There is a lot of talk, writing, and effort at the beginning of the year about what you might want to accomplish and how to get there. But who says you can only take stock of your life between Christmas and right after New Year’s Day? Of course, you can do those things anytime. Here are 10 “life hacks” to ensure that you can be successful at whatever you do.
10. Set Goals
If you don’t know where you want to go, how will you know that you have arrived? You have to define what success looks like, so you know when you have achieved it. Of course, the beginning of the year is when everyone likes to make goals, but you can set a new goal or set of goals any day of the year. If you set a goal to exercise more in January, there will be a long line at the gym. If you decide in May you want to exercise more, the crowds are smaller. So don’t think you have to wait until Christmas to set a new goal.
9. Write out a plan
If where you are now is your origin, and the goals you set are the destination, the plan is the route to which you go from origin to destination. How will you get from Point A to Point B? If your goal is to go from 200 pounds to 175, how will you do it? Lay out specific steps. If you want to get a new job or start a business, write out what you need to do.
8. Take Risks
“Risk” is defined as “exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance.” Let’s focus on “exposure to the chance of loss.” This terrifies most people, but it’s an essential part of life. If you have a job that has a company retirement plan, you probably participate, and there is probably a component that is put in the stock market. There will be a day when the market is terrible, and your total amount in the plan will decrease. Does that mean you should not participate? Of course not. Over time, these plans usually grow in spite of days when things go wrong. Life is like that. You will take some risks that don’t work out, but that doesn’t mean you should never take a risk.
7. Stop doubting yourself
Self-doubt is the biggest factor that keeps people from taking risks. It’s time to stop being ruled by self-doubt. Do not focus on what you can’t do, instead of focusing on what you can do. There is no such thing as a person that is not good at anything. Zero in on what you do well and use that to move forward. You can certainly allow room to identify weaknesses and work to improve in those areas, but that must not dominate your life. Use your strengths to your advantage.
6. Practice self-love
Do you know what’s so amazing about you? Nobody can be you better than you. That’s pretty awesome! Own that. Show love to yourself by taking care of your body, giving yourself rewards whenever you reach a goal and give yourself a big reward when you reach a major goal. When you love yourself, you can then love others, and others can love you.
5. Leave the past alone
One thing is certain about this train of life – it has no reverse gear. When the sun comes up each morning, yesterday is gone, and we can never go back. You can remember what happened yesterday and use what happened to ensure you don’t repeat mistakes, but you can’t go back and re-do yesterday. We have to leave the past in the past and not keep trying to live there. Life keeps moving forward, so we also need to keep moving forward.
4. Laugh more
Laughing causes the release of endorphins, which are chemicals known to bring stress levels lower and enhance a person’s sense of well-being. There is evidence laughter helps develop immune cells. And of course, laughter makes you happy. Wouldn’t you rather be happy than sad? Make sure there is plenty of laughter in your life.
3. Read 1 book each month
The most successful people are the ones who never stop learning. Learning is to your brain what the workout in the gym is to your body. If your first reaction to this is “I don’t have time to read,” stop and check. Most of us have some time-wasters in our day – mindless internet surfing or social media engagement, Netflix, etc. Some of that can be changed out for reading. Also, audiobooks are a great way to “read” while you are working out, shopping or commuting.
2. Start a hobby
Even though we said “start,” you probably already have a hobby. Make it a regular part of your life. If you truly don’t have a hobby, it’s easy to start one. Some hobbies include jogging or working out, arts or sports, something you want to learn further, or something you already do part of the time. Explore new options.
1. Go all-out for what makes you happy
Most of us have a pretty good idea of what makes us happy. If you aren’t sure, use these life hacks to get some ideas. Once you have a good idea, then you can go for it. The things that make you happy, go after them with everything you have. Life is too short to just trudge through, not being happy. Life is to be enjoyed. Find those things that make you happy and pursue them relentlessly.
Whether you are doing a life assessment at the very beginning of the year, the start of a season, on your birthday, or any other time, the important thing is to set yourself up for success. Using these 10 life hacks, you are on the way to accomplish whatever you have in mind to do. Here’s to your success!