And that’s another wrap folks. Once more round the sun, we whizzed this year and around about this time, post-Christmas lunch, with stomachs protruding (should we be so lucky) that we decide it’s time to change our lives!
Let me guess.
- And wellness right?
And potentially the romantic department too? Although that’s definitely not my field of expertise!
Have I changed everything I want to in the above areas? No but I have come a long way and I’ve learnt a thing or two along the journey. And yes, that’s me in the pics below, 20 years ago and 20kg’s heavier:-) If you follow me on Insta, or know me, you’ll know I don’t look like that anymore. Haha thank goodness.
What I do know is that the New Year most likely won’t change a thing. Yes, the stars will be different but as humans, most of us won’t. And if you want something different, you have to play a different game.
So simply use these magical 5 ways to change your life? Um no.
There’s no magic pill buuuuut these ‘tricks’ of the trade will go a long way to shaping the change you want to make.
Where to start to change your life?
Before we even start, identify something you want to change. Write it down. With an actual pen in an actual journal or on a real piece of paper.
NOT I want to be a multi-billionaire.
Try something definitive.
Think SMART (x, measurable, achievable, realistic and timeous).
For example, I want to have paid off my house by 2027 OR I want to land a new job that I love that pays me X OR I want to feel 50% calmer… You catch my drift.
Okay now the billion dollar question?
Why do you want to change this area of your life? If you don’t have your why, you’re not ready to shift.
Oprah calls this intention. Simon Sinek got super famous for his talk about it.
Intention or reason or whatever you may call it, you need to know why you want to change your life and why now?
You’re sick and tired of being sick and tired? That’s a good reason to change.
You know you were meant for more? That’s a good reason to change.
Your heart and the small voice inside says it’s time. That’s also a good reason.
Here are some not-so-great reasons to change;
Because my husband said I need to
Because my boss says I need to
Because I think I should (why do you think you should? Keep probing until you come up with a good reason)
Because I’m afraid that if I don’t…(fear is never a great motivator for change)
Change is tough.
Sorry, but let’s just say it like it is. Exercise is hard in the beginning. Learning a new language can leave you feeling inadequate. Putting yourself out there in interviews can be unnerving.
Change is tough because it’s a level up. (Feel free to download my free eBook if you really want to delve more into change).
You won’t be able to stick to change unless it comes from inside and from a place deep enough to make it stick.
And what’s going to make this time different from all the other times before? You need to know because if you’re reading this as a New Year’s Resolution post, close the page now and step away because you’re not ready.
But if you are really ready then you know what you want to change and you know why you want to change it. You’ve done the hard yards.
Here are 5 ways on how to put it into practice
Use these 5 helpful hacks to change your life.
StepHabit at a time
Change is a constant. No, what they meant to say is change is consistency.
Consistency trumps massive effort EVERY time. Just ask Warren Buffet who began investing at the ripe old age of 10 years old. The key to wealth is consistent investing. Ask Warren Buffet or any other major investor and they’ll tell you the same thing.
Just as fitness is consistent training. Just as language learning is consistent practice. Just as being a great writer means writing every day.
Want to REALLY change your life this year? What 1 consistent habit can you realistically implement that will help you do just that?
Here are a few ideas;
- Health – Drink 2 litres of water a day
- Language learning – Practice Duolingo once a day
- Wealth – Set an automatic monthly debit order to pay off debt or to invest.
- Weight loss – Commit to eating 5 vegetables a day OR do my video course Carbs & Curves to prep yourself body, mind and soul for long-term weight loss.
- Career advancement – Commit to learning 3 times a week
- Inner peace – sign up to Calm and dedicate 5 minutes a day
- Fitness – Sign up with a trainer or a friend and workout at least 3 times a week
The key here is something small everyday or a few times a week so that it becomes like brushing your teeth. In the end you feel strange if you don’t do it.
