“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”~Barack Obama
Often in life, major life changes occur when there is divorce, death, illness, the loss of a job… Life changes dramatically and we are forced to change because of it. This isn’t a bad thing, nor is it a good thing–it’s what we make of it that determines whether we merely survive or thrive.
Then there are the times when life seems to be going well. We reach a tolerable comfort zone that we all too often fool ourselves by thinking that everything is going well. A comfort zone is not really comfortable for many people. When life seems to be going really well, there can often be a sense of dissatisfaction. What looks good on the outside may not be congruent on the inside. We may be telling people that we have a great home life, we love our job, our kids are great; but are you really being truthful with your response?
You don’t necessarily have to admit your truth to others, what is important, at least to start, is to start admitting the truth to yourself. From there, when you own the truth, you can begin to work on yourself and the life you have created. Many people stay in denial and work hard at repressing and depressing what is real for them. “Sure, Bob, life is great! Marge and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.” In the meantime, Marge is overweight, on antidepressants, and maybe you are on your second prescription for your blood pressure.
As hard as it is, telling the truth to ourselves sets us free. Here are 24 more things that will change your life:
- Face your fears.
- Be mindful of being in the present instead of thinking about the past or future. Worry, guilt–these things take us away from what is happening in the moment. Resolve to be more present–to show up for your life.
- Do something different everyday. It doesn’t have to be big–like trying a new flavor, going home a new route, shopping someplace new, or reading a different kind of book. Shake up your life so that it has more excitement for you.
- Contribute more to your workplace, to a non-profit, to your life at home.
- Gratitude. Think of or write down 3 things you are grateful for each and every day. Try to think outside the box. For example, thank you for the yummy sandwich I had for lunch. Thank you for the thunderstorm that knocked out our power–I got to spend quality time with my family. Being grateful eventually becomes a habit–a habit that has you focusing on the positive things in life.
- Show up with a good attitude. There are too many people walking around with sour faces (so to speak). Their attitude does not have to bring you down. Instead, be the sunshine they need!
- Smile more. Smiling changes our bio-chemistry and it changes those people you come into contact with.
- Listen to music that inspires you. Listen to it often, especially when you are going through a tough day. Music has a way of uplifting you, or it can even bring out our sadness. The right song can release the crying jag we so desperately had been trying to keep down.
- Spend more time in nature. We weren’t meant to spend 24/7 inside going from our homes to our cars to work. Nature reminds us that we are part of a vast universe full of wonderful, awe-inspiring beauty. We have lost touch with the lessons nature has to give to us.
- Simplify. Simplify your work life and your home life by getting rid of things you don’t need anymore or that slow you down.
- Organize. Be organized so that your life flows more smoothly.
- Change your reaction to what you will tolerate. Make a list of what you are tolerating in your life right now. For example: a long commute, a nasty mother-in-law, bickering from the kids, bad coffee, ugly dishes, no windows in your office–what are the things you can change? And, what are the things you can’t change?
- Stop complaining. Complaining doesn’t solve anything–it’s a red flag that something isn’t working well. Instead of complaining, find a proactive solution.
- Get in shape. Eat right and exercise. We hear those words all the time, but do you live your life by them? We are in charge of these bodies we’ve been given. If you want to live a long and healthy life, you have to take the steps necessary to love, nurture, and protect your body.
- Find something you are passionate about. Having an activity that is meaningful for you–one where you are so engaged in it you forget all sense of time and your surroundings–helps foster a sense of happiness and contentment in your life.
- Accept that you will make “mistakes”–which are only learning opportunities in disguise.
- Forgive. Forgive yourself, forgive the person or people who have done you harm. By continuing to hold onto the pain, you are only harming yourself. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself. To forgive does not mean to forget but it gives you the freedom to live your life in a more empowering way. You are not a victim–you are the hero your life has been waiting for.
- Be patient. Change can occur in an instant, or more than likely it takes time to unravel its path. Accept where you are now and use the opportunity to discover patience, acceptance, and gratitude in your life.
- Write down your goals. If you haven’t written down some goals, you are like a ship without a rudder. To get more out of life, it will be more fulfilling if you set and reach some attainable goals for yourself. Challenge is good for the soul.
- Be an inspiration. What do you want people to say at your funeral? What if you had one year to live? What would change? Would you want to do more, be more, and have more in your life? What’s stopping you?
- Accept that we grow old. I see so many people–women especially–not wanting to give in to their wrinkles. Use the energy spent on worrying about the aging process to do something for your stress level like yoga, meditation, or running. This is a losing battle, one we falsely believe we can conquer. We can age gracefully or not.
- See a therapist. Start working through all the childhood baggage you’ve carried with you into adulthood. Use their expertise to help guide you to become aware of your own inner workings so you’ll stop repeating ineffective behaviors and thoughts that hold you back in life.
- Hire a coach. This is life on fast forward–if you’re ready. Discover who you are, what you are meant to do, and create a life–an awesomely inspiring life!–that is tailor made for you.
- Figure out what it is in your life that isn’t working, and do something about it. The Wheel of Life Exercise can be eye-opening. Try it to discover the areas of your life that need some attention. Then, write down three actions for each of these areas.