Want to change your life?
You can. And it’s as simple as creating a new habit.
It might sound boring, muggle and oh so un-magical but working with our entrenched routines is hands-down the easiest way to make a sustained change in our life.
Like it or not, we are what we do.
You can determine whether or not you’re a happy or healthy person based on what you do regularly.
You place the most importance on what you continually allow into your life.
But a problem arises when there’s a disconnect between what we want and what we do.
All too often, we default to what we did yesterday and the day before, even though those things are not necessarily serving our highest good.
But because they’ve become habits, we’ve stopped even thinking about them.
And that goes to show how habits can just as easily harm us, as serve us.
Similarly, creating new habits (or rituals, if you prefer to look at it that way) is a way to entrench the things you want to do and be into your daily life.
Basically, if you develop healthy, happy habits, you’re probably a healthy happy person with a healthy happy life.
One off events are not the things that change us, our mood, our personality. It’s the things we allow ourselves to do over and over again that have the power to change us.
For most of us, we don’t reach our big goals or create momentous changes in our life from one big action. We make change by changing us, our daily habits and thoughts, slowly and incrementally over time.
However, it’s much easier to work on ourselves this way, rather than saying something like “oh I want to run a marathon this year” and giving up on training after two weeks.
It’s much easier to start walking to work, taking the stairs, just putting on your shoes and running for a little bit every day rather than trying to hold onto some hardcore routine that someone else created.
It’s your life and the changes you make are up to you. All it takes is your thoughts and a bunch of tiny incremental pushes in the right direction.
And the cool thing is that once you realize this important concept, you can begin to take positive action right now.
So if you want to change your life to become healthier, less stressed etc. you’ve got to come up with actual game plan to help you get there.
How To Change Your Life The Easy Way
I know that once you see this correlation it’s easy to go off trying to change a bunch of things at once! But I’ll ask you to slow down a bit and make changes in a conscious, deliberate way. So let’s start by breaking down the process:
How To Change Your Life Step #1:
Since it’s New Years, you’ve probably put some thought into this recently. But if not, now’s as good a time as any to sit down and start brain mapping your desires. All journeys begin with a roadmap! We need a destination to steer our ship towards.
What are you looking to change in your life (for 2017 and beyond)? What do you want more of in life? What do you want less of? What are your big dreams? What do you crave? Let yourself think on this for a while, write some things down and don’t edit anything out.
When you’re done, keep an eye out for any themes that repeat themselves. We usually want a bunch of things that are actually quite similar, so once you figure out what that main thing (or two) is, make a note of it.
How To Change Your Life Step #2:
Now that you have a clear idea or two about where you really want to go, it’s time to take stock of your daily routines and habits.
Become mindful over the next few days of where you spend your time. Sure, some of this is out of your control (work, commuting etc.) but look at what you really do with your time (and be honest.)
This step is only about observing our regular habits. For example, going to the gym once a month is not a regular habit and shouldn’t be included.
Losing weight an easy example. What are your daily eating and exercising habits? (Answer honestly!) You might say you only indulge in dessert a couple times a week but in reality in might be much, much more (and that’s where the disconnect between desire and action becomes evident).
How To Change Your Life Step #3:
Once you’ve spent some time in this comfortable observation, it’s time to think more critically. Do your regular actions show any evidence of going for your goal?
How do your existing daily habits serve or diminish this goal? For most people, the results are mixed (no one’s perfect of course!)
You might already have some habits that are in alignment with your goal. That’s great! Make a note of what those are. Then start looking at the habits that aren’t serving you (even if they’re pleasurable): social media, Netflix, whatever.
How To Change Your Life Step #4:
Now it’s time to think objectively about your existing habits, and how you can make them better for what you want.
If you want more of something, you’ll need to create space for it. After all, we all have time limitations! There’s only 24 hours in a day. If you want to create more time for something that’s important to you, you’ll need to spend less time doing something that’s not as important.
After you look at your day objectively, it’s much easier to see how scrolling through Facebook for an hour isn’t really serving your highest good. It might still be all too easy to get sucked into these mindless activities, the more often you choose something better, the easier it will get.
The bottom line is that if you want it, you’ll make room for it.
If you want a healthier body, you need to eat better and work out more. If you want to be more calm and focused, you need to meditate more. If you want better grades you’ll study more. If you want a new job, you need to devote time to upgrading your skills or actively looking for a new one. If you want a new romantic partner, you need to spend time meeting new people.
So please adapt this concept to make it work for you!
A Final Caveat
Please don’t overload yourself with lots of “must do’s”. Trying to change every little thing all at once is pretty guaranteed to be a recipe for disaster. It’s just too overwhelming! And the point here is to create momentum with manageable changes.
So aim to change only one or two small things at a time. Wait a long time (at least a month) before incorporating more little changes.
Quantum leap changes are possible, but only under the right circumstances. I’d rather encourage you to take the slower route rather than throw all of your magic eggs in one basket only to become discouraged when a miracle doesn’t occur within the next week.
Manifesting + Habits
This isn’t a post about manifesting specifically but you likely already know my take on it: the Law of Attraction is always working for you, whether you believe in it or not. So even though this post today shares a very practical way of making life changes, it still uses the same basic principles of manifesting: action and intention.
The thing is that once you set out to do, have or be something, and begin to really invite that thing into your life, the Universe has a funny way of lining things up to help you achieve it. So remember that, no matter what way you approach creating the life you truly want there’s always a little magic at work behind the scenes. ✨
I hope in 12 months you look back on this post and are overwhelmingly happy about the changes you implemented today.
Good luck with your habit making and breaking and thank you so much for reading!