How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

June 26, 2020 by Stacy Karen

Increasing amounts of research show that simple changes in lifestyle – diet, exercise, sleep habits, and the management of stress – is key to sustaining good physical and mental health. However, simply being told to change these things can be unhelpful. Here, we have put together some ideas to help you convert these lifestyle changes into information that you can use to become a better version of you.

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

Eat well

‘Eat well,’ ‘Eat a balanced diet’ ‘Eat clean’ – all things we are told to do, but what does eating well or eating clean mean, and what exactly is a balanced diet?

We know that diet is one of the most significant factors of our lifestyle when it comes to our health. We all know that we should be eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but is there anything else we should be eating or thinking about?

The perfect diet for optimum health would involve more than forty vitamins and minerals, and there is no single food out there that contains every single one. There are companies out there pushing their ‘snake oils,’ claiming they have a magic pill that has them all, but it is not true. There is no perfect food or the perfect meal, so we need to look at our diet over a period of time. Our diet should include fruit and vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, carbs, fiber, and calcium.

Increase physical activity

As well as eating well, we should be moving more. It does not matter how old you are, how fit you are, increasing the amount of physical activity in your daily life will have a positive impact on your health. It helps us to burn off calories and maintain a healthy weight; it is good for the heart and circulation, increases muscle mass, and helps us to maintain focus and stamina.

It is recommended that we all do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. This does not necessarily mean going out for a run or hitting the gym – it could be dancing, gardening, or even something as simple as getting off the bus a stop or two earlier and walking the rest of the way.

Cut the chemicals

Think about how many chemicals you use every single day, from cleaning chemicals to the ones you put on your skin. Where possible, swap these out for natural and non-toxic ingredients. White vinegar and baking soda can be excellent natural cleaners, and essential oils can be used to replace all sorts of skincare products – check out A Guide to The Beauty and Health Benefits of Essential Oils to find out more about how to use them in your beauty routine.

Get more sleep

The power of sleep is still overlooked. However, when we are sleeping, our bodies are resting and recuperating and replenishing themselves. Sleep also enables our metabolism to kick in, meaning we are less likely to gain excess weight, and it can have a massive impact on our mental health.

However, given that we are all living incredibly busy and stressful lives, getting enough quality sleep can be difficult. If you are struggling, here are some tips to help:

  • Maintain a good sleep routine – go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every day
  • Reduce the amount of caffeine you consume and try not to drink it after lunchtime
  • Invest in a quality mattress and replace it every eight years
  • Turn off all screens for at least an hour before going to bed
  • Take warm baths and drink milky drinks to encourage relaxation and sleep
  • Use blackout blinds or heavy curtains to block out as much light as possible

Manage stress

Stress can have a huge impact on our health. It comes at us from all angles – family, finances, work, health – but how we deal with it is what matters the most. Many people choose to use yoga or other forms of meditation to manage stress and focus on the positive aspects of their lives. Others find that talking to a professional can help. The main thing is finding something that works for you and dealing with problems before they get too big to handle on your own.

No one can lead the perfect life, but by putting some of these tips into practice, you can be the best version of you. Try them today!

More and more research shows that what professionals call “lifestyle medicine “— simple improvements in diet, exercise, and the management of stress — is the secret to sustainable good health. To help you convert that information into results that you will see in your everyday life, we have put together this list of health and wellness suggestions. Ready to be the better version of you? Let’s go!

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

Eat well

It has long been known that diet is the biggest factor in our health. We all know that we should be aiming to eat a minimum of five portions of fruit or vegetables a day, but is that it? What else should we be doing or eating?

For optimum health, we need more than 40 vitamins and minerals, and no single ingredient can supply all of them. It is never about a single meal, but rather our diet over time. Balanced food choices in the long term will make a big difference in the way that you feel.

For example, around half of the calories in your diet should come from foods rich in carbs, such as cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. It is a good idea to include at least one of these at each meal. Whole-grain foods, such as whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereals, will increase your fiber intake.

Fats are essential for the good health and proper functioning of the body. Too much of this will, however, adversely affect our weight and heart health. Different kinds of fats have different health effects, and some of the following may help to keep it all in balance:

  • Consumption of total and saturated fats (often from products of animal origin) should be limited, and trans fats should be avoided entirely; reading the labels helps to identify the sources.
  • Eating fish 2-3 days a week, with at least one serving of oily fish, will lead to our adequate consumption of unsaturated fat.
  • When cooking boil, steam, or roast, rather than fry, remove the fatty part of the meat and use vegetable oils.

High salt consumption can lead to high blood pressure and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are various ways to reduce salt in the diet: when shopping, we can choose items with lower sodium content.

When cooking, salt can be substituted with herbs and spices, increasing the variety of flavors and tastes.

Sugar offers sweetness and an appealing taste, but sugary foods and drinks are high in calories and should be enjoyed in moderation as an occasional treat.

