Can you really change your life, no matter your age, where you’re from, and the situation you’re in now?
What if you’re broke and deeply in debt, and you want to make a change?
Or what if you are in your 60’s, and you’re frustrated with your life and you want to make a change?
In short, the answer is yes.
Changing your life has nothing to do with your age, gender, life’s circumstances, or anything, but it has everything to do with YOU – yourself.
Before I show you the 10 steps to changing your life, you must first understand this…
Change is Hard
Everyone wants to change their life for the better, but not everyone dares to make the decision and actually do it.
Jack Ma once said:
“Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be beautiful.”
When you decide to change, it is going to be hard at first. This is a normal phenomenon because you’re not used to the changes.
Sadly, most people don’t dare to make the change. And even if they do, they’d give up halfway because they feel uncomfortable going out of their comfort zone.
Here’s a great saying from one of my favorite Pixar films, The Good Dinosaur:
“Sometimes you gotta get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side.”
You have to dare to lose sight of shore if you want to discover new land.
If you want to change your life, it is NOT going to be an easy journey. It is a daring adventure.
Changing your life will be HARD, but hard doesn’t mean IMPOSSIBLE.
So, once you are ready, let’s talk about the 10 steps you should take to change your life for the better…
1. Define the Change You Want
The first and the most important step to changing your life is to identify and define the change you want.
You have to understand what you want to change before you can change, right?
Most people never make this decision. They feel stuck in life. They know something isn’t right, but they didn’t manage to find out what kind of change they want to make.
As a result, they are where they are forever.
And when you have no idea what to change, there’s no way you can change.
You have to understand this concept: You cannot fix what you don’t know is broken.
When you want to lose weight, the first step you need to do is to weigh yourself and then identify how much additional fat you want to lose, right?
Before you can embark on a journey, you must set your destination first.
It is the same when it comes to changing your life. So, what do you want to change?
What area or which part of your life that you feel unsatisfied with and you want to change it?
Or is it that there is a certain habit that you wanted to let go of or learn to develop?
- Do you want to quit smoking?
- Do you want to quit drinking?
- Do you want to start exercising?
You must name the change you want, then and only then, you can craft a plan and come up with a strategy to initiate the change.
Make Your Decision And Commit To It
Once you have identified the change you want, you must make the decision for it and commit to it.
Again, this is what most people never do. No wonder people fail to change and the change doesn’t last.
They fail to understand the true meaning of making a decision.
Making a decision means it is final. You will never think of another option anymore. When you say you decide to lose 10 pounds, that’s it; you will achieve it no matter what.
Sadly, most people never practice the power of committing to a decision.
They decide to start an exercise plan, but 3 days later, they give up and overturn their decision.
I have seen people started blogs, websites, and side hustles like they started a YouTube channel, but sadly, most of them didn’t stick to their decisions.
They do it only when they feel motivated. When they don’t have the motivation? They don’t do it.
Never let this happen to you. Once you have decided, it means you have made up your mind, and you must commit to it.
The more you practice your power to stay with your decision, the more self-esteem and the more decisive you will become.
Take out a piece of paper and write down your decision to change. Write down what you want to change.
Write down the things that you will never accept any more in your life. And write down how your ideal life should look like.
More importantly, write down why you want to change. Your purpose will be the driving force behind to support your change.
People fail to change because they don’t have a strong and emotional purpose for the change they desire. When your reason is strong, you will do whatever it takes to achieve what you have decided to do.
2. Harness the Power to Control
You have to understand that you are where you are right now because at some point in your life, you made certain decisions, and that is why you ended up where you are today.
And that means you are the ONE who is responsible for your life. You are the one who is creating your life.
We all have the power to change our life. Anyone can change their life if they want to.
We are the one that created our own lives.
Think about it, why are you reading this guide right now? Because you decided to do so. Can you choose not to read it? Of course, you can, the decision is in your hands.
Therefore, we all have the ability to choose how we want to live.
If you are not satisfied with your life right now, you can make the decision to change. If you don’t like your job right now, you can choose to leave and do something else.
