It’s fairly common to be unsatisfied with your current situation in life. Maybe you are happy with your relationship but your job is making you miserable. Maybe you just keep going in circles and you can’t seem to break out of your rut. Either way, change often takes time. However, it all begins with that first step, and here are a few first steps that will show a little bit of improvement immediately. 1.) Let go of the past.
As wise Rafiki says in The Lion King,
“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it
.” And even though our lives are not lived through animation, the lesson holds up just the same. The past is the past, and dwelling on it isn’t going to solve anything. Learn what you can from it and then let it go. 2.) Cut out people that hurt you.
If you have a relationship that is causing you grief, end it. Just because someone was your best friend in 4th grade or is related to you by blood does not mean you have to keep them in your life. The only people you should have time for are the ones that treat you with respect and dignity and support you when you need it. 3.) Stand up for yourself.
If you don’t stand up for yourself, who will? If you feel you are being disrespected in some way, say something. Allowing yourself to be a doormat certainly doesn’t feel good, and the second you stop being one you’ll realize how amazing it feels to be treated with respect. 4.) De-clutter your mind.
Have something that’s weighing on your mind? Take care of it! Maybe it’s a huge presentation you feel unprepared for; stop putting it off and prepare for it! Maybe you are avoiding talking to your child’s math teacher for whatever reason; get over it and stop by the school after work! All of those tiny little to-do tasks add up, and it can cause you some serious stress. Bear down and take care of as many of them as you can and you’d be surprised at how amazing you feel knowing all of those little tasks are completed. 5.) Appreciate how far you’ve come. Goals we set for ourselves
often take a long time to achieve, so it’s completely understandable to feel frustrated about halfway through when you feel like you haven’t made any progress
. Chances are though, you have
made some progress, you just haven’t stopped to realize it yet. Do you have a goal to lose 20 pounds and you’ve lost 12 so far? Good for you, that’s a big deal! So take a second and think about what you’re trying to accomplish and how far you’ve come toward that particular goal
How many times during the day do you think something to yourself? Probably more than you think. The truth is, you (yes, that person in the mirror) are the biggest influence on how your life
turns out. And if we can’t change our thoughts, we very well can’t change our actions, now can we? So let’s make sure the following thoughts get shut down before they even start. 1.) I can’t/it’s too late/I’m not good enough/it doesn’t matter anyway/what’s the point.
Yes, all of these excuses fall under the same category and all of them are collectively number one on this list for a reason. Don’t sell yourself short
because your mental guestimate of your abilities is inaccurate. You are just as capable and deserving
as anyone else, and it does matter
or you wouldn’t be having this conversation with yourself right now. Your body is an amazing thing; if you want it to stand up, walk across the street and talk to the cute guy in the coffee shop it will do it. The only thing stopping you is your mind. 2.) I don’t have time.
they don’t have time, but then something comes up and they end up making
time. So make time now! Research has shown that the average person can find an extra six hours (six hours!!)
in their day if they were to prioritize
their tasks and work more efficiently. 3.) I’ll do it someday.
Why someday? Putting it off until “someday” conveys the idea that you aren’t able to do it now, and why? Is there really
something standing in your way? Right now, at this very moment, you are the oldest and wisest you have ever been, while at the same time being as young and able as you have ever been. Don’t waste time
dedicating part of your life to “someday.” Do what makes you happy now
. 4.) I could make a fool of myself.
Yes, you could. You could also trip and fall walking through the grocery store, so do you stop going to the store? No! And the reason: because you’ve been to the store and not tripped and fell
enough times that your mind doesn’t recognize it as a realistic threat. There are many opportunities to make a fool of yourself (many of them you are enormously overthinking), but if you avoided all of them you would be a hermit. Live a little bit and let yourself make mistakes. The fear of being a fool is not keeping you from being one; it’s keeping you from living, period. 5.) It didn’t work out the last time. Circumstances change
and people learn, including you. If you let your past determine your future, your future is going to be an exact replica of your past. 6.) Well if so-and-so thinks it’s a good idea…
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what so-and-so thinks! It matters what you
think! Granted, everyone needs a little advice from someone else once in a while, but constantly needing someone else’s opinion causes you to forget to have one of your own. After all, if so-and-so has a different opinion than you, and you always
go with their opinion, what’s the point in even having your own? Do what you want to do
, regardless of what others may think.
Are you a procrastinator
? Go ahead, you can answer honestly…
That’s what I thought.