Get moving

Physical activity is important for people of all weights and health conditions. This helps us burn off excess calories, is good for the heart and circulation, preserves or raises muscle mass, helps us concentrate, and improves overall health and well-being.

150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is recommended and can easily become part of our everyday routine. Simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the furthest end of the supermarket carpark, or getting off the bus one stop early can make a significant difference.

Quit the bad habits

Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and taking drugs are all habits that are proven to have a significantly negative impact on our health. However, they are also some of the hardest habits to break. Speak to your doctor about what they can do to help – some people find they cope with going cold turkey, while others need further help such as hypnosis or a stint at Pathways Real Life Recovery . However, you do it doesn’t matter; it is a journey to a better you at the end.

Get more sleep

We often underestimate the power of sleep . However, when we are asleep, our body is resting, recuperating, and replenishing itself. Getting enough sleep also helps to kickstart out metabolism, meaning that our bodies are less likely to hold onto excess weight. There is also evidence to suggest that getting a good night’s sleep can help a person consume fewer calories during the day.

Sleep also reduces blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, as well as leaving us feeling more mentally healthy, sociable, and emotionally intelligent.

However, our lives are not set up very well for good, restful sleep. Most of us need to completely shift our thinking around sleep and make it a priority. Here are some tips to help aid better sleep :

  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning
  • Buy a decent mattress and replace it every eight years
  • Do not drink caffeine after lunchtime
  • Switch off your cell phone, tablet and TV at least an hour before you go to sleep
  • Warm baths and milky drinks before bed can encourage sleepiness
  • Use blackout blinds or heavily lined curtains to shut out the light
  • Make sure that your room is not too hot or too cold

Stay hydrated

The power of H20 is also vastly underestimated. Staying hydrated by drinking around two liters of water a day can leave your skin and hair looking and feeling great, your brain working at it’s best, and make you feel energized and ready to face whatever life is throwing at you.

Deal with stress

Stress comes at us from all angles – work, family, health, finances – but it is how we manage it that makes the difference. Some people choose to practice meditation or yoga to help calm them down and remind them of the positives in their life. Others find that talking to a professional can help them to find ways to deal with problems before they get too big. Finding a way that works for you is the best way to manage stressful situations.

Good health is never guaranteed, but by putting these tips into practice, you will be the best version of yourself and are much more likely to feel healthy on the inside and out.

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.”

From time to time I read my old journals. When the moment strikes me, I choose a journal at random from my bookshelf.

This time it was the beautiful green and gold one my mom had given me in what must have been September of 2010, because the writing chronicles my life from September 20, 2010 to January 1, 2011.

Basically, it is my perceptive exactly two years ago.

I had just started my second year of grad school and I was a month into my internship at an outpatient drug and alcohol rehab facility.

I loved what I was doing and I was really good at it. With conviction, I had found my passion.

During these documented months of my life, I was also:

  • Catching myself being “in my head” and too hard on myself
  • Feeling angry with my parents after identifying the residual effects of the parenting I received, and then forgiving my mom for not understanding how to foster my spirit
  • Exploring my birth chart, seeing a psychic (or two), and using meditation and Dan Millman’s ideas to find my life purpose
  • “Practicing” with men and dissecting the happenings of all my past romantic relationships
  • Recognizing self-sabotage and self-deprecating tendencies and making an effort to change my self-talk (what I say and how I converse with myself when alone)
  • Beginning to understand that my thoughts affect my behavior, which impacts the circumstances of my life
  • Learning how to love myself, faults and all, and how to be my own partner so I know how I want a man to treat me
  • Practicing presence—trying to stay in the moment
  • Asking myself the hard-to-answer questions that I had previously been skilled at avoiding. Example: Why is my heart closed-off?
  • Investigating vulnerability, yet still feeling unable to attempt it in any real way
  • Trying to set personal goals
  • Starting to have close, meaningful relationships with intelligent, curious, and motivated women for the first time in my life
  • Acknowledging guilt I felt about making my life what I want it to be
  • Struggling with verbal communication and assertiveness—what I needed to say to people in my life
  • Starting to see what love really means—the action, the verb, instead of a noun

Reading my words from two years ago at a completely different stage in my life has allowed me to see the complex undertaking of change from a new viewpoint.

I had two thoughts in reading them:

I need to stop every now and then to thank myself for doing this difficult personal work and give myself credit for what I have accomplished.

While I am still working on many of the things on the list, I have come a long way.

I believe we are a constant work-in-progress and never a finished product, but without recognition of milestones and bravery, what’s the point of all the hard work and change?

What am I working so hard for if I can’t enjoy the benefits of being an ever-evolving, flawed creature of the human race?

After giving myself a pat on the back, a hug, and a homemade smoothie, I remembered that there was a second thought…

I am curious about how change actually happens.

What does changing really entail? What on my list have I continued to change? How did I change that which has changed?

What on my list did I stop working on changing? What hasn’t changed that I wanted, and still want, to change? How can I determine progress?