Well, you may say that you have commitments and family to feed, or it is easier said than done. You are right, but, please understand that you are the one who chooses to stay because you are the one who refuses to change.
You have to understand that you are the one who is in control of your life.
Take Full Responsibility
One of the most powerful lessons I learned from Jack Canfield is to take full responsibility for my life.
In his book, The Success Principles, the first and the most important principle introduced by Jack is to take responsibility for everything you do in life.
Most of the things happened to us because of what we did previously. Of course, there are things that are out of our control, such as rain, economic downturn, or the death of someone.
However, it doesn’t mean that our lives are controlled by those events. We can choose how we want to respond to whatever happens to us.
You need to learn this formula:
Event + Response = Outcome
When you are stuck in a traffic congestion, choose to respond in a positive way. You can take responsibility for going out late or fail to properly plan your trip instead of blaming the traffic and complaining about it.
When you are fired from your job, take the responsibility that it is your fault and tell yourself that there are much better opportunities waiting for you out there.
Most people choose to avoid responsibility and they respond in a negative way.
They choose to complain, and they play the blame game…
- They blame the traffic when they are late.
- They blame their government for having no savings in the bank.
- They blame the economy when their stock prices went down.
- They blame their boss for not getting a raise.
Thus, stop playing the blame game and learn to take full responsibility from now on. Learn to control your responses.
Rather than letting the situation defines you, choose to define the situation.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
When you fail in your business venture, choose to respond in a positive way. Ask yourself empowering questions:
- “What can I learn from this?”
- “What went wrong and how can I improve?”
- “Where can I do better?”
The key is to take 100% responsibility for your life so that you can have the power to change.
When you blame, deny, complain or avoid responsibility, you are giving away your power to control and change the situation.
Think about it, what can you do if you keep blaming and complaining about how bad life is? Nothing.
Instead, take full responsibility and choose to respond in a positive way.
Tell yourself this is just where you are right now. Where you are right now is not your destiny. The tough situation you are facing right now is not your life, but part of your life.
When you understand that you are the one who has the power to change and create your life, things will start to change because your perspective changed.
Things will not change unless you first change. And for you to change, you must take full responsibility for your life.
Decide today that you will take 100% responsibility for your life.
Stop playing the blame game and don’t make lousy excuses.
Apply the Event + Response = Outcome formula to your life. Understand that you may not able to control everything in your life, but you can definitely choose how to respond to it.
Once you took full responsibility for your life, you will gain back control. And when you are in control of your life, you can make real changes.
3. Ask These Life-Changing Questions
The questions we asked ourselves every day will shape our destiny. If you always ask yourself, “Why does this have to happen to me?” Guess what, your mind will search for the answers and tell you why you have such bad luck.
Our minds work as to how and what we ask ourselves. Just like what Anthony Robbins said:
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
Do you know that Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs used to ask himself one powerful question each morning when he looked into the mirror?
Every morning, Jobs asked himself this question:
“If today were the last day of your life, would you want to be doing what you’re doing?”
Jobs shared his experience of asking himself this question in a commencement speech at Stanford. He then went on to say, “Whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
If you want to change your life, you must ask yourself life-changing questions and listen to your inner voice.
Everyone knows what they want deep down in their hearts. The problem is whether they are going to accept and listen to their hearts.
Try to ask yourself this, “Is this the work or job I enjoy doing?“
If you answer is a no, you know that you need to change.
Sadly, most people never do anything to change their current situation because they are too afraid to change.
Please understand that the questions you ask will determine your focus.
When you ask lousy questions, you will get lousy answers. When you ask empowering questions, you will get empowering answers that will drive you forward.
If you have a task you need to do right now, and you ask, “Should I do this right now?” What answer will you get?
Well, it depends on your willpower and state at that moment.
If your willpower is strong at that moment, you will take action right away. If your willpower is low, there is a high chance you will procrastinate and do something else.
Therefore, choose to ask a better question. Instead of asking, “Should I do this right now?”, ask yourself “What one small step can I do right now?”
The 6 Life-Changing Questions
Get ready with a piece of paper and a pen; there’s some writing you need to do right now.
Answer these 6 questions and write down your answers:
- Where will I be 3 years from now if I keep doing what I do now?
