1. Get clear
It’s time to stop, sit down and really think about what you want out of your life. Are you dreaming of going back to school year-after-year but putting it off? Are you procrastinating your way out of a corner office or denying your heavy urge to be a parent because you have not met the right person yet? Spend the next week tuning into yourself and paying close attention to what really matters most to you and what you’re prioritizing. Once you have a clear picture of what you really want (not just what you say you want to avoid judgement or what you tell yourself you want to avoid the negative feelings that come with not having it) you’re at a solid starting point.
2. Find freedom in accountability
This step is going to be tough. There will be no more talking about how unhappy you are without asking what you can do about it. This goes for both internal and external conversations. Sitting around complaining isn’t productive, it reinforces the idea that you’re stuck with nowhere to go. It’s also time to stop blaming others for your setbacks, lack of progress and disappointments. Here’s an unavoidable life fact: you cannot change something you do not control. This includes your life. When you accept that you–and only you–are in control of your decisions, actions and inaction, you can begin the work of becoming the personification of your ultimate dreams and goals.
3. Find your tribe
It has been said that we become like the five people we spend time with. Whether or not that is true, there is no denying that surrounding ourselves with positive, active, healthy, successful people will offer us a lot more access to knowledge and joy than moping around with a bunch of lazy, defeated and uninspired so-and-sos. Look around you and see where your mentors and role models are. Set up coffee or cocktails with friends who have wisdom to share and start asking for advice in areas where you truly need to grow.
4. Expect more from yourself
Living to a higher standard isn’t only about setting boundaries with others and enjoying the finest foods and cocktails, it’s about pushing yourself to be the best you, to you. If you want to hit museums and see more of the city but you’re sleeping in until noon (even on weekends) or you want to start your own business but you’re canceling crucial appointments, then you’re sabotaging yourself. It’s time to look at your habits and behaviors and ask, “If this were someone else behaving this way when they have stated they want to be an all-star, how would I see them?”
5. Just start already
We live in a busy world with loads of opportunities and responsibilities which means there is never a perfect time to do anything. If you want to do something in your life, you have to take the first step. Whether it’s signing up for music classes, filling out the application for the overseas visa or downloading the recipe and sending invitations for your first-ever dinner party, just do it. It may not turn out the way you want it to initially. You may be uncomfortable. You may even “fail” but this is all a part of the process. As tennis great, Andre Agassi, once said, “If you don’t practice, you don’t deserve to win.”