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20 Things You Need To Do To Tune Up Your Life

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20 Things You Need To Do To Tune Up Your Life

Are you stuck in a rut? Or do you just want to step up your game so you can live life to the fullest?

Like a mechanic working on a vehicle, there are specific things you can do to tune up your life. Here’s how.

1. Exercise 5 Times a Week

Some guidelines recommend exercising 3 times a week, but ask anybody in great shape and you’ll hear that they only take one or two days off of their exercise program each week. That means at least 5 days they’re doing cardio, strength, training, flexibility training, or some other type of exercise.

2. Get Rest

Do you normally burn the candle at both ends? At some point you’re gonna run out of wax. Even with responsibilities at work and at home, you’ll still want to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Doing that will ensure you’re working at your peak energy and performance levels each day.

3. Eat Right

Some nutrition “gurus” make us think that there are secret formulas to eating right. But the reality is that eating right is actually pretty simple. Your first step is to cut out all the processed stuff that masquerades as food, and replace that junk with real food–vegetables, fruits, lean meats, beans and nuts.

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If you look at the ingredient list and can’t pronounce anything, put it back and try again.

4. Take Time for Yourself

Do you take any time each day for yourself? Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, take a breather each day to do something you love. It could be a new workout routine, playing a video game, or just taking a walk. The goal is to do something you love, and be mindful while you’re doing it.

5. Know Your Purpose

What’s your purpose in this world? If you’re like most people, you don’t know it. But defining what your purpose is can be the most important activity you ever do. Once you know what you’re meant to do, you should then–

6. Set Goals

Setting goals is the way super-achievers get things done. You’ll want to set a combination of long-term goals with short-term goals. Once you have those defined, you should then–

7. Create a Plan

Having defined goals will set you head and shoulders above your peers, but that’s just the beginning. Create a long-term plan to get you to your goals so you can turn those wishes into reality. This plan should include steps you’ll take each year, month, week and day to help you get to where you want to be.

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8. Write it Down

You may have heard the term “Don’t think it, ink it”. There’s power in writing down your goals and your action plan. Once you put pen to paper you’re turning that wish floating around your head into something real. Magic can happen once you do that.

9. Decide Your Life Will Be Great

You know the difference between people who really enjoy life, and people who just get through it? Those who enjoy life have decided that they’ll embrace the experience. Sounds simple, right? Well it is. So do it. Now. There’s never been a better time.

10. Embrace Change

Change is inevitable so you might as well welcome it instead of fight it. Every change in your life can offer something to learn, and as long as you’re learning, you’re improving, which is the key to long-term growth and living a meaningful life.

11. Replace Complaining with Problem-Solving

It’s raining? Grab an umbrella. Your sandwich fell on the street? Go buy another. Get fired from a great job? Find a better one. The time you spend complaining on what’s wrong with your life will just lead to other problems. When something happens you don’t enjoy, just get to thinking about how you can make it better. There’s no point in doing anything else.

12. Know When to Say No

There are more demands in today’s world than ever before. You probably have everyone from your boss, partner, neighbor and everyone in between asking you for help. But you’re just one person and you can only do so much. More important than that, if you’re only spending time on other people’s requests, you won’t be able to get the stuff done that will get you ahead in life. So know when you need to say “no” and set up some boundaries so you can strike the right balance between helping others while also tending to your needs.

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13. Give Back

Giving back to those in need can help you realize what you already have. More importantly, you’ll be able to help others who are less fortunate than you. So if you want a tune-up in your life, just spend some time helping others, whether it’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, cleaning up your neighborhood, or anything in between.

14. Be Thankful

There’s a funny thing about people who are thankful. They often have everything they need, and then some. And those complainers, always focused on what they don’t have? They’re often struggling.

The simple act of being thankful for what you have can help attract more of it.

15. Think Positive

The positive thinking movement can sound a bit phony, but there’s been lots of studies referencing benefits of positive thinking. So do your mind and body a favor by thinking with a “glass is half full” attitude.

16. Make Time for Friends

One of the most common regrets of the dying is that they didn’t spend more time with those they loved. Call your friends. Plan a guys or girls weekend. Just spending time with those you care about can give you and them the life tune-up you both likely need.

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17. Learn a New Skill

Did you ever want to learn how to play the guitar? Or how to speak a new language? Learning new skills is not just great for your brain, but can help you meet new people and give you something fun to talk about with friends, old and new.

18. Develop Yourself

The world’s most successful people spend serious amounts of time developing themselves professionally and personally. This means reading books, attending seminars, and feeding their mind the food it needs to grow. This often means personal development programs and seminars.

Some people laugh at personal growth products and learning. These are the same people who will get lapped by their peers in a few years because they’re not growing at the same pace. So do yourself a favor and treat these programs as an investment in yourself, which just so happens to be the best investment you can make.

19. Get Organized

Clutter can cause stress, anxiety, and can even be dangerous. Do an audit of your home and clean our your closets and cupboards. Donate what you can and throw out the rest.

20. Get Rid of Negative Influences

Are you in a toxic relationship? Do you have friends or coworkers who always tear you down, or just want you to join them in their misery? Sometimes it’s best to cut the chord and move on. Freeing yourself from negative people can be difficult but wise. And doing that can send a message to them that they’ll need to get their act together if they want to enjoy the type of success you’re bound to have.

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More by this author

Dan Cassidy

Dan is the CEO & Founder of Inspiyr, aspiring to help people live a happy and successful life.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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