- If I have 20 million dollars cash and I only have 2 months to live, how will I live these 2 months?
- Am I living the life I want right now? From these areas: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially.
- What is stopping me from changing and succeeding in life?
- If I can change my life right now, which one area I’m going to change and what one goal will impact my life the most?
- Where can I start and what one small step can I do right now?
Remember, there is no right or wrong answer. You want to discover what you truly want in life and you want to find out what motivates you to change.
So, just write down whatever answer you have in your mind.
Answer the above 6 questions above by writing down the answers.
If you are serious to change your life and you truly desire for success, you must do this right now because it gives you clarity on what you want and where you should change.
You may want to take as much time as you wish. Get yourself your favorite beverage if you want to.
Plus, you can revisit these questions and do this exercise again after a few months. It will be a great refresher.
4. Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Changing your life has everything to do with your goals and expectations. How can you live a successful life if you don’t know what you want in life, right?
Goal setting is a powerful tool. You want to set goals because you want to constantly remind yourself what you want, and your goals help you identify your destination.
When you ask people what they want in life, they will give you vague and general answers such as they want to be happy or they want to get rich.
You seldom hear a clear and specific answer like I want to earn $100,000 from my internet business through selling my products on Amazon by the end of the year.
No wonder most people fail and live in mediocrity, simply because they are not clear and not specific enough with what they want.
Goal setting is powerful because it gives you a clear direction in life. Your goal tells you what you want, by when, and whether you are moving in the right direction.
If you don’t have a goal, you’ll be living like a lost sheep, following the crowd.
Imagine going through the weekend without any plan. You feel bored, and you don’t know what to do to kill time. Suddenly your friend calls and asks you for a drink.
Most people will accept and meet their friends over a drink. Why? Because they have no plan.
What if you have a clear goal like to lose 7 pounds within a month because your daughter is going to get married next month and you want to look fit in your suit?
You might end up rejecting your friend for a drink and instead, choose to exercise in the gym.
This is why it is important to have goals. It gives you a clear direction and if you are committed enough; your goals can help you focus on doing what matters most to you.
Instead of being distracted and wasting time, you will become proactive and work on things that are truly important.
Goal Setting Builds Positive Expectations
When you set your goals, you feel confident and positive because you created expectations and hope.
Studies have shown that old people who are at the end of their lives tend to live longer when they have a goal, such as to wait until their birthdays or any big celebration.
When you have good expectations, you will do something with better commitment and drive.
Why do you think successful people are able to wake up each morning feeling excited and beamed with energy? It is because they have a clear and exciting goal to achieve.
They know what they want to accomplish in life, they are excited about it, they look forward to it, and they can’t wait to do it.
Your goals create motivation and give you direction.
Therefore, if you want to change your life, you need to have goals.
Have you heard about the 100 Goals Challenge from Jack Canfield? What you need to do is to write down at least 100 goals you want to accomplish in life.
It may be easy in the beginning. However, once you reached 20 or 30 goals, you will need to use your creativity and think hard about what you want in life.
And this is where you will connect with your inner self and find out what you really want in life.
Many success gurus such as Jack Canfield and Brian Tracy suggested this exercise because it works.
Here’s one more thing you should do: Practice daily goal setting. Every morning when you wake up, write down the goals you want to achieve.
Practice daily goal setting and review your goals every day. Your life will change faster than you imagine.
Here’s how to set goals: Ultimate Goal Setting Guide: How to Set Goals and Achieve Them
5. Build the Environment
We have all know that if we wanted to change, we must change our environment as well.
Successful people mix and network with other successful people because they know their environment will shape them. Who they mix around with will influence their beliefs and mindsets.
That is why successful people often make friends with other successful people.
You have to do the same. Build a supportive environment that will motivate and inspire you to change.
Try to read a book in a noisy area; you will find that you cannot concentrate and you will be influenced and distracted by the noise.
Thus, if you want to read a book, go to a quiet place where everyone else is also reading, you will be influenced by their energy to read too.
“The apples never fall too far from the tree.”
It means that you can never be too much different from where you come from; unless you make a change.
