There comes the point in everyone’s life where they feel stuck. In search of something more for themselves.
It’s so common, in fact, that there have been numerous bestselling books dedicated to the phenomenon (Eat, Pray, Love anyone?)
If you have reached this point, don’t despair. There are many ways to change your life for the better and find the happiness within you’ve been searching for.
6 Strategies to change your life
Discover what you are truly passionate about
No matter how much money you make or how much success you have had, you will never find the life you want if your actions don’t align with who you are at your core.
And to change your life to align with your true self, you first have to work out what you are passionate about.
There are many ways to do this.
Start by asking yourself what your dreams were as a child. How many of those dreams would you still love to come true but you pushed aside? A great way to visualise your dreams is to create a dream board. Simply find a normal cork pin board, and start adding magazine cut outs, print offs, or drawings that represent your dreams. Think about the places you want to visit, the lifestyle you want to live, and the relationships you want to have. Place your dream board in an area that you will see daily, such as your work space or where you get ready in the morning. Each time you see the board, you’ll be reminded of your dreams, both consciously and subconsciously.
Secondly, it’s a good idea to make a list of all the activities and things in your life that make you happy and all the things that don’t. The aim here is to add more of what you love in your life and reduce the things you don’t.
If you are drawing a blank on what you are passionate about, that’s ok. Some people wait their whole life trying to find it. The best way to discover your passions is to go out and try new things.
Take a class and learn a new skill or join a hobby group. Of course, if you don’t enjoy them, you can always leave, but you’ll never know until you’ve given yourself the chance to experience them.
It’s a good idea to keep a journal when pursuing your passions. Even when you reach what feels like a dead-end, there is always a lesson to learn. What about the class didn’t you like? What about the course did you like?
Use this information to narrow down the search until eventually, you find what makes you most happy, and then work on creating it in abundance in your life.
You’ll find that once you start living a life that aligns with the things you are passionate about, life feels easier, more peaceful, and happier.
Face fears and do things that scare you
On your quest to change your life, you’ve no doubt come across some variation of the phrase:
“There’s no growth in the comfort zone; there’s no comfort in the growth zone.”
And that’s because, as cliché as it is, it is completely accurate.
Fear can be a very limiting emotion. Your mind imposes boundaries on your capabilities, and the avoidance of this fear only strengthens this belief. So it’s important to face fears head on.
But once you start doing the things that scare you, you’ll learn that you are capable of much more than you thought you were. And with each small victory, the world becomes just that bit more open for you.
New opportunities will start presenting themselves to you, and you will begin to get comfortable taking risks on the things that truly matter to you.
So ask yourself: If I wasn’t scared, what would I want to be doing with my life?
And then make a plan of attack to face your fear.
Start with the smallest thing that scares you, and slowly work your way up.
Each fear you conquer is a battle won against your own self-limitations.
Create goals and work towards them
What is life without direction? To change your life, you have to know where you want to go with it. What is the biggest thing you want to change, and how can you do it?
Knowing what your goals are gives your life a new sense of purpose and a reason to get out of bed every day. As long as you break your goals down into realistic chunks, you will achieve them.
So, spend a few hours getting specific on what you want to spend the next few months working towards, and make yourself a plan of action.
The sooner you start, the sooner you get to reap the rewards.
Treat your body better
Skipping workouts, eating junk food more often than we should… we’re all guilty of treating our bodies poorly from time to time. It’s ok to skip a couple of workouts or eat junk in moderation, but when it becomes a regular occurrence, it could be stopping you from reaching your potential in other areas of your life.
That’s why it’s a good idea to get more serious about treating your body better. And you don’t have to live in the gym or eat a special diet to do so.
The key is moderation. There are three key principles that will help you keep your body in better health.
1: Move more
Go for a walk, dance alone in your room, or enjoy a job in the park. It doesn’t matter how you do it; just make sure you get your body moving more often.
