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5 Practical Ways to Actually Change Your Life

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5 Practical Ways to Actually Change Your Life

In my efforts to inspire you to be epic in your life, challenge you to overcome adversity and to motivate you to want more for yourself – I’ve given you a glimpse at the mindset of a successful person.

But I haven’t given you any idea of how to actually become successful.

And sometimes, a few simple steps is all it takes to get the ball rolling.  Here are 5 simple steps that might be the spark to ignite the fire that could be your life.

Step #1 – Find Your Passion and Write it Down

If you weren’t working your current job, what would you be doing?  Or more specifically, what do you want to do with your life?  This might take a while, but you really have to think about it carefully because it will drive everything from this point forward.

Once you discover your passion, write it down really big across the top of a piece of paper.  Once you write it down, it becomes something real.  Put it on your bathroom mirror, your fridge, your screensaver – so you can look at it everyday.  Let it burn into your mind, so it NEVER leaves you again.

Because once you know your passion and write it down, it will truly become part of your life.  And once you start living your passion, you will inspire others to live their dreams. 

The final challenge is to figure how your passion can help others and add value to their lives.  Once you do this, you will become unstoppable!

Step 2:  Eliminate Distractions and Get Focused

Because many people are working jobs that are different or in contrast to their passion, their free time is a precious commodity.  You know, the time after work when they’re typically just lounging around and chillin’ out not doing much.

Gary Vaynerchuk has spoken in depth about how, if you need to keep your current job to pay the bills, you have to live your passion on your time, i.e., the time AFTER work.  Your job ALLOWS you to live your passion during your free time, until you can live your passion ALL of the time.  The problem is that everyone is so caught up on YouTube, Facebook, watching tv and talking on their cell phone that they can’t focus on anything important during the time when they can be most productive.

Time is everything and every second counts.  If you choose to live your free time with all of these distractions, then you’ll never be able to take action on your goals.

Remember the sheet of paper with your passion on it?

Underneath your passion, create a column for distractions that are in your life everyday.

Your favorite TV shows?

Talking on your cell phone?

Surfing the web?

What is probably surprising to you is how long the list becomes.

You need to start focusing on and eliminating each one of these distractions systematically – so that your free time really becomes a time where you can get a lot of stuff done.  You need to understand that these time-stealing activities are sabotaging the very happiness that you long for at your “day job”.

If you really want success, this will be the easiest part of your transformation and it will happen quickly as soon as you realize how precious time really is.

Step # 3 – The 30 Minute Grind

Now that we’ve determined our passion, we’ve identified and started to eliminate the things that distract us, we need to focus and get work done.

For a recent article on LIVESTRONG.com, called 20 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Life, I wrote about one tip that changed my life.  I have ADD pretty bad, which basically means I can’t focus on one task for more than 30 seconds before I lose interest.  This has been a huge burden for me when I’ve had large projects to work on through the years.

And when someone starts thinking about their greatest passion and what they want to do with their life, they become overwhelmed just like me with a large project.  They feel that it is too big of a challenge and that they’ll never get there.

My best tip is to work on:

- your action items

- your strategies

- your lists

- your passion

…in 30 minute blocks of time.

From the LIVESTRONG.com slideshow:

Block Off Your Time

“To manage tasks at home or at the office, you can get a lot more done if you work in 30 minute intervals. Use a simple timer on your phone or computer to track the time you spend on a particular task. When you reach 30 minutes, stop, and move on to the next thing. This approach forces you to be productive because you only have a very limited window to work on a task before moving on to the next one. You may have to come back around to the same task a few times in a day, but you’ll always be making progress.” — Jim Smith

Write down and determine your list of action items for the day in order of priority.  In your free time, start working on the top priority task for 30 minutes.  Once that block of time is over, move to the next one.  Because you only have 30 minutes to work on each one, you will be super productive and super efficient with your time.

