What you need is a way to kick start the changes that you want to make in your life – here are 10 Ways To Change Your Life For The Better starting today.
#1 Change Your Routine
One of the simplest ways to start improving and change your life is to make small changes. Identify a goal and take small steps to achieving it, you don’t have to accomplish it all at once. The important thing is to get the ball rolling. Once you start seeing results from the small changes you will be motivated to continue.
For example, you take the same route to work daily so you don’t even think about it anymore. You no longer appreciate the scenery because you are operating on auto pilot. A change in routine will wake you up mentally causing you to be more aware and appreciative of your surroundings.
Some tips to help change your life for the better:
- Take a new route to work
- Eat a meal outside of the “normal” time (i.e. eat breakfast at dinner time)
- Change your exercise routine
- Wake up later or earlier
- Change your routines around the house
The point of this exercise is to realize that we become so comfortable with our current habits that we fail to realize that there is more to life. We learn to settle for the familiar rather than embrace the changes needed to make our lives better. The best time to start making any change is the present moment.
#2 Look in your closet
In Feng Shui decorating principles, when you use certain colors and positions of furniture in your house, you can effect greater changes in your life. Taking this idea a step further, when you want to change something about your life for the better, doesn’t it make sense to start changing your surroundings?
A simple way to do this (without spending your money redecorating your house) is to change your appearance for a day. You can do this by simply trying something that is completely unlike you. For example, if you wear black all the time, try wearing a bright color. If you’re someone who likes to wear colorful outfits, try something more toned down.
The idea is to approach your outfit as you would your life – change it! Your outward appearance can improve your self-confidence because you know that you look as good as you feel or at least, as you want to feel. That confidence will be evident in your actions and interactions with others. People can’t help but respond to change. When others notice your confident attitude they will begin to respond in kind. This is why you will hear the term, ‘power suit’ quite often.
By putting on a costume of sorts, you can create a new, more powerful you. If you feel that what you currently have in your closet will not do the trick, it’s time to start thinking of new ways to coordinate what you have available. You can do simple things such as wearing a crazy pair of socks under your classic business suit, choosing larger earrings or a silly necktie. Whatever makes you feel better about yourself, try to incorporate that into your outfit today.
Here are some other ideas:
- Wear a skirt instead of pants (ladies, of course)
- Try a different shirt with a suit – one that you’ve never paired together before
- Wear a scarf to accessorize
- Wear a different piece of jewelry
Go to the back of your closet to see what you can find – it just might change your life.
#3 Don’t lie
What would your day be like if you didn’t lie about anything? Think about it for a moment. We all seem to lie about something during our day, sometimes subconsciously. For example, saying everything is great when dining out, even though the wait staff is unfriendly and messed up the order.
Why do we do this? Because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. By choosing to lie, we are denying our true feelings in order to validate others. This robs us of the opportunity to effect changes that will improve our lives as well as the lives of those whose feelings we try to cover.
At other times, we lie to avoid the consequences of our actions. For example, we may lie to our bosses about the progress of assigned projects. It’s only when we are caught in the lie that we take responsibility and try to change our ways.
To change your life, you need to stop lying to yourself and everyone around you. This may not be easy, but it will be something that will dramatically change the way that you approach your life. Start by making a conscious effort to not lie for one day. Trying to be true to yourself and to others is a simple way to instigate a new way of living.
#4 Think like an optimist
Many experts will tell you that when you change the way you look at things, you will change your life – and it’s true. You need to set goals with the expectation of reaching them by taking the necessary actions. While you are certain to make mistakes along the way, your progress will be determined by your outlook. If you expect the worst, you will be rewarded with the worst. Your errors will be amplified and eventually you will abandon your goals if your mindset is negative.
Many people fumble on the way to making life- altering changes by focusing too much on the negatives they encounter along the way. They allow the negatives to overpower the positives and so miss out on having a much better life.
For just one day, try to see your life through the eyes of an optimist – a complete optimist. This might seem silly at first, but what you’re doing is bringing another perspective, an objective perspective into your view of the world. Optimists look at the world as though it only has good things to offer and in that thinking, they see the opportunities for learning and growth, rather than the obstacles in their way.
Instead of getting upset about the car that cut them off in traffic, they hope that there wasn’t an emergency that caused the driver to need to go so fast. Optimism takes practice. It might be helpful to think of your life as though it were your friend’s. Friends tend to always want to put a positive spin on their friend’s problems in order to cheer them up. Be your own best friend. It will change your life dramatically.
#5 Don’t have any expectations
How many times have you been disappointed? Probably hundreds of times, right? However, if you think back to your times of disillusionment, many of these instances were the direct result of having some unmet expectation. What if you gave up your expectations for a day? For one day, what if you just decided to allow things to take their natural courses.
When you start to attach your self-worth to things over which you have no control, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. There’s nothing wrong with having goals and desires, but when you start basing your happiness on the outcome, you can actually be stifling change and growth in your life.
Expectations are merely wishes and hopes, many of which are based on factors we cannot control. For example, you can’t control someone else’s reactions to your words or actions. People are autonomous and will respond in any way that they see fit. When we start to attach our personal feelings to how someone else reacts, we are setting ourselves up for feeling bad about our lives and ourselves.
