- 13 Things You Need To Be Willing To Lose If You Really Want To Change Your Life For The Better
- 1. Your pride
- 2. Your emotional crutches
- 3. Your avoidance techniques
- 4. Your hedonism
- 5. Your comfort zone
- 6. Your 5 year plan
- 7. Your composure
- 8. Needing recognition
- 9. Needing revenge
- 10. Obeying your inner demons
- 11. Certainty
- 12. The old idea you had about what your life would be like
- 13. Your attachments to becoming who you thought you were supposed to be
- How I Changed My Life for the Better
- 9 Steps to Make Big Changes that Will Stick
- Want to change your behavior? Learn to build sticky habits.
- Step 1: Own Your Change
- Step 2: Upgrade Your Mindset, Upgrade Your Habits
- Step 3: Focus On Your Dream, Not Your Goals
- Step 4: Go Slow to Go Fast
- Step 5: Replace Existing Habits with New Ones
- Step 6: Get an Accountability Partner
- Step 7: Don’t Fool Yourself
- Step 8: Design the Right Environment
- Step 9: One Habit at a Time
- Putting It All Together
- Transition Plan: 10 Steps to Creating a Major Life Change
- Step 1: Be Clear About Your Intention
- Step 2: Go Inside and Let Your Desire Ripen and Mature
- Step 3: Feel Your Response to Your Intention
- Step 4: Let Go of Your Intention
- Step 5: Deal With Your Resistance
- Step 6: Make a Plan to Overcome Obstacles
- Step 7: Pursue Only What’s Feasible
- Step 8: Achieve Something Positive
- Step 9: See the Project as an Inner Path
- Step 10: Connect with Higher Guidance
- 10 Ways to Cope With Big Changes
- The 2 Steps You Need to Take If You Want to Make a Big Life Change
- Build up your support system
- That strange feeling will pass
- Accept the doubt
- Swerve nostalgia
- Focus on your future happiness
- How to Achieve Anything in Life
13 Things You Need To Be Willing To Lose If You Really Want To Change Your Life For The Better
It’s so easy to identify what you need to do to change your life. It’s so hard to accept what you need to let go of, what weeds you need to uproot so the soil of your life is free and fertile again.
People analogize time and energy and mental space to a lot of things, but you can think of them like a box. They are finite. As much as you want it to be different, there is only so much space. There is only so much you can do in a life. You cannot fit everything in.
It is our duty to carefully choose that which we want to give our energy to. Most people externalize their locus of control, fearing that circumstances or other people’s actions will define their lives when in reality, it that depends on the quality of their character. Not what happens, but how you respond. Not what is, but what you make of it.
If you want to change your life––to become the person you know you want and need to be––you don’t only need to master, cultivate and perfect. You have to choose. You have to let go. You have to be willing to lose…
1. Your pride
“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. ” ― C.G. Jung
To change your life, you have to admit what’s not working. You have to humble yourself. You have to ask for help. You have to learn, and you have to accept. Your ego will defend your current circumstances, but you cannot allow a fleeting feeling of shame to eclipse reason. You cannot live the rest of your life as you are just because you are too prideful to admit something isn’t right.
2. Your emotional crutches
“Courage is feeling fear, not getting rid of fear, and taking action in the face of fear.” — Roy T. Bennett
Do you know why you haven’t yet changed your life, why you’re stuck, stagnant, and still making excuses? Because you are leaning on emotional crutches. Staying small, being afraid, remaining controlled and refusing to take action are all symptomatic of not wanting to lose that which is familiar, known, and dependable.
3. Your avoidance techniques
“Me with nothing left to lose, plotting my big revenge in the spotlight. Give me violent revenge fantasies as a coping mechanism.” — Chuck Palahniuk
Whatever you are doing to numb the nagging feeling that something isn’t right––whether it’s eating, drinking, sexing, whatever––you cannot push that feeling away any longer. It is not here to torture you needlessly, it is here to inform you. It is here to instruct. The first step is to remove the coping mechanisms. The second is to listen.
4. Your hedonism
“Pleasures will never make us whole.” –– Eric Greitens
It’s counterintuitive, but living the life of your dreams very infrequently involves responding to your impulse desires. In fact, deeply fulfilled and wildly successful individuals understand that pursuing pleasure is a dead end, a road that leads to confusion, sickness and laziness.
5. Your comfort zone
“The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” — Roy T. Bennett
Leaving your comfort zone is not as simple as challenging yourself to feel a little uncomfortable now and again. In reality, it’s more like stepping into a new life wherein everything is unknown and anything is possible and all of it is terrifying. When you truly step out of your comfort zone, you step into a new life, and with repetition and time, that becomes your new sense of familiarity. Always be aware of what you are conditioning yourself to be comfortable with.
6. Your 5 year plan
“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” –– John Green
If you know where your path leads, it’s probably because you’re following somebody else’s. When you’re truly living on your own terms, you can project, but can’t assume to know, what the next few years will bring. You might not even know what the next 6 months will bring. But thinking you could possibly know exactly where life will lead you in a handful of years is an illusion anyway. Do yourself a favor and shatter it while you can.
7. Your composure
“Composure is the ruler of instability.” — Lao Tzu
If you want to change your life, you are going to need to cry. A lot. You are going to need to show your emotions. You are going to need to head out of the house at 7 AM in the same flannel you slept in because a lightning rod of creativity struck and there’s a message you need to get out. You’re going to need to be uncertain. You’re going to need to be authentic. You’re going to have to exchange the expectation that you should always be composed for the realization that you need to be honest.
8. Needing recognition
“Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
What you are willing to do even if nobody claps is what you need to be doing. It is the true litmus test: if you are willing to do it without an applause, you are doing it for the right reasons. One day, recognition may come. It won’t matter. It isn’t the end goal.
9. Needing revenge
“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” — Criss Jami
It’s time to set to rest the idea that your life could be a source of envy and pride, a way to stick it to the kids who bullied you and the peers who underestimated you. It is time to stop building your life around the hope that it would enact revenge on all who wronged you. When this is your mindset, you make choices based on what you imagine other people would perceive. It’s just illusion upon illusion. Plus, living happily and well is actually the best revenge, in no small part because you’re no longer trying to prove anything.
10. Obeying your inner demons
“Your demons are just parts of yourself you have not yet learned to love.”
The interesting thing about how our inner demons haunt us is that when we do what they ask, they shut up. When we do that which we feel an itch for, and yet know will ultimately ruin us, we are satisfied for a blink of time. And yet, we realize eventually, that if we continue to obey these impulses, our worst fears will come true because we will make them true. We will become shells of the people we intended to be. Overcoming our darkest impulses is not a matter of just resisting them, it’s a matter of being able to hear them loudly, and choose otherwise.
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” — Francis Bacon
There are no certain choices in life, there are only paths that have been walked down so many times those who have made it to the end can return and say: this is the way––the only way. What they don’t realize is that living someone else’s life in exchange for not ever feeling “afraid” is not living at all. Certainty is an illusion of the highest form: there is nothing guaranteed in a life, so it’s in our best interest to do that which is not least risky, but most worthwhile.
12. The old idea you had about what your life would be like
“Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.”
