1. Evaluate your current life circumstances with radical honesty and a neutral perspective.
Are you struggling with debt? Are you always coming up short when you have to pay the bills? Are your parents always disapproving of your life choices and making it difficult for you to be radically honest with yourself? Have you cut out all unnecessary purchases, yet you still feel trapped, financially and emotionally? Does your current life situation stifle you and keep you struggling to stay afloat? Be able to answer why and how you got to where you are now and separate your thoughts from your feelings so that you’re able to view your situation from a logical standpoint that enables you to analyze the causes and effects of your actions.
2. Examine your lifestyle with a critical eye.
Keep track of what you do in a typical day for at least three days (but preferably a week). Take a critical look at any behaviors that you know are holding you back from creating the life you want. Do you complain too much? Do you watch too much Netflix? Are you addicted to anything or obsessed with unhealthy behaviors? Do you spend too much time on social media and allow other people’s edited existence to make you feel inferior? Are you so fatigued but you struggle with resistance to changing your lifestyle? Make note of how much you’re resorting to these habits and what causes you to do these things instead of doing something to build yourself up.
3. Create two daily routines: the ideal and the realistic.
One is an ideal routine – the one you desire to implement the most, if struggling for survival weren’t such a pressing issue. The other is a more realistic one, which takes into account your current living situation and also incorporates little changes in lifestyle habits that would help you get closer to your ideal life, with one small step at a time. Each week, create a new realistic routine and keep track of small changes that help you grow closer to the ideal routine. This will encourage you to keep the momentum going and see how you’re progressing and adapting.
4. Acknowledge the biases that you may have against people who have everything you want and identify the excuses you make that keep you stifled in a zone of toxic comparisons and judgments that are rooted in helplessness.
If you’re constantly judging the people you look up to for flaunting their productivity, spending too much time promoting an unattainable lifestyle, and displaying their best accomplishments, you need to take a cold, hard look at yourself and be honest about the reasons why you’re always complaining about your own life and why you judge others harshly for being happy with their lives. You need to understand that your toxic views of the people you aspire to emulate are merely symptoms of insecurity – you wrongly judge people for having the life you want and make excuses such as “I wasn’t born in a nice upper-middle class family, so I can’t do whatever I want,” “I had to take out a bunch of loans because my parents think that I have to start out at the bottom to learn about hard work,” “I can’t afford to pursue my dreams because I’m stuck in this rat race of working and paying bills,” or “I got rejected 200 times, which means I’m worthless and don’t deserve to go after what I want.” This is ultimately because you are miserable about what you lack and your scarcity mindset, which renders you helpless, bitter, and resistant to change. And this unhealthy view of other people in contrast with yourself causes you to remain stuck in a cycle of struggling, complaining, and being unhealthy, broke, and chronically stressed.
5. Make a list of priorities and schedule them in a way that takes into account your energy levels at various points of the day.
Create for yourself a visual reminder of what you’re living for, what you value, why you value them, and what you want your highest priorities to be. Make note of the times when you’re most energetic and least likely to be interrupted. This will work better than making an overloaded schedule that’s based on the number of hours you want something done, which is usually ineffective, susceptible to intensify resistance, and harder to maintain in the long run.
6. Take one small step today that will help you get closer to where you want to be.
Even if it’s just getting rid of what you don’t need before you start creating, you’re making progress. Even if you go to bed 10 minutes earlier than before, it’s progress. The point isn’t to change everything all at once or move one giant boulder out of your way before you start anything or believe that you must be perfect and qualified before you can take any action (this is why people find themselves in a perpetual cycle of procrastination, paralysis, and spiraling out of control). It’s easier to remain consistent and maintain the momentum if you just make an effort to change one little thing at a time, and remove the pebbles and rocks in your life, piece by piece, moment by moment, until it becomes second-nature to reinforce habitual changes that enable you to make choices that build you from the inside out.