It’s one thing to have a set of good habits to improve yourself. It’s even better to know how to change your life completely.

How to Change Your Life Completely

Original photo by Fidel Fernando
Lately, I’ve hardcore been inside my own head. It’s bad. I’ve been talking about it on my Instagram stories, but I’ve been struggling to move past it. I think the issue is that I know exactly what I want, but the series of baby steps I need to take to get there? Ugh. Why is it so hard to become what you want to be?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to change your life completely. Well, my life. Not your life. You’re free to change or stay the same. But I know I need to change.

Overall, I know that I’ve changed a lot over the past few years, more so than I did during high school or college. I feel like I’m in a place where I’m going where I want to. Making progress is a good thing.

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I have some big plans for the future, and I know that in order to get there, I have to completely retool a lot of my habits and processes. So, with that, I thought I’d share the things I’m doing to help me make big changes.

How to Change Your Life Completely

001: Embrace the Process.

If you want the magic pill or instant success, get up on outta here. I don’t have that. No one really does, but there are a bunch of pretty sketchy companies that would love to sell you products they claim will do that. (They aren’t real, though.) Instead, you have to embrace the process. It’s going to take some time and some baby steps and you’re going to take a long time to get there.

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But guess what? It took you a long time to get where you are right now. And if you’re trying to change that, it’s gonna take some time. So whatever goal you’re working on, you have to know that it’s going to be a while, and you need to embrace that process. If you don’t, you’re going to feel really discouraged and burnt out the whole time.

002: Know where you want to be and work backwards.

Thanks to Playing Big by Tara Mohr, I spend a lot of time envisioning my inner mentor. Basically, it’s me in 20 years. (Marisa 20 years from now is hella rad, by the way.) By thinking about this, I’m able to see where I want to go. And seeing where I want to go helps me figure out the steps I need to take to get there.

I do have to say this isn’t a one time thing. I check in with my inner mentor a lot. I didn’t do it for a while and felt like I was flailing. But now, I’m checking in daily. Like right when I let my head hit the pillow at night. I try to imagine what my day will looked like in 20 years, and if I’ll be doing some of the same things. (I will. But not all of them.)

003: Cut out the things that won’t get you where you want to be.

One of the reasons I love looking at where I want to be so much is because it makes it really easy for you to figure out what you need to get rid of to get there. For example, if you imagine yourself living in a big city, surrounded by other artists, but you’re stuck in a suburb surrounded by nine-to-fivers who don’t have a creative bone in their body, you need to make a change.

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It’s also been helping me declutter my life. I have a lot of things that I’ve held onto because I felt I should, or because I believed I needed those items. But when I look at my inner mentor and her life, she doesn’t have those items. So I know that to get where I want to be, I have to get rid of them.

004: Know that it’s going to be rocky.

It’s one thing to figure out how to change your life completely. It’s another to realize you have to follow those specific steps and guidelines ALL THE TIME. I mean, it’s a lot of work. And you’re not going to be able to do it perfectly. That’s why you have to accept that you’re human, and that you’re going to fuck up. It happens.

I recently heard about the “two-day rule” and it’s been a big eye opener. I wish I could remember where I heard it, but I’m pretty sure it was a tweet that has since been lost to the timeline. Anyway, the premise is this: If you do something that goes against your rules or your plan, that’s okay. Just don’t do it two days in a row. So, if you’re trying to lose weight but you eat like a heathen when you go out with friends, that’s okay. Just don’t do it two days in a row. Want to write a book but missed a day of writing? That’s cool. Just don’t miss a second day. It’s crazy how easy this is, and how much self-compassion it allows you to exhibit.

005: Keep re-assessing.

Sometimes you’re knee-deep in them changes, and you realize you’re not happy at all. This is why you need the ability to reassess. Make sure you’re present and mindful as you’re making these changes. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I wanted something, only to find out after a lot of work that I seriously didn’t. It’s a tough realization, but I’m so glad I had it midway rather than at the end.

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I’m not one of those people who can do something they hate, and I would never encourage you to try to live that way. This is why you have to take the time to re-assess your goal and how you’re achieving it, and then make tweaks or full-on changes where you think you need to.

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How Do You Make Changes?

Have you ever changed your life completely? What sorts of changes are you looking to make in your life as we approach a new season? Are you interested in reading more about specific changes that I’m making? Let me know in the comments.

10 Responses

  1. I have ben doing a lot of self-assessment lately simply because I can see I am not happy. Too much chaos, too much crap around my workspace, too much inefficency. You name it. I’m usually horrible about writing notes and/or journaling, but I am doing my best to write at least something down when I think of it (spoiler alert: I often forget). As you said, change takes time. I’m impatient AF and that just adds to my stress and frustration. I need to learn how to be patient and simply trust the process.

    1. It’s definitely hard to make changes, especially when you’re so used to instant gratification. I try to remind myself that the only instant gratification in this life is with fast food and microwave popcorn. And even then, it doesn’t feel great when it’s over.

  2. I really enjoyed this one! The Rule of Two is pretty great. You see it in sports a lot, guys talk about how losses are going to happen and the trick is to not lose back-to-back. Or how there’s always a Sith Master and an Apprentice…. anyway, that’s an approach I’ll have to adopt.

    One thing I’m really curious about is the path from Not a Writer – to Amateur Writer – to Paid Writer. I’ve always struggled with self promotion. Cold messaging someone about my work always makes me feel dirty. But even just identifying appropriate people or groups to reach out to can be challenging. So how someone goes out and makes connections and gets their work recognized is something that I’m still trying to figure out the baby steps for.

    1. It’s definitely a slow, baby step process to get to paid writer. And I’ll be real. Far too many people won’t pay you what you deserve. Keep working toward it.

  3. I so needed to read this!! I am all kinds of up in the air on what I want right now. I think I’ve figured it out, but it’s why I haven’t done much with my blog lately. Well, that and the health issues. I can put every ounce of this blog post to good use! I may be hitting you up for some advice soon!!!

    1. Please do! And I need to revive our little FB group. I’m glad you’re healing up after health issues and I’m here when you’re ready!

  4. Hi Marisa great post I really like that two rule which I recently learned from my skinny friend who never has more than two bisquits (ok so that’s a little different but still it sort of means the same right 🙈😊 no going overboard ) anyway it’s a good rule for writing so I shall steal it thanks – and isn’t it funny when how life, the universe call it what you will but it all comes together to help you forwards? I‘m feeling this sense of I want my new revamped blog to be brilliantly perfect now with the best plan and message ever but like you say it does take time to build things so a heartfel t double thanks to you 💕

    1. Yes! It totally takes time! And I’m sure you can build the sort of blog you want, especially if you commit to the change and work for it!

  5. I’m adopting the two-day rule as the more practical version of the old “Don’t make a habit of it” saying.

    The elephant in the room of wanting to change your life is the reality that in order to change your life you will have to…change your life .;-)

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