As a life coach, in interviews and conversations with people, I often get asked, ‘How can I change my life?’. My own life transformation journey began in 2008., when I hit the rock bottom in every area of my life – I was depressed and physically unwell, which as a consequence lead me to drop out of college. Therapy, yoga, healthy diet, and later on coaching and self development work (seminars, workshops, retreats, and reading hundreds of self-help books) helped me to recover and transform my life.
I enrolled in Journalism college, where I obtained my Bachelor Of Journalism degree and rediscovered my passion for writing, met my husband, got married, flew to my honeymoon in Paris, spent few months in India, and started blogging and writing articles. I was learning and doing what I loved, traveling a lot, writing, attending workshops, seminars, and retreats, doing a lot of self development work, and after a long time, I started feeling genuinely fulfilled.
After graduating from college, my vegetarian blog went viral, I co-founded an online magazine and moved to India with my husband in 2014., where I decided to pursue my long time dream of becoming a Life Coach (‘an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems‘ – MWD*).
Since 2015. I’ve been helping many people over the years as a life coach to change their lives. I worked with clients from 4 continets and I’ve been giving otivational speeches and live and online coaching workshops internationally. I am the author of ‘Self Worth’ book and 300+ articles on the topic of personal growth (published in multiple languages in various magazines, including COSMOPOLITAN, LJEPOTA&ZDRAVLJE, Sensa, et al.) My work and my message have reached and impacted more than 1 MILLION people over the last 10 years. People from 73 countries have enrolled in my online coaching programs.
In this blog post, I will share the 10 steps that can help YOU to transform your life and achieve your goals in any area of your life, no matter how stuck you may be feeling right now or how ‘impossible’ your goals may seem:
Self discovery is the first step in this process, as it can help you to get clarity on what do you want to improve, change, and accomplish in your life. It is also important that you get the clarity about your core values, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses, because if your goals are not aligned with your core values and your genuine desires, even if you achieve massive success, you can end up feeling unfulfilled.
You would be surprised how often I’ve heard in my coaching practice people saying: “I have achieved everything that I wanted, and I am earning more money that could ever dreamed of, but I am not feeling fulfilled”. It is very important that you take some time to reflect on not just the goals you want to achieve, but also your values, your beliefs, how your ideal lifestyle would look like, how your ideal working day would look like, what kind of contribution do you truly want to make in the world, what makes you genuinely fulfilled and what drains you, and are the goals you ant to achieve aligned with your value and driven by your true desires or other people’s expectations of you, low self-worth, or socially constructed paradigms that you are trying to fit in.
Goal is a ‘dream with a deadline’. Not having clearly defined goals is like driving around in your car without knowing where you want to reach, while spending the most precious fuel that you’ve got – your time. It has also been proven scientifically that setting goals and writing about our goals increases our chances to achieve them.
Dr. Gail Matthews, a professor at the Dominican University of California in her research study about setting goals, has discovered that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. Setting goals is linked with higher motivation, self-esteem, self-confidence, and autonomy (Locke & Latham, 2006).
While setting goals, make sure they are specific and measurable, as vague goal give vague results. Setting a goal of eating healthier is vague. Setting a goal of having one green smoothie in the morning, or eating a plant based diet one day in a week, is specific and therefor more likely to be achieved.
Your beliefs about yourself, what you are capable of, what is (im)possible for you, and what you deserve will set the subconscious limit for what you are able to have, be(come), or accomplish. If you are feeling stuck in any area of your life, chances are that you have subconscious limiting beliefs that are holding you back.
The following two examples from sport demonstrate the power of beliefs. Before 1945. people believed that you could not run a mile in under 4 minutes, this was a belief that everyone shared, which meant it was an easy belief to back up with evidence. In 1945. Roger Banister ran a mile in under 4 minutes – instantly breaking that belief, and the following year 37 other runners ran a mile in under 4 minutes!
Vasily Alexeev, a world-class Russian weightlifter, could not lift 500 pounds, though he routinely lifted 495 pounds. In 1974, his coach played a trick on him to prove a point. He put 500 pounds on the bar and told Vasily the bar had 495 pounds on it. Thinking it was only 495 pounds, Vasily lifted the bar as usual. After Vasily was told he had lifted 500 pounds, he changed his belief and was able to do it in the competition.
No matter how much time, effort, and energy we put in into achieving our goals, if we have any limiting beliefs about ourselves (we feel undeserving, or we don’t truly believe that we’re capable of achieving that goal) we can sabotage ourselves in the process. Therefor, as much as it is important to take action on our goals, it is also very important to work on our mindset.
“We typically avoid situations or fields in which we fear we might fail, even if we actually have the abilities it takes to succeed at a job, if we lack the belief that we can handle its challenges, we can start to act in ways that doom us. The thought ‘I can not do this’ is crippling.” (Daniel Goleman)
In order to achieve your goals and make positive changes in your life, you need to start taking action steps that will help you get to the place you want to be. Once you set your goals, write down an action plan and start taking consistent action steps to achieve your goals.
Break your long term goals into short term goals, and then brainstorm all the action steps you need to take to achieve those goals. Pick the action steps that will work best for you and commit to taking the action required to make positive changes in your life.
