There are a lot of people who stay stuck or get used to living a life that they aren’t super excited about. Or, while many things are going well, there can be one or more areas of your life that get you down, but you think it’s okay because other areas are good and you ‘can’t have it all‘.
But, this is your life to create, and it’s up to you to make it one you love.
You can choose to settle. Or you can choose to make your life wonderful and look for ways to improve all areas of your life so that they truly nourish you. The choice is yours.
Are there one or more areas of your life that you aren’t happy with?
Great, you’re in the right place! If you want to make a meaningful change in your life, and you’re willing to take the steps to get there, this post is for you.
Below you’ll find 10 steps to help you as you make a positive and meaningful change in your life. You deserve to feel happy and fulfilled, so start reading and start taking action. You’ve got this!
1. Take full responsibility for your life.
This is a gentle but important reality check. This is your life, and you need to take responsibility for it.
Years ago, I used to let life happen to me, and played more of the victim. But, when I decided to really take responsibility for every aspect of my personal growth and the life I wanted to create, there was a massive shift in me. I stepped into the driver’s seat and started taking action.
Shifting from the victim to the creator of my life was a game-changer. And that is the very first mindset shift to make.
If you are unhappy about something, do something about it. Yes, it can be challenging or scary, but if you don’t step up, who will?
It can seem a little harsh but it’s the truth. And when you truly embrace this, you can genuinely step into the shoes of the creator, and not the victim. Being a victim and letting life happen to you only keeps you stuck. But when you realise that it’s up to you to make it wonderful, life actually becomes more exciting.
2. Be okay with the fact that it’s not always going to work out exactly as you plan.
Life is not something you can control. None of us know what’s around the corner. And that’s just life.
When we want to make a change in our life, sometimes it doesn’t work out as we plan. Accept it, and don’t let it discourage you from continuing to try.
Sometimes the things we want aren’t really right for us. Sometimes we’re not ready for what we want. And sometimes life just tests us to see how strong we are and how much we really want something.
If something doesn’t work out the way you planned, look at the situation with a growth mindset and ask What can I learn from this?
In challenging and disappointing times, we are giving the opportunity to grow the most, so be open to that. Instead of seeing it as a failure or setback, see it as a growth opportunity.
And, if you really want something and it feels true for you, keep going. Get back up and try again. Perhaps even get creative and think about another approach,
There have been many many times where I haven’t been able to get what I wanted. One example is that I wanted to study Health Coaching at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and it took 3 and a half years before it was finally possible. I was so eager to start and it was really disappointing for me when I couldn’t make it happen. But, I kept working towards that goal and 3 and a half years later I finally enrolled. The thing is, when I eventiually started studying, it felt like a much better time for me for many reasons, and I was so grateful for that delay that allowed me to grow a lot.
Train yourself to always look for the positive in everything. And especially when things don’t work out as planned, train yourself to see your setbacks or so-called ‘failures’ merely as wonderful opportunities to grow as a person.
3. Get out that journal, and dedicate time for self-reflection.
If you know me, you’ll know that I LOVE journalling. I call it free therapy 🙂
Journalling is a powerful tool. especially when you want to make a change in your life.
Even if you think you know what changes you want to make in your life, I encourage you to take some time for self-reflection. Put aside a week, a month, or more. Whatever time you need, to just get into self-reflection mode.
Take the time out every day or every other day to spend time with yourself and journal. Let out whatever is on your mind. Get it out onto the paper. Even when you don’t feel like writing, push yourself to keep writing.
Journalling, in my own experience, has been the most effective tool for self-reflection for a few reasons.
When you’re considering a life change, you want to clear out your mind so that you can think clearly. And journaling helps declutter your mind. Often we think too much, and we end up with residual thoughts taking up space in our minds. And after a while, it’s difficult to think clearly. As you pour out the thoughts and feelings swirling around in your head out onto the page, you start to clear your mind and create space.
