12 Things You Can Do To Change Your Life In 2018


It’s almost January 1st which means it’s almost time to set New Year’s resolutions (goals, wishes, whatever you’d like to call it).  That also means it’s almost time to forget about those resolutions without ever achieving them.  But this year is going to be different......

Right?

Well, I’ve decided for myself that this year will be different and I’m hoping you will join me in my quest to make some small changes in the upcoming year.  Below is a list of 12 changes which will be my focus for 2018.  I’ve listed 12 because, well, there’s 12 months in a year.  I figured that if I focused on one change per month it could not only become a more manageable goal, but I have a better chance at making these new habits as well.

Here is an outline of the action items:

1. Let Go Of Regrets
This will be our first focus area because you absolutely positively cannot move forward if you’re side-tracked by what’s behind you.  You lose sight of opportunities (possibly some really good opportunities) in front of you when you’re obsessing about past events.  And the reality is this – you cannot change events that have already occurred.

For me personally, I am very critical of myself and of my choices.  There are decisions I’ve made in the past that I’m not happy with and some that I’m, frankly, embarrassed by.  It may have been something I’ve said or something I’ve done, regardless, I tend to play and replay the events in my head.  I’m always focusing on trying to figure out why in the world I reacted the way that I did.  I’ve just got to stop obsessing over it.  Replaying it once or twice to attempt to learn from it seems ok but excess of that is a waste of time and energy.  I’m trying to learn to accept it, vow to do better next time, and move on.

2. Figure Out What You Want To Do With Your Life
If you’ve already figured this out that’s great!  If instead, you’re like me and continue with the “I’m still trying to figure out what I’d like to do when I grow up….” (at the age of 40 something), then this is where we’ll help ourselves figure it all out.  I’ve always been rather jealous of people who have known, it seems from birth, what they want to do and who they want to be.  I’ve had passions, jobs that I’ve enjoyed, and career goals, but I have so many interests I’ve always found it difficult to focus on what my actual life goal should be.  This is, until recently when I completed a simple exercise that was transformational for me.  It really helped cement the direction I need to steer my life in order to work toward this newly determined goal.  I’ve intentionally made this the second month’s focus area because I think that once you have this, the remainder of the focus areas revolve around it.

3. Break Down Your Goals Into Bite-Sized Actionable Steps
You’ve figured out what you want to do with your life, you’ve outlined your future both work-related and finance-related, and now you’re overwhelmed.  This is where we break it all down into bite-sized chunks.  We’ll set monthly goals, annual goals and five year goals.  And we’ll also set a monster goal.  A monster goal is one so large and seemingly unattainable that you will amaze yourself if you even come close to reaching it.  It’s time to start dreaming big my friend.

4. Change Your Routine
Life is very busy which means that we live by routines.  This is all fine and dandy except for the fact that we can become so habitual that we forget to take a conscious look at what we’re actually doing to see if it’s effective at helping us get to where we want to go.  In most cases it’s not – routines are typically in place to help us simply “do”. Upgrading your habits will result in an automatic upgrade of your life.

5. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone. Today.
Baby steps my friends.  Although this is somewhat similar to the area above, it expands on that.  Do small things that break you out of your comfort zone.  Small things will roll into larger things and before you know it, BAM!, you’re feeling like you’ve got this!  This is an easy focus area to write about but a whole lot more difficult to do.  It’s easy to push it off, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day and forget all about this goal.  It’s too cold, I’m not feeling good, I don’t have enough time, blah blah blah.

6. Simplify Your Life
I’m not suggesting you sell all of your belongings, purchase a 600 square foot tiny home and go off-grid.  Unless, of course, that’s what you want to do.  Conversely, I also don’t mean to go out for meals 7 days a week, buy enough clothes so you don’t have to waste time doing laundry but twice a year, and outsource all of your household chores.  Both could be deemed “simplifying” but both are taken to the extreme.  Rather, the idea here is to make sure you focus on owning your things and not your things owning you as well as taking back ownership of your time.

7. Consciously Understand That Your Thoughts Are Your Reality
We can state that our thoughts are our reality, but do you really remember this when you’re down in a funk?  Or when things just aren’t going well?  Or when it seems as though everyone and everything in the universe is conspiring against you?  That’s what we’ll focus on – making this a conscious daily thought so that we can empower ourselves to change the course of our day, week, month, year and even life.

8. Take Care of Yourself
You know how on a flight they tell you that in an emergency you need to put your own oxygen mask on first before you begin helping anyone else?  This is because if you pass out while putting the masks on those around you, well, you’re of no help.  This is also true with life, I’m afraid.  If we can’t take care of ourselves we’ll eventually be in a place of feeling a burden on others because we are emotionally, physically and/or financially drained.  It feels selfish to take this thought process but it really isn’t at all.  We’ll work on this mind shift together.

9. Be The CEO Of Your Life
Many people can lead a team or run a company but haven’t a clue how to run their own life.  Others give up and take the victim path, pointing to anything that happens in their life as proof why they will never achieve a goal.  And still others want to believe they can lead the direction of their life but get thrown off by obstacles and speed bumps.  I’ve previously spent some time in the victim role as well as the stopped by speed bumps role.  It’s time to kick speed bumps and victimization aside and forge through.

10. Find Happiness Today
We’ve identified what we want to do with our life and we’ve set bite-size goals to make sure we are working every day to achieve that.  So now we wait.  We wait to achieve these goals to finally find our happy and content space.  Right?  I know that seeing this written makes it’s easy to identify that this thought process is broken.  But this is what we tend to do.  “Once I get X I will finally be able relax and be happy”.  Or, “once I’m doing Y I will be a much happier person”.

We need to find happiness today.  We are on a path called "life" and that path is going to be long, curvy, bumpy and full of emotions.  And the one emotion we need to try to return to, regardless of what part of the path we’re on, is happiness.

11. Make Kindness A Habit
You’ve likely heard the marriage advice that the best way to get your spouse to change the way in which they interact with you is by you self-reflecting and making sure you are responding in the same way to them first?  The old “treat others as you’d like to be treated” philosophy.  I believe the same can be said regarding kindness – the more you put out to the world, the more you receive.  Kindness is one of those traits that make the doer feel even better than the receiver.  Although I see myself as generally a kind person, I think there’s always room for improvement.

12. Live In The Moment
I have definitely gotten better about this and am much more conscious of today and not (as much) dreaming about tomorrow or worrying about yesterday.  This is a shift that takes a LOT of practice in order to fully adopt.  And once you’ve committed to improving this, oh goodness, will you be tested!  Things will happen that you will immediately go back to wishing for some future thing or regretting something past.  We’ll adopt some new thought processes and, therefore, develop new habits.



Join me in January as we tackle focus area #1: Let Go Of Regrets.

We can totally do this!

2 comments:

daisy gurl said...

I absolutely love this post, Staci!
You sound like me with facing regrets. I have been making a conscious effort to forgive myself for past mistakes and transgressions. It is easier said than done, but I will continue to work on this goal. I've heard that something people do to let go of the past is to write these experiences down on a piece of paper and then toss them into a fire while thinking of releasing themselves of the burden they carry.

I wish you success in your endeavors and I know that you will do your best on each and every goal.
Blessings, daisy

Dawn Rae said...

Spot on. All very good and important points. I know them all. I just have trouble keep up with them. I let the doubts and negative thoughts creep in. Happy New Year to you!