Change Your Habits, Change Your Life
How to Change Your Life Around in a Matter of Hours
Whether you're fed up with what you're doing now or you want to change something specific about yourself, you can make a decision to change now so that you can enjoy a better, more rewarding life. Sometimes, you just need to take action instead of continuing to pile up dreams without doing anything more about them. Making a big change in a matter of hours may not be possible, but you can at least get started on the path to change. Some things you can do to get started include brainstorming, setting goals, and taking a small step toward your goal. Keep reading to learn more about how to change your life around in a matter of hours.
Writing Out a Plan
Think about your long-term goals.What are your long-term goals? Think about where you see yourself in ten years. Do you want to be a home owner? Do you want to be running the company you work at now? Do you want to be married with some kids? Consider whether or not you are moving in the right direction to achieve your long term goals. If not, you will need to identify some areas for change.
Figure out what you'd like to change.Sometimes change is so big and so scary that you don't want to contemplate it at all. But you can do something about that, and you can do it right now. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Brainstorm and write out your answers to the following questions as quickly as you can. Don’t get hung up on grammar, spelling, or punctuation, just write.
- What's working well in my life right now? List some of the positives about your life as it is right now. To make a change, you need to be aware of what you like as much as you're aware of what you don't like so that you don't end up wrecking the positives in your life. You can also list some of your strengths here so that you know what you have to draw on as you go through the change process.
- What are the areas of my life I want to change? Do you hate your job? Are you in an unhappy marriage? Write down the parts of your life that are making you really unhappy.
- Pick out the top 3 to 5 things you'd like to change. Again, quickly and without too much thinking, write down the steps that you can take to make changes. Do not overwork this––there is plenty of time for fine adjustment later.
Read everything that you've written.You've just created a quick, personal road map for change. Over time, you can refine this road map, For now, you've broken down those large and looming "it's all too hard to change" feelings and turned them into some concrete steps. Read through what you have written to solidify them in your mind and start working towards these goals.
Break larger objectives on your list up into smaller actionable items.Having a large goal like “become a millionaire” is great as a long term goal, but it does not give you concrete items to work on. To achieve a goal, you need to break it into smaller, more realistic goals. For example, you could break your large goal of becoming a millionaire into something more manageable like “set up a savings account” or “ask for a raise.” These are items that will help to move you closer to your goal and make it seem more manageable.
- Transform general statements into something more active. For example, instead of writing something generic like "find my passion," pick something actionable and specific. You can instead say, "visit a career coach" or "take an aptitude test."
- Turn big projects into small to-dos. For instance, instead of writing "find a new job," break it down into steps like "update my resume," "create a LinkedIn profile," "research new companies" or "write a letter of resignation."
Do something to move towards your goal.After you have reviewed your list of items, figure out what you can easily accomplish in the next 48 hours and do it.Perform as many of these small action steps as you can within the next 48 hours to put yourself on the road to change. Here are some examples:
- To get out of an unhappy relationship: Talk to your partner, line up a new place to stay, pack your belongings, or ask friends to help you move.
- To make yourself more healthy: Throw out all of the junk food in your cabinets, join a gym, talk to people who will support you, or get some new sneakers.
- To move to a new city: Find an apartment in the new place, list your current house or condo for sale, start throwing away things you don't want to take with you, or call your friends and relatives to tell them the news.
Post your goal somewhere that is visible to you.Having your goal somewhere that you can see it, such as on your refrigerator or as the wallpaper on your laptop, can help you to stay focused on the goal. By reminding yourself of your goal every day, you will help yourself to make choices that bring you closer to achieving your goal.
Commit to keep working towards your goal until your achieve it.It is important to commit to achieving your goal when you first set it and to recommit any time that you stumble. Maintaining your commitment will help you to stay focused and keep working towards your goal.
- For example, you could make and sign a contract with yourself where you agree to do certain things (daily or weekly) in order to accomplish your goal.
Visualize accomplishing your goal.Visualization is a powerful tool that can help keep you motivated to make the change you have envisioned. Take about 10 minutes every day to simply think about what it will be like to accomplish your goal. Imagine what it will look like, how people will react, and how you will feel.
Stay positive.Staying positive can help you to accomplish your goals by keeping you happy. The happier you are, the more you feel capable of accomplishing your goal.Try to remind yourself to focus on the positive more than the negative. If you find either yourself or those around you being extra critical, think about making some changes.
- Leave encouraging notes for yourself to put a smile on your face when you least expect it. Writing down things like, “You’re awesome!” or “Keep going!” can help to give you a little boost now and then.
- Spend time doing things that make you feel happy with people who make you feel good. Walk around the mall with your best friend or go see a movie with your significant other.
