For a week, take fifteen minutes of quiet time each evening. Focus on one question (for example, ‘Am I comfortable with myself?’) and write down your thoughts. Think through the whole day’s interactions and how you felt. When were you being authentic? When weren’t you being truly yourself?
Devise a realistic, step-by-step plan to break bad habits
Want to start exercising? Aim for one workout a week, then build it up.
Learn a new skill or seek professional guidance if you feel deficient in a particular area. For example, if you’ve always believed you ‘can’t entertain’ but would love to, try a cookery course.
THE 5-STEP PLAN TO MAKE YOUR DREAMS REALITY
1. Sort out your priorities
When you’re constantly meeting other people’s demands, your own priorities get elbowed out. Take a moment to establish what you want. Analyse what’s eating up your time, and decide which people and activities are important to you. It sounds ruthless (and it is) but you have to ditch the things that keep you from achieving your goals. For instance, by restricting your TV watching, or seeing less of friends who exude negativity, you could free up time for yoga classes or Spanish lessons.
2. Turn your dreams into goals
The things we want to do often start as a dream or vision. The trick is to turn your idea into a practical set of achievable goals. A goal is a dream with a deadline: it’s a defined, specific, measurable stepping stone to your ideal. Write down your dreams and translate them into realistic goals. For example, ‘To find a fabulous job’ is a dream; ‘Revise CV and send it to three agencies by the end of a month’ is a goal.
3. Dangle carrots
Reward yourself for achieving goals. If you’ve lost those five kilograms, treat yourself to a full-body massage. If you vowed you’d throw a party when you moved into your own flat, do it. Delivering on your promises to yourself will motivate you to conquer further goals.
4. Take responsibility
Accept that you are the designer of your destiny. When you blame circumstances for your inaction, you surrender your power, which makes you even less likely to get off your butt. But don’t blame yourself either. By whining, ‘Why do I never see things through? I’m hopeless,’ you’ll take yourself into further negativity instead of learning from your experiences.
5. Don’t think; just do it
If you wait for your mysterious inner reserves of willpower and inspiration to strike, you’ll wait a very long time – possibly forever. Instead, switch off your voices of doubt, trust the gut feeling that tells you to go for it, and get started.