— Haruki Murakami
You thought you knew what your grown up life would be like. You fantasized about it, waited for it, depended on it being just as you had imagined. And then you got there, and you weren’t happy. That’s because the ideas you had about your future life were coming from a young, naive, underdeveloped person. Trying to make them come true now is backtracking. You have to let them go.
13. Your attachments to becoming who you thought you were supposed to be
“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” — Henry Ward Beecher
Just like the ideas you had about your future life, everyone has images of what they think their future selves will be like: how they will look, the age at which they will have accomplished such-and-such a thing. But you don’t owe anything to your past self. You only owe it to yourself now to become that who you most essentially are. That first requires letting go of constantly trying to be someone you aren’t, not because someone else wants it for you, but because you thought it was the only way to live.
How I Changed My Life for the Better
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu
A few years ago, I decided to change my life for the better. I thought I would write about the changes I decided to make in case others could benefit from it. There were numerous reasons why I wanted to make these life alterations, but the main ones were:
1. I knew I was capable of so much more. I wanted to make an effort to exploit my full potential and accomplish more and I was not doing that.
2. I was not in the best of health. I was too sedentary, out of shape, had visceral body fat around my waist, I kept late hours, and I drank too much alcohol.
3. My overall lifestyle habits were not conducive towards a healthy and productive life.
4. I wanted to be more mindful and happy and worry less.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. That was my motivation. I conducted a lot of research online and read many books on happiness, health, success, productivity and overall wellness. After devouring a wealth of information from famous self-help experts and some not so famous ones, I recognized a commonality between all of them as they pretty much were all advocating similar strategies.
I carefully and discriminately decided on the changes I would make in my life. I purposely chose changes that were practical, effective and achievable for me. I wanted lasting changes and not temporary ones that were based on euphoria. For certain aspects, I made complete 180 degree changes while for others I made small behavioral changes. I did this because certain changes were harder for me to make than others.
I came up with a list of 31 specific habits that I wanted to change. Here is what I did:
1. I decided to have a daily routine which I followed diligently. I did not have to wake up in the morning and figure out what I needed to do because I had a routine that I adhered to. It eradicated the guesswork.
2. I set clear goals that I wanted to achieve. I wrote these down so that there was no ambiguity. These goals were specific and clearly stated so that it was obvious when I achieved them (or didn’t). Because there was no vagueness, I knew when I fell short.
3. Based on the advice of others, I made sure the goals I set were quantifiable and measurable. For example, rather than saying I would exercise often (what does often mean?), I said that I would exercise 4 times per week for 1 hour each time. Because my goals were so specific, I was able to review my progress (or lack of) easily. And I did a review every week.
4. Not only did I develop a daily routine, I also decided to plan my days and week in advance. Rather than leave things to chance or to what I felt like doing at the moment, I planned each day and week by listing specific things that I wanted to accomplish. For example, I decided to do my grocery shopping on a Monday afternoon when the store was less crowded and numerous items went on sale.
5. I learned to meditate and incorporated that into my daily routine. This one change has made a huge impact on my life. I now meditate every morning after I wake up. It has taught me so much about myself, helped me concentrate more, and become more mindful. It also has made me realize that my thoughts can be extremely rambunctious and that I do not always have to attach myself to them.
6. I decided to join my local gym and exercise 5 days a week. I do this in the mornings before I start work. I lift weights and then do a 20-minute cardio workout. My gym also offers classes (free with the gym membership) such as yoga which I sometimes join.
7. Another change I decided to make was to get rid of or distance myself from friends whom I considered to be toxic or bad examples. I knew that I wanted friends who had a positive influence on me.
8. Related to number 7, I started making new friends with people I considered to be positive influences. I also spent more time with existing friends who shared my goals to be a better person.
9. I made a commitment to pay closer attention to my nutrition and eat healthier food. I cut out junk food, sodas, excessive fat, and processed foods. I actually started paying attention to nutritional labels.
10. I also decided to cook more food at home rather than eating out. I love to cook so this change was not as difficult for me as for some. I now control what I cook and how much fat is added to my food. And I have been saving a ton of money by eating out less. And when I do eat out, I try to order healthier items on the menu.
11. Another change I chose to make pertains to reading. I decided to read more books. I used to read a lot when I was younger but, somehow, fell out of the habit. I now download great books on my Kindle app and read them before bed at night on my iPad or phone.
12. I have curtailed my TV viewing and now watch much less television compared to before. I have used this time to read more.
13. When I do watch TV now, I refrain from watching negative and frivolous programming. I used to watch reality shows and loved watching crime shows like Unusual Suspects but found them to have no real merit or educational value. Some of the programs that I used to watch would actually have a negative impact on me and subliminally get me depressed. My remote control is now used a lot more discriminately to find shows that are uplifting and educational. I love channels like National Geographic, Discovery, and PBS.
14. I cannot believe how much time I wasted in the past surfing the internet and visiting web sites that posted junk. Today, I am more aware of the choices I make with my mouse and I avoid web sites that predominantly post violent, discriminatory, sexual and useless information.
15. After reading about the virtues of being grateful, I now list 5 things every night that I am grateful for before I fall asleep. It could be simple things like enjoying a nice meal or spending quality time with a loved one. This has made me appreciate my blessings so much more and made me more thankful.
16. A major change I have made in my life is to drastically cut back on the amount of alcohol I consume. I still drink wine in moderation but I do not indulge in vodka and binge drinking like I did before.
17. In the past, I managed to convince myself that I was a night owl and definitely not a morning person. During the week, I now climb into bed by 10PM and wake up much earlier than before. It took a while for me to adjust my sleep habits and I now realize that it is possible to follow the adage early to bed, early to rise. I feel so much more rested these days.
18. Another major change I have made in my life is being more careful with my money. I now am a lot more discriminate when it comes to buying stuff and I have learned to source out great bargains. I save a lot more than I did before.
19. In addition to saving more money, I also invest my money now. I have become a silent partner in a business and have also invested in my own business.
20. Rather than spend money buying frivolous stuff that I do not need, I now spend money on memorable experiences that I know I will cherish. Whether it is going to visit my mother who lives overseas or going kayaking, I now spend my money on great experiences that teach me a lot and afford me a lot of fun.
21. I have decided to stay in closer contact with family and friends whom I care about deeply. I used to be more self-centered and neglected staying in touch with my loved ones. I now take the time to call my Mom more often, write more personal e-mails and letters, and simply be a better friend and family member. This has brought me so much closer to those I cherish.
22. One thing that I have changed and do much better now is managing my time. I did not realize how much I was wasting in a typical day on frivolous things, be it daydreaming, spending time in a bar, watching boring TV commercials, trolling the internet for useless gossip, etc. I now am more aware of how I spend the most precious commodity all of us have been given, time.
23. Forgiveness is a big one for me. I can honestly say that I used be bad at forgiving others and myself. I was equally hard on others whom I perceived had wronged me, as well as on myself for all my past mistakes. I spent a lot of time learning to forgive myself and others and this has freed me from so much anger and resentment.
24. In addition to meditation, I have learned to incorporate visualization/guided imagery into my daily routine. Every morning before I meditate, I visualize and picture outcomes and goals that I desire. I do not just visualize it; I actually try to feel the feeling of actually accomplishing the outcome. I have found this to be extremely powerful.