Overall, what is change and how is it accomplished?

Since I’ve documented my life, I can see cyclical patterns in my thoughts, behaviors, and relationships.

I have worked to create what I think can serve as a successful 10-Point Protocol for Change:

1. Assess how things are now.

What do you see in yourself? What are you doing? How do you operate in a given situation? What consequences (good and bad) are you experiencing because of what you see yourself doing?

2. Accept yourself as you are.

Today, right now in your life, this is who and how you are. Decide that you love yourself no matter what.

3. Take responsibility.

Be honest with yourself and take responsibility for all that you are doing and not doing (good and bad), and the effects your actions have on others and yourself (good and bad).

4. Identify what you want to change.

What do you want to change about yourself? What actions or behaviors are you demonstrating that are not helping you? What would be a better option for you in each identified situation? What do you want to do differently?

5. Commit to making that change.

Make the decision to do the work and to make the change(s) you’ve listed. Form an agreement with yourself in whatever way is helpful to you (written or otherwise) so that you know you will do what you say you want to do.

6. Educate yourself.

Seek internal and external resources to gather information on how you can make the change(s) that you just committed to making.

Be honest about your past so that your can use your own set of experiences to break patterns that no longer serve you.

7. Set goals.

Make the change process tangible and measurable, to an extent. What can you do each day to get yourself closer to who you want to be? Write down, from little to big, the goals you will achieve.

8. Take action toward your goals.

Every day, honor your commitment. Act with an awareness of the changes you are making. Do things and engage in behaviors that are congruent with your goals.

9. Have compassion for yourself.

It is said that it takes 30 days to change a habit, so be patient and kind to yourself during this journey. Express your gratitude to yourself for doing the work. Love yourself each day so that you believe you are worthy of the change(s).

10. Take time to reflect.

Take the time to assess your progress. Love and praise yourself for each bit of change you are making. Revise your goals or any other part of this protocol as you deem necessary. Learn from what you’re doing, or not doing. Do the best you can.

The things that started being important to me two years ago are still things that I am working to sustain everyday. I am doing the work, and now with this system in place, I know that I can continue making the changes that I see best for me.

My life circumstances two years later are different. I’m not doing what I believed to be my passion at that time.

I’m taking action on an even bigger dream that I couldn’t have realized and committed to if I hadn’t opened the door to my own curiosity and started my own journey of personal change.

Are you ready to make the changes you’ve been contemplating for days, weeks, months, or even years?

I hope this system provides you with the structure you need to change and evolve!

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

For most of us, change is inevitable. It’s something that’s bound to happen sooner or later. And when it does happen, whether in your personal and professional life, you’ll find yourself in a really difficult position.

Anticipating the changes is one way to make them easier to adjust to. However, as change often means stepping out of comfort zones, making the necessary adjustments won’t be as easy as it sounds. And as a result, achieving your goals becomes harder, too.

Why are people so afraid of change?

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

Even though you may want to control your own destiny, making changes in your life may be so intimidating that you will end up settling for less or doing nothing at all. There are 6 reasons why so many people are afraid of change.

  • Agonizing over certain decisions because you feel isolated
  • Clinging to those perks, possessions, and statuses that you have acquired along the way
  • Doubting yourself and feeling that you are not up to the challenge of making changes
  • Fear of the unknown and being reluctant to take any chances
  • Focusing too much on the external world around you instead of yourself
  • Overlooking the fact that there are always options available

It’s important to remember that you never have to settle for what transpires when making changes in your personal and professional life. When you have enough confidence to act in the face of your fears about change, it gives you a sense of control. Ultimately, it will provide you with a purpose in life.

10 Benefits of Change

Conversely, the person who is willing to gamble and embrace change has a greater chance of achieving success in their personal and professional lives. Whether it is in your personal life or in your professional life, there are 10 benefits of change to be aware of:

Flexibility

Frequent changes enable us to adapt to new environment, people, and situations.

Improvements

Without change, nothing improves by itself. Therefore, there would be no improvements in your finances, home, and income without change.

Life values

When you are open to change, you see things in your life differently. You’ll have an easier time re-evaluating your life. Sometimes, this enables you to reinforce your life values.

New beginnings

Change is about closing one chapter in your life and opening another. New beginnings arise and life becomes more exciting.

Opportunities

When you adapt to change in the workplace or make changes in your personal life, you will find that different opportunities present themselves. In many cases, change provides you with choices that bring about fulfillment and happiness.

Personal growth

Every time change occurs, you have an opportunity to grow and learn. You discover insights into your life and certain aspects of it.

Progress

Certain aspects of our personal and professional lives develop and improve as change has a way of triggering progress.

Routine

Without change, your life would be routine. It would be dull, predictable, and very uninteresting without it.

Snowball effect

When we attempt to make big, immediate changes, we often give up because we feel like we just can’t do this. It is during such times that making smaller changes can become very important. Making these smaller changes can result in your bigger, desired changes or goals.

