WE ALL want to live a life we love. Why then do so few people get to experience just that?
Sometimes the changes we would need to make to have that life seem so great that even thinking about them overwhelms us. We can become frozen with over-analysis and fear of making the changes.
The secret to changing your life is to start taking baby steps. Start by taking the actions that you feel excited about and are easy to take.
The great truth is that one thing leads to another. When you start to improve just one small detail of your life, the next will be easier.
Here are 10 great places to start:
Attitude: You get to choose your attitude every day. Your attitude is a manifestation of how you think. Choose to take actions that keep you thinking positively.
For example, read positive literature; make a CD of songs that pump you up; listen to uplifting music on the drive to work.
Associates: Who do you spend your time with? Are they people who you feel great to be around? You can tell if your associates are positive to be around. If you feel drained of energy after spending time with certain people, its time to ask yourself what are you getting out of the relationships?
Spare time: How do you spend it? Does it enrich you or numb you? When did you last do something just because doing it made you feel joyous, proud, excited, and just plain good?
Make a list of all the activities you love to do in your spare time and stick it on the fridge. The next time you have some spare time, walk past the TV and check your list.
Work: Are you proud of what you do? Do you enjoy it? Or do you dread going to work and spend the weekdays counting the time to the next weekend?
If you arent happy, take responsibility and start the process of making the transition. Research new job opportunities; see a career counsellor; attend professional development courses.
Surroundings: Do your surroundings make you smile when you walk into a room? Do they reflect how good you feel about yourself? Have you added flowers, frills, colours, or whatever lifts your spirit when you look at it?
Or are you surrounded by piles and stacks of stuff just waiting to be sorted, folded or put away? How much energy does just thinking about this stuff take from you every day?
Write a to-do list of all the things you would like to change about your environment.
Choose to tick off one item per week. You will be amazed at how fast you change your environment for the better, and increase your natural energy.
Eating habits: Do you use food to contribute to your health and well-being or to numb yourself? Forget about fad diets. A good place to start with eating habits is being honest with yourself. Keep a food diary for one week to observe exactly what you eat. Then decide what areas you can realistically cut back on.
Exercise: Do you spend more time looking after your hair, clothes and car than your body? Does the idea of going to the gym fill you with dread?
Start by making a list of activities that you love to do, such as play golf, walk the dog, body surf, rollerblading, and dancing.
Make exercise fun rather than a routine. This could even mean making sure you hit the dance floor when you are out on a Saturday night.
Consumption: Do you spend more than you earn? Are you in debt? Make a commitment to pay all your debts today. Take it one bill at a time.
For example, if you have three credit card bills, commit to paying one in full and then cut up the card, and keep going till you have only one credit card.
Use cash as much as possible. You will be amazed how quickly that sense of quiet anxiety will disappear when you know your expenses are under control.
Your appearance: Do you love how you look? You dont have to look like a top model to feel good about your appearance. Do you like your hairstyle? If not, change it.
Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that dont fit or make you feel frumpy? Throw them away or give them to charity and repair items that need fixing.
Organise yourself so that everything you wear is in good condition and will make you feel great.
You as a person: What do you like or don't like about yourself? The secret is: to like who you are more, you need to become more of you are.
Many people are busy trying to be who others think they should be. You can tell if you are in this trap when you hear to yourself saying I should do this or be this.
Be more of who you are by appreciating your unique strengths and listening to your heart. Ask yourself, what is it I really want?
The answer that comes from your gut, rather than your head, will be a good guide in helping you create a life you love.
o Chelsea Rostill, Corporate Coach, Third Wave, will be in Kuala Lumpur to conduct a programme on Selling Successfully to Senior Management for MIM in May 2004. For more details, call MIM Customer Service at 03-21654611, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mim.edu
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