If you mix around with people who drink every night, you will develop a bad drinking habit and drink every night too.
If you mix around with people who have big dreams and goals, you will tend to do the same because you want to fit in.
Therefore, choose to mingle with the right group of people.
There was a study saying that our income is the average of our five closest friends. So, if you want to increase your income, join others who are doing much better than you financially.
Change your environment, or create a surrounding that will support you to change for the better.
Are you working in a firm that has a bad culture? Does your company encourage learning and improvement?
If your workplace culture is negative, your colleagues always talk bad about others, they play the blame game, pointing fingers at each other, your boss is not helping, etc, choose to change.
You can either change the group you mix with, or just spend less time with negative people, or just leave and change your job.
It may be a hard decision and a challenging one, but nothing will change unless you do.
Build an environment that supports you to change and drives you to achieve your dreams. If your house is in a mess and you often feel like procrastinating on your work, clean up your table and declutter often.
Mix and network with the right group of people who will inspire you to achieve more.
If you want to fly with the eagles, stop swimming with the ducks. Have you watched the Jungle Book? The little boy, Mowgli tends to act like a wolf because he was raised by wolves.
You will become who you mix with, and your environment will shape you. Hence, change your environment if you want to change your life.
6. Ignore the Naysayers
There will be people telling you that whatever you are trying to do is impossible and they will tell you that change is just not possible.
So how do you deal with them? Just ignore them.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to chase his dream of becoming a champion in the bodybuilding industry, people laughed at him and told him that it was impossible.
He ignored them and went on to chase his dream. And he succeeded.
After that, when he told people he wanted to become an actor, again, people laughed at him and told him all sorts of reasons why he would fail.
Some people told him his name was too difficult to pronounce. Some people told him his body was too bulky and it was impossible for him to fit into any movie character.
What did Arnold do? He ignored all of them and went on to chase his dream of becoming a Hollywood superstar.
The rest became history.
There will be people telling you what you want to achieve is impossible and there will be people who doubt if you can do it. Just ignore them.
There will be naysayers along your journey to success, and you just need to ignore them. In fact, naysayers are important because they remind you of what you need to do to prove them wrong.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said he loved it when people say that it is impossible to do something, or no one has ever done it before.
How come? So that he can become the first person who does it.
You have to adopt the same thinking and act like Arnold did. Just ignore the naysayer and people who tell you that it is impossible.
For people who doubt if you can do it, just prove them wrong.
Naysayers Are Everywhere
You have to understand that naysayers are everywhere.
This is just part of life because everyone’s experience and thinking are different.
So most people will say that it is not possible to achieve what you want, only a small group of people will support and believe in you.
And this is fine because that’s how the world is. You just need to believe in yourself and keep your eyes on your dreams.
People will tell you that it is impossible to change; it is too difficult to change; the competition is too tough; there are no more opportunities left; etc.
Instead of feeling down and discouraged, turn those words into positive energy that drives you forward.
People will tell you all kinds of reasons why you can’t, but never let their words discourage you.
When they cannot do it, it does not mean you cannot do it too.
“When people throw stones at you, don’t throw them back. Collect them all and build an empire.”
Ignore the naysayers and never buy into the ideas of people telling you that it is impossible. Nothing is impossible until it is done.
It is impossible to fly until Wright Brothers successfully invented the airplane. It is impossible to connect and speak to one another across the world until mobile phones come to life.
Things may seem impossible now, but with your persistence and determination, your dreams will eventually become a reality.
If no one believes in you or shows you the support, it is alright, just lock yourself in and work hard on your dreams. Someday, somehow, you will make it.
7. Follow Your Intuition and Listen to Your Heart
If you want to change your life, you have to listen to your intuition and follow your heart.
There are just too many distractions out there. Never let the outer voice drown out your inner voice.
I believe that you have come across a situation where someone tells you that you are not good enough or tells you to do this or that because it seems to fit you better.
Never listen to them, instead, follow your heart and intuition.
Here’s a profound quote from Les Brown:
“Never let someone’s opinion of you become your reality.”
If you fail in school and people tell you to get a job in the post office or sanitary department, don’t listen to them.
