Changing your life is possible. It only requires a few key ingredients: a plan, patience, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone.
If you’ve really struggled with life, it can be helpful to start small. Achieving a few small successes will give you the confidence to move forward with larger changes.
Follow this process to transform your life into the one you truly want to live:
1. Choose the thing that will have the greatest impact. Examine your life and think about every change you would like to make. Then put the list in order from the most desirable change to least.
Now, start at the top and look down the list; stop at the first thing you can change in a relatively short period.
2. Set a goal. What could you achieve in 8-12 weeks around the topic you identified in step #1? Be bold; you’re far more capable than you think!
Write out specifically what you intend to accomplish, such as, “On or before July 15th, I will have increased my income to $6,000 a month by finding a part-time job.”
3. Reflect on what has stopped you. Something has stopped you so far; figure out what that something is. Is it a lack of knowledge of how to do it? Is it fear? Capability is rarely the problem; most likely, you’ll find that fear or doubt is at the root of what has prevented you from aggressively taking action.
4. Address the issues in Step #3. Whatever has been stopping you up to this point isn’t going to go away on its own. Come up with a plan to eliminate the challenge. Including simple tools like meditation can boost your success in overcoming these challenges.
A good test is to think about what you’ll have to go through to achieve your goal; if you feel anything but positive and excited, you have some work to do. This is feedback from your unconscious, so don’t ignore it – use it. It’s a gift.
5. Review your goal daily (at least). Continuing to reinforce your goal will maintain its priority in your mind. Look at it every day and read it aloud. Imagine accomplishing your goal. The tougher the goal, the more frequently you should reinforce it.
6. Have a course of action. A basic plan divided into a list of small steps, or daily activities to accomplish, can be your road map to your goal. Big goals usually require a lot of action steps, but you can achieve them by following your map, one step at a time. Make a plan and work the plan.
7. Track your progress. It’s important to measure how you’re doing. For example, if you have a money-related goal, how much have you made so far? How much time is left until your deadline? Are you behind or ahead of schedule? Always know where you stand relative to the achievement of your goal.
8. Don’t stop. If you don’t quit, you can’t fail. It might seem easier to read that last sentence instead of taking action to make it a true statement, but if you keep moving forward, you will reach your goal. You’ve likely seen it on this site before: Baby steps forward are still steps forward and forward progress inspires you to keep moving.
Transforming your life is a noble pursuit and one of the most meaningful things you can do for yourself. But it’s not for the faint of heart. Be patient – you’re not going to change everything overnight. Knock off a few of the easier items first. The confidence you gain will guide you through the tougher challenges.