After I started this transformation journey, I realized that there is no magic pill for anything: for feeling better, losing weight, getting fit, quitting smoking, eating healthier, or anything else.
It became apparent to me that I had to invest in myself and take action if I ever wanted to resolve any of those problem areas in my life. What I thought was a shortcut to resolving my problems, turned out to be an express lane to total indifference in my life. I realized that I was robbing myself of joy and excitement.
As I learned this painful lesson, I have realized that it was up to me, and only me, to make any changes in my life. But all of a sudden, I understood one important fact about myself: I didn’t know where I was going! What was my destination? What were my specific goals?
Any time you drive your car, chances are you know where you are going. You know the directions, either by memory or by using the GPS on your phone. Most people don’t just drive without knowing their final destination, so why are we doing this in our lives?!
When we do something over and over again without knowing our goals, it is like driving without knowing our destination. And we get surprised and wonder why we are not getting different results or the desired outcome.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We have to change our approach to get to a different state, to get different results. We have to know where we are going this time, we need to know our specific goals. We have to create a goals plan, a ‘map’ of our life.
And that is where we need to list all of our long-term and short-term goals such as: career goals, health goals, relationship goals, etc.
I knew I had to study my life, and study myself. I had to get all the facts together, even if some of them were painful to admit. The first step for me was to ask myself what was good and right in my life, and I wrote those things down.
Then I knew that I needed to assess and admit to myself honestly what my current situation was in each area that I wanted to improve: weight, fitness, health, career, family, relationships, kids, and everything else.
I listed all of the areas of my life that I wanted to change on the paper, and I started thinking about what were my goals for each of those. I envisioned an ideal outcome for each area of my life, then I wrote down specific goals and set a due date for each. I didn’t set a specific date of the month, but I have set a month and a year (where it made sense for short-term goals), and just set a year for long-term goals.
Then, I have picked 6 most important goals that I wanted to achieve within the next year, and I wrote a paragraph next to each goal as to why I wanted to achieve this specific goal. Please pay close attention to this advice, as this is an integral part that has a major impact on the success of your goal.
If we don’t know the reasons why we want to achieve or have something, we will not be able to fully commit to this goal.
The next part of the exercise will be to list all of the reasons you can think of, why you want to achieve your goals, in your journal. Do this for each of the goals you have chosen.
Afterword, I have listed a priority level for each of the goals. And I started concentrating on achieving one goal at a time. What I didn’t even realize in the beginning that I simultaneously started moving towards my other goals as well.
In order to change something, we need to take action—not just one small step and then forget about this for a month, but a massive action. Don’t feel overwhelmed… By massive action I mean implementing small steps into your routine consistently on a daily basis. For example, if your goal is to start eating healthy, you could add a couple of small steps in the morning, such as:
You can add a couple more steps for lunch and dinner:
- Drink water 30 minutes before your meal.
- Add salad/greens to every meal.
- Cut down or eliminate desert at the end of the meal, etc.
Take your first goal and start working on writing down all of the small action steps that you can implement into your routine.
And the most important thing you need to do to change something is to COMMIT, make a decision that you are changing and never turning back.
In order for you to do this, you have to realize, acknowledge and associate all the pain you are experiencing and will continue to experience if you don’t change this particular behavior.
When I was quitting smoking (which was one of the hardest things for me to commit to), I have listed all the pain that was associated with smoking for me.
There has to be consistent progress on the goal you are working towards. Again, these could be small steps, but they have to be consistent. When we have progress, we are moving forward. Progress is what will make you feel fulfilled!
You need to admit to yourself that the magic pill doesn’t exist. Your focus, commitment, and action will lead you to success and fulfillment, nothing else. But you don’t have to suffer or feel like you are giving up something. Instead, you can feel strong, confident, proud of yourself and like an achiever.
You are the genie in your life that can make all of your dreams come true. You can grant yourself any wish that your heart desires.