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Three Essential Tools to Make Positive Changes in Your Life

Written By John Richards on Monday, November 19, 2012 | 10:40 AM


Today I have an extra special post for you!
When I was in the midst of my quarter-life crisis, I remember declaring every single birthday and New Year’s Eve that THIS YEAR would finally be my year.
I was certain, every single time, that “this time” I would finally get back in shape, fix my relationship, start being more creative, make the move to work 100% for myself, find that amazing tribe of women to call my friends and FINALLY make sh*t happen for myself. That was twice a year (sometimes more)… for about three long years. THREE. LONG. YEARS.
Each birthday I was overcome with determination and would create an action plan with loads of goals, big dreams and lots of excitement. And then, nothing happened… at all. Sure, sometimes I went for a good week or month, but then it was business as usual.
When New Year's rolled around a few months later, I got another surge of energy because it felt like a second chance to really make things happen. There’s something so enticing about a fresh year, am I right? The problem is, I could never make anything happen for myself. I would continue to spin my wheels, beat myself up and try, try again, only to repeat the same pattern. I felt stuck, depressed and I truly believed I would never be happy.
For 1,095 long days, I stayed stuck in this same depressing cycle.
Things have obviously changed since that 3-year stretch of "one step forward, five steps back" and I couldn’t be happier. Every single day I exclaim how much I LOVE my life and business. I don’t say this to brag, I say it to show you that change IS POSSIBLE, you just need the right tools.
TODAY I’M SHARING THREE OF THOSE ESSENTIAL TOOLS WITH YOU.
1) Create a tribe of supportive, like-minded people.
This is soooooo, so important to making positive changes in your life! I can’t stress it enough. When I was experiencing my quarter-life crisis, I felt so lost and confused as to who I was and what I wanted… despite seeming to have everything. It was incredibly isolating because I felt like no one else would understand.
The truth is I wasn’t alone, and neither are you. Just because those like-minded people don’t presently exist in your life, doesn’t mean they’re not out there experiencing the SAME EXACT thing as you… wishing they had someone to relate to as well. No matter what you’re going through or what you want to create for yourself, I promise you, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who want the same thing for themselves.
You are a unique and beautiful person, yes, but your situation is surprisingly common, regardless of what it is. This is known for sure.
Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, you need people in your life who you can really open up to. People who will understand, love and support you.
You also need accountability! When you’re trying to move toward a goal or big life shift, you need support, no matter how smart, capable or driven you are. Accountability puts you on the fast track to making amazing things happen.
Here are three ways to create that support tribe:
Find a meetup.com group around a goal you’re working toward. This could be a runner’s group, business mastermind or writer’s group.
Join a program, workshop or class. Not only will you be connected to like-minded people working toward the same goal, you’ll learn something as well, AND have the added accountability of the coach or teacher.
Find an online or virtual community. If you can’t find any classes or local meetups, there is nothing wrong with a virtual tribe. Some of the most supportive and loving individuals in my life are people I have yet to meet face-to-face. Log on and find a Facebook group, website forum or online program or community.
2) Stop trying to change everything all at once.
PLEASE. Every single time I set out to “change my life”, I immediately set myself up for failure by trying to do all of it in one swoop. Not only that, I wanted it all done yesterday, which lead me to create unsustainable action plans and set unrealistic goals. It wasn’t possible for me to make it all happen at once, and that was one of the biggest reasons I continued to fail.
The key is to get REALLY clear about what’s important, and what’s a priority for you. Since we’re all unique, this will vary person-to-person. For me, getting my health in order, being creative and building a business I love were top priorities. It wasn’t until I stepped back and focused on those three things, at a realistic pace, that I was able to start making changes.
Out of all the goals and things in your life you want to change, I want you to pick THREE. Just three… no more. Less is better.
These should be three areas that have the largest influence on your health, well-being, happiness, relationships, and every other aspect of your life. I HIGHLY recommend that your physical health be #1 on your list if you’re not 100% happy with your body, energy levels or overall health. Without your health, you’re nothing. Literally. Nothing.
Take out a sheet of paper or your journal, and work through the following to determine what your priorities are:
  • Does this life area or goal DIRECTLY effect my well-being and mood if neglected?
  • Do I feel fussy, frustrated, stressed or depressed if I don’t make this a priority?
  • Does neglecting this area make me feel antsy and out of sorts?
  • When I give this area my attention, do I feel inspired, excited, energized and happy?
  • Does focusing on this area elevate my mood, allowing me to be better, more focused and more energized in other areas of my life?
  • If you answered yes to the questions above, this is a PRIORITY area for you. Move forward with focusing on ONLY those goals.

3) Adopt a POSITIVE mindset!
I know that when you’re in the midst of a quarter-life crisis or messy life situation, hearing “just be positive” can make you want to scream. But one of the most powerful steps you can take toward creating the life of your dreams is to practice gratitude and positive thinking. While you may not be feeling 100% happy, adopting a positive outlook and daily gratitude will immediately improve your quality of life.
It takes practice, and I certainly fell off the wagon more times than I can remember… but learning to be positive and expressing gratitude for what I had made a tremendous difference in my life, and my ability to finally make things happen.

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