If you’re at a crossroad, stuck in a rut, or wondering how to change your life then keep reading because I’m going to give you the steps I took to completely change my life.
Over the last 5+ years I’ve completely changed my life.
Let me break it down for you. First, In 2010, I changed my life to a healthier one and lost over 30lbs. However, it wasn’t the weight loss that changed me it was the person I became throughout that process. For so long losing weight seemed impossible. I truly didn’t think I had it in me to do it. But I did it. I created the self-discipline to change my habits. Slowly but surely I started to crush goals. I started to meal prep every week, made exercise a priority, and got organized. I stopped living in the “hot zones” and took control back of my life.
The person I was when I started my weight loss journey is not the person I am today – not even close. I changed into a happier, healthier, more confident woman. It’s funny because when I started all I wanted to do was lose some weight and fit into a pair of skinny jeans. I knew I’d get healthier but I had no idea that changing my habits would lead me to the person I am today.
That confidence started to trickle into other areas of my life. I realize that I was the one in control. If I was unhappy that I had the power to change it. To be honest, it’s an incredible feeling when you accept that YOUR life is in YOUR hands. The choices you make every single day are what make up your existence. So many of us, want to blame everyone else for everything wrong in life. We want to scroll through the list of excuses why we can’t, or shouldn’t, do something. Or it’s not the right time. Or, maybe, we are simply afraid to fail. We want to blame everyone except the person in the mirror.
However, the moment you take ownership and accountabilty for your life is when the magic happens. Of course, life isn’t perfect, and there are some things out of your control. However, your reaction and the choices made are under your control. Always remember this – you can’t control other people BUT you can control YOU.
The second way I completely changed my life is by starting a thriving successful business from scratch. This lil ole blog you’re reading started from nothing but an idea. Now it gets millions of visitors from all over the world.
It took time to build but today Organize Yourself Skinny provides more than Starbucks money. A lot more. Trust me, I’m grateful every single day for all my readers that make OYS what it is today.
Starting Organize Yourself Skinny changed my life in a few different ways. First, and foremost, it allowed me to quit my soul-sucking state job. Today, I work from home and it’s amazing. I have the freedom to work where and when I want.
Second, I make more money working for myself than I could ever make working for someone else. Oh and I work about half the time too. It’s amazing because I was told many times over that quitting my state job for blogging was not a good idea. That I would work too many hours and have a work life existence. Or I’d be throwing away all my education. Thankfully, I followed my intuition and heart. I knew better. Today I work half the time, make more than double the money, and can be there for my girls whenever they need me.
I should also mention that I’m a single mom to two girls. This business I built is the sole provider for my family. I get zero money from anyone else. It’s all me. Therefore, without Organize Yourself Skinny I’d never be where I am today. And without losing weight I wouldn’t have Organize Yourself Skinny. See how that works!
I live a great life and I’m grateful every day.
You can read more about how blogging changed my life over on my new blog Big Boss Moves.
However, just like with losing weight it’s not about the end result, it’s about the person I became as I worked towards my goal.
Becoming a full-time blogger isn’t easy. It took time and many challenges along the way. In fact. there are still challenges. But despite any challenges I kept going – I always kept going. That took an incredible amount of self-discipline and persistence.
Knowing I could dig deep and make my dreams of becoming an entrepreneur come true is what changed me. Pushing through the hard times and getting up after the failures is what completely changed my life – for the better. That’s how to change your life!
In my experience, whether you want to lose weight, start a business, or accomplish any big goal these are the 6 steps needed.
How to Change Your Life
You need to want it.
Staying in our comfort zone is…well…comforting. We’re all creatures of habits and that often prevents us from making any big changes – no matter how bad we want different. Think about it. How many times have you said “I want to be healthier, skinnier, or in better shape” only to stay on the couch instead of exercising or ordering fries instead of a salad. What you really wanted are the habits you’re used too.
To start the process of changing your life you need to want change more than wanting to stay in your comfort zone.
Is that going to be easy? Probably not.
But if you want change then you need to want it more than you don’t. This mean pushing yourself to exercise when you’d rather lay on the couch. Or drinking a green smoothie instead of eating a bagel. Going to bed early instead of watching TV.
Remember change only happens with change.
Believe you can do it
So often we doubt ourselves. We don’t think we have what it takes to change our lives. You don’t know how to change your life! We become overwhelmed and it just seems impossible.
However, even if you’ve failed a million times over you must believe you can do this. One of my favorite quotes is fall down 8 times get up 9.
Think about it. You’re an adult. You’re in charge of your own choices in life. YOU are in control. So, this means you can do this.
Also, it’s important to believe in yourself because unfortunately there’ll be times others won’t. You can’t depend on others validating your goals to move forward. You have to believe in yourself despite what others think.
If you believe in yourself then anything is possible. I know that sounds a little cheesy but it’s true. Weight loss, and really any life change, is more of a mind game than anything else. So if you truly believe you can do this then you will.
What the mind believes the body achieves!
Plan for it
This is huge! Most of the time failure happens because we’re expecting change when we haven’t set our lives up for success yet. Trust me, I get it. I can’t tell you the number of times I’d wake up thinking “this is the day” only to go to bed thinking “ugh, I’ll try again tomorrow”.
