Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. For years you’ve known that there are some specific changes that you’ve wanted to make. You told yourself repeatedly that you were definitely going to take action once the new year rolled around. For good reason. There is something undeniably powerful about new starts. That’s why every morning is brimming with a potent sense of mystery and potential. It’s a daily reminder that all things can be made new. But year after year, those changes, that you know are necessary to a higher quality of life, last for only a few days. It’s happened for so many years that by now you get tired of reading titles of articles like this one. Your eyes role when you see another link about change in the new year, reminding you of the past failures. Yet here you are, looking for something that will make a difference and give you that edge you’ve always wanted. I know this story because I’ve lived it. I want to share with you four simple, yet courageous things that you can do to stack the game in your favor in 2015. If you commit to these four things I will guarantee you some massive change in your life. And I rarely make guarantees. So let’s get started.
Tell a friend. But don't tell the friend that is in the same boat as you. Tell the friend that you admire and respect and who is already living the kind of changes that you want to make. No offense to that friend who, like you, has a difficult time sustaining the kind of changes they want. However, they are more likely to point out all the reasons why you won’t change. Mostly because when you do begin taking action and making radically different decisions, it will make them feel uncomfortable about their own lack of action. But the person who created the kind of life they want is the perfect person to tell. They will most likely encourage you because they are already living the difference and understand why you want to change. Success leaves a trail. If someone else has done what you want to do, then it is absolutely possible to reproduce those results.
Get help. Don't be afraid to hire a professional. If you want to modify something about yourself that you don’t like, and you don't know where to start, it makes sense to go to somebody who does. Go to somebody who's been through what you've been through. Go to somebody who is a professional and spends their time helping others find their way. Find a good therapist. Find a good life coach. Find a good mentor.
I can promise you that every dollar spent will be a dollar invested in a higher quality of life. A better life. The kind of life you want. I remember when I first hired a life coach. I had no idea how I was going to be able to afford it. Then I realized that it was a matter of priority. We spend our time and our money on those things that we value. So value your self. I had always told myself that I couldn’t afford a coach. Yet, after taking a long look at my expenditures and eliminating the unnecessary spending, I realized that I had plenty of money left in my budget. After making my first payment, I was shocked by how I had valued myself enough to invest hundreds of dollars a month in my change and transformation. That investment was a tangible and solid reminder that I cared about myself. It was a game changer.
Become a part of something bigger. Find a group or a community where people support the kind of changes you want to make. A church or Facebook group. A class that you want to take or a legitimate support and recovery group. Better yet, start something with friends that you already have.
Find people who are already living the kind of life you want to live and foster those relationships. When you are in conversation with a group of people who are sharing their ups and downs, desires and disappointments, you will find a strength that comes from shared experience. The only concern you need to have is that the community you join is a safe one. Where people can share their thoughts and experiences without judgement, criticism or lectures. If you don’t know where to start I welcome you to this one.
Change for one month, not one year. A year is a good chunk of time. It’s hard to get our minds around it without being overwhelmed. So don’t. Commit yourself to changing for one month. At the end of that month you can recommit yourself to more if you like. If not, then let yourself off the hook. Be warned. Odds are stacked in your favor after developing new habits for a month of your life. Also, don’t be afraid to make altercations and adjustments during that first month. It’s only after you start down the road that you can adjust your speed or course.
There are plenty more suggestions and tips. They are only a google search away. But the more things we ‘have’ to do, the more likely we are to remain static. Still. Unchanged. Put these 4 things into motion with and genuinely apply them and I guarantee you the kind of results that you’ve been hoping for. If not, feel free to reach out and let me know. I’ll be happy to spend a half hour of my time with anyone to help them discover their way forward. No charge :)
"It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction." - Warren Buffett
"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." - Steve Jobs
"Everyone needs a coach. It doesn't matter whether you're a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player" - Bill Gates