at 42 was a miracle and she continues to be my joy and inspiration!

Your book literally, changed my life, I left my husband in 2008, opened a Vintage Shop, ran motivational workshops for women, telling one and all to watch “Under the Tuscan Sun” and read “Italian Joy”, take a risk, take a chance, face the fear, follow your heart! Always asking the question, what makes your heart sing?!!! Step by step, whatever it may be, it is unique and individual for every being. Whatever that course you have been wanting to do, job you have wanted to leave, relationship you have wanted to change or end, places you have wanted to travel, stop procrastinating, just do it NOW, we only have NOW!

Bella Italia resonated, I travelled to Europe, 5 countries on the train in 2009 with my daughter, faced a big fear, what an amazing experience, so freeing, so empowering. My daughter and I felt like Eagles soaring, little girls being free and having fun! No Agenda,no one to rain on our parade, tell us how to be, really being in the moment and experiencing the passion, beauty and joy only Italy can bring on every level.

You reinvent yourself, your life, in Italy, You don’t just look you see through different eyes, it touches you on every level, body, mind and soul. All of it, the people, the architecture, the history, the passion, the art, the cobble stones, the naked statues, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera, the lighting, the sunrise, the sunsets, the music, the dancing, the food, the EVERYTHING! The Italians open their hearts and homes. They live in the moment, they are out in the piazzas, all generations, talking, laughing, sharing, whether it be coffee, a vino, pasta or gelato. I celebrated my 50th in Positano in 2009!!!! A dream come true! Holly and I returned to Italy in 2010 and travelled on the train again for 2 months, we experienced a 10 day Retreat in Tuscany, 15 mins from Siena, a place called “Ebbio” Yoga, Meditation, Life Art Drawing and Passionate Italian Organic Cooking” Purrrrfecto!!!

I met the man of my dreams in April this year, he walked into my shop! I had given your book away to a friend. My man Von, knew that I loved bella Italia of course so for my birthday he surprised me with your book, not knowing just how much it meant to me, he knew I loved Italy, that was it, soul mates, so connected for him to choose your book from all the books of Italy available! My daughter Holly also saved up her money and I received another copy of your book on my birthday as well, I couldn’t stop crying, your book came back to me twice this year on the 1st of May, from my beautiful man and my gorgeous daughter! So now I keep one in the shop for customers and friends to look at and be inspired, and one copy at home.

Always be true to yourself, follow your heart and everything else will follow. Believe! Trust! Let go! and hang on for the ride! Miracles happen!

Love to you and Francesco, and thank you for changing my life! Josephine x

10 years ago

Well edited list!! I am really suffering from #1. It wasn’t always this way, but the last few years have been dreadful. I notice I am most productive, and most creative, when I have the fewest things weighing me down….and that includes the extra pounds on my body, as well as the clutter in my space!!

This is my year for change and I am thrilled it is finally in the works. By this time next year, I am back in NY!

PS, I was just in your home city shooting on Tuesday. One more day free, sand I would have called you!

10 years ago

i needed to read this! thanks for your clarity xx

10 years ago

Awsum Carla!!! Keep it up..