Many people want a different life. If you’re reading this, you probably fit into this category. Maybe you work too much, don’t make the amount of money you need to make, don’t spend enough time with your kids, or you want a different career. No matter the reasoning, there is a feeling inside that just won’t go away. A feeling of anger, discontent, overwhelm – something is screaming at you that there’s got to be more to life. If this is true for you, the following steps can help you get to work creating the change you want.
Identify What You Want to Be Different
Oftentimes, people feel unhappy or unsatisfied with life, but they can’t seem to change it. One of the reasons is that they’re not even certain what they’re unhappy or unsatisfied with. And in order to make a change, you have to know what you want to change.
You can often do this by journaling. It may take some time, but over a few journaling sessions, you should be able to pinpoint what differences you would like to see.
Set Goals for Change
After determining what you want to change, it’s time to set goals to make it happen. A very effective method to do so is to set SMART goals. These are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based goals. This method helps you get to the specifics of what you want and how you’ll get it, which helps you make an actionable plan to achieve that change.
Often, people try to change things, but quickly find themselves back in the same position. And that’s usually because they don’t pinpoint and address obstacles. For example, it’s hard to control spending if you don’t avoid infomercials or take a credit card into your favorite store. To succeed, you will need to turn off the TV late at night or carry cash only into your favorite store.
To make effective changes, you need to determine what your obstacles are. Usually, this is a habit or an action you regularly take, but it can also be a person. Controlling spending is difficult if your best friend is constantly tempting you to go shopping.
It’s important to identify triggers of negative actions, whether it’s a person, place, or thing. And then, you need to create a plan to address or avoid them.
Even if the changes you want to make have nothing to do with health and fitness, being active can impact the changes you do want to make. While the benefits of exercise are endless, a couple to consider are that it increases your self-confidence and sends more oxygen to the brain. More confidence can help you attack your goals, and increased oxygen can help improve your focus and thinking skills.
Take It Slow
Once you’ve set your goals for change, it can be tempting to dive in headfirst. Unfortunately, moving too fast can lead to burnout and may cause you to give up if you’re not seeing the results you want.
In order to achieve your goal, you have to set a slower, steady pace. Don’t sprint to the finish line. Change is a journey, one that takes time and one that can teach you a great deal along the way. If you rush it, you’ll miss many lessons and likely won’t create lasting changes.