2: Eat well
Eating well doesn’t mean only eating vegetables and avoiding junk food indefinitely. In fact, for most people, that is a slippery slope to disordered eating.
Instead, focus on enjoying all foods in moderation and getting a healthy balance of different types of food.
Try and tune in to your body and see how you feel after different foods. Focus on the foods that make you feel full of energy and satisfied, rather than food that leaves you hungry, sluggish, or that you dislike.
3: Manage your stress
Finding coping strategies for stressful situations is an important skill to help protect yourself from stress-related illnesses.
Experiment with different coping techniques and find the ones that work for you, so you have them ready to go next time you feel stressed.
Say ‘yes’ more
How often do you say no to new opportunities because you are scared or don’t believe you are capable, even if you really want to do them.
Saying yes to more opportunities allows you to learn and grow. You’ll make new connections, improve your skills, learn new ones, and discover more about yourself on the way. And who knows where saying yes will lead you?
If you need inspiration, try reading “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes.
Change your job
One of the most common reasons people want to change their life is because they feel stuck in a job they hate.
The average person spends 36 hours a week working (not taking into account any overtime or commuting). Assuming you sleep an average of eight hours a night (56 hours a week), this means you spend approximately 1/3 of your awake time working. And yes, that includes the weekend!
So it makes sense that you would want to find a job you enjoy where possible, given how much of your life you dedicate to it.
So, work out what you are looking for in a job and start taking action to find a job that works for you. If you are stuck, try doing career personality quizzes online that ask you questions to try and match your strengths and likes with jobs that align with who you are.
Alternatively, try filling in this venn diagram to find careers that might suit you.
Once you know what you want to do, start learning new skills and making connections to help your chances of landing the job. And start applying for jobs before you feel ready.
After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Learning about new cultures is a sure-fire way to change your life. We can spend our whole lives living the way we grew up, never appreciating the incredible lessons we can learn from other people that can enhance our world.
Every new place you go has a history, with different people and different stories.
So, if you have the means to, travel as far as you can and learn the beautiful secrets this world has to offer. Travel will completely change your outlook on life.
And if you can’t afford to travel the world, try and expand your horizons around your own country. There is always something to be learned in the unknown.
Change Your Life Quotes
For some added inspiration and motivation to make these changes for a more fruitful life, we’ve included our list of favourite change your life quotes.
- “A soul without a high aim is like a ship without a rudder.” – Eileen Caddy
- “Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.” ~ Don Wilder
- “Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.” – Horace Mann
- “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo
- “Someday is not a day of the week.” ~ Denise Brennan-Nelson
- “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills
- “Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected.” – William Safire
- “Don’t count every hour in the day. Make every hour in the day count!” ~ Mark Amend
- “I learned that good judgment comes from experience and that experience grows out of mistakes.” – Omar Bradley
- “It’s not your circumstances that shape you, it’s how you react to your circumstances.” ~ Anne Ortlund
- “Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.” ~ Arthur Christopher Benson
- “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” - James Baldwin
- “It doesn't matter how strong your opinion are. If you don't use your power for positive change, you are indeed part of the problem.” - Coretta Scott King
- “All great changes are preceded by choas.” - Deepak Chopra
- “We must be impatient for change. Let us remember that our voice is a precious gift and we must use it.” - Claudia Flores
- “If you do not change direction, you might end up where you are heading.” - Lao Tzu
Pick one or two of the quotes above and write them on a piece of card. You can then place the card around your home, for example on your mirror or fridge. The quotes will serve as a visual cue to make a change in your life.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. But sometimes, it takes a single spark inside to ignite the journey to changing your life.
Start small and make little changes in your day-to-day life.
If you want the change to stick, it’s going to be much better to start slowly and build up as you get better at your new aspirations.
And while you may take inspiration from others, remember this journey is uniquely yours, so don’t measure your success against anyone else. You either progress or you learn, so be kind to yourself.
It won’t be easy. It won’t be quick. And it won’t all be beautiful. But it will be worth it. You’ve got this!