Archives For Positive thinking

If you keep living in the past and keep beating yourself up over bad decisions, regret, and anger then this letter is for you.

To my friend,

I know life isn’t how you want it to be right now. You feel stuck. Things haven’t changed for the better in a long time. You just want to be happy. You want to move forward with your life.

You wonder why can’t you be happy. Why can’t you have the things that everyone else seems to have in their lives?

I know you feel like a failure, feel worthless, and hopeless about your future.

The reason you feel stuck and are always unhappy is because of this way of thinking all the time.

Thinking of all the things that are wrong in your life just brings more negativity into your mind. You go back into your past memories and dig up everything bad that’s happened to you. You think about how wish you had made different choices. You’re angry at yourself for the choices you made or didn’t make.

You think about all the failures that you’ve had. It seems like your life has been one failure after another. That isn’t true though, but you choose to ignore what you have done well and only focus and amplify what you’ve done wrong.

You think about everything that has gone wrong for you. You remember all those unlucky breaks you had. Nothing lucky has ever happened to you.

You may still not have gotten over a breakup. Your heart still hurts. You still don’t understand what happened. That person was the world to you and that person decided that you didn’t fit anymore into their lives. It’s been years and you still haven’t moved on. That breakup has kept you in the past.

You live in the past and think about the times in your life when you were happy, motivated, and hopeful. You just want to get back to feeling like that, but in your mind you believe that will never be possible.

Bringing back these thoughts and feelings to the present over and over again keeps you stuck in life.

I want to help you to start to move forward in your life so that you can start enjoying life again.

But you’re not going to be able to do that if you constantly live in the past.

If your mind is always filled things that happened years ago, you’re not giving your mind a chance to be filled with what will actually help you have a better future.

Imagine your mind as an empty bowl. You are taking negative thoughts, past memories, regrets, mistakes, and failures and filling up that bowl.

So when you reach into the bowl, what will you pull out? You’re going to be pulling out one of those things.

Every time you go to your mind that’s all you keep pulling out. When you’re alone with your thoughts you keep pulling out one negative thought after another.

If you fill your mind with negativity, you’re going to get negative results. You’re always going to feel crappy.

You’ve got to start replacing it with positivity if you want to change your life.

So that dream job you wish you can have, finding true love, having great friends, or just being happy is not going to happen unless you first let go of your past.

Imagine if you were driving in your dream car. It could be a Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW or whatever dream car you have. You open the door and smell that new car smell. You get in the seat and start the engine. This is going to be your first time driving it and you can’t wait. You’ve been waiting a long time to have your dream car.

You start to drive, but instead of looking forward you stare at your rear view mirror. You can’t look anywhere else but behind you.

If you try to drive while looking at the rear view mirror, how fast will you go? You won’t even move forward because you’re afraid you’ll hit something.

You’re going to be so scared of moving forward because you keep looking back. How will you ever enjoy driving your dream car? You never will.

This is what it’s like to live life by always looking at your rear view mirror.

You will never get anywhere. You will never move. You will never enjoy what lies ahead of you because you are so focused on your past.

So what is it going to take for you to start to let go?

First you have to accept that what happened in the past has happened. You can’t go back and change it. Yes you’ve made bad choices that got you where you are now, but all that thinking you do about it isn’t going to change anything about what has already happened.

You have to stop beating yourself up over bad choices you’ve made. It’s impossible for you to go back and change the past. There is no time machine. You’re constantly wishing and hoping for something that’s never ever going to change. You’re wasting time, energy, and focus on something that does nothing good for you.

What you need to do is learn from it. If you made a bad choice in the past, learn from it and move on. If you are in a similar situation in the future, then you know how to better handle it.

Instead of looking it as a failure, look at what positives you took from it. You have to understand that everyone experiences failures in life. No one gets through life without experiencing something that they hoped would turn out well only for it to turn out not the way they expected.

If you live your life so carefully to avoid any failure, you will live a life full of regret.

So don’t think that you’re the only one that fails. What’s different is how successful and happy people react to failures. First of all they don’t see it as a failure. They just see it as a learning lesson. They see it as a chance to grow.