The truth is, procrastinating is an extremely common habit. The stress of something easily makes it seem like putting it off until later is a good idea, but we all know how that ends up. So let’s examine a few ways
to get rid of that procrastinating bug. Not forever, mind you, we are realists, after all. But these tips should get you going in the right direction when you desperately need to focus
. 1.) Really prioritize.
Believe it or not, we all have a limited supply of willpower that gradually drains throughout the day. That’s why you see so many more fast food advertisements at the end of the day than the beginning; because that’s when they’ve been found to be the most effective at convincing people to call the number at the bottom of the screen. Focusing on tasks that need to be completed is no different. Therefore, it’s important to start with the toughest stuff first
, while your willpower is at its maximum.
Plus, then you get to enjoy the wash of relief you often feel after your most stressful task is completed, making the weight on your shoulders feel just a tad bit lighter. 2.) Get rid of distractions.
Distractions are everywhere (as a writer that works from home on a computer hooked up to the internet 24/7, I whole-heartedly understand), but that doesn’t mean you have to give into them. Instead of checking your email every 10 minutes, vow to check it once every 2 hours. Turn your phone on silent, keep the television off and for the love of God stay off the internet.
If you have
to be on the internet or your phone has
to be on, you can still screen what you’re looking at. Facebook is not essential, it can wait, just like that text from your friend wondering if she should wear the black or the red pumps tonight. Those issues aren’t important right now; you have work to do. 3.) Find what motivates you.
It doesn’t have to be much. For example, when I am writing an article and feel myself draining, I’ll suddenly notice that I’m a bit thirsty. Instead of getting up and getting a glass of water, I’ll tell myself I can have one after I write one more paragraph. It’s a tiny thing, but it always works. 4.) Time yourself.
Looking at your workload and thinking, “This will take hours!” will not help you reach your goals. Instead, set a timer for only 10 minutes, and vow to work feverishly straight through those 10 minutes. No excuses whatsoever. Anyone can handle 10 minutes of work, and you’ll often be surprised at how much you can get done
. 5.) Break apart your work.
Tackling one giant task all at once is sure to make anyone shy away, so instead think about what you could realistically do in the next 10, 30, or 60 minutes, then start there. Breaking larger tasks into smaller ones is a clever little way to tricking to the brain into thinking the workload just got a whole lot lighter.
Buying a new home can be quite a stressful process; there are so many things to take into consideration! From its proximity to your work or your child’s school, to the security of the neighborhood to the validity of the home inspection, the amount of thought that goes into buying a home can cause anyone to lose a few hours of sleep each night.
So let’s simplify this. Let’s take a look at some of the unwanted pressures of buying a home, and how to correctly navigate them.
1.) Define your reasons for buying a home.
If you’re looking to buy a home because you really have an urge to paint and design a living room, you might want to hold off a bit. Buying a home is a huge commitment, one that you may spend the next 30 years paying off. On the other hand, if you’ve researched the pros and cons of buying a home (how it’s going to affect your taxes, if you’re able to handle being responsible for all maintenance concerns, etc) you might be ready to take the first step.
2.) Get your finances in order.
Nothing adds more stress to a home-buying situation quicker than financial uncertainty. You might find the perfect home but not be able to make an offer because the bank hasn’t finished processing your loan paperwork yet, or you might end up looking at houses only to have your dreams crushed when you discover you qualified for a much lower amount than you thought you did. Before you start your search, make sure you know where you stand
. 3.) Hire an agent.
Trying to tackle the process of buying a home without the help of an experienced real estate agent is often setting yourself up for disaster. An agent will know the up-and-coming neighborhoods, the current state of the housing market and other things that you might want to consider (a swimming pool is great, but are you aware of the maintenance costs?). They will also help you make a strong first offer and negotiate properly to get the home of your dreams. In addition, they often have a significant list of contacts that will be able to help you in your process, such as a great home inspector. 4.) Cancel out the naysayers.
Buying a home is often like planning a wedding; there is going to be countless people who think they know best and want you to take their opinion. Thing is though their opinions aren’t always facts. Your mother-in-law might comment that the house you’re looking at is far too overpriced in this market, but in reality she probably doesn’t know the real estate climate at this time and the cost of that home could be perfectly reasonable. Just be sure to have a reliable real estate agent, as well as…5.) Trust your gut.
If you walk into a home, and it just doesn’t “feel right,” it’s probably not the home for you. Sure it might be the right size, have a backyard like you asked and be in your price range, but if you’ve got a gut feeling that it’s not a good fit, it’s probably not. When you find the home of your dreams, you’ll know it.