In our imperfect lives, we’re constantly pulled in every direction while we attempt to maintain a sense of control and normalcy. Within this chaos, we need a direction-a business plan for change.
After I had finished writing my self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness, I created the list below as a guide for my personal training clients in Chicago as well as myself. Nearly a year later, it’s still posted on my wall as a reminder. While most advice you receive will encourage you to reshape your environment, I urge you to face your toughest challenge first: Reshape yourself. Or as I like to say, “Redefine yourself”.
For the next 50 days, adopt each point in this list into your life. Repeat the statement, observe, accept, adapt, or do whatever is instructed. By the end of this experience, your world will be different even if you don’t change where you stand.
- Believe that you can redefine yourself.
2. Create a business plan for your life.
3. Become a human scientist and study the physical, mental, and emotional you.
4. Make it a point to understand yourself and others.
5. Become an outside observer to the mechanics of your mind and think about your thinking.
6. Practice looking at yourself objectively.
7. Trust your instincts, your gut, and your perspective, but know where they stem from.
8. Don’t be a bystander in the course of life.
9. Adopt the mantra “Keep it Simple”.
10. Write your new mantra on a post-it note and place it in numerous places as a reminder.
11. Approach new ideas with an open mind.
12. Realize that you’re not alone.
13. Teach yourself to wake up to life around you—and inside of you—at any given moment.
14. Schedule alerts throughout the day to remind you to “take a breath”.
15. Listen to your inner voice.
16. Catch yourself making negative statements about you while randomly doing other things and write them down.
17. Create a list of positive messages and repeat them to yourself daily.
18. Become a detective and collect the truth of a moment, observing yourself and every movement, sight, touch, scent, and sound of the world.
19. Don’t take a leap of faith without stopping first and observing the moment.
20. Remain aware before making a decision, judgment or movement and commit to a higher state of living.
21. Soak in the aura of a moment wherever you are as often as possible.
22. Remove yourself from a situation when necessary (despite your emotional investment).
23. Sometimes listen to your subconscious when it taps you on the shoulder.
24. Sometimes ignore your subconscious when it taps you on the shoulder with the same negative message.
25. Remember this quote by Frederick Douglass, a former slave and leader in the abolitionist movement. Accept that what you discover isn’t always the easiest to handle (and that’s okay): “…I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow slaves for their stupidity. I often wished myself a beast.”
26. Quit complaining and do something.
27. Accept your ‘selfish friends’ as they are and ignore their ‘selfish’ tendencies. Discuss with them how their actions make you feel or begin dismantling your friendship.
28. Judge yourself fairly.
29. Don’t avoid looking at yourself.
30. Accept that obsessive, perfectionist ambition will lead to a perfect state of stress and an emotional unacceptance of your life.
31. Don’t multitask (sorry).
32. Accept that feeling overwhelmed or frustrated is the result of your perspective.
33. Identify the fears that steer your behavior.
34. Refuse to allow insecurities to steer your behavior.
35. Find the root of your insecurities and write down the evidence against these irrational claims.
36. Accept people’s input, but remember you don’t always have to agree with their opinion or approach.
37. Leash and manage your emotional output.
38. Feel confident about your approach, accepting the consequences, and adapting whenever and wherever needed.
39. Take control of the trends, patterns, and little idiosyncrasies that make up your world.
40. Don’t say “It is what it is” unless you’ve fully investigated yourself and the possible solutions.
41. Accept that improving a relationship might mean adapting or leaving it.
42. Identify the areas in your personal life in which you feel helpless.
43. Accumulate wisdom through error.
44. Change bad habits by inserting a new routine, keeping the old cue, and delivering the old reward.
45. Redefine your boundaries based on your needs (not your wants).
46. Create conversations with others.
47. Create a bucket list.
48. Treat life as an adventure and explore the unknowns.
49. Smile more often.
50. Help someone when you notice it.
Michael Moody is the author of the self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness and the former fitness expert on NBC’s The Biggest Loser/MSN Chicago tour. The owner of the successful Chicago personal training business Michael Moody Fitness, his fitness and life-structure programs have helped his clients lose more than 2,500 pounds since 2005. Michael has been featured in Muscle & Fitness and Today’s Chicago Woman magazines, among others. During his time as the official trainer for PBS’s The Whitney Reynolds Show, he also produced an inspirational segment about his travels in Guatemala.
Having researched emotion and coping behaviors in university-level studies, Michael has presented various fitness, motivation, body image, and stress-management programs at Illinois State University, DePaul University, corporations, high schools, and workshops.