Change is inevitable. Change is constant.Benjamin Disraeli
We each have a past.
Looking back just five years ago I was a shy, timid girl, angry at life and her circumstances. I blamed everyone else for my problems and I was tired of who I was. I wanted my life to change but most importantly I wanted to change myself. Many limiting beliefs hindered me and I carried around so much extra baggage. I was tired of thinking about what people thought of me and I also wondered if they saw me as I saw myself– which was the worst! I was impatient and wanted results over night. Now looking back I think I was tired of confining myself. I did end up putting my big girl pants on, and quickly saw how uncomfortable it was going to be. It was definitely a tough couple of months of just getting started.
But, that’s the thing— so many of us want to change, but when the time for change arises, we hide from it and do nothing instead. All of a sudden excuses come out of nowhere.
From someone who has been there and done that repeatedly and still upping her own game, I have found that it really doesn’t have to be as intimidating. And once you start empowering your own life (instead of just waiting around for something to happen) you will become addicted to the feeling of life changing, forward movement.
Let’s get to it.
Step one! You need to desire change. Simply wanting or wishing for change just won’t cut it. You need to decide to change and cultivate a burning desire to make such change. Have you ever noticed that when a kid decides they want something, they will stop at nothing until they get what they want? It’s the same for us! When we REALLY desire something getting started is easy and implementing the next step becomes even easier. The point is to create momentum and of course the entire process probably won’t be easy, but anything worthwhile takes work. As Theodore Roosevelt once said: “The greatest gift life has to offer is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing.”
Look at the people you surround yourself with
Relationships play a big part in our lives. They have the power to affect what we do, how we react and even how we feel. We all take on many different roles and can become accustomed to just reacting to the people in our lives. We all have the power to influence and be influenced, which is why it is important to be aware of the people in your life and how they affect you.
People, even those with the best intentions, can drain your energy or they improve it for the better. I will admit, several years ago I was that toxic person and when I realized that, I absolutely hated the thought and knew I needed to make some changes.
Some people carry a lot of negativity on their shoulders and that does not make them bad people, but this means you need to decide whether or not you want this person in your close circle. Stepping away from people can be difficult, but hanging around with people who have positive energies and who support you is essential— especially if you see qualities in these people that you also want to emulate. Start building relationships with people who make you want to become better and they too will relate with your persona.
Define your why
Once you have a desire to change, you need to narrow in on WHY you want to change. It has to be stronger than any obstacle you may face. Your why will guide you to make the right choices to keep you on track. One of the best ways to find your why is to make a list of every reason you can think of. Leave no room for doubt. My two biggest reason for empowering change in my life was because I wanted to improve the relationships in my life and I also wanted to think highly of myself. This was enough for me continue even when it got hard.
Now that you have your why, it is time to start creating the goals that align with it. What are your short and long term goals that will help you achieve your desired change? My short term goals have a time span of three months and my long term goals are all one year and longer. Since I wanted to improve the relationships close to me I created many short term goals. My goals where to read one book a month, listen attentively before speaking, focus on my mental health and meditation. My longer term goals where focused on improving my communication with that person, how we feel about each other, and if there is a healthy give and take mentality. And a great way to stay focused on your goals is by creating dream boards. It’s important to visualize your goals for everyday intention.
Create detailed to-do lists
Doing this daily and setting up a weekly to do list with help you see exactly what needs to get done to help you move towards your goals. When we don’t write down what we need to do we often do not know where to start. So, by doing this you are able to see what is important, what needs to take priority or what can wait.
Along with your focused why and goals, your to-do list will help you start building new habits. What habits can you develop that will set you up for long term success? For example, if you want to be more mindful, you could get into the habit of reading everyday, meditating the moment you wake up or take on gardening. A great way to build these habits is by adding them into your daily to do list. Doing this help you develop discipline and over time initiating change will become easier.
Life is uncomfortable most of the time and it’s better for our well-being to accept it. When we run away when things get hard or avoid whatever problem we are facing, we make it so much harder for ourselves. When we acknowledge the discomfort we are able to make peace with it and realize it is normal to feel this way. Anytime we are initiating a change in our life we are entering a new phase. Of course we may feel uncomfortable of the unknown or of anything new but that doesn’t mean we should shy away from it. Ultimately, it is a perfect moment to learn and grow.
There is always room for improvement. This doesn’t mean you should obsess over perfectionism, but instead reach for your standard of excellence. And a long term perspective gives you the time you need to reach your standard. When you want to empower change in your life, long term helps us make and learn from our mistakes and it leaves room for improvement that sometimes we don’t see right away. Initiating change can become part of your lifestyle and a long term mentality helps us realize we are never done growing, learning and improving.
Practice makes perfect
The more you do each of these steps and focus on the change you desire, the better you will get at empowering the change you want. Realizing you are not perfect and will probably fall short many times in the beginning only means you are human. But practice makes perfect. Start again each day and over time that change you are working towards will become part of your daily life. Plus, this will only reinforce discipline in your life. Which comes in handy in every area of your life.
Acknowledge past achievements
This helps reinforce that you are capable. No matter how big or small your past achievements may be, let them be the fuel you need to keep you going. Each step is a win and to dismiss them is to dismiss the motivation you need to stay on track. When you acknowledge past achievements you are also able to recognize where your strengths lie. Once you know what you are good at you can cultivate that skill to help you further along.
Lastly, change doesn’t need to be scary
Change is a normal part of life and will occur in our lives whether we like it or not. In my opinion it is better to be on board steering than in front of it. So, be patient and believe that everything you are doing will eventually lead to your desired results. Which may be the hardest thing to do because it requires you to believe in something you can’t physically see yet.
I often found the moments I was most frustrated and angry at life was when I felt like I had no input in where my life was going. This was due to the fact that I did not know what I wanted, thus I had no real direction. I had no clue I could empower the kind of change I wanted for myself. So, here I have listed 15 small ways to help you start empowering change right now. This list is to help you get started so that you can then create more change for yourself later on.
15 things you can start today for change
- Wake up early
- Cut out negative self-talk
- Cook more
- Let go of the past and start healing
- Drink more water
- Simplify your life, clutter
- Set goals
- Pay off debt
- Develop listening skills
- Procrastinate less
- Less TV
- Focus on personal growth
- Focus on appreciation
- Quit complaining
Tell me a little about your aspirations in the comments below! Did this article inspire you to think about your lifestyle and habits in a different way? Are you thinking of making any changes? Let me know!
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Until next time,