Do you feel stuck in life? Do you start your mornings feeling fed up and already tired of the day ahead? Do you often ask yourself how to change your life completely?
In this post, I will not only give you a step-by-step plan for changing your life and lifestyle. I will also give you the most precious thing ever – an example where this plan actually worked.
This is how I changed my life completely. It was hard. It took me a while. I wanted to give up more times than I’d ever admit. But I did it.
Who am I?
I’m Rachel – a living-my-dream blogger who stays at home all day and get paid for it. My other blog – DoctorForLove was recently awarded for The Best Relationship Blog of 2019, I make enough money to support my family, renovate a house and prepare a wedding in the summer of 2020.
I changed my life completely.
And here’s the step-by-step guide on how I did it.
How to change your life completely
First of all, let me start with the most obvious thing – I didn’t put a time frame of how long it will take you to make all the changes and harvest what you plant.
Understand this: Planting the seeds of success and change isn’t the most important thing. It’s watering these seeds, providing the care and having the patience to grow them is what matters.
To me, it took me a little bit less than three years to get to the point I’m at, and that’s not the end. I still need to grow and change, because the only consistent thing in life is change itself.
So, here’s how to change your life for the better.
1. Define the lifestyle you want to have
Knowing where you go is your crucial step. How do you want to live your life? Where do you see yourself? Are you on the top of your career lather? Are you patiently growing plants in a village in the mountain or maybe writing by the window of a beautiful beach house?
My dream was to have a huge library with dark oak shelves and old books. I would imagine how I sit behind the long desk in the middle of the room and write books on a computer. I would occasionally be able to travel to somewhere warmer and then, inspired for new chapters, would go back to my desk and breathe in the smell of old papers in my huge library.
Now, that’s my dream, and it’s very personal, so don’t judge it. Choose yours. Where do you see yourself sitting? How do you feel there? What do you do in your free time?
2. What makes it different than the lifestyle you already have?
Now, let’s get back to reality.
What makes your current lifestyle different than the one you want to have?
When I was dreaming about having my huge old library I was working in a hotel, I was OK with the job, but it wasn’t the thing that could give me the time to enjoy the life I truly wanted to have. Hence, I need it to find a way to become a full-time writer.
You see, if something doesn’t make you happy, you should change it. And I mean it.
No matter how hard it is and no matter how many thousands of excuses your brain is going to come up with, you must change.
You need to change your thoughts, change your priorities and change your habits. That’s the right way to changing your life.
So, what is it that keeps you away from living the life you want to live?
Write it down.
3. Map out the exact areas you need to improve
Knowing that you want (or need) a change doesn’t mean you’re ready for it nor that it will happen.
You want to find out what areas in your life stop you from getting to where you want to be.
If your goal is to get a better job, then you might want to improve your skills, apply for new positions, be more confident or believe in yourself more. Sometimes, the biggest fights are the ones with ourselves and you might be the only person who stands on your way to success. Now is the time to define this.
To me, that meant I had to stop dreaming of climbing the corporate lathers and focus on working for myself – something that I’ve always stayed away from. But only working for myself would give me the financial freedom to travel as often as I’d like and spend my time reading and writing.
The problem I had (and still have although working on it) was that I didn’t believe in myself even a bit.
Someone else did. But I’ll get to that part later on.
Write down what areas in your life need to change so you could move forward.
4. Describe exactly what could improve these areas
Yes, that’s a different step. Once you define the areas that need your attention, then you find out what to change about them.
If you must improve your skills at work, then maybe taking an extra course would be beneficial for you. If self-confidence is your weak spot, then working on it should be your priority, and so on.
For me, that was getting into the blogging business as that would allow me to make enough money to fulfil my dream.
5. Write the steps to get there
Now would be the time to get really specific. Write the name of the course; check how to get it – prices, timeslots, write if you need to move things around to fit a new course.
If you need to work on your confidence, map out some ideas on how to do it. Are you scared of rejection? Then you might want to start seeking rejection and face that fear.
Be as specific as possible. You want to work with the exact numbers and timeslots. You want to know all the obstacles and to have them written down.
6. Write more different ideas
Keep working on your dream.
Once you have the exact steps, try to see if something could go wrong. Don’t see it as a chance to change the plan; you still get the same end result.
However, by having more ideas written on the paper, you will feel more confident and will start believing in yourself more.
You want to be sure that you can do it, and by listing all of your options, things will look easier and possible.
7. Be flexible
As I mentioned above, the only consistent thing in life is change itself.
Be ready to modify your plans, change the steps, skip a few of them or add new ones. Be flexible.
Things won’t always go smoothly, and you must expect them to mess up a bit. Keep modifying your plan. That’s part of the process.
I had to invest three years of my life into my business before I start making good money, and during these three years, I had to change the steps according to the new things I kept learning.
