In this article we are going to discuss five ways which will help you to change your life for the better.
If you are finding that your life is a little stagnant or that you are struggling to get out of a rut which you are not enjoying, maybe you want to move location or change your job but are struggling to get into the right mindset to make lasting changes, then these five tools will help you.
You can try and do all five or simply do one or two for starters. Something is always going to be better than nothing. Have a read through and decide which you think are suitable for you.
Put it this way, you will never know if you do not try and… and as my favourite saying goes…
This time next year, you will be glad that you started today!
1. Challenge Yourself And Give Yourself A Big Reward.
Challenging yourself is a great way to make big everlasting changes and develop new positive habits.
There are a lot of great challenges happening these days, such as Stoptober, Veganuary, Dry January and Movember. These are socially adopted challenges where many people try to do something positive like cut down on smoking, drinking, eating meat or they raise money for charities like Cancer charities by not shaving their facial hair.
These are fantastic challenges to do as they generally benefit the doer and often other people. But the question is, why only do those which everyone is doing and not challenge yourself to do other more beneficial challenges?
If you need to improve your health and increase your fitness levels, why not set yourself up with a 30 day challenge where you do either 5 – 10 minutes of exercise or you do 5 specific exercises?
There is a reason why I say you should only do 5 – 10 minutes or 5 exercises, I shall come to that shortly.
If you need money to make some bigger future changes, why not challenge yourself to spend 5 – 10 minutes working on a project which will, in the long run, put you in a position to make more money?
It can either be learning a new set of skills which will give you the opportunity to find a better job or you work on a side business that can grow into something which will give you those changes you need.
It is important that you have a reward waiting for you at the end of the challenge otherwise there is nothing to work towards. Even if you know that the development of new habits and the personal changes to your life makes the challenge worthwhile, it isn’t much in the way of a motivator when the going gets tough.
You need to have a powerful reward waiting for you when you have completed the challenge.
If you have always wanted to spend the weekend at a luxurious spa and country house hotel but never got round to going, for one reason or another, set that as the big reward for your challenge.
Let’s say that you decided that you needed to learn a specific skill set so that you could apply for a better paid job, it is a job you have wanted for years but never managed to get around to learning the required skills… skills which in truth, only need 30 days to master.
Set yourself the reward of that weekend away at that luxurious spa and country house hotel. Write it out on your calendar, maybe even get the weekend booked and pay a deposit. But know that if you fail to finish your challenge, you do not get the reward.
The reward has to be worth you working for. The pain of not finishing the challenge and missing out on the reward has to be greater than the pain of doing the challenge itself. And this is why I say that you should only set yourself a relatively easy challenge to start with.
If you set yourself a challenge to do an hour’s worth of exercise each day for 30 days, it is going to be hard, especially if you have a busy life. You will start to question whether you will find the time to do what you need to do. The doubt will set in. Making the challenge hard before you start pre programmes resistance in the mind.
However, if you start off small like only doing 5 or 10 minutes exercise, study or writing, it seems a lot more manageable. After all, who cannot find at least one 5 or 10 minute period spare in their day. I’ve probably wasted 5 minutes looking for some music to listen to while I write this article.
Doing a small amount of work is more doable. It is achievable. And it makes sticking to the challenge easier. You are more likely to stick with the challenge and finish it.
And if you do quit, the pain of not completing the challenge and not receiving your reward is harder to bear than the pain of actually sticking to the challenge.
Once you start to do your short 5 minutes of work, study or exercise or if you do your 5 specific tasks or exercises you will find that you’ll be finished as soon as you’ve started and so you will make the conscience decisions to do ‘just another 5 minutes’ and then when that is over, ‘I’ll do another 5 minutes’.
It is a lot easier to do a few more minutes when you have started than trying to force yourself to do a full hour’s worth of work when you haven’t much time.
Once you have completed a challenge, you can start again. It is easier to do another challenge off the back of a successfully completed one than it is to start from scratch again after quitting.
And if you now believe that doing only 5 – 10 minutes is not enough, set your new challenge at 15 or 20. Do whatever works best for you. But do not make it so hard that you are likely to stop and quit.
