I got the best question from a blog reader this week. She had just read my About Me page where I talk about how I transformed my life – and wanted to know how to change your life.
The question was: How did you do it?
And you know what? I thought I want to give this question a well thought out answer.
Because it’s so common around the web to see people banging on about how they transformed their lives and now they are living in the Maldives sipping cocktails in awe of their good fortune, while being vague and ambiguous on how they did it.
And I didn’t write my About Me page to get you to admire me or buy my stuff or envy my life or feel inferior.
I wrote it because it’s true and I want people to know that there really is more to life.
I wrote it because I want to inspire hope.
If you are stuck in a crappy life you hate, I want you to know you can turn it around and create your wildest dreams.
If you are stuck in a prison of negative thoughts and feelings, I want you to know that you can retrain your mind and emotional body for positivity and true daily joy.
If you are stuck in a cycle of self-criticism and unworthiness, I want you to know that you can fall in love with yourself – even if it seems so unrealistic and out of reach right now that I may as well tell you to believe in unicorns. (p.s. they exist).
I am proof that you can become a radically different person – you can blossom into the real happy self-loving inspired passionate soul you were born to be.
And I am proof that you can totally transform your life – you can create a career, body weight, home, lifestyle, romantic relationship and friendship group that truly lights you up.
While I can’t take you through my 6+ year journey in one article, I can give you an introduction to the critical steps I took to create massive positive life changes.
So here are 12 key steps I took to positively change my life – inside and out.
How To Change Your Life (Really)
1. I started meditating.
I remember when I started meditating sitting for 7 minutes was excruciatingly painful. Now I sit for 30 minutes and I love it (mostly).
Meditation was the doorway to so many new things for me. It taught me to be more present in my daily life. It taught me to witness or observe my thoughts and feelings instead of getting hooked by them. It taught me to hear my own soul speak.
I knew my meditation practice was making a difference when I was running late for work at my old day job and I dropped a green smoothie and it went ALL OVER my white carpeted floors, white couch and white walls.
Instead of having an emotional meltdown, I felt complete peace. I smiled joyfully, calmly walked out the door and resolved to cleaning it when I got home.
That is the power of meditation. It naturally turns you into a calmer, more peaceful person. Make it a part of your daily routine.
2. I read inspiring wisdom.
I immersed myself in all of the wisdom I could get my hands on. Buddhism. Taoism. The Bible. The Bhagavad Gita. Plato. Shakespeare. Spirituality. You name it.
I took courses by inspirational leaders like Gabrielle Bernstein, Gala Darling and Eckhart Tolle.
You see, so many of the secrets of life, happiness and success have already been figured out. Like 3000 years ago, in some cases.
It’s just that we’re not taught them. In fact, we’re living in a world where we are taught the exact OPPOSITE of the truth about life. So of course we all feel depressed, dissatisfied and lost.
When you discover the truth, you discover how beautiful and amazing life can be – and how powerful, worthy and divine YOU really are!
So I made reading and watching inspiring wisdom a priority over trashy TV or internet cat videos.
In fact, I haven’t owned a television for over five years now, and I watch about one hour of television content a week (a documentary or Game of Thrones!)
3. I put my insights into practice.
There is a painting on the wall of my yoga studio which says: 1% theory and 99% practice.
This is the most important step out of all the steps. If you ignore everything in this list and just do one thing – do this.
There is a reason why two people can read the same book or do the same course or take the same workshop, and one person is completely transformed – and the other person stays stuck. And that reason is putting the theory into practice.
Take a tool you’ve read about or an insight you’ve had about life – and then actually implement it for the day. Live by it. See whether it helps you. See what you learn.
That’s why when I write online courses, I try to make them super practical with tools and exercises for daily life. Because this is where the magic happens.
With practice, you can:
- Retrain your mind. As the saying goes: Positive mind, positive life.
- Retrain your body. So your default emotional state is peace and happiness.
- Retrain your habits. So you do the things that serve your highest good.
- Learn to see your worth and amazingness. So you love and back yourself.
I have literally retrained my mind and body to live in a different way.
Or more accurately, I have unlearnt and unravelled a lot of the negative beliefs and disempowering emotional reactions I picked up in childhood that keep me stuck and unhappy.
I have gone from living from my ego to living from my soul. And the natural state of our soul is peace, joy and love.
4. I got clear on my purpose and vision.
There is a saying which goes: If you don’t know where you are going, you may end up where you are heading.
This was me for most of my life. I didn’t know my true dreams or desires, so I floated along, doing what society told me to do and copying other people.
I remember one year it was cool in my age group to like vintage photography so I bought a Holga camera and started snapping away, without any regard to whether I actually even LIKED vintage photography! I didn’t have a clue who I was.
Thankfully by the grace of the Universe I met a man who taught me the concept of mapping out a vision for your life.
So I mapped out a vision comprising of my goals, dreams and desires.
At first it was really vague like “a job involving words” and “soulmate love” – but the more I sat with the question of what I truly desired, and the more I spent time getting to know myself, the more my vision became crystal clear.