25. I have to admit that I used to be a coward when it came to visiting the doctor or dentist. For years, I avoided them like the plague. However, I now have chosen to view going to the doctor and dentist frequently in a more positive light. I schedule visits regularly and my fear has been greatly reduced. I focus on the fact that prevention is better than cure.
26. In the past, I have been guilty of spending too much time at bars and clubs. I now have cut back on those activities significantly and substituted them with more wholesome activities. I am now more likely to go hiking, visiting a state park, taking up photography, bird watching, going to the beach, joining a yoga class, etc.
27. I learned to not to try and seek the approval of others as I often did before. This was a big change for me because I definitely tried too hard to please others, even if it meant sacrificing my authenticity. I would get upset if I incurred the disapproval of others. Instead, I now use my conscience as my guide and, while I try to be sensitive to how others feel, I do not allow it to run my life. I know that I cannot please everyone.
28. Another major change I have made in my life is making time to learn new skills and increasing my knowledge. I am more likely to enroll in a photography class now, or watch a TED talk, or choose a great documentary on Netflix to watch as compared to before. I read books on meditation, exercise, nutrition, etc.
29. If there was an award for procrastination, I think I would have been in the running in the past. I would procrastinate a lot, especially if the task at hand scared me or seemed daunting. I have greatly improved this tendency and now jump into things without letting fear get the better of me. I have learned that the small act of starting a task makes all the difference because it builds momentum and confidence and motivates me to continue.
30. One thing that I do much more now as compared to before is challenging myself to do things that I consider difficult. In the past, I would shy away from difficult endeavors because I was scared and did not believe in myself sufficiently. I realize now that many of these fears were unwarranted. I also know now that challenging yourself is the only way to grow and improve. I now view the discomfort in a different light. If I am uncomfortable doing something, there is a good chance it’s because I am taking myself out of my comfort zone and learning something new.
31. Last and not least, I do my best to love myself now. I do not take myself as seriously and try to practice unconditional self-love. I make a conscious effort to practice simple but positive affirmations throughout the day that emphasize self-love and worth.
I have incorporated these changes gradually over time and have found that each of them supports the other. I’d like to make it clear that in no way am I successful 100% of the time. I am far from perfect and still have many faults. In fact, I fail often. However, two things have happened: 1. I fail less often than I did before, probably because, like anything else, things get easier the more you practice. And 2. When I do fail, I do not let it discourage me like it would have before. I simply learn from my mistakes, make changes and move on.
I can sincerely say that these changes have made me a happier, more successful and more equanimous person. I could not have even imagined the life I have right now, and I am still learning every day. If I can do it, I know you can, too. I blog about these and other experiences regularly because I want to share my experiences and help others.
I believe in you. What changes are you going to make in your life?
9 Steps to Make Big Changes that Will Stick
Want to change your behavior? Learn to build sticky habits.
Making changes in your life can seem a daunting task.
Joining a gym is easy. It doesn’t take much effort to start reading a book or kick off a diet on Monday either.
But, as the week progresses, it becomes harder to find the motivation to cook a healthy meal. You can’t find the willpower to open a book instead of watching yet another episode of your favorite Netflix show.
Despite your commitment, you fail to stick to your new habits.
But willpower and commitment have nothing to do with achieving change. What you need is to build sticky habits.
It was Will Durant — not Aristotle — who said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
This article is going to give you 9 steps to build habits that stick. They have proven to work for me and hundreds of teams I’ve coached.
Habits are automated behaviors we do every day without noticing it. Building them requires time and purpose. But once they stick, you can achieve almost everything.
Step 1: Own Your Change
“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
― Judy Garland
Sticking to a habit seems pretty tough. Indeed. It’s not easy — but you can do it. It all starts by owning the change you want to create.
I can’t stress this enough. Most people fail to change because their goals are not theirs. They want to copy other someone else’s habits or to please other people.
Don’t let external pressure define how you live. The struggle to get social approval is creating unprecedented levels of anxiety and depression. Improving your habits should be a fun experience. It shouldn’t add more stress to your life.
External inspiration can be a good motivator. Seeing your neighbor running every morning can inspire you to train for a marathon too.
But, think twice before you embark in a new habit. Do you really want to do it? Or do you feel pressured because everyone else is doing it?
If you don’t own your goals, you will never succeed. To make them stick, new habits must be yours, not someone else’s wishes.
Step 2: Upgrade Your Mindset, Upgrade Your Habits
“If you are down, be good to yourself and listen. If you are up, be good to others and share.” ―Waylon Lewis
Change is not about willpower or personal strength. The struggle to achieve new behaviors happens in your mind. Overcoming procrastination is an emotional battle, not a productivity one.
Developing sticky habits requires upgrading our mindset.
The stories you tell yourself about yourself define what you are capable of (or not). We are victims of our own fantasies. As Carl Jung wrote, “The most important question anyone can ask is: What myth am I living?”
Your mindsets are the lenses through which you see the world. Your thoughts, beliefs, and expectations shape your life. They filter the choices you make every day — without you noticing it.
Face your resistance. Which beliefs are saying “no” to your desires? Your past influences you, but it shouldn’t define you. That you failed once or twice doesn’t mean you always will. We learn to walk by standing up every time we fall.
Perfectionism is the enemy of change. The only way to learn something new is to do it. You will always suck at the beginning. That’s okay. Let go of trying to be perfect. Let the path unfold.
Be kind to yourself. Building new habits is not a linear path. Self-compassion is the key to help you overcome failure or procrastination.
Change takes time. Be patient. But, most importantly, enjoy your journey. Aim for consistency and improvement, not perfection.
Step 3: Focus On Your Dream, Not Your Goals
“I kept believing and dreaming. “If you keep believing you can go really far in life.”―Roger Federer
Most people fail to achieve their goals. They focus on the target instead of activating the law of attraction. Goals help us track progress, but they don’t spark desire.
What is the best exercise for you? The one that you actually do. As Nir Eyal explains on his blog, attempting to incorporate habits that we have to instead of want to, doesn’t work.
Reactance is a psychological phenomenon that describes our tendency to resist doing things we feel coerced to. When we focus on habits we hate, we create negative self-feedback.
For habits to stick, you must enjoy doing them. That’s the problem with goals — we focus on the end destination, not the journey. Do things you love. And learn to love what you do.
Discover how to make new habits more enjoyable.
Good habits liberate the best version of ourselves. Focus on becoming a better you, not the goal. Instead of “I’m going to lose 10 pounds in a month,” think of, “I will feel energized by exercising three times a week.”
See it until you make it. Visualize what you want to achieve. See the change you want to become. Visualizations propel your mind into action. See the new you unfold.
Roger Federer won Wimbledon after a 5-year drought on majors. Many non-believers have written him off and expected Federer to retire. But Roger kept believing and dreaming. Until he made history once again.
Having a strong purpose and passion drives action, not a target.
Step 4: Go Slow to Go Fast
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” ―Warren Buffet
To achieve significant, sticky habits, you must build your way up through more manageable behaviors. Building momentum is more important than the initial achievement. Go slow so you can then go fast.
