I’m going to admit, 2017 was a bad year.
Nothing good came from it apart from realising I needed to change.
It started with a break up. It always starts with a break up. Which resulted in getting back together/breaking up FIVE times throughout the year. While I know how stupid that was now, at the time it was like five little glimpses of hope. Five little chances to be back together.
So I don’t get in trouble — this isn’t my current girlfriend.
Why am I telling you this?
It had an effect on me that I only realise now that I can look back and reflect.
It extended the break-up period.
You know that period where you’re mindset is ‘I’m single now it’s time to have some fun’? During the period of which you drink a bit more than normal, you go out to nightclubs and parties every chance you get to get your mind off things. Generally lasting a few weeks.
Well mine lasted for a year because I was constantly in and out of a toxic relationship.
I managed to drink 4–5 times per week. Sleep most of the day and make no progression what-so-ever to actually accomplishing anything worth while.
I was a bi-product of my environment and I had no one to blame but myself.
During this period I become friends with a group of people I really shouldn’t have.
Depressed. Negative. Unmotivated. Alcoholic.
These are all traits of the group of people I was hanging out with and therefore became mine.
They were an easy group of people to hang around. No goals, no ambition, so therefore, no need to have my own.
Before I go further I want to make it perfectly clear. That I still had a full time job and was still very functional. I guess you could say I had that 18 year old mind set of ‘nothing matters’ and had money to fuel it.
Then came the most important day of my life.
22/01/2017. ( I think I should get it tattooed, it means that much to me).
I have no idea what clicked that day but something did.
I couldn’t tell you why that was the day I decided to change. I’ve been trying to figure it out.
But the important thing is that something did click.
Literally, from that day, I completely changed my environment. Which changed my life.
Because in my hungover state, I realised something that day: If I change my environment I could change my life.
After my revelation, I started with ONE area.
Over the past 2 years of working relentlessly to change my life this is ONE primary area you need to fix if you want to change their life.
You are the product of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
I know everyone has heard the above but how many people actually take it on board?
I first heard that quote 3 years ago. It took me 2 years to actually use it.
You need to take a close look at the people you hang out with and start making some hard decisions.
- Do you aspire to be like them?
- Do they share the same passion for chasing goals?
- Do they fit into your master plan?
If they don’t tick any of the above, it’s time to get rid of them.
Generally, in this situation you know you need to move on but you’re worried about feelings getting hurt. I’m going to tell you this: You were not put on this earth to make other people happy.
Grow some balls and do whats best for you.
The way I did it was stopped all communication. Just like that. Some people asked why I wasn’t hanging out with them and I provided them with an answer but other than that, NO COMMUNICATION.
You’ll thank yourself in a few months time when you’re hanging out with people who actually help you get closer to your goals.
Doing this will have some backlash. I guarantee you they’ll get angry, bitch and moan and all that fun high school crap you thought you’d gotten away from.
Don’t get caught up in it. You made a decision.
The right decision.
Rise above it and start chasing your goals.
After I nailed out toxic people it was time to work on the other two things I needed to improve to complete the process.
What does your bedroom look like?
Seriously, have a look around.
Is it clean?
Is your bed made?
Have you got your goals written down and clearly visible?
These were the next questions I asked myself and you should to.
You need to have a productive and goal orientated physical environment if you’re going to change your life and start casing your goals.
This all comes down to habits. Positive habit forming.
You need to develop positive habits if you want to create a goal orientated environment.
So, do this:
- Identify the habits you need to develop.
- Do them every single day.
That’s all there is to it.
The person you are when no one is watching is the person that everyone sees.
You might think it doesn’t matter but who you are in private means more than you think.
For example, you can’t say you’re a very organised person and not make your bed every morning.
While no one can see it, it matters.
You want to start working on habits that improve who you are. Even the little things matter.
The very first positive habit I develop was making my bed every morning.
It’s such a little thing but it is an achievement, every morning and sets me up for a positive day.
Others that I’ve developed:
- Cleaning my room every Sunday and I mean full on cleaning. Dusting, vacuuming, wiping down my white boards so there’s NO black smudges on them. Not just chucking shit in a draw and saying I’ve cleaned. Like I said who you are in private matters and doing things half ass should never be a solution.
- Not eating in bed.
- Washing my car.
I’ve got a shitload of others but these are the ones that relate to environment.
This is by far the hardest to conquer but by working on people and your physical environment first, it’s easier.
Your mind counts as part of your environment. Arguably, it’s the most important out of the three. Your mindset will make or break you, so it’s important to take steps in developing a positive one.
Your mind is also a sneaky little shit. It will convince you that things are okay when they’re not, which was my issue for all of 2017. I thought everything was okay, until I woke up to myself.
You need to develop a positive mindset if you’re going to chase your goals and you can’t do that until you’ve improved your external environment but once you’ve done that, you need to look at other aspects that contribute to a positive mindset.
Positive Habits Develop A Positive Mindset
I spoke about it briefly but I want to address it more. Positive Habits are critical if you want to change your mindset. You need to develop these habits that get you closer to your goal just by doing them daily.
These are some of mine:
- Make my bed
- Write everyday
- Comment on 20 posts on Medium
- Answer 5 questions on Quora
- Email travel bloggers about OAKTRAV
- Contact journalists about OAKTRAV
- Exercise: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
This is about 1/3 of my habits.
To build on the above, you need to be consistent.
Back in 2015, I tried to develop the habit of making my bed every morning. I gave up after 3 days. Not because it was hard but because I didn’t have the mindset I have now. Fast forward to 2017, it stuck like glue from the first day and I’ve done it everyday since.
It’s now embedded in my mind. I have to make my bed.
Another example is commenting on Medium everyday.
There’s days when I really don’t feel like it. Days where it can take me a couple of hours because I’m not motivated but I’ll still do it because consistency is how you develop momentum and momentum is how you reach your goals.
This alone will change your life and It’s really easy to do.
Embedding your goals into your mind will transform you to become goal orientated.
Your goals need to become all you think about and the only way to do that is to constantly remind yourself of them (seeing a pattern of consistency yet?).
For me this was instant because I figured out exactly what I wanted and it became the reason I do anything.
I think about my goals constantly. Meaning almost every second of the day.
As I write this, I’m thinking about it. That’s the level you need to get to.
This helps with all my previous points as you’ll be able to determine what you need to do, what habits you need to develop and who you should be hanging around.
Realistically, it should have been my first point…
Here’s what I do to remind myself of my goals:
- I write it on a card and carry it in my wallet.
- I write it on the whiteboard behind my desk. I’m staring at my goal right now.
- It’s on my corkboard next to my bed, so It’s the first and last thing I see everyday.
- I actively read it out loud twice a day.
I suggest you do all of the above if you want to develop a mindset that’s not only positive but also goal orientated.
I’ve been in a horrible mindset where nothing was going anywhere and everything was self-destructive. These are the exact things I worked on in order to turn that all around.
If you really want to change your mindset and get ahead in life you need to put a huge importance on your environment, both internal external.
Before you actually start to make that move you need to be ready. For me, it took a few years to reach that level where I’d had enough of nothing happening and was ready to do something about it.
For you, it might take longer or hopefully, you’re ready now.
If you’re there, for the next two months work through the above process. Start with the most daunting first. People. It doesn’t take long. Only a couple of days to decide who needs to go and who stays and to then make it obvious of your decision.
Before I go I will point out something I harp on about: Nothing will change because you read this, you have to actually act.