Strength

Unfortunately, change sometimes leads us to unpleasant times in our lives. When you overcome these difficult periods, you grow stronger as a result.

In addition to the above, change accommodates personal and professional growth. It helps us to address specific problems at home and at work while staying up to date on market trends and technological advancements.

Although change may seem inconvenient at times, it has a way of bringing about benefits in a company setting. Some changes enable companies to attract higher caliber job candidates such as changing their pay and benefit structure.

10 Tips for Dealing with Change

Be flexible

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

You improve your chances of succeeding by being flexible and adapting to change. Take a look at what is required of you in these new circumstances after changes have been implemented in your professional life.

Communication is imperative

This is especially true when you are facing changes. Effective communication has a positive impact while the lack of it has negative consequences.

Continue with your work as usual

Corporate reorganizations are never fun. It’s easy to have a bad attitude when changes are implemented in the workplace since you don’t know if the work you are doing will continue being important.

Envision the big picture

Realize that the goals of making change are usually beneficial. The sooner you see the big picture, the better off you will be.

Maintain your network of contacts

Whether external or internal, your network of contacts can be invaluable. They can be a sounding board and share their experiences regarding change.

Perform self-assessments

When planning for the future, many companies will analyze opportunities, strengths, threats, and weaknesses in order to determine what they need to improve on. Self-assessment also helps individuals determine their strengths and weaknesses while showing the areas that need work.

Realize that change is inevitable and is the only aspect of our lives that is constant

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

As we grow older, we experience change in our personal lives. Why should it be any different in our careers and professional lives?

Recognize the stages of change

These include shock, denial, guilt, anger, and moving on. In some way, the stages of change resemble the stages of grief over the death of a loved one.

Stay alert for subtle clues in your surroundings

Try to listen in on the rumor mill at work. Are there meetings occurring that you are not invited to? Is your boss acting distant towards you? Realize that change is desirable but also recognize when it is happening in your surrounding.

Stay positive

Keeping a positive attitude during change will enable you to handle the uncertainties that come with it.

The day-to-day choices you make influence whether you maintain vitality as you age or develop life-shortening illnesses and disabling conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. You may understand exactly what you need to do to enjoy a healthier, happier life: carve out time to exercise, perhaps, or find a way to ratchet down stress. There’s just one hitch. You haven’t done it yet.

Often, the biggest hurdle is inertia. It’s true that it isn’t easy to change ingrained habits like driving to nearby locations instead of walking, let’s say, or reaching for a donut instead of an apple. However, gradually working toward change improves your odds of success. Here are some strategies that can help you enact healthy change in your life, no matter what change (or changes) you’d like to make.

Seven steps to shape your personal plan

Shaping your personal plan starts with setting your first goal. Break down choices that feel overwhelming into tiny steps that can help you succeed.

  1. Select a goal. Choose a goal that is the best fit for you. It may not be the first goal you feel you should choose. But you’re much more likely to succeed if you set priorities that are compelling to you and feel attainable at present.
  2. Ask a big question. Do I have a big dream that pairs with my goal? A big dream might be running a marathon or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, wiggling back into a closet full of clothes you love, cutting back on blood pressure medication, or playing games and sports energetically with your children. One word to the wise: if you can’t articulate a big dream, don’t get hung up on this step. You can still succeed in moving toward your goal through these other approaches.
  3. Pick your choice for change. Select a choice that feels like a sure bet. Do you want to eat healthier, stick to exercise, diet more effectively, ease stress? It’s best to concentrate on just one choice at a time. When a certain change fits into your life comfortably, you can then focus on the next change.
  4. Commit yourself. Make a written or verbal promise to yourself and one or two supporters you don’t want to let down: your partner or child, a teacher, doctor, boss, or friends. That will encourage you to slog through tough spots. Be explicit about the change you’ve chosen and why it matters to you. If it’s a step toward a bigger goal, include that, too. I’m making a commitment to my health by planning to take a mindful walk, two days a week. This is my first step to a bigger goal: doing a stress-reducing activity every day (and it helps me meet another goal: getting a half-hour of exercise every day). I want to do this because I sleep better, my mood improves, and I’m more patient with family and friends when I ease the stress in my life.
  5. Scout out easy obstacles. Maybe you’d love to try meditating, but can’t imagine having the time to do it. Or perhaps your hopes for eating healthier run aground if you’re hungry when you walk through the door at night, or your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator aren’t well-stocked with healthy foods.
  6. Brainstorm ways to leap over obstacles. Now think about ways to overcome those roadblocks. Not enough time? I’ll get up 20 minutes early for exercises and fit in a 10-minute walk before lunch. Cupboard bare of healthy choices? I’ll think about five to 10 healthy foods I enjoy and will put them on my grocery list.
  7. Plan a simple reward. Is there a reward you might enjoy for a job well done? For example, if you hit most or all of your marks on planned activities for one week, you’ll treat yourself to a splurge with money you saved by quitting smoking, a luxurious bath, or just a double helping of trhe iTunes application “Attaboy.” Try to steer clear of food rewards, since this approach can be counterproductive.