The problem was I had no plan.
I didn’t know what I was going to eat or when I’d exercise. My life was totally chaotic so something was always getting in the way of change.
Once I put a plan in place I started to see results and felt less overwhelmed with the process.
In my experience, and working with others, I’ve learned that feeling overwhelmed typically comes from a place of confusion. We have no clue where to start and what to do. Taking time to create a plan is essential in making any type of life change.
What does a plan look like?
When trying to lose weight you need to know:
The foods you’ll eat and when to eat. This means you need to create a meal plan. A meal plan is essentially your food road map. It doesn’t need to be fancy but it does need to lay out the food you’ll eat every day. A meal plan is helpful with grocery shopping and of course with meal prep.
Speaking of meal prep – this also needs to be a big part of your food plan. A meal plan is only good if you actually use it. Preparing food ahead of time (aka meal prep) will assure that you have healthy food ready to eat. Here’s a beginner’s post I put together on meal prep. You can also sign up for my free 7-day meal prep email series to learn much more.
When and how you’ll exercise. Exercise takes a little more effort so creating a plan around exercise will help make it a habit. You need to decide when is the best time for you to exercise. For example does it make more sense to wake up earlier to get it out of the way, or is after work better. Also, what will your routine look like. Starting, and sticking to an exercise routine, will be much easier if you know what you’re doing ahead of time.
Get control of the chaos. Chaos causes hot zones and healthy habits never happen in the hot zones. Hot zones are moments where you’re completely stressed and make decisions based on survival and not long term goals. For example, ordering a pizza after work because everyone is screaming for dinner and nothing’s ready. Or not exercising because your house is a disaster and can’t find any of your exercise gear.
Organizing my life, and controlling the chaos, has been one of the key components to helping me move forward on goals. When my life is in order I can focus on the things that matter.
Here are a few posts that cover some daily habits I do to keep hot zones to a minimum.
Remove bad habit triggers
Changing our habits to healthier ones is no easy task. Something that makes it easier is removing bad habit triggers. When trying to lose weight this can mean keeping certain foods out of the house, turning our phones off at a certain time, or putting a limit to TV time. Basically, removing anything that makes us turn to bad habits. Of course, we can’t control everything. But there are many things we can control so if you can remove or replace a trigger then do it.
You don’t ever want to depend on willpower when you’re at home. That should be reserved for times you don’t have control over. The goal is to create an environment that supports your weight loss goals not one that has you constantly tapping into willpower.
Take action every single day
All of the steps are important but this one will make a big difference in producing results. Now I’m not saying you need to give 100% every single day. That’s not realistic for most of us. Life happens and there’s other things that need our attention. However, I do think you should take some sort of daily action on your goals. Even if it’s something small, you’re still moving forward.
The best way to do this is to:
- Set goals. Not just big pie in the sky goals. But goals that are actionable and measurable. For example, I’m going to exercise 4 times this week in the morning. Or I’m going to drink 64 ounces of water a day. And write it out and make it visible.
- Create weekly and daily to-do lists. You should wake up every day knowing what to do and go to bed feeling accomplished.
- Have a running list of tasks. I started doing this within the last year and it’s been so helpful with sticking to goals. When I don’t feel like doing a bigger task on my to-do list, or something comes up, I can switch gears and do something from my running list. For example, organizing a junk drawer, clean my treadmill, clean out pantry, or make smoothie kits. A running list also reminds me of projects that I’d otherwise forget about. Basically, it tells me there’s always something that needs to be done so don’t plop on the couch. It keeps me motivated and productive.
The only way to accomplish any goal is to take action. Unfortunately, goals do not accomplish themselves.
Keep going even after you fail
Failure is part of the process. You can’t expect to go into any life-change and not fall flat on your face a couple times. Getting up, and moving forward, despite any failures is what separates those that make it and those who don’t. Failures are lessons learned. They give you the opportunity to grow and be better.
In both my weight loss, and business, journeys I’ve fallen down plenty of times. But each time I became stronger and more confident.
If you want to change your life then you absolutely need to make peace with failure. You have to face your fears and do it anyway – that’s how to change your life.
Okay, so why am I sharing all this with you. Because I did it. I completely changed my life – and I’m not special. I don’t have any hidden talents nor am I exceptionally smart. Not even a little. I struggled in school, all the way through college. I have a hard time staying focused and I often say that I’m a productive person stuck in a lazy person’s body. Trust me, nothing comes easy for me. I have all the same struggles as everyone else. So basically, what I’m trying to say is if I can change my life, so can you.
The last thing I want to say is this. It took a lot to change my life. Some days were better that others and there were days I was alone on my journey. However, not all of it was a struggle. There were many days I felt myself getting stronger, better, and happier. I knew, in my gut, I was doing the right thing. I can honestly say that I have zero regrets. I changed my life for the better and never looked back.
If you’re looking to completely change your life I recommend starting with one small goal. After you crush that goal move onto the next. I like to call this the goal crushing domino effect. With every goal accomplished your confidence builds. You start to realize that you do have what it takes and can do this! That’s when you start doing more! Before long you’ll be looking around at the life you’ve always envisioned. It’s a beautiful thing!