Change Your Life in 2014
28 Tips To Transform Your Life
in 2014

by: Jay Cataldo, CH, CMT

As yet another year passes us by, it’s important to remember that it’s NEVER too late to transform our lives. To help you on your journey, I’ve compiled a list of 28 tips you can use to ensure that 2014 will be one of the best years of your life.

Implementing just 2 or 3 of these tips will easily change your life for the better. Implement them all and you’ll barely recognize yourself by this time next year.

 

1. Start helping others to be happy

The following Chinese proverb sums it up nicely:
If you want happiness for an hour - take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day – go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else.

 

2. Deal with your stress effectively

Stress and willpower are intertwined. When you lower your stress levels you’ll find that your levels of self-discipline will increase by leaps and bounds.

I recommend some form of meditation (yoga, deep breathing, etc) or self-hypnosis. Anything you can do to consciously relax your body and mind will do wonders for both your mental and physical health. Watching TV doesn’t count.

 

3. Recapture wasted time

Time is our most precious resource so you should be mindful of how you’re spending yours.  For instance, since television is one of the biggest time wasters there is, it would be wise to severely limit TV time (or get rid of your television completely) as well as limit mindless internet surfing.

You can easily recapture this lost time and use it for more productive things (reading, learning, practicing, etc). You might also find extra time in other areas of your life. If you have a long commute to work, for example, can you listen to audiobooks on the way or do something else to feed your mind?

Also, look into apps like SelfControl and Freedom to restrict internet access and keep you focused on your tasks.

 

4. Refuse to be offended

No matter what anyone says or does, they do not have the power to offend you without your permission. Letting yourself get upset over someone’s comments or actions is giving them a tremendous amount of power over you.

The next time you get upset, ask yourself, “Why is this person’s opinion so important to me?” Many times, we become offended because we are secretly insecure about our own sense of self-worth.

Sometimes the comment can contain valuable feedback if we choose to see this. And when it’s an ignorant or hateful comment, it simply showcases the commenter’s personal issues (and their need to attack others to alleviate their own internal pain). When you see it as such, you can take your power back and never be offended again.

 

5. Avoid all arguments

Stop arguing with others, whether it’s in person or on the internet (on message boards, Facebook, etc). Even when you “win” an argument, you still lose in some way (you destroy rapport).

Instead, I recommend that you try to understand the other person’s point of view as best you can. You don’t have to agree with them, but do your best to understand why they might think the way they do and possibly find common ground you CAN agree with. This simple shift in focus

 

6. Read every day

I recommend things that are inspiring or instructional in some way. It’s been said that the average adult reads less than one book a year. Think of how much additional knowledge you could amass if you read just one book a month.

 

7. Tweak your diet

What we eat affects not only our bodies but our minds, as well. For peak mental performance, you’ll need to eat the types of foods that work best with your body and avoid/limit toxic substances such as sugar, gluten, alcohol, etc.

As far as supplements go, if you’re eating a healthy diet, you’ll get most of the nutrients you need from your food. But if you’re adamant about adding in some supplements, these are the ones I feel to be most important: vitamin D3, vitamin B-12 and magnesium.

 

8. Take more risks

Risk-taking is necessary to stretch the boundaries our comfort bubbles. I’ve found that our comfort zones naturally become smaller as time goes on just like how muscles atrophy when you don’t use them.

While I’m not advocating partaking in illegal or dangerous activities, you do need to start doing things you would normally shy away from (such as taking a dance class or striking up a conversation with the cute guy/gal sitting next to you at Starbucks). These behaviors not only expand your comfort bubble, but also your confidence level.

 

9. Manage your emotional states

How effective you’ll be in any given situation has a lot to do with the quality of your current emotional state. For example, what’s the likelihood that you’ll have a great time socializing after work (and maybe attract someone you’re interested in) when you’re feeling  run down, spaced out and overly stressed?

Instead of leaving your emotional states up to chance, it’s a good idea to work on consciously shifting yourself into beneficial states whenever necessary. Some people have a morning ritual that puts them in a great mood for the rest of the day (i.e., a warm bath coupled with 15 minutes of meditation or exercise). Others like to mentally rehearse themselves performing a task perfectly in their minds beforehand.

When you’re in a bad mood, you might need to take a nap, exercise or watch a funny/inspirational video to cheer yourself up. Spend some time managing your emotional states and you’ll find yourself becoming more effective in all areas of your life.