The point of eliminating expectations is to start focusing on what’s happening right now and determining what you can and cannot control. For example, if your boss is yelling at you, you can’t control that but you can control your reaction.
Just for today, try to remember that while expectations are not bad, they should not consume you. Step back and decide what is important and what is not. Focus on the important things and do not attach your self-worth to things over which you have no control. Your life will be much better once you start doing that.
#6 Make a mistake
Too often, people believe that the process of change has to be perfect. It was Alexander Pope
who said, “to err is human” so don’t put yourself on an unrealistic pedestal. Embrace errors as learning opportunities rather than problems. Often it is by making a wrong turn that driver discovers a new route.
We all make mistakes along the way to our dreams, so why not give ourselves permission to get things wrong once in a while? Just for a day, try to remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, try to make one mistake during the day and see what happens. Does the world come tumbling down? Do people hate you for not being perfect Probably not.
Make a conscious decision today not to beat yourself up over your mistakes. Instead, purpose in your mind to learn something from every mistake you make today. You will find how much better your life is than it was yesterday. Not only will you have gained more knowledge, you will also feel less burdened. You are acknowledging that things aren’t always going to head in the exact right direction, but that you will make it there despite the “bumps” in the road. It’s not about creating perfection, but it is about learning how to do better for you.
#7 Talk to a stranger
Although the world seems to be more connected than ever before, with the inventions of the Internet and cellular phones, it seems that we’ve become more disconnected. Everyone is so busy with their gadgets, they have no time for the person sitting or standing net to them.
Next door neighbors are strangers to each other. We think we are self-sufficient. This notion is wrong. We need each other. The sooner we realize that the sooner we will be able to take the necessary steps to making our lives better.
Reaching out to people is problematic, however, because it’s just not necessary anymore. We can e-mail people or call them on the phone, but it’s the real-life connections that will truly remind us of the place of others in our lives.
There are a number of ways to reestablish this connection with the world:
- Talk to the cashier at the coffee shop
- Call a friend
- Meet up with your partner outside of the house
- Go for a walk outside
These simple ideas can help create the realization that other individuals have the same goal as you. In fact, establishing a connection with someone with similar goals can help you achieve your own by providing encouragement, support, and accountability. Reach out to someone today, it may prove to be the single most important life changing act for you.
#8 Quit your job
You don’t actually need to quit your job in order to change your life, but if you’re not happy about the job that you have, what are you still doing there? The object of this tip is to help your recognize when you are settling instead of making room for the things that you’ll really enjoy having in your life.
Maybe you do not need to literally quit your job, but it’s that you need to quit your attachment to it. Many of us believe that when we do a good job at work, we’re good people who are successful and deserve to be happy. But when our jobs don’t satisfy us, we believe that we don’t deserve to be happy. It is in this cycle, or others like it, that we begin to feel helpless and unable to change our lives. To stop this cycle, we need to recognize that we are not what we do or accomplish. You will then want to quit the power that your job has over you.
But how? To quit the power that your job has over you, you will want to consider the following advice:
- Do not define yourself by what you can accomplish
- Create a to-do list in order of priorities
- Set the bar lower
- Recognize that what you need from the job and what your boss needs from the job are completely different
- Try to establish a consistent work schedule
- Leave work at work
- Realize that work is a tool
While that sounds like a lot of platitudes, one of the biggest lessons in the bunch is the idea that work is just a tool. It is helpful for you to realize that while something at work might seem like a major concern right now, six months from now, it won’t seem like such a big deal.
Just for today, try to think about your job as though it was the last day that you were working. How does that feel? You don’t have to quit your job to quit the hold that it exerts upon you; but if you find that you can’t seem to do this on your own, maybe it is time to at least look at the classified ads for a better place for you.
#9 Find an old hobby
Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to be a basketball player? You went to the garage and started to bounce a basketball up and down. You didn’t think about how good you really were at it; you just wanted to do it because it made you happy.
When you want to make bigger changes in your life, you will want to find a way to distract yourself from thinking negative thoughts. And this is why often times, experts will recommend that you pick up a hobby to fill your mind when you’re feeling a little less than motivated to change.
#10 Thank someone that you love
When we’re changing ourselves, we often forget how others have stood by us when we weren’t in the best of places in our lives. Instead of taking this support system for granted, today is a great time to thank the people that you love. While it sounds a little corny, just going around to people and thanking them for their support and their understanding can start to solidify the changes that you want to make. You are, in a sense, creating a new life by apologizing for the old life and moving forward.
But when you start to thank others for supporting you, you are also gathering their support for the change that lies ahead. You are readying yourself as well as them for a new and improved you – one that realizes that mistakes were made in the past but wants to move forward.
We all need support, even if we are focused on making changes on our own. The truth is that we aren’t always going to be as strong as we need to be. There will be days when we will need someone to help us change our perspective or approach things differently. The idea of change is one that we are frightened of. It signifies moving away from what has ‘worked’ for us in the past and moving towards something unfamiliar.
However, when you stop to make smaller changes in your daily life, you can start the process more easily. Change doesn’t have to be startling and unnerving; it can be as simple as doing something different than you would have before: reading a new book or driving a new route to work.
However, in these smaller changes, you can find the strength for the bigger changes. If you can start with the little parts of yourself that you thought didn’t matter, just imagine what you can do with the rest of your dreams and goals.