Hold yourself to the advice in this article and you will completely change your life forever.
In the world of personal development there’s always a new method to try or a new idea to pursue or a new mindset to adopt to achieve better results in some area of your life. The problem is these short ‘solutions’ often get people initially pumped up to make some sort of change, but if the results don’t come quickly a person’s motivation may fade and no real change takes place.
Real change happens when instead of trying out temporary changes, you instead adopt habits that last with you for life.
The following list is comprised of 10 timeless habits that when adopted can insure massive positive changes in all areas of your life. Each specific item listed below can have a huge impact on you when it is turned into a habit for daily living and working on all 10 will completely change your life forever.
1. Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life
More than anything else, taking full responsibility for your life can have massive changes. Once you decide that your happiness or lack of happiness is completely your responsibility and no one else’s you won’t accept less from yourself, you’ll be forced to find ways to improve your life and your happiness and you’ll drive yourself to change any area of your life you aren’t satisfied with.
Taking full responsibility for your life means completely dropping the victim attitude. It means realizing you are the creator of your life and therefore you must take full control. You’ll no longer be able to blame your parents or your environment or society or even bad luck for any negative results you get in life. If there’s something you lack in life, you won’t be able to point to others as the reason why, you’ll instead be forced to ask yourself why it’s missing and how you can achieve it.
You’ll begin to ask yourself the right questions in life. If there was ever a time before when you said to yourself “why is this happening to me? It’s so unfair.” You’ll instead have to say “This is happening, it’s my responsibility, what can I do to make the best out of it?”
Taking responsibility allows you to look at your life and know the results are based on your own efforts. This acceptance makes it easy to begin making changes.
2. Positive Thinking
Positive thinking has a few different aspects to it.
Firstly it’s about adopting an optimistic mindset – seeing the brighter side of things. People who think happy thoughts are generally happier people, while negative mindset never helped anyone become happy. With a positive outlook you’ll also attract other positive people. People like happy people and the encounters you have with others are always much more pleasant when you are in a positive state of mind.
Secondly it’s about having a positive self image. If you’re constantly putting yourself down in your mind, barking at yourself about your shortcomings, calling yourself stupid or lazy or ugly all you manage to do is bring yourself down and further reinforce these beliefs into yourself. Thinking positively about yourself means becoming your own best friend, complimenting yourself, focusing on what’s good about you and building your own confidence. This increased confidence will give you the courage tackle new challenges bravely and reap the rewards they present. Making a habit of saying things like “I’m not sure how to do this yet, but I’m sure I can figure it out” rather than “I’m too stupid to do this” will have a massive effect in countless ways over the years.
Finally it’s about the law of attraction and all that goes with that. Habitual positive ways of thinking turn into real world positive results. Believing is Seeing so your mind will find real evidence to support any beliefs you hold about the world or yourself or your abilities. Make sure they are positive ones.
Thinking positively like so many things is a skill that needs to be developed and practiced until it becomes a habit. Squash negative or self deprecating or pessimistic thoughts the second they begin to take shape in your mind and replace them with something useful. Positive thinking will definitely cause positive change in all areas of your life.
3. Get Completely Clear about What you Want in Life
American Author Mark twain once said:
“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want”
It sounds quite obvious that the first step to getting what you want out of life is to know what you want, but the truth is most people (myself included) have a really hard time deciding exactly what it is they do want.
When you know what you want to have or experience in life you have solid direction. You can set goals to achieve these things and make constant progression into achieving them. You can keep yourself on track and easily measure your results.
Without knowing what you want you can find yourself running in circles trying to plan your future or spinning your wheels and getting nowhere when you achieve a goal you thought you wanted only to figure out it wasn’t what you truly desired. Even worse it can prevent you from making any plans for improvement at all.
Sitting down and writing out an imaginary scenario of your perfect future (as if anything was possible) is a fun and simple way to see what kind of things you should be pursuing and what you really want out of life. From here you can follow any of the countless programs out there for properly setting and achieving your goals. The important part is to have a clear direction.
The act of making a vision board with cool things you want to attain or experience can help tremendously in accomplishing them. With a vision board you can see all your main goals in front of you in an inspiring way, which helps to keep you focused and motivated, and also allows you to check them off your list easily.
For more great information on goal setting and getting clear on what you want check out The Power of Clarity by Steve Pavlina.
4. Get Into Learning
One of the biggest problems with being forced to go to school every day for so many years of our childhood is that it makes us hate the idea of learning. After spending so much of our precious childhood years in school it’s no wonder learning anything new seems like such a chore to most people.
Learning shouldn’t be painful though and it shouldn’t seem like hard work. Get yourself back into learning and discover that it can be a fun and rewarding experience. Learning something interesting feels good and gives you something to share with others.
I’m always amazed on we live in a unique time in history where nearly all the worlds information can be accessed at the tip of our fingers though the internet. There’s been a few times in my life where I get obsessed with learning. The day I discovered the HowStuffWorks website I read for about 3 days straight because it felt good to learn about so many things that interested me.
Learning isn’t just about acquiring knowledge but it’s also awesome to build skills that interest you in your spare time. If your into technology download a new program and some tutorials and see what you can make with it. Take something you suck at (like cooking in my case) and take some time to practice and improve through the advice of others. You never know when a few days of learning can turn into an enjoyable new hobby or a new way to make money in the future.
Learning a little every day keeps your mind and skills fresh and turning this into a habit will have a massive impact on what you know and what you can do years down the road.
5. A Mindset of Constant Improvements
When talking about lifelong habits there aren’t many that are more valuable than developing a mindset of constant improvements. Cultivating a desire to constantly improve yourself slowly over time is one of the most valuable things you can ever do. When you want to make a change in your life it can be difficult to tackle it all at once, but with a mindset of constant improvements any area of your life you are struggling in will be dealt with eventually over time.
