Are you in a bad situation that you want to stop?
Do you have a dream that you want to achieve?
If you said yes to either question, you are human, and you have something that makes you want to change your life. But self-improvement can be a challenge, unless you know how. Here are some ways that you can use to change your life.
Have an epiphany.
Epiphany means manifestation or revelation. The Bible shows many people who changed their lives after God revealed himself. Abraham moved with his family from Mesopotamia to Canaan, hundreds of miles away, after hearing the call of God. When Saul was on his way to Damascus, Jesus Christ revealed himself in the form of a bright light that blinded him. Later, Paul changed from being a persecutor of Christians to being an apostle of Christ.
In the Gospel, Jesus called his disciples, Peter, James, and John, to a mountain to pray. While they were praying, Jesus showed himself in his glory and his clothes became very white. He was also talking with the prophets Moses and Elijah. This event is the Transfiguration of our Lord.
For many of us, we do not see Jesus manifest himself or hear God call us to do something. But we sometimes experience small miracles or realize something profound. We can pray everyday so that we can understand the will of God for us. For people who are not religious or spiritual, we can reflect about how we can do better in our life.
Read the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
The Purpose Driven Life takes readers on a 40 day journey on how to discern God's purpose. I read this book while I was on break from school and was thinking about what I should do with my life. Everyday for 40 days, I copied the Bible verses and wrote my answers to questions in index cards. After 40 days, I felt blessed from reading this book. While I still do not know the exact path that I should take in my life, I have faith that God has called me to do good things and to bless people.
Know the reason why you want to change.
Many of us want to change to prevent something bad from destroying our lives. We exercise and eat healthfully so that we do not get sick. We save our income so that we do not have to borrow money. We work hard in our jobs so that we are not laid off.
But fear is not the only thing that can move us to change. Love is another reason to change, and it is also better for us. When we do something because it is good, we feel happier and we can sustain these actions for a longer time.
Read "The Secret to Succeeding in Anything" by Jomar Hilario.
Jomar Hilario, the Philippine expert on online work and author of Virtual Careers, tells us to think of an unstoppable reason why we want to change our lives. The unstoppable reason must be someone that you love.
For me, my unstoppable reason is my family. I want to do online work so that I can eventually stay at home and be with my family while earning dollars. I still want to read everything and solve problems, but it would be great if I can do most of my work at home.
Change your attitude.
We often change our lives because we realize that our previous behavior is not helping us. For example, a doctor may tell us to stop smoking or to eat less fat, so that we can live a more healthful lifestyle. If on the day before payday, we have many loans and debts, then we may decide that we will make more income and save more money so that we can pay people what we owe.
But we do not have to wait for something bad to happen before we can change our lives. We can change our attitude for the better even if we are already satisfied and content with our lives.
How can we change our attitude? We often change when we have a different perspective. We can seek advice from people, read inspirational books, and listen to motivational messages. Taking courses and watching TED videos can show us a different way of thinking that can change our attitude. Outreach activities can also help us be grateful about what we have.
Read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.
In this story, a camel boy becomes the best selling carpet trader and the greatest salesman in the ancient world. How does he do it? By reading ten scrolls that change his attitude and his habits so that he can sell better than anyone else.
I read this book in grade school because the text is simple and easy to understand. Ever since I read this short book, I also tried to read the scrolls three times everyday, but I cannot get past The Scroll Marked I. Now I am reading the scrolls again, and I hope to finish all of them by the end of 2016. Wish me success!
Change your environment.
If you surround yourself with people and things that lead you to your goal, you make your life goals easier to achieve. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, take away the junk food and replace them with vegetables and fruits. If you make your home more orderly, you can focus on your work and leave the clutter behind.
Read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
Marie Kondo is an organizing consultant who wrote a bestselling book on how to tidy. The book tells us how to tidy up by only keeping that things that makes you happy or sparks joy. First, you organize by category: clothes first, books second, papers third, and miscellaneous fourth. Then, you take the item in your hand, and ask if that thing sparks you joy. If the item sparks joy, you keep it. If an item does not spark joy, then you can dispose, donate, or give it away.
Change your habits.
Habits are actions that we repeat over time. If you want to change your life, you have to change your habits. Why? Because habits are automatic in our lives. Once we have a habit, our first instinct is to do the habit. We can change all our habits, but first we have to take action to build them. The key to building habits is to start small, or even tiny.
Start Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg.
This is a website that teaches people how to build small habits. A tiny habit is an act that takes less than 3 seconds that is done after an existing habit. The website teaches you how to build tiny habits and asks for feedback on how you did your habits.
For example, I want to exercise after I wake up. So I make a tiny habit of putting my shoes and tying my shoelaces. Then I anchor or do this habit after an existing habit, such as waking up. After I signed up with Tiny Habits, I got emails from Mr. Fogg daily updates of my tiny habits.