By writing out what’s on your mind and what’s important to you, you start to see patterns. When you journal regularly, you start to see patterns. You start to find yourself journaling about the same things that are super important to you. This can give you clues as to what life change or area of your life you should focus on.
You know what you need to do, and journaling can help you confirm it. At the end of the day, each of us knows what we want and what we need to do. Sometimes we just complicate it because of things like self-doubt. Journaling is a great way to express what you think you should do. It’s a private space for you to be 100% you, without any judgement, self-doubt or comparison. It’s a chance for you to just connect to yourself and write out what you desire.
Some of the questions I ask myself to kick off a self-reflective journaling session:
Who am I?
What is deeply important to me?
What do I want in life?
What would make me happy?
If there was one change I could make to my life, what would it be?
Spending time journaling is a great way to clear your mind, reconnect to yourself, identify what’s troubling you, and focus in on what’s deeply important to you.
4. Connect with your personal values before setting goals.
Often, when we want to make a life change, we start setting goals.
I encourage you to back up a bit and spend some time focusing on your personal values first. In other words, What is deeply important to you?
You can journal to find some clarity about what’s important to you in life. You can also read this post on How to Create Personal Values.
When you have 3-5 personal values written down that feel really true to you and what you want out of life, then bring out your goals. This way, you can identify which goals truly feel aligned to you, and you can start to prioritise better. Instead of a laundry list of goals, you could end up with 1 or 2 big goals that feel deeply meaning to you.
An example is, one of my personal values is Freedom. It’s very important for me to feel free in my life, and this translates in many ways. Over the years this value has deeply impacted the goals I’ve set. For example, I left the 9-5 lifestyle to work remotely, so that I could work at my own pace and manage my own time. It also allows me to travel and live in different cities, as I can work from anywhere in the world.
Personal values are powerful for many reasons.
They help you get clear on who you are and what’s important to you. And they stop you from writing ridiculously long lists of goals that you think you should do, and instead they encourage you to focus on much few goals that feel truly meaningful to you and the lifestyle you want to create.
What are your personal values? And do they truly align with the changes you want to make in your life?
ACTION: Identify your 3-5 personal values and write them down.
5. Pick ONE area of your life that you’re not happy with. Just one.
There may be many areas of your life that you aren’t happy with, but I encourage you to pick one to start.
Choose an area of your life that is negatively affecting you the most, and focus in on this area. As you improve this area, it’ll start to influence other areas and you can start branching out and making other changes.
By focusing on one area at a time, you give yourself the ability to really make that change in a more joyful way without the added pressure.
An area of your life that you’re not happy with could be your career or job, a relationship, where you live, your social life, or your health.
Which area of your life do you want to positively change the most?
ACTION: Write down one area of your life you want to change.
6. Identify ONE change you can make to improve this area of your life.
Now it’s time to identify ONE change you want to make to this area of your life. It may be a big or small change, it doesn’t matter. What is important is that you identify one thing you can do to improve this area of your life.
This is a great time to bring out that journal again and ask some of these questions:
Why am I unhappy in this area of my life? What don’t I like about it?
What changes would I like to make?
If I aligned this area of my life to my personal values, what changes would I make?
Write down the change you want to make.
Does it feel like a good next step? Does it align with your personal values?
I good way to tell is when you feel butterflies in your stomach – You may feel a little scared or anxious about making the change, but there is a sense of excitement in your heart. This is a good sign as it’s exciting you, and that’s what you want.
Let it sit for a few days to simmer in your mind. Refer back to it and see if it still feels right.
If so, you’re good to go!
ACTION: Write down the ONE change you want to make in this particular area of your life.
7. List out all the SMALL steps you need to take to make this change.
Small steps make change possible. So I encourage you to make a list of all the small steps you need to take to get you moving forward to this new change.
Break down the steps into bite-size, even tiny, steps that feel manageable.
Making changes can feel overwhelming, and that’s why small steps help so much. You want each step to feel doable. They may still be challenging, but they have that balance between ‘this will be challenging‘ and ‘I can do this‘.