Breaking it down

Taking a 10-minute walk as part of a larger plan to exercise, or deciding to drink more water and less soda, certainly seem like easy choices. Even so, breaking them down further can help you succeed.

Here are a few examples of how you can break a goal into smaller bites.

Take a 10-minute walk

  • Find my comfortable walking shoes or buy a pair.
  • Choose days and times to walk, and then pencil this in on the calendar.
  • Think about a route.
  • Think about possible obstacles and solutions. If it’s raining hard, what’s Plan B? (I’ll do 10 minutes of mixed marching, stair climbing, and jumping rope before dinner.) Maybe I dislike getting my work clothes sweaty. If I’m planning to hop off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way home, what could I do? (I’ll need T-shirts to change into at work. If I bring in five every Monday, I’m covered. I’ll put my walking shoes in my work bag at night.)

Drink more water, less soda

  • Find my water bottle (or buy one).
  • Wash out the bottle, fill it up, and put it in the refrigerator at night.
  • Put a sticky note on the front door, or on my bag, to remind me to take the water bottle with me.
  • At work, take a break in the morning and one in the afternoon to freshen up my water bottle. This is a good time to notice how much (or little) I’m drinking.
  • When I get home from work, scrub out my water bottle for the following day and repeat.

Track my budget for a month

  • Every night, put all receipts and paid bills in an envelope placed in a visible spot.
  • Choose one: a) buy budget-tracking computer software, such as Quicken or QuickBooks; b) buy a similar application for my phone; c) use a debit card for every purchase; d) tuck a notepad into my purse or pocket to record all purchases.
  • Follow instructions to load software on computer, or application on phone, if I’ve chosen to use it.
  • Schedule 30 minutes at the end of the two-week mark to go over expenses with an eye toward identifying low-hanging fruit to trim. Sort expenses into categories first (rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, entertainment, etc.). Consider what categories to trim. Set a goal to reduce or eliminate some of these expenses (for example: cut out 5% of spending across the board or in one category, ride a bike to work rather than paying commuter fees, or make my own coffee rather than buying it).
  • At the end of the fourth week, review all spending categories and add up the money I’ve saved. Decide on an appropriate reward — maybe spending half the money, spending time in a pleasurable pursuit, or just basking in praise for a job well done.

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As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Career and Success

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

Many people yearn for personal transformation without knowing how to jump-start such a major change in their lives. They generally waste energy on false starts or take a few steps in the right direction, only to find that old habits and conditioning pull them back to where they began, or very close to that.

What is takes to create a major shift is planning and consciousness. You must be aware of what your goal is and then set down on paper how you intend to get there. The method is the same whether you are aiming for a change in your relationship, career, or inner growth. Consciousness is the moving force behind all life changes, but it can’t help you until you offer a direction.

Here, then, are 10 steps that should be part of your action plan.

Step 1: Be Clear About Your Intention

Everyone’s mind is filled with desires, wishes, dreams, and memories, creating crosscurrents of intention. To be supported in what you want, your intention has to be clear and focused. Don’t think, “I want my life to change.” Be specific and precise: “I want my job situation to improve,” for example, is a little more precise. But focus needs to be even sharper, such as “I want to be appreciated at work by my supervisor.” Or “I want more responsibility and challenge.”

Step 2: Go Inside and Let Your Desire Ripen and Mature

In other words, meditate on your intention. With eyes closed, sitting quietly, get yourself centered. It may help to gently follow your breath for a minute or two. Visualize what you want to achieve. Don’t force the images and don’t fantasize. See the change you desire as clearly as you might see what your house looks like. Be realistic and calm as you see the new situation that you want to unfold.

Step 3: Feel Your Response to Your Intention

As you sit and mediate on your desired change, various feelings and sensations will come to the surface. Not all will be positive. You might feel resistance or discouragement or anxiety. This is good, because only in daydreams does everything look easy and perfect, because you’re in a state of fantasy. By feeling the resistance inside yourself, you are getting closer to a realistic outcome that’s successful.

Step 4: Let Go of Your Intention

To achieve your life change, you will be making many small decisions in the coming days. You can’t predict what these will be. In fact, for most people, looking ahead leads to discouragement. They don’t see a clear path, and unknown obstacles are certain to crop up. To avoid this kind of self-defeatism, don’t try to predict the future or conquer the unknown. Let the path unfold, which means letting go.

Step 5: Deal With Your Resistance

This, too, is a place where many people falter. After seeing how much benefit they’d get from a life change, they find it too difficult to face their inner resistance. By resistance I mean the feelings that say “No” to your intention. These can be rooted in insecurity, past failure, inertia, doubt, anxiety—the list goes on and on. But realistically, everyone has these resistances, including the people who successfully overcame them.