I suddenly found myself excited about getting out of bed in the morning. Because I had purpose. I had meaning. I knew who I was and what I wanted to do.
Tip: If you want help mapping out your dream life vision I have a free worksheet for you to use. Download it here.
5. I lived by intention.
For many years, I have been setting an intention for my day. My intention might be:
- Gratitude and appreciation
- To be kind to myself
- Seeing the light within everyone
- Pausing between actions to come into the present moment
- Have more fun and take myself less seriously
- Feel abundant
- Make decisions based on my heart
- Be brave bold and fearless
Setting a simple daily intention has had a massive impact on my life.
Not only have I now practiced these intentions enough times that they have become part of my default state of mind and being, but I am better and better at choosing my response to life instead of letting life dictate how I feel.
You see, you have two choices for how you approach your life:
The first choice is to go out into your day, see how life unfolds, and then react accordingly. If life is stressful, you get stressed. If life is boring, you feel bored. If someone says something hurtful to you, you feel hurt. If something goes wrong, you feel upset.
The second choice is to make a conscious decision about your intention for the day, and then no matter how life unfolds, you respond based on your intention. That is true personal empowerment.
6. I found good company.
For years I had accepted default friendships – people I was friends with because of history or circumstances, without thinking twice about whether they are actually a true friend, similar soul or positive influence.
In reality, I was hanging around with a lot of negative, cynical and mean-spirited people who were influencing my beliefs and energy – whether I liked it or not.
I went through a sad and lonely period when I lost my main group of friends (and cried a lot of tears about it), but in hindsight I can see how it was one of the best things to happen to me.
While it took patience and faith, I ended up meeting a whole bunch of new amazing friends who are the kind of inspiring, soulful people I once dreamed of knowing.
In terms of how I found them, it really was a case of relying on miracles. I asked the Universe for help and then took baby steps following my intuition.
One friend I met at a wedding – it turned out we were BOTH flying to New York a few weeks later to attend the same spiritual conference, and she had room in her accommodation for me, which was a double-miracle as I hadn’t booked mine.
One friend I met at a coaching training day – we happened to sit at the same table and instantly clicked. It turned out we had been to the same 21st birthday party many years ago.
One friend I saw in a Facebook group and my soul whispered that I should contact her – even though I had no idea who she was – so I sent her a message. It turned out that she was in my city and had put out an “energetic memo” to the Universe to attract more female entrepreneur friends. I must have got the energetic memo. Ha!
I also started going to a local philosophy class in the evenings. I have gone there once a week for around 5 years. It gives me a place to discuss the meaning of life with like-minded people. I am forever grateful for it.
If you want to rise to a new level of awesomeness, sometimes not everyone around you is ready to come along for the journey. And that’s okay.
When you create space in your life – while it may feel scary or lonely for a while – you are also giving the Universe an opportunity to bring you new things.
7. I started leaning on the Universe.
For most of my life, my biggest goals and dreams seemed unrealistic and nearly impossible to achieve – I mean, I couldn’t even break the habit of eating too much peanut butter out of the jar by myself; how could I possibly transform my career, relationships, health, finances, self-love, happiness and life by myself?
I was operating under the old paradigm most of us are taught – that you are alone in this world, you have to fight to survive, and everything rests on your small shoulders.
Thankfully, I woke up to who I really was – beyond my body, thoughts, emotions, titles and roles. I discovered I was a soul in a body; not a body with a soul.
I woke up to the fact that I was the Universe expressing itself as a human for a little while, which meant that I could rely on the Universe to support me in life.
I woke up to the fact that if I couldn’t change a bad habit, fearful thought or limiting belief on my own, I could ask my higher wiser self to help me successfully change.
I woke up to the fact that if I didn’t know how to make my dreams happen, I could use the power of manifesting and the intelligence of my subconscious mind to help me out.
This, my friend, changed everything. I started noticing synchronicity and miracles on more frequent basis, which grew my faith in the unseen world even more.
While I still have moments where I forget who I really am, and I let the fear-based thoughts of my ego mind convince me that I have to figure everything in my life out all by myself, I generally feel like I’m on a team now. A kick ass divine team with my higher self and life where I am constantly co-creating a beautiful life.
8. I added the right keystone habits.
A keystone habit is a habit which has a positive domino effect on the rest of your life.
For example, one of my habits is doing yoga. When I do yoga in the morning, it makes me feel sparkling and alive. But it also seems to naturally influence me to eat healthier foods, go to bed on time, focus better on my work, and stay more present.
In other words, it has a huge positive flow-on effect on my mindset, mood and life.
On the other hand, another one of my habits is washing my hair on Fridays. Or reading before bed. Or going to dance class. While I enjoy these habits too, they don’t have a huge impact on the rest of my life. I can always skip them.
So, you could think of keystone habits like the non-negotiable things you need to do each day and week to feel your sparkling best and live life to the fullest.
When you make these things a non-negotiable part of your routine, you change and therefore your whole life changes quite naturally as a result.