If you work on #3 to get clear about what you want in life and combine that will a mindset where you need to make constant improvements towards what you want to achieve it will be impossible not to get what you want in life as long as you never allow yourself to regress and move backwards.
This mindset will also keep you from becoming stagnant in your life situation. It does not allow for you to become trapped in an unhappy situation with no room for growth. It will force you to move on, to expand and to strive to become more than you currently are. This mindset will help you to constantly evolve as a person throughout the years.
It’s always difficult to tackle something on a lifelong scale, but as with any habit once it is engrained in your mind that this is how you want to live the mindset will be easy to maintain. In addition number 6 will be very valuable in keeping you on track with this mindset.
6. Reflecting on Your Life
It’s easy to set a bunch of personal development goals, then fast-forward a few years and realize you really didn’t make the progress you were hoping for. The reason for this is that personal development is such a gradual process and it can be hard to measure your progress as you go. It can be easy to get off track from what you wanted over time, and all the changes life can throw at us it’s no wonder we get distracted from our goals.
Keeping a journal or a blog or some other method of reflection on where you are at, where you are going and the progress your making along the way can completely keep you on track. While it’s easy to put things off with thoughts on how you can accomplish it next week or next month, if you constantly reflect on where you’re at this excuse will seem unacceptable as you’ll clearly have to acknowledge your lack of progress.
If you’re forced to look at your results on a weekly basis you’re more likely to stay motivated and keep yourself strictly on track with your goals because you know if you don’t you’re going to feel bad when you write about it during your reflection. Subsequently when you are on track and proudly doing well writing about your progress will keep you feeling good and positive as you go.
Reflection on your progress also helps you to see the progress you are making that you might otherwise not notice due to the gradual nature of change. Being able to look back at your situation and thoughts a few months ago can show you how much you’ve learned and improved since then. Keep this up over a few years and the massive progress you can make may astound you, and looking back on how far you’ve come will confidence to continue working on yourself for the future.
Besides just focusing on your goals, reflecting can help us face parts of our life we have been denying or encourage us to find new solutions to patterns of unhappiness we see throughout our lives. Developing a habit of reflection is key to understanding yourself and your path.
7. Saying “F you!” to Fear
If there’s one thing that holds people back more than anything else in life its fear. Fear prevents us from doing a lot of things and can seriously limit what we achieve and experience in life if we let it. I know firsthand that fear can be a powerful foe but I also know from experience with a bit of practice and determination you can kick fears ass and get on with what you want to do.
Like so many things learning to deal with fear can be likened to building up your muscles at the gym. At first little weights are difficult and little fears are scary but as you get better and better at tackling the little things and slowly increase you weight over time you’ll be lifting weights and doing things that used to seem completely impossible to you.
Next time you feel fear get excited… because you have found a new heavier weight to train with and improve your courage forever. Adopt the mindset that when you feel fear about doing something that you HAVE to do it… just to prove to yourself that you can and to build courage from it.
Start slow if you need to, but decide you’ll never let fear prevent you from doing what you want even if conquering those fears results in a difficult weight lifting process. You have a lifetime of fearful situations ahead of you, so you might as well start lifting those weights of courage now so when the fearful situations of the future arise they won’t even cause you to break a sweat.
8. Connecting with People
Sometimes I think that the only thing that really matters in life are the relationships and connections you form with other people.
No matter what your life situation is, if you have good people around you that you really connect with, you can have a joyful time, and without these human connections not a lot can make you happy.
Making habits of connecting with people on deep levels and truly listening to someone when you talk to them rather than just ‘talking at them’ can make all the difference in the relationships you form with people through life. Seeking out people with similar values and forming connections with them can fill your life with valuable friendships you cherish.
Put some effort into improving your social skills. Seek friendships and relationships that make you feel awesome and open yourself up to connecting with other people. Show people the real you, don’t hold back your personality or put on a fake mask for your social interactions. Tell people what you truly think, talk about deep things, share your true feelings with others… Be real, people will appreciate that you are authentic so much more.
9. Bring a little love into your life
What’s so funny about peace love and understanding?
It sounds a little strange, but being a little kinder to other people can have a big impact on your own happiness. Reacting to someone with anger or frustrating causes you to feel these emotions too while reacting with kindness keeps you in a positive mindset.
People also have a habit of mirroring the emotions projected onto them back to the one sending them. If you approach someone with a smile and a kind word they are far more likely to respond kindly to you than before.
Drop any prejudices you have against other people. Instead see the people of the world as one and think of people as individual cells in the greater body of earth where we all must work together to improve life for everyone. If you have disputes with people seek to understand their point of view before seeking to be understood.
Bring some love into your life as well. Feel a love and appreciation for yourself and have a love for all that you have to be grateful about. Spend more time showing your significant other how much you care for them with random loving acts. Send your parents a loving appreciative message. Tell your friends how awesome they are. Do something kind for a stranger. All this positive energy you’re passing around will come back to you and turning this into a habit will change your life filling your future with more love and happiness.
The final way to change your life forever is to make travelling a part of your life. I won’t go into the specific details about why you should travel and how it will change your life because this entire website is dedicated to that, but if you need some convincing you should check out the first article in the 4 part ‘Why Travel’ series.
Real lasting change doesn’t come from a few individual actions but instead comes from forming lifelong habitual ways of being. Make a conscious effort to review these ideas frequently and adopt as many of them into your daily life as possible. Stick with it long enough and they will become ingrained habits that completely change your life forever.