 

10. Become a great conversationalist

The better you are at conversing, the easier it is to build friendships and create strong bonds with others. There have been many books written on how to become a better conversationalist but here are a few tips to get you started:

Talk to everyone around you as much as possible (become comfortable with striking up conversations with random strangers)

Listen more than you speak. Your main goal is to get the person to open up while you give them the gift of your full attention.

Ask questions sparingly but make more observational statements. “I’m guessing you’re originally from Miami” is better than “So where are you from?” If you guess correctly, they’ll be impressed, and if you’re incorrect, they will typically respond with “What made you think that?”

Make the other person feel understood as best you can and refrain from disagreeing with or criticizing their viewpoints. Your goal is to make them feel like you’re on their side.

 

11. Develop your critical thinking skills

Start critically examining every piece of information that comes your way – (especially from media sources such as TV shows, newspaper articles, etc).

The media is usually trying to push a particular agenda which may or may not benefit you. Start peeking beneath the exterior and ask yourself what their true motives are (and I’m not talking about conspiracy theories). Training yourself to see things on a deeper level will help you in every area of your life.

 

12. Exercise with weights

Lifting weights builds tremendous levels of discipline (you increase discipline by consistently getting yourself to the gym as well as cranking out some extra reps each time your body is screaming at you to drop the weight and rest). Weight training also increases bone density and joint health, balances your hormone levels and just all around does your body good.

 

13. Let go of the past

One of the most common ways we hurt ourselves is by reminiscing about past hurts (and possibly contemplating some type of revenge). Each time you replay the incident in your mind, your body begins releasing stress chemicals that not only make you feel uncomfortable, but also impair the functioning of your body.

You’d be much better served by holding onto only the lesson and letting everything else go as you move forward with your life.

“Holding onto anger is like holding onto a hot coal with the intention of burning someone else. The only one who gets burned, is yourself.” – Gautama Buddha

 

14. Start with baby steps

Most of us bite off more than we can chew which leads to massive overwhelm and the inevitable decision to give up completely. Instead of trying to do everything at once, break your plan down into the tiniest of tasks and begin there. You’ll be less likely to get overwhelmed, plus building up momentum with smaller tasks will make future tasks easier to accomplish.

 

15. No more blaming; no more complaining

Stop all whining, complaining and commiserating with negative people. Take full responsibility for what comes out of your mouth and don’t let others suck you into a pattern of complaining or blaming others for your circumstances. If you want to attract more positive and happy people into your life, you’ll need to start becoming more positive yourself.

 

16. Stop worrying about the future

It’s perfectly normal to be concerned about a future negative outcome. But this concern is only beneficial if it leads to the creation of a plan for handing such circumstances when they arise. However, most of us get locked into a cycle of unproductive worrying where, instead of formulating a plan, we convince ourselves that we will be absolutely devastated if such an event occurs.

One way to control this is to set aside 10 minutes a day for worrying. Set a timer and contemplate every worst case scenario you’d like during this time. After the timer goes off, push all of this out of your mind and make the decision not to revisit any of it until tomorrow’s ten minute worry period.

 

17. Monitor your inner voice

Many of us say incredibly nasty things to ourselves on a daily basis such as “you’re such an idiot” and “you’re going to fail again like you always do.” Most people are unaware of how much these phrases can destroy their self-confidence, especially when they come from inside their own minds.

The solution is to replace them with positive, empowering phrases such as, “this is going to be a piece of cake” and “you’ll figure things out like you always do.” Ideally, you should speak to yourself in the way a comforting and encouraging parent would speak to their child.

And whenever you slip up and say negative things to yourself, one helpful trick is to make the internal voice sound like a cartoon character (Donald Duck, Sponge Bob, etc). This makes the statements sound ridiculous and prevents you from slipping into a negative head space.

 

18. Get more sleep

Since I would guess that close to 90% of us are sleep deprived, this is something we should all focus on.

People tend to get the most restorative sleep when: they are in bed before 10pm, get at least 8 full hours of sleep and keep their bedrooms completely dark (use blackout curtains and turn off anything that has a light or, even better, don’t keep these things in your bedroom).