Step #4 – Getting Real With Your Expenses

Just like we wrote down all of the distractions that work against us, we now have to make a much more difficult list and make some serious sacrifices.  We need to determine which extra expenses you have that are forcing you to work paycheck to paycheck.

Do you really need that new car?

That new shirt?

That coffee every morning?

Those DVD rentals on Friday night?

Is it the actual “stuff” that you want, or do you just want the “feeling” the stuff gives you?

If you feel trapped in your current job because of all of your “bills and expenses” and you’re telling me that you can’t get out of debt – then I’m going to force you to make this list for me.   And you’re going to have to make some tough decisions.

To live your passion and change your current situation, it is going to take ABSOLUTE commitment and discipline.

Eliminate these extra expenses and save every penny, nickel, quarter, dollar, returnable bottle, donate blood and take up performing magic on the corner.

DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN BECAUSE IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. 

Remember, time is running out and no one is going to do this for you.

Step #5 – Take Action Without Hesitation

The last step is the most important.  It doesn’t matter how many motivational videos you watch or inspirational articles you read, if you don’t TAKE ACTION – you will never accomplish ANYTHING.

I just gave you 5 simple steps to get moving on your biggest project – your life.  You’ve been spinning your wheels and not going anywhere for a long, long time.  Don’t you think you deserve the feeling of success?  Stop sabotaging yourself and believe that it can happen.

The hopes and dreams that you have for your children to live a long, healthy and happy life – can be yours too.

Maybe you’ve just forgotten that.


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  • Michael M

    GREAT article Smitty!!!

    Recently I have been thinking about opening a gym. A gym where Strongman, Powerlifter, Crossfitters, etc could come and do there thing. I know in my small upstate city in NY wich I live in there would be enough of an interest in a gym like this to support it. My main /issues concerns are money to start the process and that I am not a S&C coach or certified trainer. I would just want to open it up and let people come and go as they wanted (24 hr swipe cards or whatever) and run their own training and programming (maybe post the WOD of the day). I figured I don’t really need to run WODs or teach people how to squat because it is not like they do that at your regular globo chrome and carpet gyms anyhow.

    Am I way off my rocker to want to open a gym, with all the gym toys we love lol, but not be a coach or trainer?

    • Smitty

      Michael,

      There is no question if that is your passion. If you truly have a passion to open a gym, you’re committed to adding value to other people’s lives and you can’t stop thinking about it – then your direction is clear.

      Smitty

  • http://twitter.com/anthony_mychal Anthony Mychal

    Good stuff, Smitty. Always inspiring. If it makes you feel any better, I -WILL- be one of the ones that implements this advice. Keep rocking it.

    • Smitty

      Thanks Anthony.

  • Genepires

    good one. thanks.

    turning off the computer right now.

    • Smitty

      Thanks for reading Gene. Now get to work! :)

  • http://twitter.com/FazzerSports Fazzer Sports

    Time to print this out and read DAILY! Excellent stuff Jimmy!

    • Smitty

      Thanks bro.

  • http://twitter.com/FazzerSports Fazzer Sports

    Time to print this out and read DAILY! Excellent stuff Jimmy!

  • Anonymous

    Love this – thank you for putting into words what I have been living the last couple of months! I can attest that all of those things you mentioned work if you actually DO them.

    My passions are helping people, marketing and lifting. I was finally able to pull all of those together and about 6 weeks ago I started a resource website and blog for S&C and personal trainer biz owners.

    Yes, it’s slow going and a lot of work, but In those 6 weeks I feel more fulfilled than during any of the number of years I spent climbing the professional ladder.

    Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from people saying I’ve helped them, connected them to the right person, or they found something of value on my website. Those comments excite me, energize me, make me want to keep getting better and make me smile for hours on end!

    I read your articles everyday because they inspire me. I know that anytime I’m feeling a little overwhelmed I can turn to your site and feel motivated all over again!