Changing your life means changing small day-to-day habits. ‘Minimum Viable Changes are small doses of tiny changes that can create a big impact. MVCs are easy to put in place, generate less resistance, and build momentum faster.
An MVC is small but also enjoyable. It doesn’t require a significant effort on your end. Cutting a new habit into smaller chunks makes it easier to achieve it.
Let’s say you want to meditate every day. Carve 5 minutes each morning to start building the routine. Or, if you want to read one book a month, start by reading four pages every day.
Don’t get obsessed with the outcome. When you build the right cadence, results will start to pile up unnoticed.
Success breeds success. Start addressing the small things that you feel more confident about. Focus on building chains of habits until they become too strong to be broken.
Go slow to go fast — pic by Cécile Brasseur
Step 5: Replace Existing Habits with New Ones
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” ― Bruce Lee
Time is limited. And so is our willingness to do more things. Many people fail to achieve new habits because they keep adding more and more tasks. Until they burn out.
Self-control is the mental power we all need to drive change. It’s critical to resist distractions or to keep going in spite of failure or frustration. But it is not limitless.
Research shows that self-control is an exhaustible resource. As the Heath brothers explain on Switch, what looks like laziness is always exhaustion. Too much self-improvement can wear you out.
Rather than adding new practices, replace old habits. One of the best ways to replace bad habits with good ones is to treat them like old clothes, as Keshav Bhatt wrote here. When a t-shirt is no longer useful, you replace it with a better one.
Also, it’s more motivating to start a new behavior than to stop doing something else. Instead of “I’m going to stop eating sugar,” think, “I want to start eating more mindfully and take care of my body.”
Replacing behaviors is about simplifying. You focus on what you want to start doing, rather than on the loss — your old habit.
Step 6: Get an Accountability Partner
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” — Winston Churchill
No one changes the world alone.
Most people fail to change when they try to do it on their own. Peer to peer support is an effective way to improve our habits. It means getting help and advice from someone like you.
Get help from someone who “has been there, done that.”
Peer to peer support increases your chances of success. Having a goal with a clear ‘when’ and ‘how’ augment your chances of succeeding are 50%. Having an accountability partner increases your odds to 95%.
An accountability partner is your duo. This reciprocal relationship complements your skills. It’s about two people who meet as equal to provide each other with feedback and support.
Find your partner in crime. It could be a friend, colleague, spouse, or family member.
Your accountability partner sees what you are missing and keeps you on track. Most importantly, it’s your go-to person — s/he has your back.
Use this tool to design an effective accountability partnership.
Peer to peer support not only increases your chances of success. It will help you fortify new habits, so they stick longer.
Step 7: Don’t Fool Yourself
“Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky
Self-improvement can be deceiving. Our perception of progress can blind our self-awareness.
For example, people who start exercising more often tend to overeat. They unconsciously believe that the effort they put gives them permission to indulge.
Many of us fall prey of moral licensing. We have a psychological tendency to splurge in one area of our life when we’re being good in another.
Research shows that people that buy green, environmental-friendly products are more prone to cheat. And those who believe multivitamins provide significant health benefits usually exercise less than the rest. And are also less likely to choose healthy food.
Keep your bias in check. Working with an accountability partner can help you uncover your blind spots. Don’t turn progress into overconfidence.
Don’t fool yourself — pic by Valeria Farina
Step 8: Design the Right Environment
“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”― Moliere
Set yourself for success. Remove distractions and create the right influence.
Don’t underestimate the power of your environment. External stimuli easily influence our minds. Research shows that shifting from 12-inch plates to 10-inch ones decreases calory consumption by 22%.
Design the right environment for the area of your life you want to change. If you want to get fit, show up at the gym or join a group, and exercise together. If you want to stop snacking, remove all temptations from your pantry.
Don’t get too comfortable either. Turn a familiar place into an unfamiliar one. Make some tweaks to create positive stimulation. Change your workplace from time to time.
Residents of Okinawa, Japan live seven years more than the average American. They also have one fifth the rate of cardiovascular disease. One reason is that Okinawans don’t have easy access to chairs. The natural discomfort of sitting on the floor makes them get up and go for a walk — up to 30 times each day.
To be more productive, cut distractions that take away your focus. If your phone is an issue, silence all alerts, remove frivolous apps, or keep the device in a different room.
Step 9: One Habit at a Time
“Focusing is about saying No.” ― Steve Jobs
Never underestimate your inner strength. But don’t become overconfident either. Avoid the temptation of trying to incorporate too many habits at once.
Imagine that you want to learn a new language. Learning several at the same time can be confusing. You would probably end mixing words or confusing the different grammar and sentence structures.
The same applies to build new habits. Repetition, consistency, and focus are vital to building familiarity. Master one before you add a new one to your repertoire.
This rule applies to all aspects of your life — fitness, professional, family, health, hobbies, etc.
Never break the one habit at a time rule. Avoid adding a new behavior before one has stuck.
Putting It All Together
Building sticky habits requires a method and time. Be patient.
Become your own measure of success. Don’t compare your initial progress to what someone accomplished after years of practice.
An accountability partner will increase your chances of success. It will not only keep you focused but also remind you to treat yourself kindly.
Unexpected events will always get in your way. That’s life. If you feel you are falling behind, remember the “Go slow to go fast” rule. Go back and rebuild momentum. Turn small little changes into big sticky habits.
Become the best version of yourself — one habit at a time.
Transition Plan: 10 Steps to Creating a Major Life Change
Many people yearn for personal transformation without knowing how to jump-start such a major change in their lives. They generally waste energy on false starts or take a few steps in the right direction, only to find that old habits and conditioning pull them back to where they began, or very close to that.
What is takes to create a major shift is planning and consciousness. You must be aware of what your goal is and then set down on paper how you intend to get there. The method is the same whether you are aiming for a change in your relationship, career, or inner growth. Consciousness is the moving force behind all life changes, but it can’t help you until you offer a direction.
Here, then, are 10 steps that should be part of your action plan.
Step 1: Be Clear About Your Intention
Everyone’s mind is filled with desires, wishes, dreams, and memories, creating crosscurrents of intention. To be supported in what you want, your intention has to be clear and focused. Don’t think, “I want my life to change.” Be specific and precise: “I want my job situation to improve,” for example, is a little more precise. But focus needs to be even sharper, such as “I want to be appreciated at work by my supervisor.” Or “I want more responsibility and challenge.”
Step 2: Go Inside and Let Your Desire Ripen and Mature
In other words, meditate on your intention. With eyes closed, sitting quietly, get yourself centered. It may help to gently follow your breath for a minute or two. Visualize what you want to achieve. Don’t force the images and don’t fantasize. See the change you desire as clearly as you might see what your house looks like. Be realistic and calm as you see the new situation that you want to unfold.
Step 3: Feel Your Response to Your Intention
As you sit and mediate on your desired change, various feelings and sensations will come to the surface. Not all will be positive. You might feel resistance or discouragement or anxiety. This is good, because only in daydreams does everything look easy and perfect, because you’re in a state of fantasy. By feeling the resistance inside yourself, you are getting closer to a realistic outcome that’s successful.