9. I started to date myself.
A few years ago, I had just ended an 8 year relationship with the wrong man. I had also realised that my career, friendship circle, health and mindset were all wrong too. I woke up and realised I was in the totally wrong life for me. Whoops!
But the huge missing key to the doorway of positive change was that I didn’t actually know who I was or what I wanted. I did not have a close relationship with myself!
Think about it – how often do we check in with the news, our friends on Facebook, work colleagues, the weather report, our Instagram feed — and yet fail to check in with ourselves? Our soul? Our beliefs? Our fears? Our deepest desires?
So I started the beautiful journey of going within for answers instead of looking to other people for answers to my questions (or to blame for my problems).
I took myself on a brunch date every weekend where I would read over my philosophy notes, write, journal and dream.
I start to journal about my thoughts, feelings, fears and desires. After a while, I started to receive guidance and answers from my soul self; the wiser part of me.
Tip: If you want to learn the basics of soul journalling, download my free guide here.
I learnt to tune into my intuition to see what decisions felt right for me, instead of only relying on my limited rational mind.
I also learnt to check in with my feelings throughout the day, to see if I needed help, assistance, support or to change my attitude and vibration to a more positive state.
As a result, I now have a one million percent deeper relationship with my true self.
Tip: If you need help with self-love and worthiness, check out my Self Love online course.
10. I reprogrammed my mind.
One of my favourite quotes is by the poet Rumi:
Anyone who knows me, should learn to know me again. For I am like the Moon, you will see me with a new face everyday.
It touches on something that few of us know. We are free to change who we are. We don’t have to be loyal to some old version of us if we have outgrown it.
And science has shown that your brain is in fact very changeable – you can literally reprogram your mind for more happiness, confidence and success.
To cut a long story short, I started to use the power of language and gratitude to rewire my brain and improve my beliefs about myself.
I started a gratitude journal – writing 3 things or more I was grateful for everyday – to reprogram my mind to scan my environment for more beauty and blessings.
I also started using affirmations and mantras to create new grooves of thought in my mind to override old limiting beliefs.
I also started noticing when I was in a happy or peaceful mood, and deliberately allowed myself to enjoy and extend the feeling for longer periods of time.
The culmination of all these things created big changes in my default state of mind and being. This in turn changed my behaviours and my life.
11. I became more present.
Rather than just meditating in the morning and then going unconscious for the rest of the day, I started to incorporate mindfulness into my daily life.
I would pause between activities and take a deep breath. I would notice my feet connecting with the ground as I walked. I would pay full attention to whatever I was doing — cooking, listening to someone, showering, or doing the washing up.
Tip: I have an article on 10 easy ways you can practice mindfulness here.
One of the biggest reasons we find it so hard to change is because many of our unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours are stored in our subconscious mind.
Our subconscious mind is like a computer hard drive. It is filled with all of our most used thoughts (which become our beliefs), our most common emotional states, and our most common habits and reactions.
When we go through our day on autopilot with a low level of awareness or attention, our subconscious mind takes over and begins running our old programs. Then we kick ourselves for making the same mistakes over and over!
By becoming more mindful and present, I was able to notice my old limiting beliefs and disempowering behaviours when they popped up – and being aware of them gave me the power to pause and practice choosing a different response.
Being more present each day also greatly increased my sense of happiness and joy, because I was finally connecting with the beauty and aliveness of life, instead of being lost in my head, re-hashing the past or worrying about the future.
12. I just did it.
You know the Nike motto, Just Do It?
This is really amazing life advice.
So many of our regrets in life are caused by our decision to wait until we feel “ready” to do something instead of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
I was terrified of leaving my 8 year relationship and worried if I would end up alone – but I just did it.
I was terrified of giving my first live talk on self-help and philosophy in Sydney and my heart was beating through my chest – but I just did it.
I had no idea how to start a website or create a business or create an email list – but I just did it.
Our ego mind is designed to keep us “safe” (stuck) right where we are, so it will constantly come up with reasons why now is not the time for you do make a change or start meditating or enrol in that short course or move overseas or eat healthy foods – it will say “start Monday” until the end of your life.
Or your ego mind will convince you that you have to feel ready and confident before you begin – when the truth is confidence comes FROM doing things outside your comfort zone despite your fear and uncertainty.
I learnt that fear is not a stop sign and sometimes the biggest transformations and miracles are to be found outside of your current safe and known routine and life.
The Pokemon Go players are a great analogy – the further they travel from their same-old same-old home and route, the more Pokemon they catch (presumably!) It’s the same with you – the further you travel from your comfort zone and old limitations, the more transformation and miracles you will encounter!
I hope that helps beautiful soul! There are many more ways to change your life – but this will give you a great place to begin.
p.s. Do you struggle with negative self-talk or worry you are not enough? Do you focus on your flaws and compare yourself to others? Have you lost touch with yourself and your sparkle? I have something for you. My Self Love Essentials online course is a practical step-by-step guide to wild self love and worthiness. You can check it out here.