Once you have your list, make sure it’s in order of what comes first. For example, if you really want to change your job, your list of steps may look like this: Go to the park and brainstorm what kind of work I want to do • Find a list of the best online job websites • Schedule in time to regularly look at available jobs on this list of websites, and identify which jobs sound the most interesting • Update my resume to appeal to the type of job I want to get etc
Then. forget all the other steps and focus on that very first step. Nothing else, just that first step. Only when that step is done, return to your list and move to the next one.
An example is when I decided that I really wanted to start an online business and I needed to design my website. But creating a new website was overwhelming for me, because it felt like there was SO much to do. So I listed out everything I needed to do, breaking it down into tiny steps. Then I started with the very first step which was “Look at website themes online and see what I like”. That was it. I didn’t worry about looking for web developers or any other steps. I just focused in on looking at themes. And… over time I worked through all the steps and redesigned my entire website!
ACTION: Write out a list of SMALL (even tiny) steps that you need to take towards this change.
8. Commit to that first small step and start walking.
Now you should have that one small step that you need to now take, and it’s time to commit to the journey.
Remember, you CAN do this, and you ARE worth it!
You are the creator of your life, and this small step is the start of a positive change in your life that’ll feel good. It’s a chance to turn an area of your life around and to feel so much happier!
Are you committed to living a life you love? Are you committed to making positive, meaningful change in your life?
ACTION: Commit to taking that one SMALL step – the first step on your list.
9. Feel the fear and move forward anyway.
Remember, it’s okay to feel scared or to feel resistance.
Just remember, you’ve put a lot of thought into this change you want to make, and it should feel meaningful to you. But, when we make a change, our brain can resist and the world can push back. Be okay with that, as it’s normal. You just need to keep at it.
Here is an article on how to face your fears and move forward anyway.
To make a change in your life, you need to face your fears and walk into the unknown, and it can feel uncomfortable.
You need to be okay with this. It’s not easy to make changes and it can feel too challenging at times. But, if you keep connected to why this change is important to you, you can keep going.
Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone to make a positive change in your life?
ACTION: Acknowledge your fears about making this change. Don’t fight them, just observe them and see what you can learn from them. Then, take a deep breath and choose to move forward anyway because you are worth it and you can do it.
10. Show yourself love and compassion every single step of the way.
This is the final step I want to highlight, and the most important.
We are often way too hard on ourselves. We get down on ourselves, judge ourselves and get super upset when we ‘fail’ or ‘fall off the wagon’.
PLEASE, be kind to yourself. Life is tough, and we don’t know what’s around the corner. Especially when we’re trying to make a change in our lives, and we don’t know how it will work out. This life is a journey of self-discovery and I encourage you to be compassionate to yourself along the way.
If something doesn’t work out – like you don’t get that job you wanted – think about what you can learn from the experience and keep going. If you keep at it, the right opportunity will come your way at the right time. But you need to keep your head up and keep trying.
If you fall off the wagon – like you eat that tub of ice-cream while on a sugar detox – it’s okay. There is no need to beat yourself up. Just start again with love. It’s not about being perfect or staying on the wagon like a superhero, it’s about having the strength to get back up when you fall. That’s what shows real determination.
Always remember that YOU ARE WORTHY OF A WONDERFUL LIFE that fills you up with joy.
The changes you want to make are worthwhile. The happiness you want to experience is possible. You are amazing, you are one of a kind, and you are worthy of a wonderful life. We all are.
Keep working on your relationship with yourself. Talk nicely to yourself, treat yourself well, and acknowledge every tiny step you take to a happy, healthy life.
Are you ready to make a meaningful change in your life?
I hope this post has inspired you to make a meaningful change in your life.
If you aren’t happy in an area of your life, don’t accept it. Don’t stay stuck in unhappiness. This is your life and you can make a positive change that makes you feel good.
You’ve got this!
And so, what’s an area of life that you want to improve? What’s one small change that you’re going to make to it?