There are times in life when it feels like nothing is going your way. It can leave you feeling frustrated, stuck, and fed up.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Whenever it feels like everything is falling apart, this is the very best time to rebuild.
What would happen if you were able to make the changes you want? Would you be happier? Would you have more money? More love? More confidence?
If you’re ready to start living the life you’ve always dreamed about, then keep reading. You’ll learn exactly what you need to do to change your life.
You are the architect of your life. Not only can you fix it, but you can remake it so that it is better than ever.
Here’s a no-nonsense step-by-step guide for how to fix your life.
How to fix your life
1) Understand your self-limiting beliefs
The first thing you need to do is to understand what is stopping you from changing your life. It may seem like an overwhelming task, but once you get started on the process, you’ll quickly realize that it isn’t as daunting as it seems.
The first step is to write down all the limiting beliefs you currently hold about yourself. These beliefs are the thoughts that run through your mind every day. They are often subconscious and automatic, which means they control your behavior without you realizing it.
If you think about it, most of us have hundreds of these beliefs running around our heads all day long. Some examples include “I’m not good enough,” “I don’t deserve happiness,” or “I’m just too old.”
These types of beliefs are extremely powerful because they influence our actions. When we buy into them, we tend to behave in certain ways.
For example, someone who believes he doesn’t deserve happiness might avoid relationships because he thinks he won’t find true love. Someone who believes she’s too old might stop pursuing her career because she fears she is too past it to find success.
By identifying your own personal beliefs, you can see how they affect your decisions and behaviors. Once you become aware of your self-limiting beliefs, you can work to replace them with more positive ones.
2) Identify your values
Your values are the principles that govern your life. In other words, they represent the standards by which you judge whether something is important to you.
Values aren’t necessarily related to money, status, or material possessions. Instead, they’re based on qualities such as honesty, integrity, kindness, respectfulness, humility, and faith.
When you identify your own unique core values, you will be able to make choices that align with them.
For instance, if you value being kind, then you would choose to treat others kindly. If you value family, you’d want to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Our values act as a guiding compass that makes sure we stay on the right path. That’s why returning to them whenever we’re feeling lost or directionless can be powerful.
This helps you create a fulfilling life because you know that you’re making choices based on what matters to you.
3) Create a vision of the life you want to live
Now that you’ve identified your values, it’s time to set some goals. Goals are simply plans that help you achieve your vision of the future.
They give meaning to your life by helping you define what you want to accomplish and how you want to live.
Goals also serve as a reminder of what you want to focus on. This way, when you face challenges along the way, you can use your goal as motivation to keep going.
In order to create a meaningful vision for your life, start by thinking about the type of person you want to be. What traits do you admire? What characteristics do you wish you had?
Once you have this image clearly in your head, write it down. Then ask yourself what steps you need to take to get there.
You may want to consider setting small goals along the way, like saving $500 each month or learning a new skill.
The point isn’t so much the amount you save or learn, but rather the fact that you’re taking action toward your vision.
So once you’ve written down your goals, put them somewhere where you’ll see them every day. This could be on a sticky note on your mirror or taped to your bathroom door.
It’s also helpful to keep track of your progress. For example, you can use certain apps that help you to track your tasks and projects.
Having a goal is one thing, but it’s important to take action towards it.
4) Start with small changes and build from there
It’s easy to fall into a pattern of doing the same thing over and over again without ever changing anything. But if you want to change your life, you must first break free from your current routine and habits.
Research shows that the key to creating habits is just repetition. Keeping things as simple as possible can help support this.
So start by making one small change at a time. It doesn’t have to be big; just pick an area that needs improvement and commit to making it better.
If you want to lose weight, try walking instead of driving to work. Or if you want to improve your health, limit junk food and start cooking meals from scratch.
If you’re having trouble breaking away from old patterns, think back to times when you felt stuck. How did you overcome those obstacles?
What worked for you? What didn’t? Keep these insights in mind as you continue to make changes.
As you begin to implement new behaviors, notice whether you’re happier, healthier, or more productive.
When you find areas where you’re not happy, unhealthy, or unproductive, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, look for solutions. How can you improve your situation? What are the barriers standing in the way?
For example, maybe you lack confidence and feel like you’re never good enough. If so, then you might need to build self-esteem.
