STEP 1: Be Compassionate With Yourself and Love Yourself Unconditionally: This step lies at the heart of how we feel about ourselvesand our place in the world. Make a pact with yourself to remain ina place of self-love and compassionabout yourself, your feelings, your situation and your relationships. Promising that you will be loving and compassionate with yourselffor all days, is the begin- ning of a journeythat is completely free of self-judgment and self-criticism.
Very often it is so much easier for us to cheer other people on and to be a shoulderfor them to cry on. We become the “ideal friend” to everyone in our lives, except ourselves. Imagine how good we could feel everyday if we said things to ourselves like: “Wow, what a great outfit!” or “Hey, great job on that presenta- tion today!” Now is the time to discover what it could feel like to overcome challenging situations by being compassionate with yourself.
Wherever you are at this moment in your life, take a minute or two and repeat this statement: “I love myself unconditionally. I am a good, kind and loving per- son. I will be patient and compassionate with myself today, and all days, as I move forwardwith my goals and as I move forward in my life.”
Taking a minute out of each day to be positive, loving and nurtur- ing with ourselveshelps us to take control of our own thoughts and actions.
STEP 2: Keep Track of and Be Aware of Your Self-Talk:
Simply put, Self-Talk is how we talk to ourselves on a daily basis. The average person has between 12,357 and 60,000 thoughts in one day. If we start out our day on a negative note without making the consciousdecision to become more positive, it is likely that we will end the day on that very same negativenote. However, if we start out the day acknowledging that we are feeling a little nega- tive, but that the day could improve, then we have already lifted our feelings from a negativestate to a more positivestate. The key to healthy self-talkis to begin keeping track of your nega- tive thoughtsand replacing them with more loving and kind thoughts.
Negative Thoughts: I feel awful today. Why did I stay up so late last night? How am I going to make it through this day? Positive ReplacementThoughts: I’m a little tired because I went out last night. I deserve to have a social-life. I work really hard all the time. I’ll make sure that I drink lots of water and try to take get some fresh air at lunchtime.
Do you see how changing our thoughts can automatically helps us to change our mood? By changing our moods and remaining on a path of self-love and nurturing, we can begin to change specific aspectsof our lives.
STEP 3: Address the Root Issues of Your Unhappiness:
With compassion and positive self-talkin your arsenal,you can now begin to lovingly question yourself and examine how to be- come happier and more fulfilledin your life. Understand that this step is on-going,just as the other steps are; because as you continue to grow and change in your life, so will the situations and circumstances that you would like to change.
Taking the time to peacefully and patiently ask yourself:“What would I like to change in my life?” can indeedbe a self-empow- ering moment. For it is in this moment that you can be honest with yourself about your past, present and future.You can also begin to forgive yourself for any past hurts and disappointments you have visited upon yourself and others.
During this self-examination, many root issues are revealed, as well as their connectedsatellite issues. Whatever your root and satellite issuesare, this preliminary stage of compassionate self- inquiry is an essential part of your happiness.
STEP 4: Identifythe Satellite Issues that Are Outgrowths of the Root Issue: In this step you are takinga deeper look at how your rootissues have affectedother areas of your life. One negativeissue in our lives is usually attachedto multiple satellite issues.For example, if a person’s root issue is improved health and fitness and she begins her journey towards this goal by eating healthier foods, and increased exercise, she will see and feel the rewards of her hard work. She will begin to feel betterabout her appearance and start wearingnicer clothes, or try a new hair-style.
As she begins to feel more confident and free from insecurities, she starts attendingand participating in more professional con- ferences. Becauseshe has become more confident,she is increas- ingly takingmore risks and putting herselfin new situations that are benefiting her.
STEP 5: Identify the Goals You Want to Accomplish: Make a list of different short-term and long-term goals that you would like to accomplish. Creating this distinction between short-term and long-termgoals allows you to understandwhich goals are long-termor on-going, and whichgoals can be realizedover a shorter period of time with tangibleresults. Writingdown your goals also allows you to see, and question, the amount of time and energy required to achieve each goal.
STEP 6: Create a Roadmap for Each Goal:
Now that you have already identified your short-term and long- term goals, it is time to begin mapping out how you will reach these goals. For example, if a person’s goal is to receive a promo- tion at his job, his roadmapshould contain practicalmilestones that will help him get that promotion. One milestoneshould include a list of different academiccourses and/or trade-related courses that would help him to advance professionally.
Another milestone could include a list of key people in his desiredfield for informational interviews. The purpose of an informational interview is to speak with individuals who are currently work- ing at your desiredlevel and in your desired field. Hearing the experiences of othersand taking note of their suggestions can be an invaluableresource for someone seeking career satisfaction.
STEP 7: Allow Yourself to Grow and Change: While you are on your journey of self-development, it is high- ly likely that you will release old, negativehabits and negative people. As you put your energies into more positivepursuits, you will naturally have less energy for negative situations and negative people. You may notice a subtleshift in yourself and the things that you once likedto do. You may also sense yourself be- coming increasingly uncomfortable around people who believe they were put on this earth solely to gossip and complain.
By giving yourselfpermission to react according to how you feel at this particular moment, you are acknowledging your own growth. You are also ushering in a new era in yourown life that is characterized by strengthand determination.
STEP 8: Acknowledge Each Milestone and Each Accom- plishment: As you continue to take responsibility for your happiness, it is very important that you recognizeeach milestone and each ac- complishment. Think back to when you were a child or young adult. Which types of celebrations did you enjoy the most? Did you have a ball at big parties?Or, did you prefer hangingout with a few close friends?Perhaps, you were the more solitary type who just loved lookingup at the night sky?
On your journey throuygh improved well-being,it is crucial that you regularlyappreciate the blessingsin your life and that you monitor your feelings. Begin keeping a gratitude journal.The simple, yet powerful, act of being thankfulfor what you have can, over time, transformyour life. By writing down the people, and things , for which you are thankfulautomatically changes your energy from lack to abundance.
STEP 9: Be Grateful and Self Check-In:
On your journey through improved well-being,it is crucial that you regularlyappreciate the blessingsin your life and that you monitor your feelings. Begin keeping a gratitude journal.The simple, yet powerful, act of being thankfulfor what you have can, over time, transformyour life. By writing down the people, and things, for which you are thankfulautomatically changes your energy from lack to abundance.
Self check-in is a very practicaland useful tool as it keeps you presentin the moment. You are showing yourself kindness, con- sideration and compassion. Whereveryou are, you can take a momentto ask yourself: “Okay, how am I feeling about this?” or “What can I do to make myself feel better right now?” Going through this quick self check-in will also help you to separate multiple issuesoccurring simultaneously.
STEP 10: Reevaluate Goals and Be Ready to Set New Ones:
Keep an open mind about your goals. While you are becoming more positive and productive you will notice that you need to augment your goals, or put them to rest and take on new chal- lenges.
For example, if your goal is to completeyour first marathon, you may want to plan other athleticchallenges you want to try after you finish the marathon.Planning ahead helps you to maintaina positive frame of mind about your goal, and it also staves off the well-known anti-cli- mactic feeling people experience after achieving a monumental goal.