Reward yourself.You can also help yourself to stay motivated by setting rewards for yourself. Simple things like rewarding yourself with a new outfit after you lose 10 pounds can make a big difference in your motivation to stick with your goals. Make sure that you choose rewards that are healthy and that you can afford to provide yourself. When you accomplish a goal, make sure that you give yourself the reward right away.
Coping with the Changes
Tidy up your environment.Nothing can clear your head like getting rid of the stuff that's holding you back. Ask yourself if you really need those piles of papers, unwatched DVDs or unworn clothes. Clearing things away to create openness will also help to free up space in your mind.
- Start with your desk, your bedroom, your bag, your digital distraction or another small clutter problem. Start in 1 corner or with 1 shelf in a room, or tackle 1 pile of papers.
- Come up with solutions to keep the clutter from happening again. For example, decide to spend 20 minutes a day straightening your house or apartment.
Take good care of yourself.Taking good care of yourself goes hand in hand with making any successful transition. It's a way of saying to yourself, "You really matter and I am taking the time to care for what matters." It's also a way to make yourself feel more confident in your new situation. Make sure that you are eating well, sleeping enough, and getting regular exercise to feel your best.
- Look great on the outside. When is the last time you got yourself a great haircut or a pedicure or manicure? Do you need new clothes? Part of creating the new you may include changing the way that you look. Investing in looking good is an investment in yourself.
- Get regular exercise and eat healthy foods. When you're scared about making a life change, you may be tempted to hole yourself up inside your home and engage in some serious emotional eating. Instead, take care of yourself. Go for a 30-minute walk every day and eat foods that are good for you.
- Go for some checkups. When did you last go to the dentist or have a physical health checkup? Your body may need some fine-tuning to be at its best in your new circumstances. You don't want to have an unknown problem brewing with your physical health.
Find support.Support is essential when trying to make a big life change. Call on your friends and family to support you during a time of transition. Join a support group or talk to a therapist if your life changes make you feel really anxious or depressed.
- If you think it is appropriate and you feel comfortable sharing your decision to change, consider posting your intentions on Facebook or another social media site that you use often. Making your intentions known can be a great way to get support and invite others to hold you accountable.
Have patience.Sure, you may have taken some big steps to change your life in a few hours, but getting used to the changes will take some time. Don't slip back into your old ways or your old circumstances just because you feel scared or uncertain about your choices. Give yourself 6 months to a year to adjust to your new climate.
QuestionWhat if my surroundings are not what I want?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFocus on finding the surroundings that are your type. Most important is to keep moving forward with a positive attitude.Thanks!
QuestionI want to change my personality but I end up too lazy to do it. What shall I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust make small goals and take them seriously as something you really want for yourself!Thanks!
QuestionHow can I achieve my dream of traveling when I grow up?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can educate yourself about traveling by talking to people who travel a lot. Research the places you want to go to learn more about them and to maintain your excitement and focus. Start working to save money, if you haven't already.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I motivate myself to even start achieving my goals?Denise GonzalezCommunity AnswerMake a list of everything you want to achieve then starting doing what's on that list, but remember you have to start small then work your way up the list.Thanks!
QuestionI am taking care of elderly parents and a miserable teenager. I have no friends for support, and have been out of work for a year. What do I do?Top AnswererThat is a very hard situation to be in. You may find it comforting to think how things are now isn't how things are going to be forever. See if there are support groups for carers in your area. Reach out to your neighbors if possible. Try making friends online, or finding something constructive to do, such as contributing to wikiHow. You are a good person to care for others, try not be down on yourself and don't assume other people wouldn't want to be friends with you because you don't have friends or a job right now.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I'm stuck in university and want to move cities?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWell, clearly you won't be able to make that change in a matter of hours. If you're really miserable where you are and still have a lot of university to go, consider finding a university where you want to live and transferring there. If that's not feasible, just try to enjoy the time you have left where you are and look forward to moving somewhere else when you graduate.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I be a different person?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerList the things about yourself that you want to change, and then change them.Thanks!
How do I make major life changes after moving?
How do I stop being a racist?
I can't let go of my past, yet I have so many goals. How can I achieve them?
How do I make a long term plan when I want to change my life?
How am I supposed to achieve anything at all if I just struggle from paycheck to paycheck and have no time or money to return to study?
- Make sure that you have enough money to make the changes you want to make. For instance, don't just quit your job if you have no savings to fall back on, especially if people are depending on you for financial resources.
- Think about how your changes will affect your family and friends before you take the leap. While it's great to plunge in and take control of your life, you want to make sure that the people you love aren't hurt or damaged in the process.
Sources and Citations
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