Step 4: Let Go of Your Intention
To achieve your life change, you will be making many small decisions in the coming days. You can’t predict what these will be. In fact, for most people, looking ahead leads to discouragement. They don’t see a clear path, and unknown obstacles are certain to crop up. To avoid this kind of self-defeatism, don’t try to predict the future or conquer the unknown. Let the path unfold, which means letting go.
Step 5: Deal With Your Resistance
This, too, is a place where many people falter. After seeing how much benefit they’d get from a life change, they find it too difficult to face their inner resistance. By resistance I mean the feelings that say “No” to your intention. These can be rooted in insecurity, past failure, inertia, doubt, anxiety—the list goes on and on. But realistically, everyone has these resistances, including the people who successfully overcame them.
Step 6: Make a Plan to Overcome Obstacles
As daunting as it looks when you consider how much inner resistance you might have, paring it down into workable pieces is the key. Sit down and rationally plan what you need to do and what is actually feasible. I am a strong believer in gathering allies to help with any major life change. Going it alone sounds brave, but it actually isolates you and makes you vulnerable. Find someone you can trust, whether it’s a confidant, spouse, mentor, or therapist. Pick someone who takes your life change as seriously as you do. Meet frequently, and share what’s happening emotionally, because your emotional landscape is bound to change as you undergo any major shift.
Step 7: Pursue Only What’s Feasible
With your ally or allies, make a list in three columns. In these columns you are going to assess what needs to change. Column 1 is about things you can start to fix. Column 2 contains the things you have to put up with—for now. Column 3 contains the things you have to walk away from. Take your time. Go back to your lists repeatedly, until you get a clear view of your situation. Only then should you act.
Step 8: Achieve Something Positive
Success breeds success. Start fixing the small things that you feel more confident about. Don’t tackle huge personal issues in your life. Chop away at them through action you can control. It really helps to find someone who has gotten to the goal you have set for yourself. Asking someone who’s been there is invaluable.
Step 9: See the Project as an Inner Path
Even though you’re taking action, the real change will happen in your own awareness. Walk the path as an inner path; monitor what’s happening inside—a journal is a good idea here. By being self-aware, you give old habits and conditioning less of a chance to pull you backward. And if you do take a step back, note it, forgive yourself, and regroup. No matter what happens in the outside world, no one can take your inner path away from you.
Step 10: Connect with Higher Guidance
Depending on your personal beliefs, you can look to God, your soul, your higher self, your inner source—the terminology doesn’t matter. What you need is a connection with whatever makes you feel trusting and safe. Only with such a connection are major life changes achieved. For me, the path to the core of my being is through meditation, so I recommend it strongly. But it’s up to you to connect with your own core, the place where desires meet fulfillment.
I hope these 10 steps make your life change seem realistic and reachable. You mind, body, and spirit are designed for change. All you need is the self-confidence to know that you can set any goal that matches your highest vision. After that, the unfolding of success is a joint venture between you and yourself.
10 Ways to Cope With Big Changes
Source: 123rf.com/Standard photo license
The one constant in life is change. That doesn’t mean we ever get used to it or fully embrace it, though.
Here are 10 tips for coping with big changes in your life and coming out a better person for it.
1. Acknowledge that things are changing.
Sometimes we get so caught up in fighting change that we put off actually dealing with it. Denial is a powerful force, and it protects us in many ways. However, stepping outside of it and saying to yourself, “Things are changing, and it is okay” can be less stressful than putting it off.
2. Realize that even good change can cause stress.
Sometimes when people go through a positive life change, such as graduating or having a baby, they still feel a great deal of stress—or even dread. Keep in mind that positive change can create stress just like not-so-positive change. Stress is just your body’s way of reacting to change. It’s okay to feel stressed even when something good has happened—in fact, it’s normal. (If you’ve just had a baby, talk to your doctor about whether you may be experiencing postpartum depression.)
3. Keep up your regular schedule as much as possible.
The more change that is happening, the more important it is to stick to your regular schedule—as much as possible. Having some things that stay the same, like walking the dog every morning at 8 am, gives us an anchor. An anchor is a reminder that some things are still the same, and it gives your brain a little bit of a rest. Sometimes when you are going through a lot of change it helps to write down your routine and check it off as you go. It’s one less thing for your brain to have to hold inside.
4. Try to eat as healthily as possible.
When change happens, a lot of us tend to reach for carbs—bread, muffins, cake, etc. This may be because eating carbs boosts serotonin—a brain chemical that may be somewhat depleted when you undergo change (stress). It’s okay to soothe yourself with comfort foods—in moderation. One way to track what you are eating is to write it down. You can either do this in a notebook or use an app. When you see what you are eating, it makes you take a step back and think about whether you want to eat that second muffin or not. (If you have a history of eating disorders, it is not recommended that you write down what you are eating.) Also notice if you are exepriencing an increased use of alcohol or other substances; your use can sneak up on you when you are under stress.
Keeping up regular exercise could be a part of the “keep up your regular schedule” tip. If exercise is not currently part of your routine, try adding it. Exercising two to three times a week has been found to significantly decrease symptoms of depression (Barclay, et al. 2014.) Even just walking around the block can help you feel better. (Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.) Remember, you don’t have to feel like getting some exercise; just get out there and move. You’ll find that many times your motivation will kick in while you are active.
6. Seek support.
No one gets through life alone. It is okay to ask for help; that’s a sign that you know yourself well enough to realize you need some assistance. Think of your trusted friends or family members. Chances are that they are happy to help if you need them to watch your kids while you run some errands, or if you just need some alone time. There may a neighbor who has asked you for help in the past—now maybe you can ask them for help. Apps like NextDoor have been helpful for connecting neighbors. If you are thinking about hurting yourself or killing yourself, please contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or at 1-800-273-8255.
7. Write down the positives that have come from this change.
Maybe due to this change in your life you have met new people. Maybe you started practicing healthier habits. Maybe you became more politically active. Maybe you became more assertive. Maybe the change helped you prioritize what is most important in your life. Change presents us with the opportunity to grow, and it’s important to acknowledge how things have become better as a result.
8. Get proactive.
Being proactive means taking charge and working preventatively. This means you figure out what steps you need to take before something happens. Being reactive means you wait until something has happened and then you take action. Being proactive means you make an appointment with your doctor for a physical because you know something stressful is coming up and you want to make sure you are in good health. It means becoming active with groups that help you realize that you can make a positive impact on the world.
9. Vent, but to a point.
Having a support group to whom you can vent can be helpful—to a point. If you and your support group are solely venting, that feeling of frustration can be contagious. Try gearing the conversation toward action: What can you do to make things better? When people brainstorm together, their creativity and hopefulness can be contagious as well.
10. Back away from social media.
When you go through change, you may gravitate toward social media—maybe posting to your friends on Facebook what is going on in your life. First, make sure you are in a calm state when you post—and keep in mind that whatever you post never really disappears. Also, if you are comparing your life to your friends’ lives on social media, remember that most people post only the “highlight reel” of their lives, not the stressful moments. This can give you a skewed view that everyone else’s lives are going just fine. Everyone has battles they are fighting; it’s just different battles with different people. Step away from social media if you are starting to compare your life to others.