They see it as feedback. They see what they need to improve on. They see what didn’t work out for them. They get up and try again.

You fall down and you stay down. You cry. You pout. You complain. You blame everyone and everything you can.

While you’re feeling sorry for yourself, life is moving on with or without you.

So if you can’t do anything about the past, what should you do?

The only thing you have control over is what you do right now. Right now you’ve made the decision to read this. After you read this, you make another choice about what you’re going to do.

Your day is made up of a series of choices. At each moment you decide what to do. At every meal you decide what you’re going to eat.

If you’re overweight, who’s fault is that? The food’s fault? Your mom’s fault cause of her cooking? The fast food restaurant’s fault? Nope it’s your fault. The food doesn’t just jump into your mouth. You’re not two years old and being forced to eat something you don’t want.

You’re an adult and you choose what goes into your mouth. If you only have time for fast food, it’s up to you to choose a low calorie option or the number one combo super sized with a large Coke.

When you get home after another miserable day at work and you have four hours left before you go to bed and start your day all over again, what will you choose to do?

You can choose to spend those four hours on the couch with your super sized combo with the TV on while on your phone going through Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat and seeing other people’s fake perfect lives.

You do this for weeks, months, and years. And you wonder why you’re not able to get unstuck in life. You wonder why you have no motivation to do anything. You wonder why you dream of changing careers, finding a new job, or finding love hasn’t happened yet.

It’s because of the choices you make. It’s not your parents, boss, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or family’s fault. It’s not the government’s fault or who’s president now. It’s not the companies that you are applying for that aren’t hiring you.

It’s all because of what you’re doing every single day.

So instead of four hours on the couch glued to your phone, you can choose to do something that will actually help you. You can exercise. You can learn a new skill from an online class. You can go to a local meet up on a topic you’re interested in. You can volunteer your time to help others. You can work on a business plan. You can do so many more things than you are doing right now, but you choose not to.

It’s not the big choices that have the biggest impact on your life. It’s the small seemingly unimportant choices that eventually added up.

One night of being a couch potato, eating fast food, and spending four hours on social media isn’t negatively impact your life. However if you’re doing that every night, it will negatively affect your life.

I used to live in the past. That’s why I felt stuck in life. I kept beating myself up for past choices that led me to where I was.

I hated my job. I hated being there for even a minute. It was torture every time I had to work. I had no idea what else I wanted to do with my life.

I thought if I never made that choice to work in the restaurant right out of college, my life would be on a happier different path.

So I would beat myself over that. How did that help me? It didn’t. It just made me feel worse about myself.

Holding on to anger about something from your past only hurts you. What good does that do for you? How does that help you? Think about it. Nothing good ever happens when you keep doing that.

You never beat yourself up then five minutes later feel a huge sense of relief.

I never did. It just made me feel worse about myself.

You have to have closure with your past. That includes past experiences, past mistakes, and past relationships. The only person you’re hurting by holding on to the past is yourself. Everyone is moving on with life, but you’re still stuck in the past.

It’s like running full speed into a wall. Do you think you’ll feel great after you run face first into a wall? No way. It’ll hurt.

As crazy as running full speed into a wall sounds, it’s just as crazy as living in the past every single day, constantly focus on failures and regrets, and expecting all your dreams to come true.

I want you to make peace with your past. You can’t go back and change it. It’s useless. You’re wasting your time and it only makes you feel worse.

When you think of one negative experience, then you think of another one, then another one, then you’re in a bad mood for the rest of the day. How do you think you’ll feel the rest of the day?

That’s what you have been doing every single day. That’s why you feel stuck. That’s why you feel so lazy and unmotivated.

I want you to understand that your past doesn’t determine your future.

If you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, it doesn’t mean you will for the rest of your life.

Remember it’s up to you to decide that through the choices you make from now on.

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but still spending $200 a week on eating out and $100 on alcohol at the bar every weekend, who’s to blame for living paycheck to paycheck?

If you’re buying clothes and shoes every weekend, who’s to blame if you don’t have money?

