Life is short; we know this in our minds. However, too often we don’t live life this way. We have goals and big dreams that we put off for “later” and later usually never comes. You only get one life to live, which is why this New Year should be the start of a revolution in your life.
This should be the time you chase every dream that you have in your heart and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do.
Here are ten things you should do differently to radically change your life.
1. Set and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.
These goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
2. Focus on being productive, not being busy.
Don’t just get things done; get the right things done. Results are always more important than the time it takes to achieve them. Stop and ask yourself if what you’re working on is worth the effort. Is it bringing you in the same direction as your goals? Don’t get caught up in odd jobs, even those that seem urgent, unless they are also important.
3. Change your routine.
Sometimes all we need in our lives is to alter something in our daily routines that hasn’t been working for a long time. We convince ourselves it would be too difficult to change, or that it would require something we don’t have. Making the commitment to change, however, often brings about insight — and resources — that we don’t always initially have.
4. Eat better.
While not exactly a revolutionary suggestion, eating just a little better than you have in the past can have a significant impact in your life. We’re not saying do away with the fast food altogether or switch to eating nothing but bran flakes for the rest of your life. But make a commitment to everyday choices that are just a little healthier for you. For instance, opt for a smaller cheeseburger instead of the Big Mac. Eat two cookies instead of five. Eat one day at Subway instead of Burger King or McDonald’s. Don’t deny yourself the pleasures of eating, just try and make healthier decisions everyday when it comes to your food choices.
5. Have a real conversation.
So much of our everyday activities are driven by things outside of our perceived control — going to school, work, or taking care of the kids. We seem to be pawns in a life not of our own making sometimes. One way to regain a little sense of control is to stop and have a real conversation with someone about something meaningful. Not every day. Not every conversation. Maybe just once a week, with a friend, a coworker, or your significant other. Talk about something important to you, something meaningful. You’d be surprised at having such regular, real conversations can help better ground you in your life and give it some meaning.
6. Live a healthy lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle goes beyond dieting and exercising. It means making choices that are beneficial to your body and lifestyle. It’s too easy to cheat on a diet, but if a healthy lifestyle is a part of your life, making the right choices will be second nature. Your body can be a well-oiled machine if you treat it that way.
7. End toxic relationships
Love can be a funny thing. It can make you feel like you’re flying over the clouds or like you just got punched in the stomach. Here’s the thing to understand about love, it’s not a feeling, it’s a decision.
You choose to love and you can choose whether to stay in the relationships in your life. It can be a significant other or friends, but if the relationship is toxic without the possibility of improvement, it’s healthier for you to part ways. You have to determine if the relationship is salvageable, but trying to fix something that’s broken is a waste of time and affecting your state of mind.
8. Step outside of your comfort zone
You can live a comfortable life without stepping outside of your comfort zone and probably end up just fine. However, when you live life this way, you miss so many amazing opportunities.
Nearly everyone has a clutter problem. While some people seem to have magical abilities removing clutter from their lives, the rest of us seem to live in a constant state of mostly manageable clutter levels. And that’s fine. Nobody should attempt to be Mary Poppins if their lives more often are akin to a tornado’s passing through a town. But if you make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of clutter, that can help you feel more in control of your life. For instance, deal with junk mail the minute you pick it up (don’t keep stacking it until it resembles the leaning tower of Pisa!). Have your children put their own things away once a week. Ask your significant other to help out with de-cluttering your life just a little bit.
10. Listen more. We all think we listen when others talk to us, and most of the time, we do. But in this fast-paced, multitasking world, we often don’t really listen when someone speaks to us. The closer the person is to us, the more we often don’t really listen to what they’re saying. You can’t just stop not listening, because it’s something most of us have inadvertently learned to do over the years. We pretend (even to ourselves) that we’re listening, but we’re actually doing something on the computer, watching TV, or reading an article or book. Be a little more aware of when you’re doing this, and stop yourself from doing it once in awhile. Listen. While you may think that what you’re doing is more important than what the other person is saying, you may also find that the other person’s words have meaning… If for no other reason than because they are coming from someone you care about.