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Feeling stuck? 5 easy steps to changing your life

by Yvette Maurice

Don’t let another year pass you by! The new year is a clean slate. You have plenty of time to plan for a personal or career overhaul.Have you been thinking of changing your life? Make this the year of the total “you” makeover!

1. Assess regrets and successes from the previous year

The first step to changing your life is to assess what went wrong last year. Don’t back track further than this. Focus your attention on the recent past. Think back to where you were in January 2013: what did your finances look like? How was your health? Your relationships?

What goals did you want to achieve last year? How many of these did you meet? Did you manage to lessen your credit card debt or lose a few kilos? Consider you work or personal goals. No matter who you are, you would have had some successes, as well as ‘failures’.

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2. Challenge the entrenched beliefs you have about yourself

Write down the 3 main things you would like to change about yourself in the coming year. By keeping the list short, you have a better chance of keeping your focus. Challenge your entrenched beliefs: do you say to yourself, “I can’t lose weight because of my metabolism,” or, “I am too old to study something new,” or even, “I am not worthy of achievement”?

Change is not just for the young. Often when we have reached a certain level of maturity (this could be anywhere from your mid-twenties to your mid-nineties!) change can be easier, as we have the maturity and presence of mind to let go and accept things as they are, not as how we wish they were.


Make a list of things you would like to achieve in your career and personal life.

3. Release negative thoughts, make a list

Everyone makes mistakes. Often, we learn more from the things we got wrong, than the things that we were praised for. Learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them. If you really stuffed something up, forgive yourself. You are human and you are not supposed to be perfect. If you dwell too long on your mistakes you will never get anywhere; let go of past mistakes and move on.

Make a list of things you would like to achieve in your career and personal life. A good tactic to use is the 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years tactic. Keep a running list of both short and long term goals to inch yourself steadily towards your future.

4. Spend 20 minutes (right now!) considering a possible next step

Feeling stuck? A great place to start is online. Start to gather a selection of resources to help you in your quest, whatever that goal may be. Spend just 20 minutes from the time you finish this article pulling together a page of links that relate to your goal.

Your single goal at the end of this 20 minutes (set a timer!) is to have one single, workable and clear action that you will take this week. It could be rewriting your resume or researching five gyms in your area. It could be honing in on the top 5 companies you’d like to work for. Perhaps you could identify a group, class or course that you could do to reach your eventual goal?

Consider these useful resources:

5. Decide on a “new attitude”

Take a “first step” towards your goal: today! Make an action plan, set a timeframe and assess your chances of success! As Thomas Jefferson said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

There are many ways to set the wheels in motion for the coming year and beyond. Make this the year that you will finally achieve that goal you have been wanting to achieve. Break your process down into achievable, small goals so that you do not feel overwhelmed. If you’re looking for a course that might get you started, Open Colleges offers over 130 courses from advanced diplomas to skill builder courses in computer fundamentals, Microsoft and web design.

The steps you will take right now

  1. Assess your regrets from the previous year
  2. Challenge your entrenched beliefs about yourself
  3. Make an action list: 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years
  4. Spend 20 minutes researching your “next step”
  5. Set a timeframe, decide on a new attitude

… Achieve your goals!

Photo credits:
Smiling woman: Rory MacLeod: mac.rj
Office people: pitbull2013

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