Are you feeling stuck in your circumstances?
Do you want to move in a new direction, but don’t know where to go?
As long as you’re alive, you have the ability to reinvent yourself. In fact, you can and should reinvent yourself many times in your life.
Nothing stays stagnant. Even if you don’t make the conscious decision to change, your life will keep moving forward. The question is — will you be the one steering the ship.
The process itself isn’t easy. There are no ten steps. But there are some jumping-off points you can use to get started. Here’s a list of 40 things you can do to spark change in your life — I’ve done many, if not all, of them.
Write a book
It’s easier to publish your own work that it was a decade ago. Self-publishing your own book is the new business card. Writing a book establishes you as an authority in your field. It can also lead to business opportunities in the future. Even if you’re not a writer or an entrepreneur, you can publish a book as a memento to your future generations or as a fun ‘passion project’ I’ve published two books and they’ve both led to more income, meaning, and opportunity than I could’ve imagined.
Start your own blog
Blogging is a great way for you to join the conversation online. Career expert Penelope trunk says “blogging is essential for a good career.” There is a subject you’re uniquely suited to talk about based on your personal experience. If you have an important message, blogging can help you spread it. Lastly, blogging is a great way to simply document your thoughts and see how your views evolve over time.
Apply for a job you’re not qualified for
This will teach you to think big. There’s a ton of competition in the middle and there’s less at the top.You can work your away around not having the right credentials by researching the company and providing actual solutions for their business. Ramit Sethi calls this “the briefcase technique.” If you’re confident and persuasive you just might land it.
A great book can unlock parts of your brain you didn’t know existed. Learning is crucial to being successful and books are a worthwhile investment in your education. Many of the world’s most successful people are voracious readers. Read classic books (>100 years old). Read how-to books to sharpen your skills. Read biographies to be inspired by the stories of successful people.
Wake up one hour earlier
Waking up an hour earlier each day for a year amounts to nine workweeks of extra time to work on your dream. Use this time to plan, prioritize your goals, and come up with new ideas to build a better future.
Get more sleep
If you want to stay productive, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. We romanticize the entrepreneur who works twenty hours per day, but if you need that much time to get things done, you’re inefficient. It’s better to have full engagement for a shorter period of time than to spend an entire day working with a half-empty tank.
Follow the Warren Buffet rule
Write down twenty-five things you want to achieve in your lifetime. Pick the top five. Forget about the remaining twenty and work on those five.
Write down ten ideas per day
This is a concept I learned from James Altucher. Writing ten ideas per day strengthens your “idea muscle,” and makes you more creative. Altucher says if you don’t exercise your “idea muscle,” it will atrophy. He includes this as part of his daily practice to become happier, healthier, and more successful.
Quit the job you hate
Life is too short for you to be working somewhere you hate. If quitting your job this instant isn’t feasible, here are some ways to deal with your job until you’re finally able to leave.
Focus on deserving what you want
To get what you want you have to deserve want you want. Instead of wishing you had the circumstances you want, become deserving of them. The universe reciprocates your effort. You get what you give.
Help other people
Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
Work on your attitude
The attitude you have towards life has a direct affect on its quality. You’re attitude shapes your decision-making. It also determines how you’ll react to tough situations. A negative attitude guarantees failure.
Make a declaration
If you have a big goal in mind for this year, announce it to everyone. Tell your friends and family. Make them hold you accountable. People want to appear consistent with the way they portray themselves. Now that you’ve told everybody about your big plans, you have to live up to them.
Quit smoking (If you do)
Seriously. There’s a mountain of evidence that says you’re going to die early if you keep smoking. Use the declaration strategy to help you quit.
Focus on yourself
Comparing yourself to other people who are more successful than you will make you feel insecure and unhappy. When you look at the lives of other people you’re only seeing what they allow you to see. The grass isn’t always greener. Focus on your goals, your dreams, and your life.
Stop making excuses
Be honest with yourself. Stop pretending that your circumstances aren’t your fault. Admit that you haven’t been doing all that you can to be successful. Then do something about it.
Watch less T.V.
Gary Vaynerchuk has some blunt, yet poignant advice about making time to be successful — “Everybody has time. Stop watching f*cking Lost.” Spend less time watching the tube and more time working towards your dreams.
