At some point everyone searches to make positive changes in their life. Whether they are health-related, success-oriented or simply to get more happiness out of life, it is a constant quest.
Without having a roadmap or step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish these life changes many of us unfortunately give up trying, settling for the status quo and accepting things as they are.
The first step toward achieving the life you really want? Believing you CAN and WILL have it.
The good news is there are some simple changes you can make in your life to garner success, happiness and good health. You CAN achieve the ideal you’ve been after — the trick is to focus on a few changes at a time and once you start noticing differences in your life learning how to use these positive changes for inspiration to take on some more.
Below you will find simple yet insightful tips on how to achieve success in every area of your life followed by practical habits to living a long and healthy life. Are you ready to get started?
Starting with Success
What do Stephen King, Oprah Winfrey and Walt Disney have in common? They all share the traits of perseverance, never giving up on their dreams. King received 30 rejections for his book Carrie and went so far as throwing it in the trash before his wife encouraged him to resubmit it.
Winfrey suffered an abusive childhood and in her early career days was fired from her job as television reporter because she was told she was “unfit for TV” — and when Disney broached his vision of Disneyland he faced resistance from his brother, Roy, bankers and industry experts. Everyone wants to be successful in life but it is only those who believe in themselves that come out ahead of the pack.
Another inspirational story to look back upon is Walter Payton’s. Considered the NFL’s greatest rusher, his impressive sports record included rushing for 16,726 yards, scoring 125 touchdowns and 21,803 combined net yards. Nicknamed “Sweetness” to capture his personality off the field, Payton is an exemplary example of someone who lived life to their fullest and displayed grace and dignity even in his dying days just before losing his battle to a rare liver disease.
When diagnosed with the disease in 1999, he received an offer to be moved up on the waiting list for a new liver, but refused stating that he didn’t want to deny someone else’s opportunity to live just because of his popularity and status.
Often described as a prankster and generous he was a true role model to others that came in contact with him. Even in his dying days he was tough and courageous every step of the way and played his usual pranks on others as a way, some thought, to ease the anxiety of family and friends.
Payton’s passion for life was clearly reflected in this excerpt from his autobiography, “Never Die Easy“:
“If you ask me how I want to be remembered, it is as a winner. You know what a winner is? A winner is somebody who has given his best effort, who has tried the hardest they possibly can, who has utilized every ounce of energy and strength within them to accomplish something. It does not mean they accomplished it or failed, it means they have given it their best. That is a winner.
All those honors are great, but personally I would ask that anyone who wants to pay tribute to me, for any reason, I would say there is one thing you could do above everything else and that is: Never let a day go by where you neglect to tell your loved ones that you love them. For you never know what tomorrow may have in store. Remember, tomorrow is promised to no one.”
Now it’s your turn to create your own personal success story. Below are six steps to finding and achieving personal success in your life.
Change Your Life by Practicing These Six Successful Habits
Life will throw hurdles your way, but successful people know how to turn a challenge — even a failure — into an achievement.
- Don’t wait for a golden opportunity to drop on your doorstep, take the first step toward your goals.
By taking a proactive approach you are not only claiming responsibility for your actions but you are also showing that you are the one in control of your destiny. Instead of waiting around for something to happen, people to contact you or someone to motivate you, you are taking the initiative to go after what it is you want by seeking out opportunities for success rather than waiting for them to come to you.
Successful people are open-minded and have the ability to see the opportunity or potential when it presents itself and act on it. As with anything in life there will be some trial and errors and that’s natural, the important thing is to learn from your mistakes and move on.
- Come up with a plan and visualize yourself as already achieving your goals.
Before you take action on your idea, you have to first sketch it out whether that’s in a journal or on the computer and review the steps or timeline to getting to your final goal.
Clearly define what success means to you and create your vision of what it is you want to work toward: a different position at work, promotion, physical accomplishment such as running a marathon — get specific. Then tap into your creative mind and picture what this success would feel like and be sure to include yourself in the visualization.
Write your visualization down in first person present narrative to make it as if you are currently living your dream. Get as detailed as possible and include any sounds, colors or smells associated with your visualization. The more real you make it, the more likely it will manifest into your life.
- Prioritize and organize your goals.
Make a plan for each day and use an ongoing to-do list as way to hold yourself accountable to get these things done. It is just as important to write down your goals to give them life and direction. Keep your goals specific, realistic, measurable and achievable. Put them somewhere where you’ll see them everyday like on the refrigerator or taped to your computer screen.
Become a master of your time and don’t fall victim to needless disruptions and time-wasters that cut into productivity. Implement your own personal time-management plan, stay focused on your goals and dedicate your time and energy to things that are important to you.
- Establish relationships with positive and successful people.
The saying “great minds think alike” holds a lot of weight when it comes to this habit as most achievements come from the efforts of a team of people working together generating ideas. Everyone is entitled to success and there’s certainly enough to go around so share your success with others and celebrate in other’s successes.
You can find people with similar interests by attending related business events and industry conferences. Also, make a conscious effort to keep away from negative, pessimistic people who bring you down and instead seek out enthusiastic people who are motivating and uplifting and who support your goals and dreams. You will find the path to your success becomes easier once you create a positive supportive group of people around you.
- Make a pact to become a life-long student.
Before you become the master of your goals, you have to be the student and gain the knowledge from your teachers in life. Take the time to listen to the stories and ideas of both young and old and know there is always something new you can learn or a different way of looking at something.