    Thank you! :)

    • Smitty

      Thanks for your great support and kind words.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Conor-Doherty/507442472 Conor Doherty

    This is a great article! I love the inspiration you give to your readers. I wrote a similar article over at this link…http://starfactoryfitness.com/?p=353
    Really love reading your blog!

    • Smitty

      Thanks Conor.

  • FIGHTERGIRL87

    YOU DID IT AGAIN SMITTY, ANOTHER GREAT INSPIRATIONAL ARTICLE!
    MY PASSION IS MUAY THAI. TRAINING IT, TEACHING IT, READING ABOUT IT, WATCHING IT. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. IT JUST SUCKS ME IN! I HAVE GOALS TO OPEN A GYM WHERE “AUTHENTIC” MUAY THAI, NOT AMERICANIZED MUAY THAI CAN BE LEARNED. I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE REACH THEIR PERSONAL GOALS AND GET THEM TO FALL IN LOVE WITH MUAY THAI JUST AS I HAVE.
    MY ISSUE IS NOT LIKE YOUR AVERAGE JOE’S THOUGH. I DON’T WATCH TV, SO THAT’S OUT. I RARELY EVER GET ON FACEBOOK OR ON MY PHONE, SO THAT’S OUT. I HAVE A HUSBAND AND A 7 YR OLD SON. I WORK FULL TIME. I USED TO TEACH MUAY THAI 4 DAYS A WEEK AND TRAIN THE SAME DAYS THAT I TAUGHT IT AT A GYM. I TRAIN MUAY THAI EVERYDAY AT HOME AS WELL. I STOPPED TEACHING AT THE GYM BECAUSE I FELT AS IF I NEVER SAW MY SON. IT IS A HORRIBLE FEELING WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE LOSING TOUCH WITH YOUR SON AND YOU START TO FEEL LIKE YOU DON’T EVEN FIT IN AT HOME BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN OUT OF IT FOR SO LONG. IT WAS A CHOICE THAT I HAD TO MAKE AT THE SPLIT IN THE ROAD. CONTINUE TO TEACH AND FURTHER MYSELF FOR MY CAREER THAT WILL IN TIME PROVIDE FOR MY FAMILY, OR BE THERE FOR MY FAMILY AND WATCH MY SON GROW UP. IT WASN’T A HARD DECISION, BUT I MISS TEACHING EVERY DAY!
    WHEN I GET HOME, I COOK DINNER WITH MY HUSBAND (RATHER THAN BUY FAST FOOD OR FROZEN MEALS), AND AFTER DINNER SPEND TIME WITH MY BOYS BY GOING TO THE PARK OR FOR A WALK OR BIKE RIDE. THEN PUT MY SON TO BED, SPEND 20-30 MINUTES ALONE WITH MY HUSBAND TO DISCUSS THINGS FOR THE WEEK AND BY THAT TIME IT IS 8PM OR LATER. WITH MY WORKOUT ROUTINES AND DAILY EXERCISES AND THINGS THAT I FOCUS ON, I AM IN MY GYM (HOME GYM) FOR ABOUT 2 HRS. I JUST PLAIN AND SIMPLE DON’T HAVE THE TIME. IT’S A CHOICE BETWEEN FAMILY OR HOBBY. I CHOOSE MY FAMILY MOST OF THE TIME. MY SON IS ONLY GOING TO GROW UP ONCE AND I DON’T WANT TO MISS ANY MORE OF IT.

    ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR ME???????

    THANKS,

    AMBER

    • Mike Nelson

      Great stuff Smitty. Passion and action are so key.
      I have been using the 30 min timer too–works awesome
      Rock on
      Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  • Wernergeo

    Spot on brother!

    • Smitty

      thank you!

  • Maria

    Wise words. Thank you writing this. I’m going to share it with my 18 & 21 year old sons. Maybe reading these words will inspire them to use their time wisely.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Robking1 Rob King

    Great post Smitty….