5 Things You Can Start Doing Today to Change Your Life


Image by tony (license).

[hana-code-insert name='social down' /]Everything is something you decide to do, and there is nothing you have to do.”
Denis Waitley

“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.”
Win Borden

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to improve your life is simply to do things. To take action and learn along the way.

Here are five suggestions for “do-habits” that are very helpful to adopt to radically improve your life.

1. Do it first thing in the morning.

How you start your day tends to have a big influence on that day. It sets the context in your mind. I believe that one key to better consistency and improvement in your life is what you do early in the day. Two ways to get a good start to your day are these:

  • Do the hardest/ most important/ most uncomfortable thing first in your day. If you start your day by doing it you will feel relieved. You feel relaxed and good about yourself. And the rest of the day – and your to-do list – tends to feel a lot lighter and easier to move through. It’s amazing what difference this one action makes.
  • Start small. To get from a state where you just feel like sitting on your chair and doing nothing much to one where you take action over and over you can do this: start small. Getting started with your biggest task or most difficult action may seem too much and land you in Procrastinationland. So instead, start with something that doesn’t seem so hard. One of my favorites is simply to take a few minutes to clean my desk. After that the next thing doesn’t seem so difficult to get started with since I’m now in a more of a “take action” kind of mode. Experiment with this one and the previous tip and see which one that suits you the best. Or mix them up as you wish.

2. Do it one more time.

Don’t give up too soon. It is very easy to give into feeling that you done something enough times and it will never work. You have tried it as many times as you would expect people to do. But these expectations I believe are often a bit unrealistic.

Society, TV and advertising tell us that there is an almost instant solution to any of our problems. You can easily lose 30 pounds within a month. Or with little work and time invested have another extra 20 000 dollars in the bank.

So it is not unreasonable to think that success will come quickly. But instead of doing something as many times as you think others have done it, talk to and read about people who have actually done what you want to do. This will give you a more realistic picture of reality.

Oftentimes you may have to do it more than one more time. But I have often found that doing it just one more time, doing it that extra time even though you may start to feel that this won’t work, can bring the results you want in many cases. I actually feel a little bit of excitement sometimes when I feel like giving up because then I remember that at this point success is often not that far away.

3. Do the unusual thing.

When faced with a choice in your daily life, step back for a minute and think. Then take the option that is and feels unusual for you.

If you often back down just don’t for this one time. If you are often get into arguments with people then just this one time don’t and instead just let it go or treat the other person with kindness. Do the opposite of what you usually do and see what happens (while using common sense of course). Do something new and something you wouldn’t expect from yourself.

This is a fun a great way to get new experiences and learn things you wouldn’t if you kept going like you usually do.

Getting stuck in the same old routine until it becomes a rut can suck the life out of you. Doing the unusual thing in small and big situations, no matter how it goes, is a great way to feel alive again.

4. Do less.

How do you find time to do what you really want? How do you not get caught up in minor tasks and fill you day with them?

By setting limits. By being a bit ruthless and cutting down on the least important stuff. At some point you will probably have to be honest with yourself and realize that you can never fit all that you want into your day or week. Something has to go. Not only because it takes up time. But also because you only have so much energy, focus and creativity available during your day. If spend it on the less important things then all of that will be gone each day before you get to the big stuff.

It may not be fun to give up a couple of those TV-shows or hanging out on Facebook. But to make room for something new you sometimes have throw out a couple of old things.

5. Do your best.

Why should you do your best? Why not coast a bit and do just what is expected?

Three reasons:

  • You get better results. Sometimes immediately. Often not right away, but as all your awesome work adds up you start to see new and exciting results.
  • You raise your self esteem. When you do what you think is the right thing – like doing your best – then your self esteem goes up. If you just coast then you tend to feel kinda lame about yourself. So do awesome work and you feel awesome about yourself. Do ok work and feel ok about yourself.
  • Deservedness. When you feel awesome about yourself you do also feel like you deserve more in life. So you go after it and you won’t self-sabotage as much when opportunities pop up.