Step 6: Make a Plan to Overcome Obstacles

As daunting as it looks when you consider how much inner resistance you might have, paring it down into workable pieces is the key. Sit down and rationally plan what you need to do and what is actually feasible. I am a strong believer in gathering allies to help with any major life change. Going it alone sounds brave, but it actually isolates you and makes you vulnerable. Find someone you can trust, whether it’s a confidant, spouse, mentor, or therapist. Pick someone who takes your life change as seriously as you do. Meet frequently, and share what’s happening emotionally, because your emotional landscape is bound to change as you undergo any major shift.

Step 7: Pursue Only What’s Feasible

With your ally or allies, make a list in three columns. In these columns you are going to assess what needs to change. Column 1 is about things you can start to fix. Column 2 contains the things you have to put up with—for now. Column 3 contains the things you have to walk away from. Take your time. Go back to your lists repeatedly, until you get a clear view of your situation. Only then should you act.

Step 8: Achieve Something Positive

Success breeds success. Start fixing the small things that you feel more confident about. Don’t tackle huge personal issues in your life. Chop away at them through action you can control. It really helps to find someone who has gotten to the goal you have set for yourself. Asking someone who’s been there is invaluable.

Step 9: See the Project as an Inner Path

Even though you’re taking action, the real change will happen in your own awareness. Walk the path as an inner path; monitor what’s happening inside—a journal is a good idea here. By being self-aware, you give old habits and conditioning less of a chance to pull you backward. And if you do take a step back, note it, forgive yourself, and regroup. No matter what happens in the outside world, no one can take your inner path away from you.

Step 10: Connect with Higher Guidance

Depending on your personal beliefs, you can look to God, your soul, your higher self, your inner source—the terminology doesn’t matter. What you need is a connection with whatever makes you feel trusting and safe. Only with such a connection are major life changes achieved. For me, the path to the core of my being is through meditation, so I recommend it strongly. But it’s up to you to connect with your own core, the place where desires meet fulfillment.

I hope these 10 steps make your life change seem realistic and reachable. You mind, body, and spirit are designed for change. All you need is the self-confidence to know that you can set any goal that matches your highest vision. After that, the unfolding of success is a joint venture between you and yourself.

Find balance anywhere, anytime with the new Chopra App. Download it now for hundreds of personalized guided meditations at your fingertips.

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.”

From time to time I read my old journals. When the moment strikes me, I choose a journal at random from my bookshelf.

This time it was the beautiful green and gold one my mom had given me in what must have been September of 2010, because the writing chronicles my life from September 20, 2010 to January 1, 2011.

Basically, it is my perceptive exactly two years ago.

I had just started my second year of grad school and I was a month into my internship at an outpatient drug and alcohol rehab facility.

I loved what I was doing and I was really good at it. With conviction, I had found my passion.

During these documented months of my life, I was also:

  • Catching myself being “in my head” and too hard on myself
  • Feeling angry with my parents after identifying the residual effects of the parenting I received, and then forgiving my mom for not understanding how to foster my spirit
  • Exploring my birth chart, seeing a psychic (or two), and using meditation and Dan Millman’s ideas to find my life purpose
  • “Practicing” with men and dissecting the happenings of all my past romantic relationships
  • Recognizing self-sabotage and self-deprecating tendencies and making an effort to change my self-talk (what I say and how I converse with myself when alone)
  • Beginning to understand that my thoughts affect my behavior, which impacts the circumstances of my life
  • Learning how to love myself, faults and all, and how to be my own partner so I know how I want a man to treat me
  • Practicing presence—trying to stay in the moment
  • Asking myself the hard-to-answer questions that I had previously been skilled at avoiding. Example: Why is my heart closed-off?
  • Investigating vulnerability, yet still feeling unable to attempt it in any real way
  • Trying to set personal goals
  • Starting to have close, meaningful relationships with intelligent, curious, and motivated women for the first time in my life
  • Acknowledging guilt I felt about making my life what I want it to be
  • Struggling with verbal communication and assertiveness—what I needed to say to people in my life
  • Starting to see what love really means—the action, the verb, instead of a noun

Reading my words from two years ago at a completely different stage in my life has allowed me to see the complex undertaking of change from a new viewpoint.

I had two thoughts in reading them:

I need to stop every now and then to thank myself for doing this difficult personal work and give myself credit for what I have accomplished.

While I am still working on many of the things on the list, I have come a long way.

I believe we are a constant work-in-progress and never a finished product, but without recognition of milestones and bravery, what’s the point of all the hard work and change?

What am I working so hard for if I can’t enjoy the benefits of being an ever-evolving, flawed creature of the human race?

After giving myself a pat on the back, a hug, and a homemade smoothie, I remembered that there was a second thought…

I am curious about how change actually happens.

What does changing really entail? What on my list have I continued to change? How did I change that which has changed?

What on my list did I stop working on changing? What hasn’t changed that I wanted, and still want, to change? How can I determine progress?

