While many want to make life changes, few know where to start. The beginning of the year is an especially popular time to start resolving—or making a New Year’s Resolution—to make certain changes; however, you’re likely wondering where the best place to start is to make the maximum impact on your life. Here are some things you should understand if you want to move forward with lifestyle changes that will make your life happier, fuller, and healthier.
Determine Where You Are and Where You Want to Be
The first step in any life change is to take stock of where you are and where you want to be. That means reflecting and developing an inventory of your strengths in life or where you feel happiest, as well as areas that could use some work, leaving you feeling totally lost, or even miserable. Taking an inventory will help guide you as you seek to make changes. Perhaps you are pleased with the relationship you have with your spouse and children, but your career is making you miserable… or you are making strides in your job, but your health and fitness are struggling. Always play to your strengths when you are looking for a change—this will help make the process easier and more enjoyable for you.
Go For the Small Wins
After you have reflected on your life at present and have laid out your strengths, weaknesses, and the things that are just thorns in your side, it’s time to go for some small wins. These are the things you can implement right now that will help make your life better. An example of a small win could be hiring someone to clean your home if you feel drained by housework. It could also be the decision to implement a monthly date night or family night to help strengthen your relationships. Whatever that small action is, it’s going to have a ripple effect on the rest of your life. Maybe the extra time you gain from not having to clean the house over the weekend gives you an opportunity to get back into a hobby that you love. A small win can help give you enough forward momentum to tackle other more complex areas of your life that you want to change.
Reframe Your Thinking About the Issues in Your Life
Now that you’ve made plans for a few small wins, it’s time to tackle the thornier or more complicated issues that you may be having. The first thing to do here is to reframe your thinking about your “problems”. Write them down, but think of them as opportunities or simply the things that must be strategized. Then brainstorm three possible solutions to each issue that can help you move forward. Next, CHOOSE ONE and take action. Remember that big changes are built on the foundations of small wins, and small wins come from taking action. Some issues require solutions that may take three, four, or five-plus years to execute. That’s ok! Life is long, but years are short. It’s important that you invest in yourself to ensure that you don’t spend one more year being held back by an issue that you can tackle today.