Follow the one percent rule
Focus on getting one percent better each day. According to the rule of 72, your skills will double every 72 days. By the end of the year your skills will have increased by five hundred percent.
Think about dying every morning
It sounds morbid, but focusing on your mortality can help you put things into perspective. Your time on this earth is limited and each day brings you closer to death. Seneca said, “You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.” You can’t keep putting your dreams off for a future that isn’t guaranteed.
Set goals you can reach
You want to have big dreams in the long run, but in the short term it’s best to set small, achievable goals. Setting and reaching goals builds confidence and gives you momentum.
Change your philosophy
Your philosophy is the compass pointing you in the direction of your future. It’s what you believe about the world you live in. It’s what you use to determine reality. If you want to change your life, change your philosophy. If you believe the world is filled with opportunities, you’ll seek them. If you believe that life isn’t fair, you’ll stay stuck.
Find a mentor
Find someone who is already where you want to be in life and ask them to mentor you. Invite them for coffee or take them to dinner. Don’t simply ask to pick their brain. Be well prepared and have something to offer them.
Save your money
This one is difficult for many of us, but it’s important. Start small and save at least ten percent of your income. At minimum put some change in your piggy bank each day. The key is making it a habit.
Donate a large sum to charity
Donating an uncomfortable amount of money to charity can help you switch from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. Helping others also makes you feel good about yourself.
Your mind runs rampant with anxious thoughts on a daily basis. How do I know this? Because you’re a human being. Meditation alleviates stress and helps you become an observer of your thoughts instead of a slave to them. Try it. It works.
Go to an event by yourself
Find a local networking event where you don’t know anyone and try meeting some new people. This will help you get out of your comfort zone and build your social skills.
Work on your speaking skills
Regardless of your profession, if you reach a high level in your industry you may be asked to speak in front of a crowd. Public speaking is a useful skill to have. Attend a local toastmasters meeting to learn how to become a better speaker.
Cut toxic people out of your life
The people around you have a direct impact on the quality of your life. Do yourself a favor and cut ties with insecure and negative people. It’s easier said than done, but it’s necessary.
Start a side hustle
One of the biggest financial mistakes you can make is only having one source of income. Even if you don’t want to be a full time entrepreneur, find some ways to add additional income sources.
Find something to be grateful for
Write down three things you’re grateful for everyday. Think deeper than, “I’m grateful that I’m alive.” When you spend the time to think deeply about gratitude, you’ll realize your life is much better than you perceive it to be.
Take some uninterrupted time each day to think about ways to solve your problems and reach your goals. Pascal said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” You’d be surprised what you can come up with when you block out the noise.
Find people to look up to and inspire you. Emulate people who are successful in the area you’re hoping to succeed. Learn about their stories and the obstacles they went through to make it. Knowing that someone started off where you are now and succeeded will help you stay motivated.
Start your morning with a positive mindset
The start of your day can have a snowball affect on the rest of it. Think about a time where you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It went downhill from there. Listen to a motivational speech every morning and it will start your day off on the right track.
Don’t read bad books
If you’re fifty pages into a book and it isn’t resonating with you, throw it away. Life is too short to read bad books.
Focus on one thing at a time
First, read the book The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Second, follow their strategy of focusing on one thing each day, week, month, and year to be successful.
Keep a journal
Use a journal to capture a fresh idea that pops into your head. Use it to write down your goals and track your progress. Many successful people have a commonplace book for noting important items.
Learn a new language
Learning a new language makes you cool and more interesting. Learn a little bit at a time. There are many people who say it can be done in a matter of months.
Stop beating yourself up
It’s okay if you’re not where you want to be yet. It’s okay to endure setbacks. You’ve made mistakes in your life, but you’re going to learn from them, not let them hold you back. You’re good enough.
Anything worth having is going to take time to accomplish. Patience makes your dreams come true. It’s the most important characteristic you need to be successful.
Focus on habits
Your habits determine your future. Success isn’t a giant leap. Success comes from doing the little things day in and day out. The habits you formed in the past are what gave you your current circumstances. If you want to change your life, change your habits.
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Originally published at medium.com