If you’re lonely, but every night you spend it at home watching TV cause you don’t feel like being social, who’s to blame?

If you’re unhappy, but you keep thinking about how unhappy you are, who’s the blame?

I’ve read interviews with ultra successful people and if we knew them when they were a teenager and young adult, we’d think they’d be in jail as adults or delivering pizzas for the rest of their lives.

They did poorly in school. They hated to study. They got into trouble with the police. They stole. They did drugs.

But you know what? Their past didn’t define them.

They turned their lives around. They became focused on making a better life for themselves. It didn’t happen overnight of course. It took many years, but my point is that what they did in the past didn’t determine how their future would be.

They decided they wanted a better future so they took control of their lives and began making better choices.

That means choosing better people to hang around. I’m sure if they were getting into trouble with the law it was very likely cause they were hanging around other people who were also getting into trouble, they may even need to get a firm as McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, to help them out of trouble.

That also means taking massive action. They didn’t achieve their dreams by sitting on the couch all day.

You need to understand that to make your future better you must focus on the present. What are you going to do today to move yourself closer to where you want to be in life?

The present is the only thing you can control.

You can’t change your past. You can’t predict your future as much as you try. You can only control what you do right now.

You have the power to choose positive thoughts. Think about that. At any moment, you have the power to choose what you think about. Thoughts don’t take over your mind unless you allow it to. If you don’t like a thought that’s entered your mind, you can switch it instantly. Your thoughts don’t have power over you. You have power of them.

When a negative thought enters, let it enter, but don’t give it the power it seeks.

If a thought enters your mind like “My future is hopeless” you then have the power to choose what you will think about next. Will you continue to feed it with more negativity or replace it with something that will help you?

Here’s what you can replace it with.

“What I’ve done in the past doesn’t dictate my future. I will turn my life around. It will take time and work but I’m willing to do whatever it takes. I look forward to it and all the opportunities that will come my way.”

Do you see the difference in the two ways of thinking?

Don’t try and completely stop negative thoughts. Stopping them just makes them stronger. Instead acknowledge them and then replace them with a thought that brings you a positive emotion.

Another way to let go of the past is writing a letter and burning to release the pain and anger you hold. Sometimes the anger you have is inside of you and you just need to find a way to let it go.

Write down whatever has been bothering you. The thoughts, the memories, the people that keep coming into your mind like a broken record. The ones that bring stress, anger, and regret.

Write it on a piece of paper. Let it all out. When you’re done, find a safe place outside away from anything that can catch on fire.

Take the paper and light it on fire. Watch it slowly burn and turn to ash. As you see the smoke go up, let that be all the negative emotion going away. You see it go away.

You can also take that letter instead and tear it up into tiny little pieces.

What worked for me was a simple letter I typed to myself. I called it my manifesto and in it I spoke the truth to myself. I told myself what I needed to hear every single day. I told myself to stop wasting my life. Start taking massive action each and every day. I put this on my wall so I could see it every single day. It was my reminder to do whatever it took.

You have to make peace with your past. There’s no going back now to change anything about it.

You have to take back control of your life. Your life didn’t spiral downward because you were in control of it. It did because you gave control away. That’s why you point fingers and place the blame on others.

When faced with decisions to make, you let someone else decide for you. Or you let them influence what you decide to do.

Then when it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, you blame them.

All the blame has to be put on you now. That means from now on when something doesn’t go right, you are to blame. That may be tough to handle at first but only when you are in control of your life will you get what you want.

That’s exactly how I’ve gotten what I’ve always wanted which was a way to make money online and freedom to do what I want and when I want. That was my ultimate dream.

Only when I began to take responsibility for my life and everything that happens to me did my life change.

That meant if I wanted to be successful and happy in life it would be up to me.

Change didn’t happen overnight either. I had to take it day to day. I didn’t want the positive changes in my life to be short lived either. I wanted them to be a part of me for the rest of my life.

That’s why it was important to approach it like a marathon and not a sprint. Slow and steady will always outperform working hard infrequently.

In one year from this moment, you will be much better than where you are right now because you took control of your life.