Or perhaps you struggle with money because you spend too much or don’t earn enough. In that case, you might need to develop more financial discipline.
Whatever your problem is, you can solve it. You just have to figure out what it is and then take action to support better habits, whilst also correcting bad habits.
5) Don’t wait to act until something bad happens
The funny thing about human behavior is that we often wait until something bad happens before we take action.
But it usually takes a lot more energy to deal with problems after they arise. So instead, try to act as soon as possible, rather than sitting on issues.
Start by acknowledging any problems you have. Next, decide how you’d like to handle it. Is there any way you can avoid the issue altogether?
Is there a solution? Are there other options available to you?
Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can choose the best course of action.
For example, if you’re struggling with debt, you may need to file for bankruptcy. If you’re unhappy with your job, you may need to quit and pursue another career path. And if you’re trying to get healthy, you may need to cut down on sugar and processed foods.
You’ll only succeed if you take charge of your life. So stop waiting until life forces your hand and start taking action today.
6) Focus on the things that matter most
We all have a million things going through our minds every day. Some are important, some aren’t.
And yet, many of us spend most of our time thinking about the wrong stuff. We end up worrying about trivial matters. This is why it’s essential to focus on the things that matter most at any given moment.
Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting your precious time and energy on meaningless pursuits. This is where setting priorities can help.
When fixing your life, you can’t do it all at once. Attempting to do so is only going to end up in overwhelm. What’s the biggest area of your life right now you want to see a change in?
Maybe it’s your career or work-related? Perhaps it’s your health and fitness? Or it could be your love life and relationships?
Deciding what matters most to you is going to give you greater motivation and an area to focus your energy on. It helps you to use your time more wisely, tackle your biggest priorities first, and see results quicker.
You can also break bigger priorities down into daily priorities.
For example, on a to-do list of 10 things, be sure to do ‘first things first’. It’s tempting to avoid the actions we feel uncomfortable about tackling and opt for more inconsequential tasks that let us off the hook.
7) Give yourself permission to fail
If you’re feeling stuck, it’s easy to fall back onto old patterns of behavior that feel safe and comfortable. But this won’t lead anywhere new.
After all, as Albert Einstein famously said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
When you want to fix your life, you’re going to have to push your comfort zone and do things that scare you.
A great way to make better friends with fear is to learn how to better handle failure. It’s our fear of messing up that usually prevents us from giving things a go.
But the truth is that it’s okay to fail. In fact, failure is a vital part of success.
If you’ve ever tried anything new, you probably failed at least one time. Even the greatest entrepreneurs make plenty of mistakes along the way.
So don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Learn from it and move on. Eventually, you will begin to find that failing is actually what makes you stronger.
8) Find a mentor
The best way to improve your life is by learning from others who have already done it.
That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive role models. These individuals can teach you valuable lessons about living a fulfilling life.
Your mentors may be people already in your life, like a teacher, friend, or family member. It could come from your community, like a faith-based group, grassroots charity, or organization.
But it doesn’t need to be anyone you know. It can be simply somebody you admire. A famous person for example, or another figure in the media. Perhaps an entrepreneur, coach, motivational speaker, athlete, etc.
They can still inspire and teach you through videos, books, or other content you consume.
Take note of their strengths and weaknesses. How did they overcome adversity? What were their obstacles?
Put yourself in their shoes. What advice would they offer you if they knew you wanted to improve your life?
By studying them closely, you’ll gain insight into their mindset and discover their unique approach to achieving happiness.
9) Let yourself feel the feels
Whitewashing over your emotions is never a good thing.
It’s true that your overall attitude does make a difference in your life. Research shows that your mindset affects your wellbeing and plays a significant role in determining outcomes. But there’s a downside to positive thinking.
Sadness and pain do exist. It’s normal to experience a wide range of human emotions. That includes the less pleasant ones like anger, sadness, hurt, defeat, etc.
We can take ownership of these feelings without letting them take over. Pushing away and resisting so-called negative emotions can be a toxic trait.
Rather than get rid of them you are most likely pushing them deep inside. It’s important to process our emotions so that we don’t hang on to them.
If you’re having a bad day, week, month, or even year, then never be ashamed to let it out. There are plenty of constructive ways to deal with emotions.
