No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to change your life. You may be unhappy because of money, relationships, an addiction, or you may simply feel run down. I want to share 9 anecdotal tactics that I personally tackled with great success in hopes to help and support you on your journey. I did most of the 9 tactics below while I was 40 years old and I am not looking back. If you are reading this, chances are you want to change your life. Since the hardest step is that first step, I want to help give some guidance on where to start.
Make a commitment
Commitment: a pledge or undertaking.
“Once I make a commitment to something, I see it through.”
synonyms: vow, promise, pledge, oath
The first step is to make a commitment to yourself. A real commitment. If you leave room to negotiate with your own head, you will fail. Make an internal commitment and tell yourself there is no other option.
Set a goal
Don’t go into this with ambiguity. Decide what you want to do and do it for 30 days. Anyone can do anything for 30 days. And once you reach that goal, you will be so motivated to set a second goal. You will not fail at this goal because you made that commitment to yourself, there are no other options.
How to change your life:
Nothing will begin to inspire you like accomplishing some type of activity that you have put off all these years. Start with an easy walk or a short jog. Choose to do it on a sunny day and notice the “alive” feeling this brings you. If you can, walk in a park. Being subjected to scenes of nature enhances your mental state and you feel happier and even more energetic. I started with a short .2 mile jog and started extending slightly each time. But the thing that got me moving in the first place was my Fitbit – see my blog about that.
Quit that addiction
If you made a goal to be active and are sticking to it, you are now probably motivated to take it a step further. If you have an addiction, like smoking or drinking, it is most likely holding you back and could very well be the root cause of why you want to change your life. You can do this and I ain’t speaking out my ass. After 22 years of smoking I quit – never to have “just one” again. After MANY attempts at quitting, this book was the trick to me quitting smoking: Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking. I listened to the CD version on my daily commute. I honestly think if you took this book and search and replaced “smoking” with “drinking”, it could work just as well. This book is about making a commitment.
Start to exercise
Now we already started to become active, let’s crank it up a notch. Consider joining a local gym and begin working out 2 or 3 times a week. The sense of self-accomplishment is one of the main keys to internal satisfaction in life. I know its SCARY at first, you have no idea what to do! Look for a good gym with a trainer that is willing to work with you. Check out a CrossFit or Strength & Conditioning gym and see if they ask what your goals are. If they just try to throw you in the mix with out a sincere conversation, keep looking. Note: Be careful not to over do it! Too much metabolic conditioning can cause stress.
Change your diet
You feel how you eat. Eat crap, feel like crap. And if you are overweight, you are most likely feeling a bit down from it. I am really beginning to think, after my own experience and helping others, that 90% of feeling good and losing weight is what you put down your pie hole. Now I have lost 50 pounds in the last 4-5 months and actually like my diet. I eat until I am full and it includes steak, bacon, eggs… check out my Paleo based diet – it works.
Do something fun. Treat yourself. Go play! There are state parks everywhere, check them out – they have lots to offer. Book that concert you really want to go to. Just get out of the house and find something fun to do. I love going to local saloons and watching my favorite Texas artists rock out. Or last weekend totally rocked out to Def Leppard and Kiss. When I’m not jamming out, you can usually find me at some park hiking or mountain biking. I think being close to nature dramatically improves our mental state and outlook on everything. Play is vitality – check out this article from The National Institute of Play: Personal Health and Well Being
Stress will destroy you. It will keep you from losing weight. It will make you miserable. There are a ton of factors that can cause stress, some you can’t control. Evaluate your life, your one life you have, and find what is causing your stress. Is it your relationship? Money? Work? Do you just freakin’ worry too much? Find the root cause and seek counseling or community (a church, friends, etc) to get these things into the light so you can start seeing your options. There are a couple things you can control to give you the best fighting chance – and that happens to be our next two items:
Diet and sleep are really the foundation of your life pyramid. Without them, you crumble. Without one, you fall. With both as your solid ground, you grow. Sleep is really important, and it can be pretty complex, so I am going to try to simplify this as much as possible.
- Your body MUST recover
- Your brain MUST rest
If these two things are not happening, you quickly begin to break down. You will get anxiety, irritability, lack of thought control, and all forms of cognition fade. Your body will be stressed and will release cortisol – which will totally halt any goals of weight loss. Yes, let me repeat this: if you don’t sleep, you will not lose weight. Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Get out of debt
Money… we love it and worship it. But it’s never the answer. Love and relationships should be priority one, but I digress. Money will cause stress, marital issues, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on. If you are worried too much about money, there’s a good chance you are carrying a burden of debt. Like lack of sleep, this burden can also destroy you. It can be overwhelming. You may have Googled, “get me out of debt” and been so overwhelmed with the information and who to trust. Well, there is hope. Oh yes, you better believe I have stories of debt. After I got divorced many years ago, I was unfairly stuck with a crazy amount of debt – I mean crazy amount. However, after much research, I found a really good debt consolidation company that helped me gather everything together. They contacted my creditors, negotiated interested rates (this was NOT a settlement), set me up on a payment plan, and put my payments on auto-draft. When I walked out of that office, I never felt a bigger weight off my chest than that single point in my life (even more than when it was finally paid off). I felt liberated, I felt free. Sure, it was a hefty payment, but I made that commitment to deal with it and let this company manage it for me. I am not going to worry about it anymore, I just pretended the money never existed and adjusted according. We always adjust, always. And I started to enjoy my Sundays again. The company I went to was MMI.
Focus on happiness
We can all learn to do something to improve our happiness. Definite ways of improving happiness is complimenting others or showing gratitude. Making others happy makes you happy. Doing good makes you feel good. I do this blog in hopes to try help others, it makes me feel good. Also, be positive. Think about the type of person you are and how much effort you put in to keeping things on the positive side. Getting into that pit of being a negaholic is hard to get out of, but you can. Again, seek community, church, counseling to help you. Sometimes just bouncing some things off someone is enough to turn that boat around. I go into a lot more detail in How To Be Happy – 10 Simple Ways, check it out.
Need proof or are you feeling particularly down right now while you read this? Check out this video on proving gratitude increases happiness (and I bet you smile and cry at the same time).
Hope you enjoyed it folks,
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