Leo Tolstoy famously said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Most people I know aren’t completely satisfied with their lives. Money, health, weight, relationships, time, and work are the common culprits.
When it comes to change, you have two choices – wait for to happen or make it happen. As a time management consultant, I recommend the latter. Here are seven things you can start today that could pay off big time.
1. Join a gym
Tony Robbins says that physiology precedes psychology to take control of our state. Changing our thoughts and beliefs takes time but altering our physical body can be done by doing something as a short workout. Exercise releases endorphins and hormones which have an instantaneous effect on our feeling.
If a treadmill, swimming laps or lifting weights aren’t your thing, then try a rock-climbing gym. It’s remarkably effective in shedding pounds.
2. Sign up for a martial arts class
An even better way to get the blood pumping is to sign up for a martial arts class. You get in shape, and learn the ability to defend yourself. Two birds with one stone. There will be people who will say they’re too old, but I took up Karate at the age of 37 so it’s never too late.
3. Pick up a business / personal development book
“I hate reading,” is something I hear all too often when I suggest clients pick up a book. Jim Rohn, my virtual mentor, used to respond to people who don’t read well with “You’ve got to change that.” Reading opens doors. It challenges us to think. It forces us to work, but the payoff can be huge.
For those holdouts, there are always audiobooks. Personally, I would recommend starting with any of Jim Rohn’s audio programs. A small investment of money is a good motivator for many people to get started, but it’s by no means a guarantee. Just as a book must be read, audio programs need to be listened to. Turn your car into a university on wheels as Brian Tracy talks about in his 1000% formula. While multitasking is a myth, chunking is very real and a great way to boost your productivity.
Teaching is the ultimate test. If you know a subject matter well enough, you should be able to teach others. Teaching helps two people, the student and the teacher. The student might grow, but the teacher is the one that really benefits. That’s why I am constantly reaching out to podcasters to share my thoughts on productivity and life. I get a chance to hone my talent in my free time. You’d be surprised just how many podcasts there are out there looking for guests. If you have a USP, reach out to them.
Every person I know that has taken a six-month study abroad program comes back a changed person. There is no better way to open your eyes to all the possibilities and opportunities that exist than traveling. There are numerous ways to make money overseas to fund your stay, be creative. Teach English, be a model, do part-time jobs, find a sponsor, just find a way to travel.
6. Learn to love lists
Most people wake up in the morning and simply react to their environment. They check their emails first thing and then go work on dealing with the issues they need to address. Too many people have a hero complex, putting out fires makes them look good. There is no shortage of fires. In an effort to look effective, most people choose quantity over quality. But the real challenge in life is not to react to life, but to build your life. A to-do list done correctly will show you what really needs to be done.
What do you really want? I mean really, really want? Very few people have ever taken the time to think about this question. Most people are simply plugging away day in and day out, trying to make ends meet or enjoying their lives. Those that do have goals tend to have vague goals such as lose weight, have more money, or buy a new toy. Brian Tracy’s bestselling book, Flight Plan, talks about this very issue. Clear goals also allow people to apply the principle “begin with the end in mind” contained in Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Lists might not be fun, but they sure are effective.
7. Create a YouTube channel / podcast
Recently, a study by Harris revealed that the number one career choice for American kids is to become a YouTuber. So why wait? All one needs is a smartphone to get started. A good mic, an intro, a cool logo, nice lighting, and a good background are all things you can add later. If you’re shy, then maybe the podcast route is more for you. I was recently contacted by 13-year-old Nikola Ivanov who wants to interview entrepreneurs for his podcast. Fabulous! Get started early and time is on your side. There’s no overhead, no rent, no salaries, no utilities. Ai Addyson-Zheng became an influencer from her closet. There’s no excuse today for not working on your dreams and goals except the lies you tell yourself.
What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.
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