That was what happened to Les Brown. He did poorly in school and his friends recommended him to work in the post office or join the army.
But he did not listen to them. Instead, he followed his heart. Today, he became an inspirational figure who touches millions of lives across the world.
Choose to listen to yourself and your inner voice. What do you want to do and who do you want to become?
If people feel that you did not do well academically and they suggested you work in the post office, don’t buy in because if you do, you will be living other people’s reality and let their opinion determine your life.
Choose to believe in yourself and do what you want.
If you fail in school, that does not mean that you cannot do well in life.
I’m saying that you should listen to your intuition rather than letting others pointing your life and telling you what to do.
Never let people’s opinion of you becomes your reality.
Taking Other People’s Opinion As Consideration
I passed my schools with great results, and my parents told me that they wanted me to be an engineer or a doctor. This is a typical Asian mentality.
I ended up being a real estate negotiator for 7 years and right now I’m venturing into doing my own internet business, because this is what I love doing.
I did not suggest you dump whatever people tell you, but you have to know what you want and listen to your inner voice.
If someone tells you that you should be an engineer because you did great in school, should you listen?
You can take it into consideration and as a suggestion. There is no need for you to follow through and live up to his expectation or live his opinion as reality.
You should listen to yourself and your heart.
If other people’s opinion about you is good, you can listen and accept them as compliments. However, this is not the case most of the time.
Often, people will tell you something that is not encouraging.
They will tell you to stop working on your business and get a real job. They will tell you to work with your hands because you did not do well academically. They will tell you to follow the crowd, study well, get good grades, become a doctor, work, and then save your money.
Follow your heart. Listen to your inner voice. What do you truly want? What kind of change do you want in life?
Never let other people’s opinions of you become your reality. You should be the one who creates your own reality because this is your life.
If you want to make a change and be different, you have to follow your heart.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”Steve Jobs
8. Commit to The 30-Day Challenge
This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you are going to take action to change your life, in just 30 days.
Most people just think about changing their lives, but they never did. Things will never change until you act and do something about it.
You are what you do, not what you say you will do.
Now, identify just one thing, one area, or one habit that you would like to change.
You should choose only one because you want to put in full focus and concentrate all your energy on changing this one thing in your life.
Think about it, what one thing do you want to change the most in your life?
- Do you want to quit smoking?
- Do you want to start saving and investing?
- Do you want to learn a new skill like playing the piano?
- Do you want to start a side hustle like growing an internet business?
Your choice, but choose only one.
Now, on a piece of paper, write down the change you want to see. Write down why you want to change, your motivations, what is stopping you and how are you going to do to achieve the change.
By now, you should have understood the power of making your goals tangible. When you write things down, it tells your mind that it is important, and you are serious about it.
After you have written down the change you want to create, make a public commitment.
Well, you don’t have to go around shouting to everyone what you want to do or what you want to change.
What you can do is to identify at least 3 people who will support you and share with them your goal and the change you desire.
They can be your spouse, your parents, your siblings, or your close friends. If it is a work-related matter, you can also share it with your superior or your manager.
Tell them your plan and what you are going to do to achieve the change. Ask them to check on you from time to time if possible.
At the same time, tell these people whenever you are down or feeling frustrated, you will look for them and get their support. Get their permission and ask them to support you and remind you of what you want.
Most people will agree to help and support you. So don’t worry and just do it.
Once you have an action plan, follow through for 30 days.
- If your change is to stop smoking, don’t ever pick up a cigarette for the next 30 days.
- If you want to lose weight, develop an exercise plan for the next 30 days and do it.
- If you want to build the habit of reading, time block the time to read every day.
Whatever your goal or change you want to create, DO JUST ONE THING EVERY DAY to make progress.
You want to start small and then grow. The key is to be consistent.
One of the reasons most people fail to reach their goals is because they are not being consistent enough. It is alright to start small, as long as you are consistent with it.
Think about getting 6-pack abs. You can’t get it by just hitting the gym once. You need to be consistent.
And you don’t have to work out 10 hours a day, but you just need to do it.