In order to do that though you have to first let go of the past. You must make peace with it so you can focus on the present.

I hope you can begin to do that right now so that you can begin a new chapter in your life and create the type of life you’ve always dreamed of.

I believe in you. I know you have the ability to change. It’s inside of you so I hope this letter is first step towards a happier life.

Your friend,

Benny

 

If I asked you what you truly wanted in life, you’d likely say to be happy. Plain and simple.

All our lives, we have been led to believe that there is a formula for success, and that happiness is the reward.

For half of my 20’s and into my early 30’s, all I wanted was to be happy. I wanted a job I loved. I wanted to be happy when I woke up and when I went to bed.

I thought happiness would ultimately come when I could quit my job. So I tried to figure out a new career path or find a job that interested me or make money online. If I could just get the result I wanted, then I would finally be happy. 

It never happened. I never found the answer. I never got the result I wanted and therefore I never was happy.

I didn’t know at the time, but I had it all backwards.

In today’s podcast episode, I talk about what finally got me unstuck in life and how I was able to achieves success by first finding happiness within me.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  1. The reasons why I failed at getting unstuck in life and having success.
  2. Why happiness has to come first in order to have success.
  3. How positivity and optimism affects and improves our quality of life.
  4. Ways to create a positive mindset.

Links mentioned:

 

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To get from where you are now, to where you want to be, there will have to be sacrifices that you must make.

Making sacrifices is something we all wish we didn’t have to do. Can’t we get six pack abs and still eat anything we want every day? Can’t we have a successful online business that allows us to quit our job without giving up watching TV four hours every night after work?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Despite how badly many people want change in their life, they’re unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to get it.

Achieving goals does not come without making sacrifices. Making positive changes in your life doesn’t come without giving up something.

Let’s go over some of the sacrifices you will have to make if you want to achieve your goals and make changes in your life.

Comfort Zone

This is an important one so I’m going to mention it first.

You have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. For too long, you’ve lived in your comfort zone, and that’s why you now feel stuck in life. You’re not growing. You’ve stopped learning. You have the same habits and thoughts. They’re slowly killing you on the inside.

You’re afraid the unknown. You’re afraid to fail. You’re afraid to make mistakes. You’re afraid you will look stupid.

You have to stop feeling safe because being where you are right now isn’t brining you what you want in life.

Television

The average person watches 4 hours of TV a day. That’s 28 hours a week. In a 65 year life, that person will have spent 9 years watching TV.

Yet the average person complains about not having time to do anything else.

If this is you, you need to cut back on watching TV. I’m not suggesting you give it up completely, but figure out what you want to watch and record it. That way when you watch it later, you can fast forward through the commercials further saving you more time.

The biggest problem is when you mindlessly watch TV. You’re channel surfing to find something remotely interesting to watch.

Those hours watching TV means no time to start that business, write that book, spend time with family, or go to the gym.

At the end of your life are you going to wish you had watched less mindless TV? Yes you will. You will wished you had done something productive with all that time you had.

The Internet

It’s a powerful resource, but it’s also a rabbit hole. You can spend a couple hours easily going from one link to the next. You’re doing anything to distract yourself. You’re just wasting time.

Don’t complain that you aren’t happy with your life, but spend hours every day on the internet.

The internet can be a great resource. Reading articles like this one that benefit you is great. Reading interviews about successful people inspires you. There are articles on any topic you want to learn more about.

You’ll have to give up mindlessly clicking from link to link, watching endless Youtube videos, and being a zombie just staring at your screen.

Sleep

If you want more time in the day, then you might have to sacrifice an extra hour or two of sleep.

The mornings are the best time to get things done. You’re awake before anyone else in your house is. It’s quiet and free from distractions. You can use that time to go through your morning routine, go exercise, or work on your side business.

Need help getting up early and not hitting the snooze button all morning? Sleep earlier, make sure your bedroom is at a cool temperature, no electronic devices an hour before bed, and no caffeine after 2pm.

Perfection

You have to know that everyone who is successful now were beginners at one point. They went through growing pains and made stupid mistakes. They likely failed on their first, second, and third attempt.

