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How To Tell If You Are In Dire Need Of A Life Makeover

How To Tell If You Are In Dire Need Of A Life Makeover

One of the tenets that I hold in life is that every day you have the possibility to alter your life completely. The other side of this, however, is that you can also make poor choices every day. The continuity of day-to-day life can easily change your perspective and leave you blind to the effects that these choices can have in a broader time spectrum (like a year or two). Not surprisingly, this (and a lot of other factors and global influences) is the reason why many people are not feeling especially content with their lives. This feeling is prevalent in youth, who oftentimes feel that their youthful spirit is constrained in their daily life.

Your emotions are your body’s way of signalling whether things are going well or not. And if you’ve have recently felt some of the things that I will mention below, perhaps you should think about changing your life. Ultimately, only you have the power to turn things around.

Feeling like nothing ever changes and the prevalence of the day-to-day routine

When your friends ask you what’s new, what is your answer? Do you answer with “Oh, nothing much” every time? Have you stopped one day and looked behind you, only to see that you have seemingly made no progress whatsoever in the last two or three years? Doing the same things and hanging out with the same people every day can seriously diminish your ability to grow both emotionally and intellectually.

This feeling of being stuck in place is probably the first red flag that your life needs to change. Now, I’m not saying that going skydiving every other day or living a life full of fresh daily adventures is something that everyone needs to pursue. Little things can break the routine, too. Go to a new bar, meet new people, visit events near you, or get interested in a new hobby.

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A simple change of environment will do wonders for you and, after a while, you will feel that you are growing on every level. For example, I volunteered for a hosting program at my university where I got to meet people from all over the world and find out about their cultures and show them mine. It made me realize that there are so many interests to pursue that my life will never be boring again.

Dissatisfaction with your career

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    A career is a difficult choice that we are all “forced” to make in our late teens and early 20s through our choice of majors at university. However, what feels appealing at that young and naïve age does not always come through for some people, especially once they see the real ins-and-outs of what they have chosen to do. Some career paths will require you to challenge your moral stances, others will be more conflicting with your personality, and some can leave you feeling overqualified or without any prospect of advancing.

    In my line of work, some beginning writers can be frustrated by the moral qualms of ghostwriting. My recommendation was always that they should perhaps think about some other career if they feel they cannot write and have someone else take all the credit.

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    Think about whether the job you have is the job you like doing. That is the most important thing about any career. You have to enjoy it. And I don’t mean pretend to enjoy it, you really have to at least like it, if not love it. Remember, your career is supposed to be for life, so think about whether you’d like to do this forever. If the answer is negative, then I suggest pursuing something that is more in line with your personality and ethics, something that will not leave you feeling down all the time.

    Jealousy of the people around you and their “perfect” lives

    The biggest revelation that my life definitely needed to change was when I started feeling jealousy towards people that were around me. They all seemed to have better-paying jobs than me, to have more fun when we were out, to have their lives completely in order, and just to enjoy themselves more. And, while I would usually be happy for anyone who’s got “everything figured out” (although, no one really has, but that’s a topic for some other article), slowly I’ve begun feeling that they had more luck, that they had been dealt better cards. This slowly grew into jealousy which prevented me from seeing it in a positive perspective.

    The moment I realized I was jealous of my best friends, I realized that I had to rein in my horses and find a way to stop this. Maybe it was my behavior that needed to change. They always strived to do their best in every situation, and I needed to learn from them and their dedication to create my own happiness. All of them got to where they were by putting in their best effort, so I decided I would do that, too. It seems to have worked so far. At least, I now feel happy for my friends and their “perfect” lives again, without a hint of jealousy.

    Financial instability and unsustainability

    Trying to fulfill your life with hedonistic pleasures and new things and experiences can often lead to spending money like there is no tomorrow. This lavish spending is not always sustainable in the long run, and sooner or later all those credits that you have taken out will come back to haunt you. It is inevitable. This is why it is much better to curtail your spending habits and start saving on little things than to accrue credit, which will leave you financially impaired at a later date.

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    Start by realizing which things in your life are luxuries that you can do without presently. This does not mean giving them up forever, just until you’ve progressed enough in your career and achieved a better salary level. Then start introducing them back one by one and see how strained your budget becomes. You can even look at some things you didn’t even know can save you money. This way, you will have to give up fewer luxuries.

    Constant tiredness

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      Dissatisfaction with your life can affect not only your mental health, but your physical health as well, as one is heavily influenced by the other. It often leaves people without a will to do anything. What’s worse is that it can turn into a constant feeling of physical tiredness, as if one has no strength to get out of bed in the morning or to fully commit to anything during the day.

      One of the best ways to break this is to (perhaps ironically) get physically active. I know it may sound hard when you are constantly tired, but activating your muscles will pump some adrenaline into your body and some endorphins into your brain, increasing your both your energy levels and your overall happiness. You don’t have to start going to the gym and pack a bunch of muscles. Regular morning exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, and even proper stretching can revitalize your body and give you the energy to make it through the day better than any coffee.

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      Like I said before, ultimately it is up to you to make the decisions that will turn your life around. No one else can make them for you or force you to follow through with them. With a little willpower, anything is possible. Living your life in a day-to-day manner, just waiting for it to pass, is a sure way to waste it all. And the only one responsible for your life and your happiness is you — which is the biggest life lesson that we all have to learn.

      Featured photo credit: Kate Williams via unsplash.com

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      Aleksandar Ilic

      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      More About Procrastination

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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