Overall, what is change and how is it accomplished?

Since I’ve documented my life, I can see cyclical patterns in my thoughts, behaviors, and relationships.

I have worked to create what I think can serve as a successful 10-Point Protocol for Change:

1. Assess how things are now.

What do you see in yourself? What are you doing? How do you operate in a given situation? What consequences (good and bad) are you experiencing because of what you see yourself doing?

2. Accept yourself as you are.

Today, right now in your life, this is who and how you are. Decide that you love yourself no matter what.

3. Take responsibility.

Be honest with yourself and take responsibility for all that you are doing and not doing (good and bad), and the effects your actions have on others and yourself (good and bad).

4. Identify what you want to change.

What do you want to change about yourself? What actions or behaviors are you demonstrating that are not helping you? What would be a better option for you in each identified situation? What do you want to do differently?

5. Commit to making that change.

Make the decision to do the work and to make the change(s) you’ve listed. Form an agreement with yourself in whatever way is helpful to you (written or otherwise) so that you know you will do what you say you want to do.

6. Educate yourself.

Seek internal and external resources to gather information on how you can make the change(s) that you just committed to making.

Be honest about your past so that your can use your own set of experiences to break patterns that no longer serve you.

7. Set goals.

Make the change process tangible and measurable, to an extent. What can you do each day to get yourself closer to who you want to be? Write down, from little to big, the goals you will achieve.

8. Take action toward your goals.

Every day, honor your commitment. Act with an awareness of the changes you are making. Do things and engage in behaviors that are congruent with your goals.

9. Have compassion for yourself.

It is said that it takes 30 days to change a habit, so be patient and kind to yourself during this journey. Express your gratitude to yourself for doing the work. Love yourself each day so that you believe you are worthy of the change(s).

10. Take time to reflect.

Take the time to assess your progress. Love and praise yourself for each bit of change you are making. Revise your goals or any other part of this protocol as you deem necessary. Learn from what you’re doing, or not doing. Do the best you can.

The things that started being important to me two years ago are still things that I am working to sustain everyday. I am doing the work, and now with this system in place, I know that I can continue making the changes that I see best for me.

My life circumstances two years later are different. I’m not doing what I believed to be my passion at that time.

I’m taking action on an even bigger dream that I couldn’t have realized and committed to if I hadn’t opened the door to my own curiosity and started my own journey of personal change.

Are you ready to make the changes you’ve been contemplating for days, weeks, months, or even years?

I hope this system provides you with the structure you need to change and evolve!

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It’s not easy to find the courage to make a change in your life. Take a deep breath. You got this. . [+] Photo: Shutterstock

In my work as the executive director of Path Forward, I’ve talked to literally hundreds of women who are navigating the transition from being full-time caregivers back to their professional careers. One theme that I’ve been struck by is how often they will comment that they’ve been thinking about returning to work for “years.” It generally doesn’t matter how long or short their break was — they spent a long time contemplating a return before they actually started putting that contemplation into motion.

Without question there are logistical reasons why women (and, in some cases, men) who’ve taken a break in their career struggle to find a way back. There is very strong bias against caregivers who want to restart their careers. There is the question of what to do about summer and after-school childcare. And, also, there is fear — of failure , of change, of the unknown.

Those who want to restart their careers are not unique in this regard — both in terms of having real obstacles to overcome and any number of fears holding them back. Many of us want to make changes in our lives — get a promotion, start a business, move to a new city. Whatever change you want to make, here are four ways to find the courage to take the leap.

Don’t worry until you have to. Many of us tend to game out multiple scenarios of what could happen if we do something new or different. This can be a valuable tool for avoiding pitfalls and finding expeditious paths toward our goals. But, at its most extreme, it can lead to analysis paralysis — an inability to move forward because we are terrified of possible bad outcomes that may never come to pass. I was once asked, after I gave a talk on how to restart your career, “But what if I do

Remind yourself of a time that it worked out. If you need a mental habit to replace your worrying, consider spending time thinking about times that change has worked out for you. Our brains are wired to remember (and therefore avoid) bad stuff, so it takes some effort to remind yourself of when you successfully overcame an obstacle or made a big life change. It helps to think about a change that, like most, had some ups and downs but ultimately worked out. For me, becoming a mom was a big confidence boost because it was such a huge change. I had to learn everything about taking care of a little baby without a lot of training. When I was contemplating taking the reins at Path Forward — a daunting prospect since I’d never started a company or run a nonprofit — the idea that I was the mom to two amazing kids helped remind me that I could successfully do something I’d never done before.

Be open to opportunities. When we decide to make a change we sometimes get stuck on what we believe that change needs to look like. I see this with people seeking promotions — if they don’t get the next job when they ask for it they get stuck. But there may be other options that you hadn’t considered, and losing the promotion can give you the space to think more broadly about your future. This is also very true of career changes. There are often many different ways to explore new interests and see where they lead.