It won’t be a smooth ride. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to have doubts along the way.

If you’re waiting to learn as much as you can so that everything will go perfectly, then you will never start and you will never finish. Because I guarantee it won’t go as planned and when you encounter your first obstacle, you will easily give up because you expected everything to go perfectly.

Give up being perfect.

How to not make any sacrifices

You can do so by staying the way you are. You don’t do anything different. Everything in your life is comfortable. But with comfort comes a feeling of unhappiness, restlessness, disappointment, and frustration. You have a desire to do more in life. You badly want to turn your life around.

It’s not happening because you haven’t been willing to make the sacrifices needed.

Nothing comes easy.

Nothing comes without making sacrifices in your life.

 

Lifestyle choices.
I don’t know you. We may have never talked, but there’s something I know about you.

You are where you are right now in your life from the choices you’ve made up to this point. It’s not cause of luck or bad luck as you may think. Your life is the result of the series of choices you’ve made up to this point in your life.

Before you read this, you made choices. Some were made automatically like brushing your teeth. Other choices you had to think about like what you were going to do when you got on the computer or what you ate.

It took me 32 years to realize my choices shaped my life. I thought my life was just full of bad luck. I wasn’t getting the results I wanted and I didn’t know why.

How could I turn my luck around? Well, it wasn’t by making the same choices. I needed to make better ones.

It’s not just one choice

It’s not going to take one major choice. When you put together a series of choices, they create momentum and results, that will determine the results you get.

Every time you make a choice, you’re either getting closer to your goal or further away. The immediate effect might be so tiny; you won’t notice a difference.

For example, if you have that piece of cake, it’s steering you closer to gaining weight. It’s not much, but you’ve taken a tiny step in that direction. On the other hand, if you pass on the piece of cake, you’re taking a step in the other direction.

The choice to eat cake won’t have a big immediate impact in the short run, but now multiply each choice by 365 days and after a year you will have gained weight or lost weight.

That’s why I never understood why people would sue McDonald’s for making them fat. Yes, their food is unhealthy, and if you eat it for 30 days straight, it can nearly kill you. However, they didn’t make them eat it! It was their choice. They decided to order the food, pay for it, and eat it. No one else chose that meal for them. Even if they have no choice but to eat there, they have healthier options available. They don’t have to get fries and a big Coke. No one put a gun to their head.

They stupidly want to blame McDonald’s.

My wife and I watch a show called My 600 Pound Journey. It takes place over 2-3 years and follows individuals as they try and go from 600+ pounds to around 200 pounds.

I couldn’t believe someone could get to 600 pounds. How did they get there? By the choices, they made for many years. What I liked about a recent episode is that two of the people took responsibility for it. They didn’t blame genetics. They didn’t say the rest of their family is big, so that’s why they’re big. They knew they made horrible choices. I just don’t know how they could get to 600+ pounds before deciding they needed help.

The same power of choices helped them lose enough weight to be able to get the stomach stapling surgery. Even after that it required healthy eating and being active to continue to lose weight. These were choices they had to make. Did they want to die at a young age or make the right choices to have a normal life again?

Even after two years they still had to make sure they continued to the make the right choices. Making the wrong ones for too long would soon have the momentum carry them back towards gaining weight.

I’m sure they could indulge like a cookie after lunch or pizza for dinner one night. Making that choice doesn’t mean they’ll lose everything they worked hard for, but choosing pizza more often than choosing a side of steamed vegetables and a 4oz baked chickens mean in the long run, the weight will come back.

That’s why one small choice won’t make or break you. Some choices like, drinking and driving, can have massive consequences. What I’m talking about deciding to be lazy tonight and watch TV or eating a large pizza in one sitting. Doing it 20% of the time isn’t

What choices will you make?

Every second, you make choices. You made a choice to read this right now. You’re choosing to continue reading. After you finish this, you will choose what you want to do next.

Tonight at home after a long day at work, you have the choice to decide what you will do. Will you sit on the couch and watch TV until it is bedtime? Will you spend an hour working on your business, spend thirty minutes going for a walk or run, or do whatever it is that you know you need to be doing?