A lot of people like to have a good cry or do a workout as a physical way to release their feelings.
Talking to people you trust and who care about you, or even a professional, can also be a good way of sharing what you are going through without keeping it bottled up.
Fixing your life doesn’t mean that you should neglect your emotions.
10) Stop beating yourself up
If you’re wondering how to fix your life after ruining it, here’s the truth you need to hear right now — we all mess up, we all fail at certain things, and we’ve all made mistakes.
Feeling like a failure who can do nothing right is a sure-fire way to stay stuck. It’s hard to feel motivated when you’re caught in a cycle of self-blame and chastising.
The sweet spot is learning to go easy on yourself during difficult times without completely letting yourself off the hook.
There’s no doubt that change requires discipline to see things through. But being down on yourself is going to make the journey feel so much harder.
Learning to be on your own side in life and showing compassion towards yourself is an important inside job.
It’s about building your self-esteem and self-love.
This is what gives you the firm foundations to build all the external stuff you want for yourself in life. Because you know that you deserve it and are truly worthy of leading a beautiful and fulfilling life.
Life is a long journey. You haven’t ruined anything. Every day offers a new opportunity to create positive change. Your story is still unfolding and yet to be written.
11) Be more grateful
You might think that gratitude is just another word for “I’m thankful”. And while it’s true that expressing gratitude helps us feel better, it goes deeper than that.
Gratitude is one of the best tools for positivity because it makes us feel connected to others and ourselves. Gratitude helps us appreciate the little things in life.
It will boost your mood and improve your outlook on life. It can also help you find solutions when you’re struggling. Research has even shown that it literally rewires your brain to make you happier.
Try this simple exercise: write down three things you’re grateful for every morning before you start your day.
Your list may include family, friends, pets, nature, work, health, home, or anything else that brings you joy.
It doesn’t have to be much. If you’re struggling, look for the little things, like being thankful that the sun is shining.
Keep these lists handy throughout the day and read them whenever you need a pick me up.
This practice has been shown to increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain which leads to improved mood and increased productivity.
So next time you’re feeling down, take a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for in life.
12) Tackle procrastination
Procrastination is the enemy of change. We might have the intention of doing something, but finding the inclination is a lot harder.
When you’re faced with a big task, it’s tempting to put it off until later. But if you wait too long, you’ll never get around to it.
When you procrastinate, try to set small deadlines for yourself. Smaller tasks seem less intimidating.
There are many methods that can help you overcome procrastination. Try some of these ideas and see which best work for you:
- Write down your reasons why you procrastinate.
- Find a friend who’s willing to hold you accountable.
- Set aside specific times for social media.
- Create a reward system. For example, if you achieve a goal, treat yourself to a coffee.
- Keep a journal where you record all your progress.
- Learn to say “no” to things that don’t matter.
- Practice mindfulness meditation.
If you really struggle with procrastination, try using a Pomodoro technique.
Pomodoro is a method used to break large projects into smaller chunks. Each chunk should last 25 minutes. Then you take a 5-minute break to relax and refocus. Repeat this process five times.
The idea behind Pomodoro is to give yourself a sense of accomplishment by completing each chunk successfully. The technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo who found that his students were able to focus for longer periods of time if they had a timer counting down from 20 minutes.
Nowadays there are apps available that allow you to use Pomodoro techniques on your phone.
13) Picture a different life
What keeps a lot of us stuck is the inability to believe there is better out there waiting for us. We struggle to picture a different reality than the one we are currently living.
That’s when visualization techniques can help. After all, seeing is believing.
Visualization was once considered “new age hype.” However, recent research has shown that there are sound scientific reasons why visualization works.
Far from wishful thinking, your mind can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined.
As noted in Psychology Today:
“Brain studies now reveal that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions. Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory.
“So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow—all relevant to achieving your best life.”
So if you imagine having a different job, relationship, or lifestyle, then it can be easier to start to manifest those changes in your life.
To create an image, close your eyes and imagine how you want your life to be. What would your perfect day look like? How would you spend your time? Who would be in your life?
You can also visualize your ideal environment. Imagine yourself living in a beautiful house with a stunning view. Or maybe you’re imagining being surrounded by loving friends and family.
Whatever it is, let yourself go there in your imagination first. If you keep visualizing, it will feel more achievable and familiar to your brain.
