There has never been a better moment to make sweeping changes to your life. We’re slowly coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic that changed everything, causing many people to reassess and rearrange their priorities. A recent poll suggests that almost one-third of Americans under 40 have considered a career change since the pandemic began. We have had time to think about what we want our lives to be, and now it is time for action.
Starting today, you have the power to change your life in meaningful ways that will lead to increased happiness and success. Read on to learn more about a few habits that can facilitate your change.
Practice the Change: Be Your Future Self.
Quite simply, to become that ideal, future version of yourself, you need to practice.
According to Peter Bregman, CEO and leadership expert, in Harvard Business Review, “You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediate apparent return to your efforts.”
His brilliant advice applies to almost any change you want to make in your life. Whether you want to get in better shape or start a business, it’s not going to happen overnight. Instead of waiting for this change, start by prioritizing and scheduling bite-size improvements today, no matter how busy you are.
Make a Change: Don’t beat a dead horse.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein
If you have been trying to succeed at something for a while and it hasn’t been working, or, even more important, it isn’t making you happy, it is time to try something else. This does NOT mean that you are a failure. It means that you are smart enough to realize it isn’t working out and you have enough dignity to do something to make yourself happy.
Change it Up: Take a Vacation, Schedule a Break.
Being stuck on auto-pilot doing the same things day after day can dull your ability to come up with new ideas. Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, puts it this way: “Neuroscience is so clear, through PET scans and MRIs, that the ‘aha’ moment comes when you’re in a relaxed state of mind.”
If you can, take a vacation to recharge, let loose, and revitalize your mind. Science says it’s the equivalent of hitting the reset button on your brain, destroying stress while providing a much-needed fresh perspective to create sweeping change.
If you can’t travel to Costa Rica, don’t worry — take a few minutes to meditate. A 2019 study shows that meditation and vacation have overlapping mental health benefits.
Change Your Company: You’re Only as Good as the People around You.
You may recall, when you were in high school, your parents telling you not to hang out with the wrong crowd, and it likely drove you crazy. I am sorry to tell you that they were right.
A Harvard Medical School study done by Dr. Nicholas Christakis found that individuals who surround themselves with people who smile and have a positive attitude have a better attitude compared with those who are surrounded by negative and grumpy people. It’s not just happiness that’s at stake. You are more likely to succeed in achieving your goals if you surround yourself with people who push you to be better and those who have succeeded themselves. The famous quote from Jim Rohn is right: “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”
Reach out to someone you admire, ideally someone further along their career path than you. Most successful people jump at the chance to be mentors. It’s also a disservice to believe that you are too old for a mentor. No matter where you are in your career, no matter how long it has taken you to get where you are, you deserve to benefit from spending time with people who know what it takes to succeed.
Change your Answer: Say No to Everything Else.
Warren Buffet reportedly said to his pilot of 25 years, “The fact that you’re still working here tells me I’m not doing my job.”
He then told his pilot to write down 25 goals he had for himself and to tell him the top five. Buffett’s sage advice to his pilot was to aim to achieve the top five goals and say no to everything else.
You can do the same thing. Rather than overextending yourself, start tuning up your turn-down skills. For instance, if you want to start a business, say no to frivolous activities that waste your time. When you prioritize yourself, positive change will follow.
Make a Change: Scare Yourself Every Single Day.
“Do one thing every day that scares you,” said Eleanor Roosevelt.
Change is scary. However, stepping outside your comfort zone is the only way to create change.
Is there something that you’ve been putting off because it brings butterflies to your stomach? Is there a slight fear you have, but you know you’ll be more productive by moving through it?
Whether it’s going to a job interview or saying hello to someone you want to meet, make an effort to do it daily. Know it will bring you one step closer to conquering fear and succeeding in achieving your goal.
The bottom line.
It’s never too late (or too early) to create that massive change in life you want. Your new success might not happen overnight, but with patience, persistence, and courage, it will happen.
Do you think my tips were helpful in redirecting your focus and goals? Please share the article and shout out to me on Twitter @ellekaplan!