I have always read books about self improvement, and I think that this year I have truly made a shift in my mentality by actually internalizing each thing I have learned and applied it to my life. The most common thing and biggest change in my mind that is always reiterated in these books is to take action.
I figured I would take this time to tell you about how taking action has transformed my life over this past year. Here it goes…
No Goal has Been Accomplished Without Action
I know that visualization is important, and I think it is great to actually visualize yourself as the person who has achieved all of your goals and imagine what that life is like. That being said, you need to make the first move. Sitting and hoping to have that big break isn’t benefiting you in the greatest possible way.
I do believe in the law of attraction, but what do you do while you are waiting for your wildest dreams to come true? If it isn’t practicing harder, working out more often, going on more interviews, or whatever variation of MORE that your goal entails, you need to take action.
I used to always say things like, “I want to lose weight,” “I want to travel more,” “I want the perfect relationship,” and “I want to work in my dream career.” It’s great to have the desire, but what did I actually do to reach these goals? The answer used to be nothing.
Once I kind of internalized that I need to actually do something to reach these goals, my whole life changed. I say “internalized”‘because it is common knowledge: goals require effort. Duh! Knew that… Well, as I sat there just waiting for my wildest dreams come true while I made absolutely no changes, I knew that something had to be done.
“I’ll Start Tomorrow”
Okay… BS. Tomorrow is too late to start. Five years of tomorrow’s goes by in the blink of an eye! Believe me, because that is what I said to myself every day for FIVE WHOLE YEARS. I could go on with a bunch of cliches about how the only thing that is guaranteed is this moment and carpe diem and yatta yatta… But, I won’t! You already know that, so take it from someone who put off living my best life for years: it is not worth it!
Sick days, they’ll happen. Too much work or travel plans, that’ll happen, too. It’s okay to miss a day or give yourself a day off or day of rest. What isn’t okay is to think that all of your problems can wait until tomorrow. Stop lying to yourself about starting tomorrow, and just start now! I know I wish I did.
Actually Making the First Move
That decision to change did not come easily. I was being pulled out of bed at early morning hours by my new puppy, Lady, and taking her for walks just to get her to go back to sleep so I could, too. Then, I was sitting outside with her while she entertained herself for hours; however she wouldn’t go outside without me. So, the one thing I would do was read. I bought this book called Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop and, man, did that light a fire under me.
I started running with my dog every morning once she got big enough, and I stayed awake afterward to start writing. Soon, I started going to the gym before Lady even woke up and would come home to take her for a run every morning. My relationship improved and I was making more money at work and working a better schedule. One little change totally rerouted my whole life. And to think that this all happened because of one simple change that wasn’t deliberate!
I do have that personality type where the busier I am, the more productive I am: my house is cleaner, I write faster and with more purpose, and errands are always done. Time management is something that I excel at when I have a lot going on and it affords me some wonderful free time.
Overall, I have seen so much improvement in the quality of life that I have been living!
Nearly a Year Later
I mad a goal poster/vision board with my mom and some of her friends at the beginning of the year. I was very proud of it at first, but it soon was just tucked away. I walk past it every day without pulling it out to look at it, and most of the time don’t even realize it’s there.
Well, I decided to pull it out the other day, and here it is:
Things I have done this year include living a healthier lifestyle, traveling to places I have never been, improving relationships with family members and friends, hiking in the mountains, growing in my faith, healing from past traumas, planning for my future, and creating the life I want to live. Look at the board. I didn’t think one thing of that poster since I had made it really… And nearly every item has been accomplished.
Could you imagine that feeling if I had never started making changes? That poster would still be a goal poster rather than a symbol of my achievements this year. From disappointed to accomplished. And all it took was one little change to make everything else fall into place!
That One Thing
My life will never be the same. These changes that I have made to work towards a goal have become major lifestyle changes for me. I’ll always be a morning person, I’ll always fit a workout into my day, and I’ll develop better relationships with what I have learned.
The only thing I could say I regret in this journey is that I didn’t start sooner!
Today I am so grateful for the lifestyle changes that I have made!
What are you grateful for today? Let me know in the comments!