9 Steps to Become the Best You
Most people want to change. They understand they need to change to be healthier and live a more abundant life, yet they fail. Take a look at these nine actionable steps to take in order to get you on the path you so desire.
1. Know why you want to change. What drives you?
We all want to be healthier, happier, look and feel great. Most of us know this. Yet, we often fail and even become cynical. The brain is protecting us from failing again. This results in giving up and we “choose“ to remain in almost quiet desperation.
If we know we have to get better, in order to feel better, why don’t we just do it? If we need to exercise, why is it that the immense majority of people know it but don’t do it? In my experience, we either quit trying or we don’t try again because we often are not aware of the deep motivators, the deep drivers, needed to embark on a long-term program. We use clichés, like “I need to be healthier”, but why? What’s the reason deep down that you desire these things?
Try this: the 7 levels deep exercise. Ask yourself why you want to do it and use the answer to ask the next question until you get to the 7th answer. At that point, you will be answering with your heart, and you will find your main driver.
For instance, ask yourself: why do I want to be healthy? Answer: because I want to improve my energy. Question: why do I want to improve my energy? Do this 7 times and by that point, you will have reached the true reason. Finding this can help you truly work towards making these changes.
2. Love yourself more
Yes, believe me, you are worth the change! You deserve it. Every human life is a treasure. Try to watch your internal dialogue and the words you use to judge yourself. Often times, those negative words came from something on the outside and you believed it. Words can have an enormous emotional impact. We think with words, but you are not just your thoughts. Learn to recognize your negative thoughts for what they are, just thoughts, not necessarily the truth.
3. Focus on your daily accomplishments, not on the prize
There is a tremendous power in compounding one good little decision after another. If you were dreading to go to the gym but you could make it, even for just a few minutes, celebrate that. If you chose one healthier food over the other, celebrate that too. The compounding of small things will take you to the victory- the long lasting one.
4. Build up energy, and look at the return on investment of your daily activities
First, grab a stack of paper. On the left side, for several days, write down what you do regularly and for how long. For instance: watched TV- 3 hours; Online doing “stuff”- 2 hours, etc.
Second, on the right side of the page write down those things you enjoy doing. It might have been a while since you did those activities, so take your time. Find a place where you can concentrate on those things and write them down.
The third step will be to try to minimize or eliminate the things on the left that do not give you a good return on investment. Find ways to replace them, or at least part of them, with the activities you wrote on the right side. This helps create healthier, more enjoyable habits on a day to day basis.
5. Do not wait to be “motivated” to do something
Yes, just do it. As you know, it is hard to find the right motivation to train, to meditate, to do those things which will make difference in your life. You just do them, and then self-motivation will come more easily.
6. Don’t give yourself too many choices
Making choices can drain your willpower. We make tons of “food decisions” every single day. Do I eat this or this? This much or this much? Now or later? So, as much as possible, write down what you plan to eat the next day and narrow down the choices you must make that day. Just make it easy to “decide”.
7. Organize your chaos and cover the basics
Yes, I will admit my little OCD issue, but we are talking about how to make it easier for you. Whether you are compulsive or enjoy chaos, it never hurts to make things a little bit tidier.
Unclutter your desk, tidy up your room, eat and go to sleep at fairly regular times, etc. Transform your smartphone into your electronic valet. Use it to schedule, in advance, things that will replenish your energy (dinner with your loved one, go to the movies, etc.). Put it on the calendar and make it non-negotiable. If it is on the calendar, you have to do it, you are accountable to yourself.
8. Screw cynicism
Identify yourself with your new train of thought, with the significant things you could achieve even when apparently trivial, but meaningful. Remember your previous successes and tell that little cynical dwarf to take a hike, or take it for what it is- an annoying nothing.
9. Jumpstart your change
Fake it if needed, and take responsibility for yourself. I doubt that when most leaders give speeches to multitudes, they do not have fear. What about that tennis star playing the Wimbledon final or Michael Phelps before jumping into the pool for the next race? Yet, they often times look so confident. They are often “playing their role” and they believe it. Their brain believes it. They inspire confidence. It often times is not natural, but they started somewhere. They failed many times but they got back up and they did it again. Often times, wherever we put our mind, we put our body.