It’s up to you. I can only make you aware of the power that little tiny choices have in the long run. You have to decide on a consistent basis what you will do. I promise if you make the right choices consistently, then you’re going to start seeing some amazing results.

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You might feel stuck, but you’re unsure why. I’ve listed 12 behaviors that are possibly holding you back from where you are now to where you want to be.

You can start to make changes now. Stop denying yourself from becoming the type of person you truly want to become. Get rid of the old you, and start allowing the real you to come through.

You need to stop…

1. Being too safe – No pain, no gain. Playing it safe gets you nowhere in life. You want to play it safe because you’re so afraid of failure. By being too safe, you don’t even try. You don’t see what’s can possibly happen.

To reach your full potential, the road will be bumpy. It’s intentionally that way to find out who wants it the most. The weak ones get left behind, while the risk takers forge ahead and see what’s further down the road. That’s where happiness is. Where there is happiness there will be success as well.

2. Doubting your own dreams. – It doesn’t matter what your dream is. It could be starting a business, writing a book, finding love, or something else. The first thing you have to do is believe in yourself. Don’t seek validation from others. Believing in yourself might be hard because you’re just beginning, but you have to believe in what you’re doing without seeing the whole road in front of you.

3. Being influenced by negative people – You cannot be a positive person if you’re surrounded with negativity all the time. Sometimes these people are long time friends, but they’ve decided to take their life in a different direction than you want. Usually it’s no direction. It’s not a healthy relationship anymore. If someone isn’t adding any value you to your life, it’s best to say goodbye.

4. Expecting everything to be easy. – Stop expecting life is going to be a smooth ride. It’s not. Life is like sailingl across the Atlantic ocean. It’s going to start off real smooth. During the journey there will be huge waves and heavy rains. It’s part of the journey. The person sailing knows that and has to prepare for moments like that. Instead of wanting a life that’s easy, become a person that can handle the choppy waters.

If you remove all struggles from your life, you’re not going to find out what you’re truly made of. Success feels even sweeter when you’ve overcome your struggles and thrived.

5. Letting everyone else decide for your life for you. – You think it’s easier to just let other people decide for you because you don’t know what you want. Maybe you’re afraid of making the wrong choice. If you let people dictate your life, you will live a life that you don’t want.

If I listened to my parents, I’d either be an unhappy doctor or lawyer. Don’t give your life away to others who put you on a path that has no meaning for you.

6. Living in the past. – Would of, could of, should of. There’s moments that you wished you could go back and have a do over. Try not to dwell on the opportunities you missed out. You can’t go back anyways. Keep moving forward and if opportunities comes again, you will be better prepared to take it.

Living in the past guarantees that not have the future you desire.

7. Ignoring the lessons – Everything happens for a reason and you can learn and grow from. When something bad happens, and it will, find the lesson behind it. What could you have done better? What would you do if faced with the same situation in the future?

8. Holding on to resentment. – If you’re carrying baggage from your past, you won’t have room for all the everything else you want. Holding onto resentment, past failures, a broken heart and hate for others is going to keep you living in the past. Let it go so you can finally move forward. You  start by writing a letter to yourself.

9. Being too hard on yourself. – If you screw up, give yourself a break. Everyone makes mistakes. When you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. So it’s not as bad as you think. Pick yourself up and try again. Nobody is perfect an neither are you.

10. Being so pessimistic. – You often spend way too much time why you’re not good enough, why you don’t deserve to be successful, and why you can’t do it. You waste too much time with that inner voice that won’t shut up. You walk with our head down. It’s time to turn that frown upside down.

Instead of thinking “Why me?” think “Why not me?” Why can’t you be a bestselling author? Why can’t you become an actor? Why can’t you start a million dollar company? If others have done it, why can’t you?

11. Giving up too soon. – Most people give up right before their big breakthrough. Of course they don’t know it’s coming, but they give up too soon. If you choose something you believe in, then go after it with everything you have. Someday all that hard work and sacrifice will come together.

