Making big changes in your life isn’t about moving across the country, or storming into your office and quitting your job.
Big changes are the result of small tweaks.
Whether your goal is to finish a project, change your friend group, make more time for passion projects, or improve upon a bad habit, here are seven easy things you can do to change your life in the next two months:
1. You said you wanted to explore more of the city.
You’ve been saying that you want to go to more new places, to see things you haven’t seen before–so why don’t you do it?
This week, pick a different part of town, a new coffee shop, a museum, a restaurant, and go there. Put it on the calendar. Invite a friend. Make it happen.
2. You said you wanted to finish that big project.
Well, you can’t finish a big project until you finish a small project.
When was the last time you started and finished something in a weekend, or even a day? This week, pick one small thing you can finish and then finish it.
Then, next week, pick a slightly larger project (but not too much larger). Finish that.
Before you know it, you’ll be finishing big projects left and right.
3. You said you wanted to go to the gym more.
Ok, so when? When are you going to go? “I’m going to go, I swear,” isn’t an answer anymore.
Tomorrow, don’t just make that loose promise to yourself that you’ll get there. Set a time and block off everything else. Then, before you go to bed, set what time you’re going to go to the gym again the next day, and the next day.
It’s just a habit. That’s all.
4. You said you wanted eat healthier.
Is there healthy food in your fridge? Do you already know what you want to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
People eat unhealthfully, and live unhealthy lives, primarily out of a bad habit of failing to prepare. But if you had healthy food around, and if it was more of an option, chances are you’d probably eat better.
That’s pretty easy to solve for, isn’t it?
5. You said you wanted to stop scrolling through Instagram so often.
Well, is the app on the home screen of your smartphone? That sort of easy access makes it difficult to break a bad habit.
Instead, move it to the last page. Maybe even delete it altogether. If you want to break a bad habit, you have to break your relationship to the activity–not forever, but for the time being.
6. You said you wanted to surround yourself with more positive people.
Ok, so what are you doing back at that dumpy bar with those same five friends you know aren’t going anywhere?
“You are a reflection of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I’m all for having friends with all sorts of different interests and backgrounds and aspirations. But if you have a goal, and if you want to improve something about yourself, and the people you’re always with make that process more difficult, then you need to reassess.
So, the next time they invite you out, say “No.”
Instead, give that other friend of yours a call. Maybe you two have never hung out. Cool, then dive in. Go grab a coffee. Change the dynamic and see where things go.
7. You said you wanted to work on yourself.
Look, there is nothing wrong with watching a little TV every now and then. But working on yourself is, well, it’s work. And if you don’t prioritize things like self-reflection, journaling, meditation, etc., then you’re never going to grow into the person you know you’re capable of becoming.
Self-development is a practice. You can’t think about it like this big mountain you’re one day going to wake up having conquered. It doesn’t work like that.
Instead, focus on what you can do today that will quiet your mind down and allow you to really sit with yourself.
Before you go to bed, write a page in your journal.
You’ll be amazed at what you find out about yourself.
Originally published at www.inc.com