If you found this article helpful, please share it on Facebook, Twitter and Stumbleupon. Thank you very much! =)

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hey henrik,

    I happen to be passing through, because I stumbled on your site. It is a good thing I popped up here because I wouldn’t of have the chance to read your article. Great job by the way. ( :

    I like key points “doing less” and “doing your best”. Sometime you really need to cut your habits back for your own benefit. When you give your best work you give your self a much higher chance to go viral and gain exposure.

    Quality over quantity.

    Thanks again.

    God bless,
    William Veasley

  • Another great post Henrik.

    This is a great list of things, I especially like the “one more time” suggestion.

    If you were to make it a list of six, I would add in to write down your goals every day, ensuring that you stay focused and connected to them.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Henrik,

    This is a very inspiring “take action” list
    for changing one’s life.

    The one that resonated with me the most was
    #2 – Do it one more time.

    This reminds me of an article I wrote a while ago
    entitled “Uncover The Lost Path To Simple Success.”

    My basic premise was, people who are able to
    pragmatically transform their lives make that
    extra effort to do so. They have a plan, a
    mission and a direction in life.

    The stubborn determination they foster has much
    to do in explaining when they feel they have not
    manifested their objective, they are more willing
    to work a little harder.

    Thanks for enlightening us today.

    Stay growing,

    Kevin Tyler Smith
    Promethean Life

  • Hey Henrik.

    Some simple tips we all should follow. Starting with the first, largest commitment in the morning gets it out of the way and lets you relax during the day.

    It gets you started by feeling productive and as if you are getting things done.

    Once that is done the rest of the day will go like a flash.

    //Daniel

  • Interesting points. I’m quite on the ‘do less side’ currently, so #4 is my favorite one. Besides… I don’t know, maybe now that Christmas is rearing its ugly head, maybe we could use some extra doses of calm. Thank you for the tips.

  • I like #3. Doing unusual things actually helps us to reprogram our brains as well. Even switching the hand that we brush our teeth with can create new connections in our brains. Essentially, the possibilities are endless if you keep doing small unusual things for yourself.

  • I really like the “do the unusual thing” recommendation. A book that I am really enjoying right now recommends that we imagine a new aspect of our heart’s desire each day. Doing this we can discover a new reason to remain excited while growing in knowledge and experience- very similar to doing the unusual thing.

    Pair this mental focus with heartfelt action towards goals (action that you truly enjoy) and you can see progress occur in your personal “life change” goals. That book is Heart’s Desire by Sonia Choquette.

    This is the kind of suggestion you can stumble upon yourself when pursuing goals and looking for ways to remain enthusiastic- as I did. But, there are many other useful tips in that resource…It paints a whole picture, which I LOVE and find exceptionally useful as well as honest. The benefits of the “unusual thing” are great :)

    Thanks for the post !

  • Hi Henrik.
    I like the idea of organizing the day in the morning and doing the important things first. Procrastination is not good for self esteem. People don’t do the important stuff and obviously they don’t get any positive results.

    Have a nice day,

    Mauricio.

  • I enjoy tip #4. It’s really about being ruthless and prioritizing to what are the most important tasks. If I don’t make space, I will never have the time.

  • Great post. I particularly like number 3. If you want to go further than has been gone before, you can’t stop where everyone else stopped. Very simple but easy to forget!

    • -correction, that was actually number 2. Number 3 is great too though :)

  • Good tips, and nice, simple and straight to the point. Do it now, do what is important, try different ways, and just keep trying. I like your point about the unrealistic expectations that are so easily created by popular media. It is sometimes difficult to give up the fun time-wasters like too much time on Facebook, but time is not an unlimited resource for any of us.

    Thanks for a great read.

  • Thank you for all the kind words and for sharing your own experiences! :)

  • Wow, simple but high octane truths here Henrik. I would also like to add ‘Do it because it matters’. All yours are uba spot on but doing something because it has personal relevence ramps up the energy to see it through. But, can’t argue with your list, especially doing the unusual down the road less travelled. Few signposts but a clear road ahead to make your way in any direction you choose.

  • Hey Henrik, I loved it!!! OMG you are very wise. Thank you for sharing these great tips. For sure I’ll be changing my life. God Blessed ;-)

    Make sure you visit my blog too, its coming along very well, I’m excited!!!
    http://www.yourfriendstoo.wordpress.com