Get out of your rut. Routines can be great. They reduce decision fatigue, keep you disciplined and generally make life easier. But when you are trying to make a change in your life, your routine can easily turn into a rut that is keeping you from moving in a new direction. Try making some small changes to your schedule, your morning, your diet — anything that will help you get a fresh perspective. These small changes to your day-to-day can be a catalyst for bigger changes and make you feel more confident in making change in general.

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

For most of us, change is inevitable. It’s something that’s bound to happen sooner or later. And when it does happen, whether in your personal and professional life, you’ll find yourself in a really difficult position.

Anticipating the changes is one way to make them easier to adjust to. However, as change often means stepping out of comfort zones, making the necessary adjustments won’t be as easy as it sounds. And as a result, achieving your goals becomes harder, too.

Why are people so afraid of change?

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

Even though you may want to control your own destiny, making changes in your life may be so intimidating that you will end up settling for less or doing nothing at all. There are 6 reasons why so many people are afraid of change.

  • Agonizing over certain decisions because you feel isolated
  • Clinging to those perks, possessions, and statuses that you have acquired along the way
  • Doubting yourself and feeling that you are not up to the challenge of making changes
  • Fear of the unknown and being reluctant to take any chances
  • Focusing too much on the external world around you instead of yourself
  • Overlooking the fact that there are always options available

It’s important to remember that you never have to settle for what transpires when making changes in your personal and professional life. When you have enough confidence to act in the face of your fears about change, it gives you a sense of control. Ultimately, it will provide you with a purpose in life.

10 Benefits of Change

Conversely, the person who is willing to gamble and embrace change has a greater chance of achieving success in their personal and professional lives. Whether it is in your personal life or in your professional life, there are 10 benefits of change to be aware of:

Flexibility

Frequent changes enable us to adapt to new environment, people, and situations.

Improvements

Without change, nothing improves by itself. Therefore, there would be no improvements in your finances, home, and income without change.

Life values

When you are open to change, you see things in your life differently. You’ll have an easier time re-evaluating your life. Sometimes, this enables you to reinforce your life values.

New beginnings

Change is about closing one chapter in your life and opening another. New beginnings arise and life becomes more exciting.

Opportunities

When you adapt to change in the workplace or make changes in your personal life, you will find that different opportunities present themselves. In many cases, change provides you with choices that bring about fulfillment and happiness.

Personal growth

Every time change occurs, you have an opportunity to grow and learn. You discover insights into your life and certain aspects of it.

Progress

Certain aspects of our personal and professional lives develop and improve as change has a way of triggering progress.

Routine

Without change, your life would be routine. It would be dull, predictable, and very uninteresting without it.

Snowball effect

When we attempt to make big, immediate changes, we often give up because we feel like we just can’t do this. It is during such times that making smaller changes can become very important. Making these smaller changes can result in your bigger, desired changes or goals.

Strength

Unfortunately, change sometimes leads us to unpleasant times in our lives. When you overcome these difficult periods, you grow stronger as a result.

In addition to the above, change accommodates personal and professional growth. It helps us to address specific problems at home and at work while staying up to date on market trends and technological advancements.

Although change may seem inconvenient at times, it has a way of bringing about benefits in a company setting. Some changes enable companies to attract higher caliber job candidates such as changing their pay and benefit structure.

10 Tips for Dealing with Change

Be flexible

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

You improve your chances of succeeding by being flexible and adapting to change. Take a look at what is required of you in these new circumstances after changes have been implemented in your professional life.

Communication is imperative

This is especially true when you are facing changes. Effective communication has a positive impact while the lack of it has negative consequences.

Continue with your work as usual

Corporate reorganizations are never fun. It’s easy to have a bad attitude when changes are implemented in the workplace since you don’t know if the work you are doing will continue being important.

Envision the big picture

Realize that the goals of making change are usually beneficial. The sooner you see the big picture, the better off you will be.

Maintain your network of contacts

Whether external or internal, your network of contacts can be invaluable. They can be a sounding board and share their experiences regarding change.

Perform self-assessments

When planning for the future, many companies will analyze opportunities, strengths, threats, and weaknesses in order to determine what they need to improve on. Self-assessment also helps individuals determine their strengths and weaknesses while showing the areas that need work.

Realize that change is inevitable and is the only aspect of our lives that is constant

How to make changes in life to be the best version of you

As we grow older, we experience change in our personal lives. Why should it be any different in our careers and professional lives?

Recognize the stages of change

These include shock, denial, guilt, anger, and moving on. In some way, the stages of change resemble the stages of grief over the death of a loved one.

Stay alert for subtle clues in your surroundings

Try to listen in on the rumor mill at work. Are there meetings occurring that you are not invited to? Is your boss acting distant towards you? Realize that change is desirable but also recognize when it is happening in your surrounding.

Stay positive

Keeping a positive attitude during change will enable you to handle the uncertainties that come with it.