Do not underestimate the power of consistent actions steps. For example, if you write just one book page every day, in one year you are going to write 365 pages. If you create and publish one podcast episode, or one blog post, or one article every week, at the in one year you are going to have the archive of 52 published podcasts, blogs, or articles! If you do just one small action step every day towards your goals, imagine what could you achieve in one year (whether you make one phone call a day or send one e-mail a day to a potential client or customer, have one networking lunch or coffee meeting, learn a new language for 30 minutes a day, eat one healthy meal a day, practice your public speaking for 15 minutes a day, or do a short daily workout session). And just imagine if you do three steps every day towards your goals (that would make 1095 action steps in one year) – how could that positively benefit to your career, your financial wellbeing, your health, and your life?
You have to be committed to work on your goals in order to change anything in your life. Feeling resistance towards change or pain (for example, pain of work out) is our brain’s way of protecting us from ‘pain’ and keeping us safe in our comfort zone. Knowing that, you need to strengthen your self-discipline by doing the action steps required on a regular basis (in order to form a new habit), even if it feels uncomfortable in the beginning.
Planning your time is also important – you need to schedule the action steps that you need to take to achieve your goals in your planner or calendar. I often say to my clients: ‘If it is not scheduled, it will probably not get done’. Having a ‘goal’ of working out two times a week can set you up for failure, as you can easily procrastinate for ‘tomorrow’ or get too ‘busy’ with your daily activities throughout the week. Scheduling a workout session for Tuesdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 8 pm will help you to truly commit, avoid procrastination, and have your time planned in advance for that particular activity. Reflect on what activities can you eliminate, delegate, or automate in order to have more time to work on your goals, career or business, focus on your health, or enjoy quality time with your family?
You get in life and relationships what you believe you deserve and what you are willing to tolerate and settle for. The standards you set for yourself, for your finances, lifestyle, relationships, and health will determine the quality of your life. Your self worth correlates to your net worth, as money is the symbol of value exchange. If you do not value yourself enough, or you do not believe that what you’re offering has a lot of value, you will undercharge for your services or products.
Reticular Activating System (RAS) is “one of two parts of the reticular formation in the brain-stem that filters out repetitive stimuli, preventing sensory overload*”. Our mind is constantly bombarded by a great due of information. “It has been estimated that, through our five senses, we receive millions of bits of information each second of the day, whereas our conscious mind can only deal with 126 bits per second (based on work by Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of the book ‘Flow’, who estimates that we use 40 bits per second to understand one person speaking to us).” We are able to consciously perceive only the tiny percentage of information that we filter out from the overload of information we are bombarded with every second.
RAS filters the information that we receive, according to our beliefs, what we chose to focus on, and our expectations. Having that in mind, we can truly understand the meaning of phrases: ‘Change Your Beliefs – Change Your Life’ and ‘What You Focus On, Expands‘. By choosing to consciously focus on the things that we want to obtain, achieve, and manifest in our life, we can start ‘noticing’ the things, people, resources, information, and opportunities that can lead us toward the fulfillment of our goals and desires. Writing about our goals, creating a vision board, visualisation, interior decor elements that keep us reminded on our goals (f.e. motivational quotes, books, planner…), and information we expose ourselves to (podcast, magazines, articles, books, blogs…) can help us to keep the focus on our goals.
Our environment (people we spend time with, interior decor, information we are exposed to…) is subconsciously influencing us 24/7. Reflect on what kind of information and conversations you are exposing yourself to? What changes you can make in your working or living space that can help you in adopting new empowering beliefs and habits? What kind of people you should surround yourself with in order to become a better version of yourself and achieve your goals faster? It is much easier to eat healthier food in a company of people who lead a healthy lifestyle, be more physically active in a company of people who love sports and spending time outdoors, or to build a successful business if we spend a lot of time with other successful entrepreneurs.
Psychology research studies performed by Anthony Grant, Ph.D., director of the Coaching Psychology Unit of the School of Psychology, University of Sydney confirmed that ‘Working with a life coach can help you not only to achieve your goals, but also to improve your overall well-being, resilience, and reduce stress’. Statistics from the American Society for Training and Development provide insight that a person’s probability of achieving a goal increases from 50% to 95% when one has a coach or a mentor to keep him/her accountable and help put the idea and plan into action. Can you find an expert (nutritionist, life coach, legal or financial adviser…), mentor, or a coach (life coach, fitness coach, business coach…) to guide you, give you the right and proven strategy and tools, and help you achieve your goals much faster? Many of my clients told me that they have achieved more in 6 months while working with me than in 6 years on their own.
One of my mentors once said that if you read a self-help book and put it on the shelf, without applying the advice in it, it becomes a ‘shelf-help’ – it can motivate you, inspire you, provide you with powerful insights, but if you do not take action and put that advice into practice, your life not significantly change. Although the advice in this blog post is helpful, and proven by science and in coaching practice to give results, in order to change your life you need to take action and apply it. If you are truly committed to changing your life and achieving your goals, there are three ACTION steps you can TAKE right NOW:
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