And finally, give yourself a break. In a time of change, you may feel a little out of control. You may feel like you are not living up to your expectations for yourself. Remember that you are allowed to do less than what is humanly possible. Nothing says you have to function at 100 percent all the time. People make mistakes—it’s one of the great things about being human. It’s learning from the mistakes that really counts. Think about it like this: There are no mistakes, only good stories for later. Make a point to incorporate more laughter and fun into your life. Laughing increases dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins—and that makes you feel good (Yim, 2016). Laughing also decreases cortisol—a stress-producing hormone (Yim, 2016.)
Copyright 2017 Sarkis Media. stephaniesarkis.com
The 2 Steps You Need to Take If You Want to Make a Big Life Change
Photo: SolStock/Getty Images
Disrupting your familiar existence by, say, taking a sabbatical from work to travel, starting your own business, or moving cross-country is one of the most exhilarating and rewarding things you’ll do. Ever. “Making a big change can increase your sense of life’s possibilities, and as you rise to new challenges, this can also increase your resilience,” says Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness. “Bold moves can also lead to rapid personal growth, can build your personal independence and confidence, and can add more excitement to your life.” (Let these books, blogs, and podcasts inspire you to change your life.)
The leap of faith necessary to do something totally different has other powerful effects on the brain, Hanson adds. “Big changes call for a creative, even playful attitude, and studies have shown that playfulness boosts the activity of neurotrophic chemicals in the brain that help you learn and grow from your experiences,” he says. “This lets the life lessons from big changes really sink in, which in turn helps you stay motivated.” Change also gives you a huge emotional lift. People who made big transformations, such as leaving their jobs or going back to school, were happier six months later than those who stuck to the status quo, according to a survey by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Best of all, the spark you feel from shaking up your life continues to burn brightly. “Change leads to more change,” says B.J. Fogg, Ph.D., a behavior scientist and the founder of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. “When you make a big adjustment, you also tend to switch up your environment, your schedule, and your social circle. That then ensures that you keep evolving and advancing.” (Related: I Started Doing Yoga Every Day and It Completely Changed My Life)
The hardest part about making a change is getting started. We asked experts for their best strategies to kick things off, and they gave us two surprising suggestions that run contrary to the standard advice-and have been proved much more effective.
#1 Start with a bang.
Once you’ve decided to move forward with a big change, go full force. If you want to move to a different region, for example, rather than doing research and getting bogged down in data like housing prices-which sucks the joy out of your decision-take a trip to your dream destination and just experience for yourself what it’s like to live there. “Taking action first without overthinking it triggers motivation, especially if there’s a fun or celebratory element to what you’re doing,” says Stephen Guise, the author of How to Be an Imperfectionist. Beginning your journey with something mundane like research, on the other hand, slows your progress and is likely to make you stall out altogether.
#2 Play the long game.
Giving yourself a specific deadline for success sounds like a reasonable idea for someone looking to make a life switch. But that can actually work against you by creating too much pressure, Guise says. If you truly want to transform your experience, he suggests not giving yourself a finish line. “When you start heading in a new direction, you should be thinking, I’m going to be doing this and enjoying it for the long term, not I need to accomplish this in 60 days,” he says. This mental shift makes you more resilient to obstacles you might run into along the way, Guise says. If you’re not chasing a particular end date, problems and setbacks are less discouraging, and it’s easier to put a bad day in perspective and move forward again tomorrow. (More tips: How to Change Your Life for the Better (Without Freaking Out About It))
- By Mirel Ketchiff @mirelbee
Build up your support system
After Claudia broke off her engagement, many of the friends she had shared with her fiance turned frosty. “Find the people who will stick by you,” she says. “My mum said: ‘I don’t agree with what you’re doing, but I respect you and will support you through it.’”
“You need to have supporters,” says Pemberton. “People who will give you emotional support, but can also give you a shake and a loving boost if you’re having wobbles.”
You may lose friends in the process of your change, particularly if it involves a relationship that is coming to an end, but that is par for the course. Try not to let it bother you too much. “If there’s someone who’s completely unsupportive of your decision, you have to question whether that person has your best interests at heart,” Claudia says.
That strange feeling will pass
When Colin moved out of the family home he had shared with his wife, the sensation of living on his own again after a decade of married life felt deeply odd. “The moment I opened the front door and found myself in a new house was a shock,” he remembers. The strangeness is still there now, but he is used to it.
Aiming high … Victoria Bryan in the air over New Zealand. Photograph: Provided by Victoria Bryan
One way to get over the weirdness is to focus on your new life. “Throw yourself into whatever you’re doing that’s new,” says Bryan. If you have moved somewhere completely new, try to befriend as many people as possible. “You have to give your new life your all. You can’t just be longing for your old life and not committed to your new environment.”
Accept the doubt
“Self-doubt is a necessary component of any major life change,” says Gurpreet Singh, a therapist at the counselling charity Relate. “Use your strength to overcome those feelings.” Some life changes may well feel like failures: divorce, having to downsize, or retraining after a business folded, for example. Try to keep things in perspective. “A lot of good can come out of making mistakes,” says Singh. “We fall 100 times before we learn to walk.”
A good way to conquer doubt is to work on your emotional resilience. “A big thing that undermines emotional resilience is overthinking,” says Pemberton. “If something goes wrong, or you have a vision of how you want your life to be and it hasn’t worked out, try not to go over the things that have unsettled you. Catch your inner voice when it is saying: this is a disaster, I’ve ruined my life and I’ll never have another relationship. A more useful thought to have is: this feeling will pass.”
It is easy to be nostalgic for your old life. When Colin visits his daughter at his ex-wife’s house, he sometimes misses the easy intimacy of family life: “Just sitting on the sofa, the three of you, watching TV.” In those moments, he reminds himself that he misses the feeling of being in a family, not his marriage. “Sometimes, I think: I could just stay here. But then I remember that I don’t miss my ex-wife.”
Pemberton says that, after change, we often hark back to a faulty narrative about how things were better before. “Remind yourself of all the reasons it wasn’t a better life,” she says. “And remember that you can only lead the life you want if you are willing to take a risk.”
Focus on your future happiness
Big changes are not without pain. When the going gets tough, focus on your long-term happiness. Claudia knew that calling off her wedding was the right thing to do, because she didn’t want to find herself a decade down the line in an unhappy marriage. “I didn’t want to wake up one day and look at someone I care about and realise that we spent years making each other miserable,” she explains. “Life is too short, and it’s important to be happy.”
“It’s been really good for me,” says Bryan of her life change. “It’s done me the power of good to do something totally different with my life.” Mostly, she has learned that, if you are unhappy with your life, you have to take a leap of faith. “You can’t just sit there and think things will improve. You’re the only one who can make positive changes in your life. You have to go out and do it.”
Above all, be optimistic. You are much stronger than you think. “As humans, we are innately resilient,” says Pemberton. “A big change is bound to stretch our resilience at times. But, most of the time, we can cope with the demands upon us and recover quickly.” Embrace change. You’ve got this.
Some names have been changed
A lot of us wait for significant life events to kick start life-changing decisions. Whether it’s New Year’s Day, a reunion, or a big trip that prompts us, we seem to think we need these occasions to create a “game changer.”
