10 Ways You Can Change Your Life for the Better...Starting Today!

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Submitted: November 11, 2016

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Submitted: November 11, 2016



We all need to feel like we are growing and moving forward; it’s one of the fundamental needs of humans. But, even if it weren’t, we all feel from time to time that we need to change things about ourselves, our body, or our lives overall. First, let me say that there’s nothing wrong with you…you are who you are and that’s enough. But, it’s also human nature to be very critical of ourselves. But, there are things we can take action on starting today that will give us a little change and make our lives better. There are many; here are 10 to start with. But remember, words are only words unless they are followed by action….



Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Thoughts are things and they have a profound effect on your state of mind and your perspective on the world around you. The Bible says “As you think, so shall you be” and there is a great deal of truth in that. Now, no one can have positive thoughts all the time…but imagine if you did. What if you could remove all of the negative thoughts in your head right now and replace them with good, positive ones. How would that effect your day? Now imagine that on a “life” scale. I challenge you to try it…just for an hour. I’m betting you’ll find things a little better already.



Mistakes…we have all made them and we will all make them again. One could argue that making mistakes is one of mankind’s defining characteristics. So how come some people seem to fly through life without a care…why are some successful while others are not?  

The difference can be summed up in this quote by William Clinton. He says “If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person. It's how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.” The key is letting go, but only after you have taken the lesson away from the mistake. After that, don’t let it control you. The best example I’ve read is the comparison between our mistakes (or our past) and the wake of a boat on the water. It’s there, you can’t hide it….it’s always right behind the boat. But what is powering the boat? Is it the wake? No, the wake can never power the boat forward so why are you holding onto your mistakes thinking your past is what moves you. It’s simply not true. You…your goals, your passion and drive…those are the things moving you forward so focus on those and let the wake simply dissipate behind you.



Two ships leave the harbor with the same destination. One has a crew that has charted the entire route before the sails were ever unfurled. The other has no crew guiding it along….it’s just set to the wind. Which do you think will make it to their destination? The crewed ship will sail along knowing clearly which direction they are going and all the while making course corrections along the way to ensure they stay on course. The other will most likely end up derelict on some distant shore nowhere near where intended.

Our lives happen in much the same way. It’s important that you know what you want so that you can chart a course that will get you there. If you aren’t sure, take some time to really think about it so you can begin to make the necessary course corrections to get you there. It’s never too late, if you know what you truly want.



This is huge so write it down….enjoy the cheeseburger.  That’s a metaphor, of course, but the sentiment is simple: If you work hard towards a goal, you don’t have to wait until you’ve reached it to celebrate. In fact, experts generally agree that you should take larger goals and break them into smaller goals…after all, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, right? The same is true of our larger life goals…and taking the time to celebrate each win is what builds momentum and the excitement needed to motivate you on to the next small goal.  So did you lose those first 10 pounds? Eat the cheeseburger…



Success is almost never a solo act. So give credit where credit is due! In almost all cases, anything worth doing and worth celebrating was done as a team effort. So take stock in those around you and recognize everyone that helped you get where you are and share the credit….and the party. If your wife helped you lose those 10 pounds…enjoy that cheeseburger with her! They deserve it and you will feel much better for having done it.



No…I’m not saying you’re dumb. Don’t be so sensitive. What I’m actually saying is don’t stop learning. It’s a lifelong process that does not end with a graduation day. The mind is like any other part of your body; the more you work it, the stronger it gets. So read a book, take an online class, or just have a long conversation with someone that is well versed in a topic you’re interested in. It will be worth it…a strong mind is a happy mind!



I know. It’s much easier said than done. But here is a great acronym to help keep you on track: STING! It’s nearly foolproof and pretty easy to remember. It was developed by "recovering procrastinator" and motivational speaker Rita Emmett, the author of The Procrastinator's Handbook. I’ve found it to work for me; here’s how it goes:

S - T - I - N - G

S = Select just one thing to do. Does writing your novel come to mind? Or cleaning your junk drawer? 

T = Time yourself. Find the timer in the junk drawer, and set it for 1 hour  to do that one thing.

I = Ignore everything else. Disregard other stuff that needs doing, the phone call you have to make, e-mails you have to read—everything except a fire in the kitchen. "Otherwise, you'll get so sidetracked that you'll look at the clock and say, 'It's too late to even get started, so I'll do it tomorrow,'" warns Emmett. People are likely to put off a job that they think takes too long, not realizing that it only takes too long "because you start a million other things at the same time," she says. Sound like anyone you know?

N = No breaks. Well, maybe a bathroom break  is ok if it's really necessary. Breaks are the other reason the jobs you put off seem to take too much time.

G = Give yourself a reward. "Something you love, like a DVD of your favorite movie," says Emmett. But don't reward yourself until the hour is up.

There’s just one other piece of advice I’d like to add: Do your most dreaded task first, and get it out of the way. Often, the dread of doing a task uses more time and energy than doing the task itself.



Here’s the thing about change….we all want change. Heck, it’s right there in the title of the article. But, we also all fear it. So make a conscience decision to try and view change as “natural”. Everything changes and nothing good would ever happen if not for change. Baby’s being born, caterpillars turning into butterflies, Winter changing to Spring… they are all beautiful things that are the product of change.  Success is also a product of change, by the way, so embrace it.



We all have an inner child (mine is slightly closer to the surface than my wife would like)

and we should all listen to it occasionally. First of all, usually it is a time we all remember being free and happy….no bills, no deadlines, no stress. Second, as children we had a way of viewing the world with wonder and without restrictions. So ride a bike, fly a kite, and just pile up on Saturday morning to watch some old cartoons…if you let it out, the kid in you will insist you smile a lot more.


Finally, remember….every day is a new, amazing opportunity you are given. It’s a new chance to make those course corrections to ensure you are sailing towards your goals and dreams along the straightest path.  So start your day with a positive approach and mindset and always set positive goals or targets for the day. Give thanks for each day and consider it what it is….a gift.


Final Thoughts

In order to achieve what we want …to grow and to keep moving forward…we must continue to strive daily for a life worth living. That means anchoring your mind with positive thoughts and perceptions and letting those be your guide as you go about the business and interacting with those around you. It means knowing what we want out of each day, week, month, and year. And it means choosing to love and embrace what we’ve been given. So start checking off the list and remember that life is all about choices.

Choose well.

© Copyright 2018 Mac Buckner. All rights reserved.

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