How to (Actually) Change Your Life
My grandmother once taught me the secret to changing your life.
When she was forty years old, she gave up smoking cold turkey. Overnight, she went from over a pack or two a day to nothing.
“That’s incredible!” I said at the time. “Didn’t you have withdrawal symptoms? Didn’t you want to do it more gently – taper off first?” My Gran – a laconic, well-mannered Englishwoman – just looked at me for a second. “One has to make up one’s mind,” she said firmly. And that was that.
That’s when I realized: If you want to change your life, you don’t make “resolutions.” You make decisions. They’re as different as the sun and the moon.

How to (Actually) Change Your Life

How many times have we made resolutions for the new year (“I will go to the gym every day”), only for our sneakers to gather dust in the corner by March? Or resolve to quit smoking, only to cave in during a party and give up giving up?
Don’t get me wrong – I still love resolutions. It’s a lovely thing, to promise to better yourself in some way. But the problem with resolutions is that they are often just aspirations. They basically put you in constant pursuit of a goal. And the minute you miss a step, you’ve “failed.” For example, have you ever resolved to go to the gym regularly, only to one day think: “Hmm. I’m so tired today. I think I’ll skip the gym just this once.”  And then you don’t go again for months.
Decisions are a whole different ball game.
Rather than aspiring towards some distant or daily goal, we  become the change now.
When you decide to change, you don’t think, “I need to go to the gym at least four times a week to get fit.” Instead, you decide, “I am a fit, healthy person.”
Self-delusion? Nope. It’s a fantastic mindset shift.
When you think, “I need to get to the gym to get fit,” the day you skip the gym, you become “unfit.”
But if you decide that you are already a fit person, you are programming your mind to bring this about by altering your self-image.
Once you redefine your self-image, changing your life is easy. You won’t obsess about an exact workout schedule. You’ll just go to the gym as a matter of course – because that’s what fit people do. Will you eat that last slice of pizza when you’re already full? No – because that’s not what fit people do. In fact, you probably won’t even be eating pizza, but a green salad.
You get the picture. When we made decisions, we don’t just aspire. We commit.
[RELATED: Plan For the New Year the Right Way]

Here Are Some Suggestions if You Want to Change Your Life in 2017:

1. Throw Your List of Resolutions Out the Window

Good-bye resolutions!

2. The Fewer Decisions The Better

Focus on just 1-3 decisions at a time. The more you have, the less energy and focus you will have for each one.

3. Focus on Your Words

Rather than say, “I will give up smoking” or “I will declutter my house,” say: “I am a healthy person,” or “I am an organized person.” Be the change.

4. Reframe How You See Yourself

Spend a lot of time re-framing how you see yourself. What does a healthy or organized you look like? Behave? Do?

5. Re-Affirm Your Decisions Every Day

Stick up daily reminders on your mirror, your laptop or your phone. The more you work on your mindset, the more effectively your subconscious will work to bring about change.
My grandmother gave up smoking all those years ago because she wanted to be a healthy person. Imagine what you can become in 2017!

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