14) Let go of the past
What has gone before you in life does not need to dictate your future.
It may seem hard at first but you have to learn to let go of the past. Our brains are hardwired to remember negative experiences over positive ones. But you cannot change the past, so don’t waste energy ruminating on it.
Research has found that when holding on to emotional pain prevents healing, it’s a sign you aren’t moving forward in a growth-orientated way. Aka, holding on to the past holds you back.
Instead, focus on where you are today and what you can achieve right now. Practicing mindfulness can help keep you in the present moment.
A 2016 paper concluded that people who are more mindful experience less rumination and tend to be more compassionate toward themselves.
If you find yourself constantly dwelling on the past, try writing about it in a journal. This can help you to process events, gain perspective and move forward.
If you are struggling to let go of the old, you can also try this exercise:
Imagine the person you used to be. See them clearly in front of you. Feel their emotions and show compassion for their pain.
Then, replace that person with someone else. Choose a new person who represents the person you want to become.
This exercise helps you detach from the past and allows you to see the present with fresh eyes.
15) Watch your self-talk
Self-talk is our internal dialogue with ourselves. It’s that little voice that is always running in the background.
It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. But for a lot of us, our inner voice feeds us stories that we don’t even deep down believe.
For example, perhaps you’re telling yourself “you’ll never get that promotion” even though you really think you deserve it.
Once you notice your self-talk, you can work to change your inner dialogue.
When you catch yourself thinking these thoughts, stop and ask yourself why you’re saying them. Challenge negative self-talk by finding evidence for why it’s simply not true.
It may take time to kick a bad habit of negative self-talk, but the research is clear — changing the way you talk to yourself can have a big knock-on effect on behavior changes.
That’s why it’s an important skill to cultivate when you want to fix your life.
16) Try something new
Nothing changes things up like trying something new.
It’s a great way of breaking the monotony of everyday routine and encourages us to shake things up in life.
You might decide to take up a hobby, join a club, start a business, or take a class. Whatever it is, just make sure it’s something you enjoy doing and that challenges you.
The key here is to stretch yourself. If you’re bored with the same old thing, then it’s probably safe to say you need to grow.
It will not only build your experiences but also your confidence.
The point isn’t necessarily to do anything extreme, but rather to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
That could mean taking a risk and going skydiving, volunteering at a shelter, or joining a dance class.
Whatever it is, just remember that you can learn from any mistakes you make along the way. And if you fail? Well, that’s how you know you’ve grown.
17) Take responsibility for yourself
If you want to fix your life, it starts with taking 100% responsibility for it.
It’s true that things happen to us that we cannot control. It’s also true that some people seem to get dealt a worse hand than others. But how you handle life is all down to you.
Stop blaming other people or expecting someone else to fix your life for you.
Excuses keep us stuck. We use them as our get-out-of-jail-free card. They give us permission to continue living in the past and continue hiding from what we need to do to improve our future.
But if you want to improve your life, you must first accept that you are responsible for your own actions. You are the captain of your ship.
And while there are many factors that influence your success, ultimately, you are the one who needs to step up and make the most of your opportunities.
So stop making excuses and start being accountable. And when you do that, you’ll find that you become less dependent on external circumstances and more reliant on yourself.
This means that you will be able to see where you went wrong and correct your course before it’s too late.
This is the ultimate goal of personal development: to help you become independent so that you don’t have to rely on anyone else to live the life you want.
The ultimate plan for fixing your life combines a shift in your internal way of thinking and combines it with the practical tools that will support you to make positive changes.
Those practical tools are often simple yet incredibly powerful. One such tool is journaling. Writing as a form of expression has been scientifically proven to be of benefit.
Research has shown it to have a positive impact on both your physical and mental health.
Journaling is a great way to better understand yourself. It helps you gain insight into your thoughts and emotions, which allows you to identify patterns in your behavior and develop strategies to change those behaviors.
Writing about your day-to-day activities also gives you an opportunity to reflect on your progress.
In addition, journaling helps you to take stock of your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to recognize areas that require improvement and focus on developing skills that will allow you to achieve your goals.
You might like to try keeping a diary, jotting down notes throughout the day, or even using a voice recorder app on your phone.
