12 Steps to Taking Control of Your Life Today

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take control of your life and happinessWho is in control of your life?  Is it you or are you waiting for someone else to make decisions for you so you don’t have to?  So you don’t have to be responsible for your choices…or your life…

I hear all the time people “wanting” to leave a job and hoping they get laid off so they can collect unemployment or get a package from the company to tide them over for a while because they are looking for a safety net. I see people devastated because they get laid off or fired. They may or may not have seen it coming but it allows them a space to be the victim…to feel sorry for themselves and for others to feel sorry for them as well. And people stay in relationships long past the time they should and they know it. I hear people talking about wanting to leave a marriage or move to a new location or get a new job or be self-employed and they have a million and one excuses why they can’t.

Stop it.  Let go of the excuses, don’t continue to be unhappy or let someone else make the choice for you, give up the feeling you can’t make a change because you can.  Whether it’s a relationship or a job or some other life experience, if you aren’t happy there, you either need to get out or you need to take steps to improve it.

When I realized my W2 job was no longer a fit for me, I left.  It took me some time to do so but I made that decision for myself because I didn’t want someone else making it for me.  I could have waited until I was fired or laid off and that would have been really hard on my soul.  I wanted to be the one in charge of what happened in my life.

When I realized how truly unhappy I was in my marriage, I left.  It took me some time for this one as well but I left.  I want to be the one to clear the energy for something new and better to come along.

I understand the challenge, believe me, I do.  Just about everything worth doing…everything that adds value to our lives…takes work.  It’s hard.  And we are hardwired to avoid pain…to keep ourselves safe.

If you’re life is not where you want it today, change it.  Take control and make a difference…for yourself.  Don’t allow the energy to creep in that comes from not choosing to do something differently or from allowing someone else to make the choice for you.  It’s gross  energy and takes a long time to get out of your system.  We always have to make space for new things to come in if we want things to shift.

Here are 12 steps to taking control of your life…and your happiness.

  1. Create healthy, happy habits.  90% of your behavior is habitual.  Make sure it’s the right kind of habits you are engaging in.  Focus on habits and rituals that represent who you want to be.
  2. Do one things at a time. Stop multitasking.  It is impossible to be present and fully engaged to even know what you want or how you really feel if you are doing 20 things at once.
  3. Stop running.  Stop being busy all the time.  Take a moment to breathe and allow yourself the space to feel.  It might be painful but without this time, again, you can’t possibly get clear about what you want and need.
  4. Give yourself credit regularly for what you are doing. No matter how small it is…give yourself credit.  Those little moments add up and they matter.  The big ones don’t usually happen often enough to give us momentum…to keep us going but the smaller ones will do that for you.  I recommend 5 acknowledgments a day minimum.  And write them down so you can look back and see how awesome you are whenever you need to.
  5. Stop making excuses.  I get it.  Excuses are real.  That’s what makes it so easy to use them.  And people have done amazing things against all odds.  So can you.  Stop the “yeah buts” and get your butt in gear.  Make it happen.
  6. Watch your language.  Word choice is everything.  Stay positive.  Focus on the good.  Avoid using words like but, try, should, etc.
  7. Find an accountability partner or group.  It’s always easier if you have someone checking in and providing accountability support.  Be sure it’s someone you trust to both share your journey with and to be honest with you, even when it’s hard.
  8. Prepare yourself to walk away. Sometimes you have things in your life you just need to walk away from.  Do it. Do it today.
  9. Cut the chaos and clutter. External clutter and chaos is just a representation of how you feel inside.  Clearing that out will, in turn, clear our some of the anxiety and stress you feel inside of yourself.  Look around you.  Pick it up, throw it away, remove drama-creating people from your life, etc.  Make space for the great things to come.
  10. Take care of yourself. When you look good you feel good.  Shower every day.  Do your hair.  Put on a little make up if you want.  Where your favorite undies.  Whatever it takes to make you feel good…do it.
  11. Have some fun!  Play. Enjoy life.  Make a list of your favorite activities and do them.  Regularly.
  12. Figure out what you really need and want. Once you begin to engage in the practices above…stop running, stop multitasking, stop making excuses, clear the things that no longer serve you and begin to engage in healthy habits, positive language and people, and have a little fun; you’ll be able to figure out what you really want and need.  Get clear so you can come up with a plan to get there.
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