I’ve completely changed my life in the last ten months. Over the holidays, I was worried about my health and wasn’t working towards my goals. But then something snapped in my mind, and I committed to turning those obstacles around. Now that I’ve gone through this process, I’ve got some lessons to share.
1) Habits make a world of difference
I’d gained a lot of weight, and even though I tried to exercise from time to time, I never seemed to make a habit of it. Over the holidays, I pulled out my road bike that had been hiding in the basement and decided to ride it for 30 minutes.
After doing it once, I decided I’d try to do it for a week; after that, I aimed for two weeks until it became regular. It also helped that the bike was always in front of me, so it was hard to ignore.
At this point, it is no longer a choice; it was just what I did every night.
To change your life, you need to figure out what kinds of habits will get you there. For me, riding my bike and writing every weekday has made an enormous difference that wouldn’t have been possible without habits.
2) Impossible things become possible with dedication and commitment
I didn’t set out to lose 30 pounds, but I knew that I needed to get healthy. I didn’t plan to write 150 thousand words, but I knew I needed to work on my writing.
With a commitment to something and belief in its value, you can accomplish way more than you ever planned. The great thing about habits is that while you only make a little bit of progress each day, in the long run, the results are enormous.
I didn’t think I could lose weight or get to 100 articles on my website, yet I completely changed my life without even realizing it by committing to some helpful habits.
3) The more you do something, the easier it gets
For the first couple of weeks, riding the bike was difficult, and it was hard to motivate myself to get off the couch and do it. But at this point, when my chores for the day are over, I just find myself peddling away on the bike.
At the same time, writing a thousand words in a day sounds like a lot, but two thousand words in one sitting aren’t all that difficult after doing it for a while.
With most things in life, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Losing weight is hard, but the little bit of work you do each day becomes easy if you measure your success in the long term.
4) Concrete goals are more manageable than general ones
I’ve always wanted to write, and I’ve written a couple of books over the years. But turning that effort into something that could make money wasn’t ever something I’d thought much about.
Then I found a program online that claimed to help you create an income in 24 months, so I finally had a plan with that course. Using that system, I created a spreadsheet and knew what I had to do and how I would do it, which made everything easier.
The more general a plan is, the harder it is to accomplish because there isn’t anything to work towards. It becomes easier to do if you are clear about what you are trying to do because you know your target. It is easier to change your life if you are clear about what you want to change.
5) We are what we do, not what we want to be
I wanted to be healthy and make money with writing, and while those are noble goals, they make no difference without action and effort. To lose weight, you need to be the kind of person who watches what they eat and dedicates time to exercise.
If you want to be a writer, you need to press the keys, get your ideas out and write words. While you might have grand ambitions, without action and effort, those ideas don’t mean much.
If you want to change your life, you need to make daily efforts that reflect the type of person you want to be. Without hard work and effort, even the most worthy goals are nothing more than a dream.
6) You have to push through the pain and discomfort
Often when it is easy to do something, you can be pretty sure that you aren’t changing yourself. When things are easy, they are familiar and typical, and while that isn’t always a bad thing. But when it comes to living your best life and being your best self, they are a sign of stagnation.
When things get challenging, you know you are making a difference and improving yourself.
Riding a bike none stop for 30 minutes is difficult when you are used to watching TV and eating junk. Anytime you break a bad habit and replace it with a better one, it will be uncomfortable, but that is how you can be sure that you are changing yourself into a new person.
7) Small repeatable tasks have significant impacts in the long run
Exercising for 30 minutes is difficult if you haven’t done it in a while, but with some practice, you get sweaty, but it’s not a big deal.
Doing that for a few days likely won’t have much effect; your weight won’t change much. Yet after nine months, that is 135 hours of exercise, which makes a huge difference. Writing an article a day might be difficult, but it is manageable; however, you might have 100 pieces of content after a few months, something that seemed impossible when you started.
Small repeatable steps aren’t a huge inconvenience, but they make a big difference, and if you want to change your life, you need to make significant changes. Pick something easy but meaningful to repeat, and your efforts will pay off in magnitudes in the long run.
8) Being healthy makes a lot of other things easier
Eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly makes a massive difference in our state of mind, translating into a more striking ability to work towards our goals.
It was challenging to motivate myself to write when I was feeling lazy and tired, but once I started exercising regularly, I felt much better and could concentrate on my work better.
If we are always tired or feeling weak, it won’t be easy to put time into other tasks that require effort and concentration.
It is much easier to change your life if you focus on getting healthy, as being healthy makes everything else easier. I wouldn’t have been able to write so much if I hadn’t first gotten into the habit of daily exercise.
Getting more fit also made it easier to eat healthily and be optimistic about what I was working on.
9) You need to compromise; work means not having fun
I don’t want to speak poorly about work, but it isn’t all that fun when we view something as work. But if we are constantly having fun, we aren’t likely doing the hard work it takes to change our lives and accomplish our goals.
I used to like getting high and watching movies, and while that was fun, I hadn’t done anything worth mentioning at the end of the week. Giving up on the fun and working towards something might not be as exciting at the moment, but when I look back at my last ten months, I’ve made huge strides.
Compromise means doing things we don’t want to or not getting what we want at the moment. But in the long run, our work tends to pay off, and while we might not enjoy it at the time, we will enjoy the outcome.
10) Choose one thing and stick with it till it’s done
When I started writing the content for this website, I was writing as much as I could, and while the number of articles kept getting bigger, 100 still seemed like a huge feat.
But then, after a few months, I was halfway there, and getting to 100 wasn’t so scary anymore. Having a target makes it easier to measure your progress, but it also offers you a chance to feel satisfied with your accomplishments at some point in the future. For myself, now that I’ve gotten there, I feel like something is missing, and now I want to write more.
Working towards a goal and accomplishing it is satisfying and will encourage you to do similar acts in the future. However, if you change your mind along the way or move on to something else, you won’t see that light at the end of the tunnel, and it will work against future efforts.
Sticking until something is done will make it much easier for you to change your life because you will believe that significant changes are possible.
I was able to change my life by committing to my goals and being persistent; what are you going to do?