2. Practice Deep Breathing, Mindfulness & Meditation
This is a very powerful tool. Deep breathing, meditation and practicing mindfulness has a lot of biological and psychological benefits. They are tremendously good for managing stress, blood pressure and general wellbeing.
Deep breathing increases the oxygen levels in the body, putting it into the blood which makes its way to the brain. Taking deep breaths distracts the mind from its own thoughts and any external stressors. Especially if you count your breathing and focus on the air as you breath in and out.
Focusing on your breathing is a form of meditation and mindfulness as you are focusing on one thing at that precise moment. You are allowing your mind to focus on one positive thing at a time and shutting out all external stimuli.
Mindfulness is the same as being in the zone. When you slip into the zone, you are in a state of being where you are focusing only on the thing you are doing to the exclusion of everything else. When you practice mindfulness, you consciously decide to put yourself into that state. You immerse yourself into whatever it is you are doing and ignore everything else including your thoughts.
Mindfulness is an active meditation. You can do it while you work, play and move. Meditation is where you stop and spend some time in the practice of shutting out the world. This can be done by either sitting or laying. Some people may stand, but you must do what is comfortable for you.
During meditation, the brain experiences both alpha and beta waves. Normally, people only experience one set at a time. When people are in a relaxed awake state alpha waves are experienced. When someone is alert and thinking actively, they are experiencing Beta. With meditation, people can experience both at the same time. They are in a resting state while also being alert. This is very good for the brain.
Prolonged periods of meditation, or meditating regularly for a long period of time can have a dramatic affect on your health and mind. Anxiety can be reduced and replaced with a calm confidence as you become aware of yourself more deeply and more deeply aware of the world around you. You can become more connected to the world around and recognise the potential which lies within you.
Most of the stress and anxiety people experience comes from within the mind. The thoughts people have and the way they interact with their thoughts are largely responsible for a lot of the stress, depression and anxiety that they feel.
Meditation and being mindful helps reset the mind and makes the person more aware of how the mind works, what thoughts are and they become more aware of themselves.
3. Start Up A Side Business & Make More Money
Money, or more accurately, the lack of it, is responsible for a lot of the problems people have to face regularly. Whether we like to admit it or not, money is a tool which delivers people from a lot of stress, worry and problems.
Having a lot of it can give people peace of mind as well as a better life. When you have more money, you can experience more and do more.
When you have little, life becomes a struggle. And when people are short of spare money, they become demoralised, dejected and they lack motivation. This can grow into a depressing cycle of apathy and self pity. Just when people need more money, when they have mounting debts and bills to pay, people give up and make bad decisions.
It has been well documented that people who are poor make bad decisions and waste money. These bad decisions compound the situation they are experiencing, but the good news is that evidence shows that this is not a personality issue.
They may be poor and making their situation worse but they are not necessarily poor because of the decisions and choices they have already made. But the bad decisions they are making since they started to struggle have come about because of the struggles they are going through. It is this demoralised mindset which leads to bad decision making.
When it comes to money, you have little choices other than try to save as much as you can and not spend much or to make more instead. Most people opt to try and save money because it is the first form of action people can do and at first, it is easy to do.
However, this is futile as a way to get out of money issues because it is hard to keep up without making yourself hate life. Yes, you can miss out on a couple of coffee shop trips and cut back on a few takeaways, it would do your bank account and your health some good. But imagine trying to cut back on all non-essential fun spending for months or years at a time. That is going to be hard and depressing.
The best way is to find a way to make some extra money. Find a way where you can make a few extra pounds here and there. If you cut back on a few luxury spends and then make some extra money you can start to build up your bank account while also still enjoying some of the fun treats you enjoy.
Imagine that you couldn’t get any overtime at work to earn any more money. The time you would have happily spent at work doing overtime is now time you can spend on your own side project.
So let’s say that you now have 10 hours a week to work with. If you started a side income project which would bring in an extra £50 a week, you could still spend £10 a week on those treats which give you a reason for living and working and still bank £40 a week.
That is an extra £160 into the bank… and you are saving £40 in the process. So in effect, you are actually banking the full £200 because if you were not earning that extra £50 but still spent £10 a week on treats, you are £40 down. But your new side income project is earning enough to replace that treat spend and still give you more.