Whatever method you choose, just remember to be honest and open. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or grammar errors. The point is to capture your feelings and experiences. Simply doing so has shown to be a stress relief.
As long as you can clearly articulate your thoughts, you’re doing fine.
19) Celebrate your progress
Unrealistic expectations will only demotivate you on your journey as you fix your life.
Instead, notice when you have made an effort or seen progress. It doesn’t have to be something huge. But at the end of every day remember to pat yourself on the back.
Before you go to bed, answer the following question: ‘What were today’s wins?’.
The amount you achieve is going to be different every day. It’s just as much about recognizing your efforts as it is about acknowledging any particular successes you may have had.
Celebrating along the way is a great way to keep up motivation. If you’re having trouble finding the motivation to keep going, ask yourself why you started this process in the first place.
It could be because you wanted to improve your life, but it could also be because you wanted to prove to others that you can do it.
Either way, by focusing on what you’ve achieved rather than how far you still need to go, you’ll soon get over the hump.
20) Clean up
For a lot of people, a tidy space equals a tidy mind.
Whether you’re a believer in the power of Feng Shui or not, paying some attention to your space can benefit your mental health.
As highlighted by Verywell Mind:
“Clutter and mess can create more stress and anxiety, but by cleaning, organizing, and reducing the clutter, people are able to take control of their environment and create a more relaxing environment that helps them focus better on the more pressing issues in their lives.”
It may not sound much, but it’s one of those little things that we can do to quickly improve our mood.
Cleaning out your closet, doing some dusting, or tidying your home gives you instant reward feedback that allows you to feel productive.
Have you ever felt the urge to clean when you are stressed out? I do this all the time. And there’s a good reason.
One study by the University of Connecticut discovered that we turn to repetitive behaviors like cleaning because it gives us a sense of control and order during a chaotic time.
So if you’re trying to fix your life, you might want to start by simply doing the dishes.
21) Hang out with uplifting people
It’s tempting to hide away and feel sorry for yourself when it feels like life’s not going your way. But isolation will only make you feel worse.
Human beings are ultimately social creatures who rely on a sense of community to survive. Identify the people in your life who make you happy and hang out with them.
Maybe they’ll cheer you up, maybe they won’t. But either way, spending time with someone else will help you feel less alone.
If you’re feeling down, try calling a friend or family member. They may offer advice, encouragement, or even just a listening ear.
If you’re struggling to find uplifting people in your life, it might be time to extend your network. It doesn’t even need to be in person. The internet means that it’s never been easier to find and connect with like-minded people.
You could try joining a group to find more friends who share similar interests. Or perhaps you’d prefer to meet new people through volunteering. Either way, being around positive people will boost your spirits.
When you’re intent on fixing your life it’s a good idea to remember that you are more likely to become who you surround yourself with.
22) Ditch negative influences
As well as packing your life with as much positivity as you can, you’re also going to want to consider negative influences in your life.
It might be bad habits you’re holding onto, or things and even people you have outgrown.
For example, you may still hang around with certain friends, simply because you have known them for a long time. But every time you see them, you end up feeling bad about yourself or in a negative mood.
Unfortunately, we have to learn to guard ourselves against negative people we encounter in life as much as possible in order to protect our energy. That might involve limiting time with them or actively seeking out more positive people.
Other negative influences in your life can come in the form of unhealthy habits which trigger you. These are going to be different for everyone.
You might notice your mental health suffers from too much social media, and decide to put a plan into place to curb your use.
You might realize that you’re using alcohol as an emotional crutch, and so pledge to cut down.
Saying yes to anything in life requires that we first say no to something else.
23) Get support
Life isn’t meant to be something we journey through alone. Getting support can make all the difference when we’re trying to make changes. You’re not alone.
That might be finding an accountability partner to check in with you on your progress so that you do what you say you will.
If you are struggling with particular issues, it could be a support group you join so that you can share with people in the same boat as you.
Or it could be a trained professional, like a therapist, who can help you with any deeper issues you may be dealing with.
It’s so important to ask for help. And doing so shows you are a stronger person, not weaker.
When we ask for help, we allow ourselves to be surrounded by people who can help us to feel better and assist further development.
Letting people support us creates more optimism and hope for the future. It also better equips us to deal with difficult situations, making us more resilient in life.
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