6 Ways To Transform Your Life In Less Than One Year
Changing your entire life is actually quite simple. Not only is it simple, but it can be done in a radically short period of time. Almost immediately.
Your whole life could look 180 degrees different than it does now in just one year from now.
- You could be in the best shape of your life.
- You could be living in a different part of the world.
- You could be in a vastly different line of work.
- You could be making more money than you’ve ever dreamed of.
- You could be living a life of purpose and meaning.
In truth, you could be living whatever life you want. You get to decide the reality you construct for yourself. If you don’t, someone else will. Indecision is a horrible decision.
So where will you be in 12 months from now?
Here’s where to start:
1. Define clearly what you want.
By clearly defining what you want, you simultaneously remove countless other decisions. Yet, most people have yet to do this essential activity.
If you were to ask most people where they want to see their life and career in five years, most would struggle to give a confident and clear response.
Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, once wrote down all the things he truly wanted to accomplish in his life. To his astonishment, law school was not one of those things. Yet, he was currently in his second year of law school.
He was forced to make the challenging decision of leaving law school to pursue what he really wanted to.
Once you define for yourself what you want to do in life, it becomes easy to stop the things that won’t get you there. There is a powerful reason for this:
We are all equipped with a psychological process called self-regulation which detects inconsistencies between our goals and our behaviors. It is the ignition of our motivational forces which helps us get from where we are to where we want to be.
Specifically, self-regulation works in three ways:
- Self-monitoring determines how well we are currently performing.
- Self-evaluation determines how well we are performing against our goals.
- Self-reaction determines how we think and feel against our goals. When we feel dissatisfied with our performance, self-reaction pushes us to reallocate our motivational resources.
To trigger this self-regulation process, goals need to be highly specific, based on external indicators, deadline driven, and challenging.
When I actually sat down and wrote correctly framed goals, I began to see a radical discrepancy between my behaviors and my goals. It was embarrassing and disturbing. I was in utter denial.
Here is a simple example of my goals:
- Earn $100,000 online by 2016.
- Have 15,000 subscribers by 2016.
- Write 3–5 articles per week (or 40 more before the end of the year).
- Get published on high-tier outlets like the New York Times, Lifehacker, and Forbes by 2016.
These goals highlight an enormous gap between where I currently am and where I would be if they were accomplished. Consequently, my self-regulatory process is activated by these goals, triggering an upsurge of motivational resources. My behavior immediately changes through my attempts to match my goals.
These goals work because they are intrinsically motivating to me — but are also based on external indicators — the outcomes I’m looking to get.
I read these goals every day to forge them deeper into my subconscious as well as to keep them at the forefront of my conscious mind.
This may seem overly simplistic, but are you doing it?
Do your goals inspire in you the arousal needed to trigger a psychological response? Or do you read your goals and experience no internal change?
Are you challenged enough by your goals?
Are they specific and clear enough?
Are they time-bound?
2. Quit your job.
This may sound dramatic, but unless you are in a job you 100 percent want to be in for the next five years, you should quit immediately. There will always be 100 reasons to postpone. But no matter how long you wait, you’ll never feel ready. It will always be a leap of faith. There will always be unknowns.
The bigger the risks you take, the more likely you’ll enter a state of flow — which is the optimal conscious state where you feel and perform at your highest level. When you take huge risks, you’re required to think in innovative ways, because the consequences of failure are high.
Quitting your job will be the best thing you ever did. It will free up mass amounts of energy and time. You’ll be startled by the inflow of insight you’ll get almost immediately. By quitting your job, you’ll be making a personal proclamation that from now on, you’re going to live life on your own terms.
For example, Pat Flynn, a professional blogger on the topic of creating passive income, was working a 9-5 job back in 2008. Then he got laid off. Although he loved his old job, he immediately started creating a business online. He was forced to think creatively as the bread-winner for his family. In a very short time, he was making more money in less time doing something he loved even more. Now, he makes millions of dollars online. This money is automated, meaning, he makes money whether he works or not.
What if he would have quit his job a few years earlier?
“We’ll never be ready if we keep waiting for the perfect time to come.” — Mat Kearney
3. Sell everything you don't need.
Most of the possessions you own, you don’t use. Most of the clothes in your closet, you don’t wear. Get rid of them. They are sucking energy from your life. Also, they are dormant value waiting to be exchanged for dollars.
Getting rid of underutilized resources is like injecting motivation and clarity into your bloodstream. While all of that untapped energy gets removed, a new wave of positive energy comes into your life. You can use that energy in more useful and productive ways.
4. Start doing what you love courageously.
What is it you’ve been telling yourself you’d do for a long time, but have never done?
Start doing that thing.
Make it your top priority.
Research has found that willpower is like a muscle that depletes when it is exercised. Similarly, our ability to make high quality decisions becomes fatigued over time. The more decisions you make, the lower quality they become — the weaker your willpower.
Consequently, you need to do the hard stuff first thing in the morning. The important stuff. If you don’t, it simply will not get done. By the end of your day, you’ll be exhausted. You’ll be fried. There will be a million reasons to just start tomorrow. And you will start tomorrow — which is never.
So your mantra becomes: The worst comes first. Do that thing you’ve been needing to do. Then do it again tomorrow. If you take just one step toward your big goals every day, you’ll realize those goals weren’t really far away.
Do you want to write a book? Write first thing in the morning when your willpower is strongest.
Do you want to learn another language? Study first thing in the morning.
Do you want to get in shape? Exercise first thing in the morning.
Do you want to travel? Do it while you’re young or else you might never do it.
5. Get healthy.
Despite endless evidence of the need for exercise, only one-third of American men and women between the ages of 25 to 64 years engage in regular physical activity according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey.
If you want to be among the healthy, happy and productive people in the world, get in the habit of regular exercise. Many people go immediately to the gym to get their body moving. I have lately found that doing yard work in the wee hours of the morning generates an intense inflow of inspiration and clarity.
Whatever your preference, get your body moving.
Exercise has been found to decrease your chance of depression, anxiety and stress. It is also related to higher success in your career.
If you don’t care about your body, every other aspect of your life will suffer. Humans are holistic beings.
6. Reframe how you feel, think, and act about money.
Most people have an unhealthy relationship with money. It’s not necessarily their fault; it’s what they were taught.
In order to change your financial world, you need to alter your paradigm and feelings about money.
Here are some key beliefs the most successful people in the world have:
- In a free-market economy, anyone can make as much money as they want.
- Your background, highest level of education, or IQ is irrelevant when it comes to earning money.
- The bigger the problem you solve, the more money you make.
- Expect to make lots of money. Think BIG: $100,000, $500,000, or why not $1 million?
- What you focus on expands. If you believe in scarcity, you'll have little. If you believe there is unlimited abundance, you'll attract abundance.
- When you create incredible value for others, you have the right to make as much money as you want.
- You're not going to be discovered, saved, or made rich by someone else. If you want to be successful, you have to build it yourself.
When you develop a healthy relationship, you will have more. You won’t spend money on the crap most people waste their money on. You’ll focus more on value than price.
After you’ve done these simple things, you’ll have put yourself in a place to succeed. You’ll have inched toward your dreams.
Because you’ll have done all these things, you’ll show up better in life.
You’ll be better at your job.
You’ll be better in your relationships.
You’ll be happier.
You’ll be more confident.
You’ll be more bold and daring.
You’ll have more clarity and vision.
Your life will shortly change.
You’ll quickly find you’re doing the work you’re passionate about. Your relationships will be passionate, meaningful, deep and fun!
You will have freedom and abundance. The world, and the universe, will respond to you in beautiful ways.