1. Meaningful daily reminders make growth and positive change easier.
You can post meaningful quotes on your bedroom wall, or find a coffee, a mug that has a motivational message on it (It could read “Every Day a Miracle is Born”). But you can also take it a step further than that too.
Few good things come easy, and when the going gets tough we often take the easy way out – even though the easy way takes us the wrong way.
Think of moments when you are most likely to give in to impulses that keep you stuck and take you farther away from your ultimate goals. Then use visual reminders of those goals to interrupt the impulse and rebuild the momentum that keeps you on the right track.
2. The space between the things you do is just as important as the things you do.
Pausing for a brief second to end the chaos and busyness can save your life by winning you back precious time and peace of mind. Pausing can also provide you with a break in the habitual action, so you can begin again in a new direction when needed. But you have to leave enough space in your schedule to do so.
It’s tempting to fill in every waking minute of the day with busyness. Don’t do this to yourself. Leave space.
Leave a little space between every one of your commitments. Take a break to breathe and meditate, take a short walk outside, drink a glass of water, or perhaps do some simple deep stretching exercises. Appreciate the space, and just be.
Your ultimate goal is living a life uncluttered by most of the distractions people fill their lives with, leaving you with space for what truly matters. A life that isn’t constant busyness, rushing, and resistance, but instead mindful contemplation, creation and connection with people and projects you truly love.
3. Journaling is a priceless tool for self-reflection and self-improvement.
J.K. Rowling keeps a journal. Eminem keeps a journal. Oprah keeps a journal.
Successful people – those who consistently make positive changes in their life – track their progress, set goals, reflect, and learn from their mistakes. And they often use some kind of journal to accomplish this.
If you want to get somewhere in life, you need a map, and your journal is that map. You can write down what you did today, what you tried to accomplish, where you made mistakes, and so forth. It’s a place to reflect. It’s a place to capture important thoughts. It’s a place to be able to track where you’ve been and where you intend to go. It’s one of the most underused, yet incredibly effective tools available to the masses.
Set aside 15 minutes a day to think and write.
To this day, I still journal almost every morning. And reviewing my notes at the end of the day/week/month always helps me feel positive about all the opportunities still out there for me to explore and achieve.
4. The wrong relationships pull you back – the right ones push you forward.
When you’re moving through a sizeable life transition, it’s important to have close family and friends around you that can offer their support and understanding. There’s no room for needless negativity. It’s like the transition phase in labor – that last phase before a woman gives birth to a new life. She can’t possibly stop to take on other people’s problems or feel guilty about not returning text messages. She needs to protect her thoughts, her time, and her energy.
This same principle applies to you. If you find that you have a toxic, draining relationship that’s constantly bringing you down and keeping you stuck, let them go for a while. They may not be an inherently bad person, but they’re not the right person to be spending time with every day.
Remember, not all toxic relationships are agonizing and uncaring on purpose. Some of them involve people who care about you – people who have good intentions, but are toxic because their needs and way of existing in the world force you to compromise yourself and your happiness. And as hard as it is, we have to distance ourselves enough to give ourselves space to live.
You simply can’t ruin yourself on a daily basis for the sake of someone else. You have to make your well-being a priority. Whether that means spending less time with someone, loving a family member from a distance, letting go entirely, or temporarily removing yourself from a situation that feels painful – you have every right to leave and create some healthy space for yourself.
5. Taking consistent and realistic action every day sets you free.
All details aside, when it comes to making a substantial change in your life – earning a new degree, building a new business, fostering a new relationship, starting a family, becoming more mindful, or any other personal journey that takes time and commitment – one thing you have to ask yourself is:
“Am I willing to spend a little time every day like many people won’t, so I can spend the better part of my life like many people can’t?”
Think about it. We ultimately become what we repeatedly do. The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing – growing happens when what you know changes how you live.
And remember that this change doesn’t happen all at once. It happens just one small step at a time. When it comes to making changes, less is more.