I tried so many different online businesses and failed. When I had unbelievable success with my first app, it looked like an overnight success, but it wasn’t. I never gave up hope that I’d have an online business. I just didn’t know when it would come. I just kept trying something until it worked for me. Because of the struggles I had, I can look back and smile about how resilient I was and didn’t give up on my dream.

Get Busy Living 2014Stop. Don’t Do it. Don’t tell yourself that you’re doing to do more of _______. It’s not going to work.

In two months, you’re going to be back to where you are right now, but worse because you’re going to be upset that you already failed. Then you’ll slowly forget about it and go back to your old ways. By December, you’ll be thinking of all the changes you want to make beginning January 1, 2015.

I know because I’ve never kept a resolution.

If you’ve made a specific resolution more than once, then stop making it again. The problem isn’t with your resolution, but with your approach. You don’t change your approach and that’s why you’re making it again.

Does this sound like you? If so, I’m here to give you another solution so you won’t be like 98% of the people (an educated guess, but probably close) that start the new year with hopes of the best year ever, but fizzle out soon.

Later in this article, I’m going to tell you about a course I created last year that going to kick your butt, change you on the inside, and help change the direction of your life. If your life is good, it’ll help take it to a new level.

Don’t take my word for it. I’ll share what some of my students have said.

First I’m going to share with you seven ways to help you make 2014 your best year yet. None of them include making a New Year’s resolution.

1) Write down your goals

I told you to not make a New Year’s resolution because they don’t work, but writing down your goals is not the same as making a resolution.

There are many reasons resolutions don’t work. One reason is because it is just an idea floating around in your head. It’s easy to get lost when you have 70,000 thoughts a day. After that initial excitement, you will forget about it.

This year do something different. Write down your goals. When you write down your goals, you are making a declaration. You’re saying you want to do this and it’s not just a wish.

Write it on a sheet of paper or print it from your computer. Place this list where you will see it everyday.

2) SMART goals

Writing down your goals is better than just thinking about it, but these goals needs to be structured in a way that is going to help you.

Don’t just write generic goals. Instead set SMART goals. Those are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Saying you want to lose weight is too general. There’s no urgency. How will you know you have lost weight? How much weight? By when? It’s too weak.

New year’s resolutions are just as general. That’s why they fail to stick.

If you follow the SMART guidelines your goal will be “I will lose 15 pounds by June 1, 2014.” It’s measurable. You can step on a scale and know. It’s specific. It’s attainable. It’s something you want to do so it is relevant. It has a deadline. Without one you will just procrastinate.

Before I finish talking about goals, I do want to say one thing. I believe settings goals are so important. You might come across some articles online that say setting goals is a bad idea and they will give their reasons why.

I don’t follow that. Set some goals. If you’ve never set goals before, then definitely set goals this year. Try it out.

Goals give you direction. You set the navigation system in your brain and it helps you reach your destination. If you’re driving from Los Angeles to New York and have never driven that route before would you just get in your car and start driving or use your navigation to guide you?

If you don’t use navigation, you still could get there, but it might take you longer and you might get lost many times along the way. Why waste time when navigation can get you there faster?

Set SMART goals in 2014 to guide you.

3) What is your WHY?

Why do you want it? Why do you want to make that change or achieve that goal? If you can’t think of a strong reason why, rethink your goal. Are you doing it because someone said you should?

I bet that your past goals have failed because you didn’t have a strong enough reason why.

Whatever your goals are you will face challenges. I promise you it’s not going to all be easy. Change is hard. Doing something new is hard. You will want to quit. If you have a reason why you want to achieve it, then it’ll push you through tough times, keep you motivated, and focused on your goals.

Do you know someone who had a high school reunion or a wedding and their goal was to lose weight before the big day? I think we all know someone. It might have even been you.

I had a friend that lost 50 pounds before his wedding. Before that he struggled to lose the weight he gained from years of partying in college. He wanted to lose weight, but just never had a great reason why.

What was the difference? He had a strong reason why and a deadline.

More money might be your reason why, but think about why you want more money. What will it do for you? How will it help? How will you use that money when you have it? Go deeper than the desire to just have money because that isn’t enough to keep you focused and motivated.

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