Use pain to fuel you forward
Life lessons (and just life) can be a bitch. She will kick you sometimes when you are down and that’s just the way it is.
It’s royally painful to lose a job, to go through a divorce, to be rejected for a job you really wanted, to lose a business or to not land a client.
Whatever is painful to you, use that pain. Channel it to create your future.
My friend Jen from Bia Cycling always says “You can cry but you have to keep peddling” and it’s true.
You can cry but keep your eyes on the prize and move forward.
A few years ago a very dear friend of mine lost her restaurant. She was devastated. She was in debt and she didn’t want to get out of bed. For a few months, she stayed at home and drank. She couldn’t see the way forward. Eventually, she decided to take the pain and use it to move her forward. Now she part owns one of the most successful restaurants in Johannesburg. She works her butt off but couldn’t be happier. It makes me so happy to see her so successful.
Focus on the future you want to create, rather than the past you are trying to forget
Ever heard yourself or someone say “no thank you, I’m trying to cut down on sugar”. Don’t try NOT to do something. Rather than focusing on ‘banishing’ something or trying not to do something, rather try adding something else in.
It’s a little like focusing on the solution, not the problem.
Do you want to get in better shape? Take up running, swimming, cycling, gym or yoga. You’ll probably find your body starts to regulate your sugar cravings on it’s own as you become more consistent.
Want to write a book? Don’t try ‘not watching television’ and don’t focus on how ‘you can’t write’. Just write. Just get a pen or a laptop and simply write.
Do something rather than try to NOT do something.
What I’m saying here is rather focus on the future you want to create, rather than the past you are trying to forget.
I used to train with a trainer. I go cycling with friends. I worked with a phenomenal therapist for years. I have an accountant.
Because it’s easier.
You don’t have to suffer alone. Part of setting a habit for your year ahead could be getting a little helping hand.
There are specialists out there in every sphere of life! Dieticians, therapists, healers, doctors, financial advisors, personal trainers, mentors, life coaches, business coaches…even apps!
None of these people, or things, will do the job of ‘change your life’ for you but they will show you the easiest route. From there if you simply show up consistently in the manner that they advise, you’re more than likely to be successful.
Measure your OWN progress
For the past 5 years, I’ve had an excel spreadsheet where I keep track of the areas of my life on a monthly basis. (Drop me a mail if you want a copy to do this yourself)
Once a month I do a check-in to see how I am and how I’m tracking in each of these areas. I give myself a score out of 10 depending on the goals and objectives I’ve given myself. I’ve set an automatic conditional format to notify me that anything in red (under 3) needs some urgent attention and anything in green (over 7) is going extremely well.
Monthly is often enough that I can see where I am without becoming obsessive.
What’s the point?
It’s easy to spend 5 minutes on Instagram and feel like you’re failing when in reality you aren’t. It’s all about tracking you against you and your own goals.
I can tell you from personal experience that comparison is the thief of joy. Forget comparing yourself against the world, track your own progress over time and see how far you’ve come and where you still want to go.
How not to change your life?
Forget New Year’s Resolutions – they don’t last.
See the point below.
Forget motivation – it doesn’t last.
One day you wake up feeling like Rocky, ready to take on the world and the next you’re eyeing a McFlurry and wondering if you should size up and add some fries for good measure. Don’t rely on motivation. Some days you won’t be motivated and that’s a fact. Welcome to life on planet earth. Create habits and systemize things to prevent overwhelm and to get the results you want.
Life this year, just like every year, is going to throw some curveballs. If you’re going to throw in the towel, every time things don’t go according to plan, you’re in for a rough ride.
Wanting someone else to change
Think of a person you wish would live to their potential. It’s pretty easy. But let me save you a whole lot of angst and frustration. This person is NOT going to change until they decide they want to. No amount of nagging or insisting or showing them evidence will make them change. Set your focus on your own life and go from there.
I know there’s a lot going on in life and in the world. Try however if you can to focus on joy in 2023…