I recently went to India which was an amazing experience but many people told me it would change my life. Although, it was eye-opening, I didn’t feel like a different person when I arrived home. I appreciated my country more than ever, as well as the beauty and culture of India, but I still felt like the regular old me. I even found myself stuck in the same loops that had previously held me down. None of my problems had changed and none of my tendencies dissipated.
Everyone has a different response to traveling – maybe for some people it truly altered their life and changed their perception of the world. Rather than looking for a transformation I felt it solidified my confidence in the path I’ve chosen. So how is it that we create big life changes? There are three simple rules to live by that can trigger huge shifts in your life.
1. Small life changes produce big results
It doesn’t have to take a big trip or an occasion to fire up personal innovation. Committing to small changes can create momentum to affect your lifestyle and overall well-being. My first year of college I had a part-time job at a restaurant that treated their employees terribly. I felt devalued, overworked and under-payed. Over time this was wearing on me physically, mentally and emotionally. I was getting to my breaking-point – I knew this situation was not fulfilling in nearly every way. I chose to leave the restaurant to pursue a position at a local ski-hill. Not only was I able to satisfy my passion for snowboarding but I also met one of my best friends which later introduced me to the love of my life.
2. Two words: Self-actualization
Self-actualization is the key to finding meaning and purpose in your life. Self-actualizing is the act of finding your full potential by living a life that is meaningful – intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Research states that when someone’s life differs from their true nature and capabilities, they tend to be less happy than people who have lives and goals that harmonize (1). For instance, if you’re passionate about helping children and teaching in schools you won’t be matching your full potential as a banker. Creating significant changes will happen over time if you strive for the best while being your most authentic self.
3. Letting go of old habits
After returning from India I realized I was still making some of the same mistakes so I became determined to make changes. Once I set that intention I could see myself making better decisions and taking the steps to be the best “me” possible. Sometimes we make choices due to convenience – maintaining relationships that are toxic, careers we aren’t appreciated in and behaviors that don’t serve us. Whatever may be holding you back, begin to let go of that habit. It may not be all at once, but taking small strides that are in alignment with your path.
You never need an excuse to create life changes since you have the potential to start today. Don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be big life decisions or events that create an impact – what we do day-by-day can make a big difference. It’s crazy to think that seemingly small matters would create such traction but in life it really is about the little things.
Emily Kane is the owner of Yogacara Studios in Whistler, BC. She is a 500hr Registered Yoga Teacher with a Bachelor of Kinesiology from the University of British Columbia. Check out her studio in the heart of Whistler, or on Facebook and Twitter. Emily also assists in Yoga Teacher Training. Learn more about upcoming schedules or read more of Emily’s articles.
To create an ever-lasting and significant change in your world, besides thinking and talking about it you need to do a lot. Whatever your goals are, there are few things you need to do in to turn your dreams to a reality.
Are you craving for a big change in your life? Maybe you desire for a better career or you want to start up your own business, and you’re not quite sure how to.
Don’t panic, you’re not new to this feeling. All those who have achieved something “˜big’ in their life, have gone through the same feeling one time or the other. Your aim may be different, but the way to achieve it is surely similar. There are some “˜secrets’ which you need to know while you plan to move ahead in your life. Find out the 7 powerful success secrets, which not only make the way to your dreams easier, but also guarantee your victory.
1 Know Your Success:
Firstly, it is important for you to know what exactly success is for you. People have different definitions of success. If you are still not sure about, then be very clear about what you want and what you don’t want for your life. One thing you need to remember is that clarity produces excitement and excitement produces momentum. The momentum caused generates a behavioral change which further leads you to different results. This is a chain cycle which eventually causes the internal vision to become an external reality.
2 Get Ready for the Complications:
Say a strict “˜no’ to the life of compromises and of under-achievement. Some people are controlled by their fears and they always look for the magic pills or some shortcut ways. Also, they are not prepared to put the whole of themselves. So, they fail in achieving big things in life. For success, there is no easy option or the keys to shortcut. Thus, don’t avoid the discomfort means as they make you learn the lessons of life and help in your personal growth. It is rightly said, pain is a great teacher!
3 Be a Trendsetter, not an Imitator:
It is always good to have an inspiration but that never means you need to follow it. It is always a good idea to build a team of your own rather than joining someone else’s. Shed away your fear, make yourself stand with your creations, innovate and try to lead, not pursue. For example, Mary Peters, a lady who won a gold medal in Olympic 1972, sets an example for all the youngsters – nothing is impossible if you are determined towards it.
4 Dream Big, Start Small and Act Now:
This would be the smallest and most powerful idea for all those people yearning for success. Generally, people get it wrong by merely setting goals which are hard to achieve and then they feel paralyzed instead of being motivated. Undoubtedly, you need to dream big in order to be inspired, but it is more important to initiate with small steps and start at the present moment. To act small in the beginning and focus on small action each day, takes you closer to success.
5 Plan Something Different:
You want what most people don’t have i.e. happiness, wealth, optimal health, balance, fame, etc, altogether, then you should do what they generally don’t. The fact is simple, if you don’t want to be like others then come out with something unique. For example, Alain Robert, the world’s leading and most recognized free climber opted for something which no one has ever dreamed of.
6 Be Like Water:
Water is known for its power, gentleness and adaptability. So, you need to be like water, i.e. ever-changing. In this dynamic world, being static is of no use. Remember, if you can’t adapt, you can’t succeed.
So today we’re going to make sure that you’re one of those successful few who not only go for their dreams, but who actually achieve them too!
Some Amazing Comments
I believe that we’re here to do something big with our lives and every single one of us has the potential to achieve anything.
I’m one of those people who can stay up in bed for hours. Who can’t get to sleep because there are many ideas to be written down and analyzed.
Because there are so many things I want to do, big things. Things, just the thought of which excites me a lot.
To others in my life, I seem foolish when I mention that. That’s why I stopped doing it and feel much better.
This way I can be working on my stuff, and do it my way. And still have a normal social life, everyday problems and tasks to do.
To everyone, I’m just ordinary and this is normal, which equals good. So everything’s just fine.
We all are. But at the same time, we are much more than that. We are full of remarkable thoughts and things we want to do and accomplish.
We all have big ideas and can do something about them. In fact, we can learn how to achieve anything we want in life.
And this little thing – the fact that we’ve started my journey, have a direction, know what we want and are finding ways to get it – is actually the big thing.
I wasn’t confident in my goals and visions some time ago, but then realized that other people – well, most people around me – didn’t even have a vision.
They just wanted things to be the way they are now and are okay if they never change. They don’t think about the future because somewhere deep inside they fear it.
This might end up in having regrets for never doing the things they wanted, and worse, never becoming the person they could have been. And that’s a sad end for everyone.
I can see the big picture and my horizons expand every day. Achieving anything is possible with the right mindset and by taking action every single day.
Things first take place on the inside when something big happens. So if you’re seeing similar signs, you’re on the right path – the path to success and wealth.
Here are the steps most people take when they are chasing what they truly want in life.
How to Achieve Anything in Life
1. The Idea
Everything remarkable starts with a simple idea. We all have tons of them every day, we just don’t pay enough attention to them.
I can even say that everyone has a few million dollar ideas right now. But they never take the time to notice them, focus on them and turn them into reality.
The process is long but once started, turns your life into a meaningful journey, full of joy and purpose.
To learn how to achieve anything, value your ideas.
