Do you feel like you are reaching a fraction of your potential in life? Or maybe you feel stuck and don’t know what to change to make a difference. I was right there for years. Every day I felt like I was only scratching the surface of my potential but didn’t know how to change it.
Life had gotten stale and I felt like quicksand was pulling me down. I was tired of my job, the people I hung out with, and felt like I was settling for mediocrity. Finally, I’d had enough. I knew there was more out there in the world other than working a 9-5, living for weekends, partying, and watching endless amounts of TV. Just before my 30th I left the cushy corporate job and decided I was no longer going to settle for anything ever again.
That was almost a year ago. Today is a very different story as I’ve changed almost everything in my life by immersing myself in personal development content.
If you want more out of life check out these four strategies and start changing your life today.
Create a Morning Routine
After reading Tim Ferriss’ “Tool of Titans” I began to understand the importance of a sound morning routine. He interviewed hundreds of successful people from all industries and over 80% have a morning routine. While I always woke up early, I never had any structure to each morning. Now, as soon as I open my eyes I am ready to attack the day.
Creating an epic morning routine wasn’t easy and will continue to be a work in progress. I love testing what works and what doesn’t. Now I have three different morning routines, depending on the time I get up, but all of them include the following habits:
Write in a Journal
Each morning I spend 5-10 minutes writing out my short and long-term goals. I try to create a vivid picture of what I’m trying to achieve and write down any ideas I might have gotten during sleep. Before bed, I spend another five minutes recapping three wins for the day and writing out a question for a problem I am trying to solve.
Meditate or Prime Your Mind
Meditation took me a while to finally understand but encourage everyone to have some sort of mindful practice each morning. Whether you sit in silence or use an app (I love the Primed Mind) enjoy time with yourself. Focus on starting each day with gratitude so you welcome more of it into your life.
Visualize Your Goals as Complete
I have created a vision board of my short and long-term goals and spend time imagining them as already complete.
Replace Negative Self Talk
I used to be the king of negative self-talk without even realizing I was doing it. Growing up, I always used to talk trash to myself as a way to get myself motivated but I’m not sure it ever really worked. The more I read about limiting beliefs and psychology the more I realized I was just affirming negative thoughts.
While the intent was good, the approach was terrible. I’ve since replaced this method by reading positive affirmations on a daily basis. Each morning I spend time before meditating affirming how I want the day to go, how I will accomplish my goals and the attitude I will carry with me. By reading affirmations each morning I’ve found that I jumpstart each day with a positive boost and set myself up to succeed.
Your brain is listening to everything you say, choose what you say about wisely. The more positive self-talk you give to yourself on a daily basis the less negative talk will appear in the future.
Became an Avid Reader
This was tough as I have loved movies and TV since I was a kid. But after watching Batman for the 100th time I realized how much time I was wasting rewatching shows and movies I had already seen. This revelation came to me in 2013. I made it a goal in 2014 to read one book per month. Now in 2018, I’ve enrolled in a speed reading course and read one book per week.
Studies have shown that average person reads one book per year! But the average CEO reads 60 books and earns millions more than the average person. As Tony Robbins has said, “Leaders are readers.”
Surround Yourself With Positive People
Consuming all this personal development content also led me to do an audit of my friends. As Tim Ferris said, “You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you strong, they’re making you weaker.”
I realized that while I had some great friends most were not helping me get closer achieving my goals. When I told them my biggest dreams some would laugh, say it will never happen, and just be confused why I would want to even try. If you want to live an incredible life you have to surround yourself with people who are uplifting and motivate you.
Whether you love every single part of your life or want to change it all I’m convinced these four habits will improve your life. My biggest piece of advice is to make an effort to always be growing and developing. Most people feel stuck in life because they’ve stopped growing in one or several areas. Progress in any area of your life will equal happiness. While achieving goals are great, it’s the journey that is the truly fun part.
Michael is the creator of Inspire Your Success and is regularly featured on top self-improvement sites like Goalcast and Fearless Motivation. Check out his “Success Cheat Sheet” to learn more about creating a perfect morning routine and other strategies to start reaching your goals sooner.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.