There are many great ways to make money, some require you to learn new skills, some skill learning is hard and others it is simple. Some second income opportunities which you can do from home are fully internet based.
Others use the internet as a tool to showcase your new products or services. No matter how hard life is, and with the COVID-19 issue it has been pretty hard recently, we are actually at the best time in human history to make extra money.
You can work for paying clients from all over the world and you can sell items from the comfort of your sofa to people on the other side of the world without even having to post anything. It is that great today.
Take writing as an example, you can quite easily earn several thousand pounds each month writing articles or sales letters for other people during your spare time using nothing more than a tablet, smartphone or laptop and without having to leave the house.
I know, I have done it. To learn more check out our article here: 3 Ways To Make £1000+ A Month As A Freelance Writer
To check out our home based business opportunities go to Crystal Clear Publications Product List.
4. Watch Less TV
This suggestion really helps with suggestion #3. If you really want to change your life and you believe you have a lack of spare time to spend on learning new skills, meditating or starting up a second side income then I suggest that you check how many hours you are spending in front of the television.
If you have ever seen the show Secret Eaters on Channel 4, you will see that virtually everyone on that show eats far more than they realise. It is as if they purposely forget or ignore some of the food they have bought and eaten. Very few people actually realise or own up to how much they eat. It is the same when it comes to watching television.
Studies have shown that on average, people in the UK spend around 22 hours a week watching the TV. In the US that figure is closer to 28 hours. Which all adds up. Over a 65 year period, the average person in the US would have watched 9-10 years in front of the little glass box. Here in the UK, the average TV fan would have spent 8-9 years of their life glued to the box. That is an incredible amount of time lost.
By reducing the amount of television watching you do each week, you have more spare time to spend on more positive and life enhancing pursuits. That time could be spent building up a side income or a way to generate extra money or learning new skills which will have an incredibly positive effect on your future.
Don’t get me wrong, we all need to unwind and relax, and chilling in front of a good drama or film is great fun. But we do not need to do it as often as we do? It can soon start to become detrimental to our lives and circumstances. The big problem is that most people don’t think that they have a problem. They don’t realise how much time they actually spend in front of the TV. It is possible that you are one of these people. You will never really know how much time you are spending in front of the television until you keep a record.
Get yourself a small notepad and a pen and write down all the TV you watch. Each day for a week or two keep a record of what time you turned the box on, what you watched, and when you turned the box off. You will then learn how much television you actually watch each week. I think you will be surprised at the results.
5. Exercise & Eat Better Food
This one goes without saying really. If you want to change your life then you need to be at the top of your game. Or at least, functioning as optimally as possible. When you feel good, life is easy. You can do more without thinking about it.
Motivation and willpower (which really doesn’t exist) is available in bucket loads when you are feeling good. As soon as you get a headache, a backache, a hurting foot, or if you are struggling to breathe or simply feel very tired and lethargic, how well do you get on with stuff?
Think back to a time when you were very hungover and had to go to work.
Was it your best morning’s work?
Did you enjoy it?
Were you running around and in the zone that morning?
If you said yes to any of those questions, then I think you are lying. I’ve never seen anyone work well when feeling rough as ****.
Exercising and eating healthy food gives your mind and body the best possible start to work towards changing your life. The food we eat and our bodies are a collection of chemicals. Chemicals react with each other. Some are good, and others are not. The food we eat stimulates biological responses in our bodies and so if we eat something which is not good for us and has a negative effect on us, we become slow and sluggish.
Food can even interact with our mental state which can have a huge effect on our actions. A large number of important brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine are made in our intestines. The production of these chemicals which we need to function properly, are influenced by the food we eat.
Good food means more production of the right chemicals, bad food means less of the right chemicals and can increase the production of bad chemicals. Some food increases pain, anxiety and depression.
Do you really want to eat food which puts you into a depressed or anxious mental state? You certainly will not change your life like that.
The body needs to be strong, supple and healthy so it is vital that you do some kind of exercise to help keep your body in good working order. Even if it is just a few long brisk walks each week. You need to do something and not become a sedentary couch potato.
To change your life for the better, choose at least one of the above, stick to it for a month or two and watch as changes occur. New positive habits will develop, old ways of living will be replaced and a better life will manifest.