Even if you work on your body for just 15 minutes a day, with consistency, after 30 days, you will see the results.
It is the same in everything you want to achieve in life.
Remember, you will have to do this for 30 days straight. Don’t make lousy excuses.
Create a 30-day action plan. You don’t have to start strong, just begin. Starting small is good, just make sure you are consistent with it.
As Zig Ziglar said:
“You don’t have to be great to start, you just need to start to be great.”
So, create a 30-day game plan, and then stick to it. Check out these resources:
- 10 Tips How to Plan Your Day and Live a More Successful Life
- How to Keep Your Momentum Going and Stick to Your Plan
- How to Turn Your Goals into Actionable Plans
9. Focus On the Progress
Do you know why most people quit and give up halfway? The answer is because they choose to focus on the wrong thing.
They focus on the result rather than the process.
Imagine if your goal is to do 50 pushups each day, and if you did not reach the 50 pushups or if you miss out a day, you will feel like a failure.
Hence, instead of focusing on the result, try to focus on the progress. You are considered a success as long as you are doing something to move forward to reach your goals.
Focus on doing the pushups regardless of how many times you want to do it.
On the first day, you may end up doing 30 pushups. On the second day, maybe you will do 35 pushups. And a few weeks later, you may be able to do 50 pushups in one go.
The result will come slowly and gradually.
So choose to focus on the progress and not the goal. However, you will still need to have a goal or a target you want in your head. Why? Because your goal tells you what you need to do and it gives you direction in life.
Change is about taking small steps one at a time. When you take small steps, change will happen, slowly, but surely.
Unfortunately, most people choose to focus on the result. When they take small actions and they don’t see the result they want, they started to doubt themselves. They started to feel frustrated and down.
And then they will think of some other ‘creative solution’. They will look for other opportunities and start jumping from one project to another.
Understand this – results will come later.
You can decide that you are going to exercise 30 minutes each day, but the effect of exercise can only come after a few weeks or months.
The same goes for business. Some people decided to change their job and get into business, but they don’t seem to understand that things take time.
They work on their businesses, but when they don’t see the result in weeks or a few short months, they choose to give up.
Please allow time to work its magic.
Focus on the progress and develop the habit. What makes you change is your habit, not the result you get.
The result is just the by-product of your habit and action.
Always remember this:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”Aristotle
10. Be Grateful
Finally, to change your life in 30 days, you must learn to appreciate your life.
Things will change when you start to appreciate and be grateful for whatever you have in life.
You will become more positive and happier. You will have more confidence and feel better because you feel like you already have it all.
When you are grateful, you will become a better person, a better father, a better student, a better employee, a better boss, a better teacher, a better lover, a better son or daughter, and more.
Imagine someone who owns everything but he does not know how to appreciate it, deep within him, he will feel like he owns nothing because he always feels he doesn’t have enough.
On the other hand, if you feel grateful and appreciate whatever you have, you will be satisfied and happy because deep within you, you already have it all.
Anthony Robbins once asked Sir John Templeton what is the secret to wealth. Sir Templeton’s answer amazed Tony Robbins.
Sir Templeton said “Gratitude”, and then went on to say:
“Because if you have a billion dollars, and every day you live pissed off and frustrated, the quality of your life is called pissed off and frustrated. But if you have next to nothing, and are grateful for whatever it is you have, you’re the richest person that you’re going to know. It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got if you don’t have gratitude.”
Thus, be grateful and appreciate all that you have with you right now. Even if you are broke or in debt, be grateful that you are still alive and able to turn the table around.
Appreciate those people who are with you right now. Be thankful for the car you have, the computer, or the phone you owned, and everything in your life.
Feel the energy and feel the gratefulness within you.
Practice the 2-minute grateful activity. Take 2 minutes each day to think about things that you are grateful for.
You can also choose to write down 10 things you appreciate each day.
Always be thankful for what you have. Use the word “Thank you” more often from today onward.
Changing your life can be hard and challenging. However, it does not mean that it is impossible.
You can choose to change your life for the better right now. All you need to do is to build up the courage and decide.
Follow these 10 steps to change your life. And remember, things will not change unless you change.
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