We’re now into the second week of June and the second half of the year, and what a perfect time to start to undo a lifetime of bad choices or habits. It’s surprising how much you can accomplish in just six months if you stay focused, commit yourself to change, and take action.
You can make a huge change in your life in just half a year.
Imagine how you will feel when 2021 begins? What will your life look like then?
You would have already accomplished one major goal and made those changes, so what else could be next on your list?
So why six month timeframe? For most people, six months is a manageable period of time. It is also enough time to make great progress without feeling too overwhelmed by enormous goals.
Start with a goal that is both realistic and achievable, and one that will take six months to get to.
So how can you change your life in just six months?
By using the following ten strategies:
Set four goals. Set a goal in each of the following areas: Financial, Health, Career, and Miscellaneous. Most of us could use a money, health or career boost, and by including a miscellaneous goal too, thinks like travel, hobbies, new car, etc, are not forgotten.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Financial – Do want to pay off some of your debts or start saving more money each month.
Health – Is there a few pounds you have been meaning to lose, or do you need to exercise more?
Career – Are you looking at a career change, or just a move from one company to another?
Miscellaneous – Is there a place you would like to travel to, or have you been toying with the idea of getting a new car. Maybe you want to take up a new hobby or do a skydive for charity. The possibilities are endless.
A good goal to set is one that you believe is possible but also challenging. It should also be one that makes you exhilarated when you think about achieving it.
2.Measure your current situation. If you are going to be making some changes, you need to know your starting point. So if you want to pay off some debts, know what the current outstanding balances are. The same goes for losing weight and exercising more, make a note of your current weight, or how much you exercise at the moment.
3.Create a plan. Based on your starting point, and where you want to go, what is the most realistic and achievable plan of action. Remember that you have six months to achieve this, so try and pace yourself.
4.Determine the habits you need to ensure success. If you want to lose weight, your exercise and diet habits are important. Savings and spending habits are often important for financial goals. Sending a certain number of resumes might be important for certain career goals.
Your habits have a tremendous impact on the results you achieve in life. Good habits yield good results.
5.Set short-term goals. It’s hard to stay focused on a goal for six months, and it’s so easy to procrastinate. Set short-term goals that lead to your long-term goals. Sixty days is about the right time for a short-term goal.
Set 60-day and 120-day goals for each of your 6-month goals.
6.Take action. Even with the best plans in the world, nothing happens until you take action to reach your goals. Some days you might not feel like it, but even the smallest steps count.
7.Keep a journal. Record your feelings, thoughts, plans, ideas, results, and observations. Looking back at your journal once you have achieved your goals, and seeing for yourself the progress you made, will be a great feeling. It will also give you motivation when you come to set other goals.
8.Measure your progress. Regularly measure your progress. It’s important to know how you’re doing, so you can make any adjustments. How will you know if your diet and exercise plans are working if you never get on the scale? Stick to a regular time to measure your progress, i.e. weekly, or monthly.
9.Be flexible in your approach. You’re probably not going to create the perfect plan straight off, especially if this is your first time. There will be a lot of tweaking along the way, but stick to your goals and just be aware that you will need to be willing to change how you accomplish them.
10.Cross the finish line. Giving up is the only way to fail. Keep going, even when you feel like quitting. That in itself is an achievement.
What can you accomplish in six months? Take a guess and see if you’re right! You can do a lot in six months. In fact, you can probably accomplish more in the next six months than you have in the last five years.
It’s easy to fall into a routine that does little more than maintain your life. You can do much better! Set a few goals and work hard for just six months. The results will be worth it.
The act of making your bed each morning might seem like an afterthought or something you’d rather leave if you’re running late or simply feeling a little lazy. But did you know that making your bed is more important than you think?
For starters, that one simple act gives you a sense of accomplishment and imagine the feeling you will get that you can tick one thing off your to-do list before you’ve even set foot outside your bedroom. If you don’t believe me, here’s what Naval Admiral William McRaven, the commander of U.S Special Operations, said about the importance of making your bed, in a 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas in Austin:
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”
It may be a very small, seemly insignificant task but the impact is positively huge, and definitely worth two minutes of your time each morning.
Making your bed can also lower your stress levels and could be the very first thing you do to start decluttering your space. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘tidy room, tidy mind’. Not only does a tidy space leave you feeling less stressed, it also promotes a calm and relaxing atmosphere. It also shows that you care about your wellbeing and the environment you live in; a cluttered room is not a clean and healthy room.
The world is getting more chaotic and stressful and the last thing we want at the end of a rubbish day, is to climb into a untidy bed. Your mood is already low, why make it any lower, when all you need to do is make your bed before you leave in the mornings. Try it for two weeks and you’ll notice how differently you feel as you slide under the duvet of your neatly made bed. If you don’t believe me, think back to the times you have stayed in a hotel, and the first thing you notice when you enter the room. It has to be that freshly made bed. Why not give your room that ‘just checked in’ feeling and give yourself something to look forward to when your day isn’t going to plan. You can even include a little treat under the pillow.
Have you inadvertently passed someone’s bedroom, say on the way to the bathroom, and can’t tear your eyes away from the messy bed? Or been the person with the messy bed? I’m sure it’s happened to most of us at some point; life can be chaotic and making our bed before we leave the house ends up getting lost in the chaos. But given the choice, the majority of us would definitely prefer not to go through the embarrassment of that particular scenario, especially if we’re thinking about inviting someone special over. Why not pause for a moment amongst the chaos, take a deep breath, and make your bed.
Once you get into the habit of making your bed every morning, you’ll start looking at other ways to make the rest of the room look a lot more tidier. Whether it’s folding up clothes, or stacking your ‘to be read’ pile a little neater. It’s surprising how just a few minutes can be the difference between a messy room into a tidy one, and before you know it, your good habit in the bedroom will spill over into the rest of the house.
Why not try it for the rest of the month, and see what a difference it makes.
Couch to 5K is a running plan for absolute beginners, or for those people who may have run in their youth (like me!) but haven’t run for decades. It was developed by Josh Clark, who himself was new to running, and the idea behind the plan was to help his 50-something mum get off the couch and start running too.
The plan involves 3 runs a week, with a day of rest in between, and a different schedule for each of the 9 weeks that it covers.
So 1st June 2020 marks Week 3 for me and I have successfully completed the two previous weeks without having to start again. Which is definitely progress as that’s what I thought I might need to do; life is busy at the moment and I’m juggling too many things at once.
I’m really enjoying this plan, and it’s making me feel great, albeit a bit achy the next. It’s a goal that helps you get fitter, off the couch, and lose a few pounds in the process.
I’ve also been able to connect with other Couch To 5K runners on Twitter, offer some advice for those who are on Weeks 1 & 2 and get some tips for the weeks ahead.
This plan is not just good for your fitness levels or your mental health, it helps you set short-term goals, encourage you to stick to them, and see the end results once you have achieved those goals.
To find out more details click Couch To 5K and download the podcast or app.