8. Be ready to fail
I’m sorry to say this, but you will fail!
You will fail more times than you will succeed. But even though you fail many times, all you need is to succeed once, right?
Last summer I spent three months reading ten different books and reviewing them. Afterwards, I wrote a huge post of 9000 words and offered it to a huge website as a guest post. They didn’t accept it, so I decided to publish it on my blog and make money from selling the books through Amazon. If you have no idea what I talk about: every time you visit Amazon through a link from another website, that website’s owner gets a small commission for the things you get (at no extra cost to you).
So, I did all that.
I still haven’t sold even one copy of these books, even though they’re absolutely amazing and I would recommend them even if I don’t get paid for it.
Sometimes, you will put a lot of effort, time and love doing something and the outcome won’t be the one you hoped for.
I use the knowledge I got from these 10 books, and it has helped me understand love and relationships better, hence – I help my readers even more. So somehow I failed and somehow – I won.
Related Post: 10 BEST GRATITUDE JOURNALS TO HELP YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH
9. Be determined to keep going
And you still need to get up and keep doing what you need to do to get where you want to get!
Determination, dedication and stubbornness are three of my secrets to getting where I am and keep going.
After every failure, there will be a moment (or more) when you’ll want to give up. I’ve been on the edge of giving up many times. But the alternative wasn’t a good option for me.
Once you taste the sweet feeling of moving forward with your life, you will never forget it. It’s like a drug you need a new fix on. Once you do the step ahead all you’ll want is to make another one. And then another one.
And that’s a good drug. Because it will be what you need to just keep going.
Last spring, I went on to work for a few days a week as an office assistant. It was a part-time job that allowed me to get out of the house for a few times a week and helped me socialise a little bit.
However, working for someone else for a few months reminded me of how free I felt while working on my own business. Yes, developing a website, bringing traffic, writing every single day and learning new things was challenging and took me 12-15 hours daily. But it was also something I was doing for myself, for my personal growth and self-development. I quit again and decided to do my best never to lose that sweet feeling of living my dream.
So, be determined to keep going. You might push the Pause button for a little bit, but never quit working on what makes you happy.
It’s worth every single second of your time and every drop of sweat.
10. Be brave
Now is the time to tell you how other people around you will react to your decision to change your life.
You see, we often get used so much to the life we have, that changing something about it sounds like a crazy decision. Why fixing something that isn’t broken?
And when someone around us takes the decision to do something different (out of the norm), we look at him like he’s gone mad.
Why going back to school? You’re 37 years old! Are you mad?
Why leaving your job if it pays the bills?
Why starting a new business? It will take you too long to succeed if at all!
Why starting a blog when you could find “a real job”?!
People will give you their opinion when you don’t want it. And they will tell you all the different ways you will fail and all the different reasons you shouldn’t do it.
But that’s their opinion. And instead of putting your hands on your ears and pretending they don’t talk to you, I suggest you listen to them.
Yes, listen to them. Hear their own fears and their own reasons why they don’t change their lives. Understand the fear of the unknown behind their words. And take notes, as they might be given you examples of obstacles you need to overcome.
It’s OK if no one understands you! The first time I showed my mother that I made $150 for one day (while on vacation) she said that she never believed even for a second I could do it. I smiled and said, “I know!”.
11. Everything comes with a price, and you must be willing to pay it
To support our family while I was developing the business, my partner was working 15 hours a day every week. He was waking up at 2:30 a.m. and going to work until late afternoon. That gave us little to no quality time as a couple for so long. I was waking up with him and was starting work at 3 a.m. every morning, working as long as he was working. We would rarely have time to visit family members and almost never have enough time to relax.
You will always need to pay for what you want. Usually, in advance. Your dream and the change you want to make come with a price. It’s painful, you won’t always enjoy it, but let me repeat myself – It’s totally worth it.
As Robin Sharma says: Every change is painful at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.
12. Keep yourself motivated
Motivation and hard work are what will keep you going ahead.
Changing your life isn’t easy and unless you’re some kind of a super-human, you will need to keep motivating yourself.
One of the best ways I motivate myself is keeping my mind focused on the end result. I often close my eyes and imagine myself in my library. I imagine I walk around it, I sit down behind the desk and write another chapter of my book. In my mind, I live through a whole day of the life I want to have. And when a few minutes later I open my eyes, I know what I need to do.
Keep your goal in mind. Read motivational books, take extra courses, talk to people who believe in you.
If you don’t have the time to read books, listen to them – Audible gives you the first book for free when you only sign up.
Skillshare offers you one (or even two) month for free with their subscription.
Invest in what’s worth your time and money. Invest in your dreams and goals. No penny is wasted as long as it serves You.
And keep moving forward. That’s all that matters.
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