Whenever they pop up in your head, stop and ask yourself if there’s something bigger behind it.
It’s there for a reason and your job is to make something out of it. It’s your way of doing something big and leaving a legacy.
2. The Belief
Nothing will ever change in your life if you don’t believe it’s possible.
Success, happiness, change and greatness are all things you can have at any moment. You just need to actually believe in yourself, your abilities and potential and then take the necessary actions.
Most people these days lack this belief. Their confidence in what they can achieve is to such a low level that they never try to change anything, that’s why they don’t even take the first step.
And without it, they can never take the journey and reach the life they’re destined to have.
We miss out on so much only because we don’t believe it’s possible, we don’t believe we deserve it, we don’t believe we can have it.
But you can change that. Realize that you can have it all and do great things once you reach your goals. To know how to achieve anything, is to believe you have the potential to do it.
3. The Decision
Then comes the decision-taking.
Here’s what Chris Guillebeau – an extraordinary and passionate individual, who’s visited every country in the world and whose blog you should check out – says in The Decision to Be Remarkable:
“If you want to break out of the mold of average, the first thing you need to do is to make a decision to be radically different.
Most remarkable people are people of action, and for a good reason: if you don’t take decisive action, nothing will ever change.
It calls for a clear decision to rise above the culture of mediocrity.
Of all the steps required to change the world in the way you see fit, the decision to be remarkable is the most important. With this decision in place, other variables can be changed.
Don’t rush this—it’s a big commitment.
Once you make the commitment, you need a vision to change the world. What will it be? Whatever you choose, make sure it’s remarkable enough to suit every gift you have ever been given. Once you decide to defy the expectations of being average, there will be a lot riding on your ultimate success.”
So after you have your idea you need to take the decision to make something big and get it out there. Otherwise, the idea will just stay in your head and will soon go away, thus never showing you how to achieve anything.
Don’t let that happen! It’s not fair to you, and to the world that needs what you have to offer. Take a definite decision and stick to it.
4. The Vision
Then your vision of the thing you want will get bigger and bigger, it will become clearer and the next steps you need to take will be shown to you.
That’s how the universe and your mind react when you follow your path and do what you’re supposed to.
This could be related to any aspect of life and it’s how to achieve anything you want . The point is to make it all the way from an idea – a dream – to reality.
Another thing Chris says is:
“Instead of shrinking over time, your vision will actually get bigger. The funny thing about big goals is that they often take less time to achieve than you expect, and once you achieve them, you’ve already mentally moved on to bigger and better goals.
As you proceed with questioning authority, building your army, achieving your goals, and helping others, the vision keeps expanding.”
That is the initial process, the first few steps of the biggest adventure in your life. But it’s a path worth following as there lies your destiny, the legacy that will exist long after you’re gone, and the way to become a remarkable person.
We’re talking about big things here. That’s why this should be done by going beyond yourself.
At first, you do it for yourself only. But the bigger it gets, the more you realize it’s for others as well. And you’re helping them while achieving you goals and reaching your potential.
I didn’t give any examples in this post simply because each one of us has a different kind of dreams and they own unique way to make them real.
It could be anything. Just give it a try.
Are you ready to get out there and do something big?
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I’m a full-time blogger, lifestyle designer and the founder of Let’s Reach Success. Join me to learn how to start a blog on the side and earn passive income online so you can become your own boss and live your best life.
I’ve written for TIME magazine and have been quoted on publications like Entrepreneur, Fit Small Business, Fundera and more. I’ve been blogging since 2013 and have turned my blog from a side project to a full-time online business. I now teach people how to do the same.
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For many years I wanted to make a lot of big changes in my life, but unsurprisingly felt stuck and unsure of how to actually go about making change. I admired and envied certain other individuals for their strengths. It seemed like everyone around me knew their goals, how to balance their commitments and were constantly evolving.
And yet I also felt plagued by the cliché saying, “People don’t change.” It sang in my head like a catchy pop tune, but certainly didn’t sit well with me in my own process of trying to grow and change. I knew that in order for me to find my inner happiness I would need to get unstuck, which would include getting over my biggest failing: not believing in myself and my capacity to change.
So I asked myself the only question any of us can ask when we are trying to shift gears in our lives: Where should I begin?
Well, I began by reading books, speaking to experts and questioning my motivations. But it seemed as if I was moving backward instead of forward. I knew where I was and where I came from but I was unclear where it was that I wanted to be in the future. I was complicating my situation by trying to answer big questions instead of answering the small questions first. Furthermore, I eventually realized that I didn’t need the advice I was seeking because all the answers to the questions I was asking were truly already within me as they are in each of us.
So, through my own (many) trials and tribulations, I have come up with a few simple tips in order to help you figure out how to begin the process of change, and how to find more your direction in life.
1. Acknowledge yourself.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to compliment yourself constantly if that feels like too much. I know, putting yourself down feels like the path of least resistance. So choose the middle path, and simply acknowledge yourself. That is the best thing you can do in the present moment.
While brainstorming about all the different areas of my life that I felt needed to be revamped, I realized that I wasn’t giving myself credit for the incredible and amazing abilities I already possessed. At this time, I began to observe and take note of all the things I had accomplished, the lessons I had learned and the goodness that I had already shared with the world. I didn’t feel the need to jump up and down, but I did feel automatically more self-assured and ready to move forward.
Over a short period of time, my small acknowledgments began to make me feel more confident and valuable. This created a solid foundation upon which to build and grow my life.
2. Focus on the here and now, and nothing else.
If you’re trying to create big shifts — whether in your career, your relationships, or simply the way you think about the world — you’re probably wondering where you should be focusing your attention and energy. It can feel overwhelming, or even almost impossible, to answer if you’re thinking about long-term change in the abstract.
But go easy on yourself, and slice things up into bite-sized pieces. Believe it or not, our lives can be broken down into an array of categories. For example: physical environment; fun and recreation; spirituality; romance; friends and family; health; money and career. Just to name a few.
At different points in your life, one category will be more important than another and this is completely normal. Our priorities are constantly changing and evolving to fit our circumstances. So, right now, where are your priorities? Which of these categories are most important to you at this very moment?
This step can bring a lot of clarity to an individual who feels overwhelmed with the multiple areas in their life that currently need attention. By putting your life’s categories into perspective from least important to most important, you can begin to find a good starting point for your journey.
3. Tap into your power — it’s already in there!
That’s right: You are powerful, and everything you need is already inside of you. How freeing is that! You have the ability to create a life that you truly love. Every moment you are given the opportunity to make a choice for yourself. This can be something as simple as choosing water over wine or something more complex such as what type of educational path in which to invest.
Knowing that you are in charge of yourself, your actions, and your thoughts gives you a lot of power. By recognizing the control that you have you will begin to understand true independence. No longer will you be expecting other people to improve your life. Instead you will be making your own life better by taking back your power. So decide that you have the power within yourself to change your life and go for it!
While the evolution of my own journey continues until this day, I have been able to make many changes one-step at a time. The process of change starts with you wanting to change. So if you have decided that change is something that you definitely want (and need) in your life, then you are already on the right path.
Don’t have a good life … make a good life. I believe in you and I know that you can make the changes in your life starting today.