Successful people commit themselves to life-long learning through constantly increasing their knowledge base to help lead a life of rich fulfillment. Life-long learning can further your self-growth and bring out your natural abilities. Some areas of life-long learning include academics by taking classes, volunteering and reaching out to others and diversity by traveling and learning to examine other cultures.
- Practice, practice, practice and take action.
In order to reap any benefits from these habits you need to practice them every waking hour. The very act of doing something over and over turns it into a habit, and in this case, a very rewarding habit. Sitting in your recliner thinking about how you are going to meet your soul mate or fantasizing about the online business you’ve wanted to start isn’t going to make it happen.
Implementing the plan you created (step two) and creating the bridge between your visualization and action will. Whatever it is you want in life takes some act of doing. This could be attending a conference, becoming a member of a church or finding a job.
Six Habits that Will Open the Door to Your Best Health
It’s never too late and you are never too old to make positive changes to your health. If you start making small changes now you will reap big rewards as you get older. If you make a few changes at a time you won’t get overwhelmed and discouraged and chances are you’ll stick to your healthier lifestyle.
Start by taking one of the six healthy habits and work on making it a part of your daily life. Once you do that, move on to the next one and keep going until you’ve mastered all six habits.
- Get outside and fill your lungs with fresh air
You may not even realize the amount of time you spend indoors each day, driving in the car, sitting at the office, returning home and repeating the same thing the next day. By not getting outdoors and exposing yourself to fresh air you are losing many important health benefits. Schedule some outdoor time each day. It could be a brisk walk around your neighborhood or pre-planned outdoor activities.
Getting some fresh air each day will:
- Help the airways of your lungs to dilate more fully and improve the cleansing action of your lungs
- Help to improve your heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolic rate
- Help your immune system fight off disease more effectively
- Leave you feeling more refreshed and relaxed
- Stimulate your appetite and help your food to digest more effectively
- Help you sleep more soundly at night
- Help to clear your mind and improve your concentration
- Alter your brain levels of serotonin, which helps to improve your mood and promote a sense of happiness and well-being
- Help your body get rid of accumulated impurities
- Provide enough oxygen for cellular metabolism
- Keep refilling your water glass
If you don’t drink enough water each day to replenish your body, there’s a good chance you’re walking around in an unhealthy state of dehydration. Aim for drinking six to eight glasses of water a day and limit dehydrating drinks such as coffee and soft drinks. Keep a glass out on your kitchen counter and designate it as your “water” glass. This will serve as a visual reminder to drink more. Drinking the recommended amount of water each day helps with the most basic, yet essential bodily functions such as moistening the lungs, making it easier to breathe and helping move along food digestion.
- Try to get on a consistent 6-7 hours a night sleep schedule
Six to seven hours seem to be the magic numbers for the ideal amount of sleep as research has shown that people who slept for eight hours or less than four are not as healthy as those getting six to seven hours of sleep a night. Turn your bedroom into the perfect sleep setting by keeping it dark, cool (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) and free of distracting internal noise like the TV in the living room and external noise such as traffic going by.
- Put more fruit and veggies on your plate
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon in America’s on-the-go society to go an entire day with little to no fruits or vegetables. Preparing more sit-down meals at home is one answer to breaking this bad habit. This way you can control how many fruits and vegetables you are eating as opposed to leaving it in the hands of a restaurant or fast-food chain.
If you’re on the go, you can grab a piece of fruit, some cut-up veggies or handful of almonds to snack on before you get home. It will also help you avoid cravings to stop at a drive-thru for something sweet or unhealthy.
- Add high-fiber foods to your diet
Americans are also not coming close to meeting the daily fiber requirements in their diets. According to The American Dietetic Association, the recommended intake is 20 grams to 35 grams of fiber a day and reports show that Americans’ fiber intake isn’t even half of that amount at14-15 grams a day.
Fiber, also known as roughage, comes from plant-based foods and works wonders on essential functions in your body. Getting your daily intake of fiber will help with reducing your blood pressure, move things easily through your digestive tract and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and promoting weight loss.
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, the difference between the two is that soluble dissolves in water, while insoluble does not, and both offer many benefits to your health. Most dietitians recommend that your intake of fiber should be broken down by this ratio: insoluble vs. soluble fiber should be 75 percent to 25 percent. Below is a list of these fibers.
- Kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Fruits (raw)
- Grains Oatmeal
- Whole-wheat bread
- Vegetables – especially dark green leafy ones
- Root vegetable skins
- Fruit skins
- Whole wheat products, wheat bran
- Corn bran
- Nuts and seeds
- Make exercise as routine as brushing your teeth every dayOnce you set aside time to exercise each day — starting with something as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood after dinner each night — it will become a routine. Start by setting a goal of 30 minutes of exercise a week and once you’re comfortable with that increase your time. You’ll find yourself with more energy, feel better about yourself and want to do more.
There are several creative opportunities to include exercise in your daily life. You can opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator at work or take regular breaks from your desk to walk around. By doing this you will alleviate some stress and burn some extra calories at the same time. If the weather allows, take a walk around your office building on your lunch break or if you’re close to work, ride your bike one day out of the week.
And remember, repeated thoughts of worry, anxiety, and sadness, along with focusing on what’s wrong with your life, can lead to physical and mental heath problems plus potentially reduce your life expectancy. By consciously “re-channeling” your thoughts toward the positive, you’ll have an easier time reaching your goals for increased health, wealth and happiness, and be able to gain feelings of true contentment and well-being in all areas of your life.