Try not to eat anything at least 3 hours before bedtime and give yourself at least 30 minutes to wind down beforehand (with meditation, pleasure reading, etc). If your sleep schedule is erratic or you end up tossing and turning all night, take a low dose of melatonin for a few days to regulate your sleep cycle until you’re back on track.

 

19. Challenge your limiting beliefs

Since beliefs are nothing more than guesses about reality (and are neither true nor false), it’s highly beneficial to let go of negative, limiting beliefs and replace them with more empowering ones.

Begin challenging all beliefs which restrict you such as “I’m too old/young to succeed” or “I’ll never be able to attract the kind of partner I’m interested in.”

To do this, ask yourself questions such as:
How do I know?
Am I 100% certain?
How and when did I form this belief?
Is it useful or will I be better served letting it go?
What would be a better belief to have instead?

 

20. Kick one bad habit

Exactly how to go about doing this can be the subject of another article but the most important aspect is your complete determination.

Pick a habit (smoking, compulsive shopping, excessive TV watching, etc) and make the firm decision to stop it completely before the month is over.

 

21. Get your finances under control

Dave Ramsey has some great books and resources which can help you in this area. This gist of his method is to cut back on all spending, cut up your credit cards (only buy things when you have the cash in hand) and put every extra dime towards paying off all of your debt.

Being completely debt free brings a peace of mind that is worth its weight in gold.

 

22. Write out your goals

The power of written goals should not be underestimated. Write out all your goals for the next 12 months, hang them somewhere you’ll see them multiple times each day (i.e., your refrigerator) and take at least one small step each day for each of your three main goals.

 

23. Use to-do lists

Working off of lists keeps you highly focused while making it easy to keep tabs on your productivity.

Make them the day before (not the day of) and put alarms for each task into your cell phone to help you stay on track.

 

24. Work with a countdown timer

Countdown timers can turn your work tasks into games (“beat your best time,” etc) which makes time fly by and decreases the tendency to procrastinate.

You can use timers whether you’re working on a project at the office or tidying up your kitchen. Start with ten minute blocks of work time and take a 2 minute break after the timer goes off. Work up to 50 min blocks of work with a ten minute break in between.

 

25. Use rewards to motivate yourself

Rewarding ourselves for a job well done is one of the easiest ways to keep our motivation levels high.

Instead of impulse shopping, make a list of all of the things you would like to buy for yourself (new clothes, furniture, etc) and purchase one of these items ONLY AFTER you achieve one of your goals.

 

26. Become friends with failure

The only way you can truly fail is if you give up. Until that point, you haven’t failed at all. At worst, you’ve had some temporary setbacks while learning exactly what needs to be modified for you to eventually succeed.

Always remember that those who fail the most (and keep bouncing back) win the most, in the end.

 

27. Find an accountability buddy

Having someone to answer to if we slack off greatly increases our discipline and the likelihood we will complete our tasks.

Enlist the help of a friend or family member and ask them to check in with you at least once a week. Tell them exactly what you plan to accomplish and do your best to honor your word.

 

28. Work with a coach

If you’re 100% committed to changing your life for the better, the fastest way to the finish line is working with an experienced coach or mentor. A coach can save you YEARS of time by helping you discover exactly what’s holding you back and giving you the tools and techniques you’ll need to overcome the obstacles in your path.

Every top actor, athlete and musician has a team of coaches helping them to become the best they can be. And thanks to technological advances, you now have the ability to work with your own expert coach no matter where you are in the world.

Everyone needs someone in their corner pushing them to be their very best. I promise you that working with a coach will be the best decision you’ll make this year.

 

Thanks for reading! If you liked this article, then please sign up for my free mailing list (by entering your name and email into the form on the top right of this page).

Once you do so, you’ll instantly receive 2 free gifts: my book “Push The Button” as well as a 7 hour audio program which is jam packed with more tips on how to blast through your barriers and create the lifestyle you deserve.

You can also request a complimentary coaching session with me so I can personally help you overcome a current challenge you’re struggling with. In the meantime, start working on the tips in this article and let me know how much they’ve helped you.

Committed to your success in 2014,

-Jay Cataldo

Jay Cataldo

Jay Cataldo is the #1 life coach in New York City who has transformed the lives of hundreds of clients all around the world. He is best known for his “mind reprogramming techniques” which help his clients make rapid changes with a minimal amount of effort.

You can read more about the success stories of his clients here: http://jaycataldo.com/client-reviews


 

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