You may well already be familiar with the popular quote (often wrongly attributed to John Lennon), that ‘life is something that happens when you’re making other plans’.
Whilst it is perfectly understandable and frankly entirely up to you if you wanted to settle for opportunities that simply land in your lap, if this does not sound like you, then you should continue reading.
Follow Your Instincts
One of the simplest ways to start to feel as if you are back in control of your own life is to stop listening to what society says you should do, and instead, simply follow your instincts. For example, many people working full-time in the world of business, see the pursuit of money as the path to success, whereas it should be fulfilment at the forefront.
If you enjoy being outside and truly feel at peace when immersed in nature, a career in agriculture or a job as a landscape gardener is an excellent pathway to embark upon.
Consider Higher Education
Another way to change your situation, if you do not feel as if you are as fulfilled and content in your life as you could be, is to start looking for higher education. For those people with the relevant level of entry qualifications, a fantastic way to start to transform your life is to research UC Berkeley admission requirements and GPA.
It would be worth pointing out that, to get the most out of a college or university, you need to be wholly committed and entirely dedicated to the subject and studies you choose. Where you do not have to have a set career pathway in mind, an idea of the area you would like to enter will greatly inform and improve your chances of successfully acquiring your degree qualification.
Apply for Therapy
Thankfully, although certainly far too late, the concept of therapy and the idea of talking through your issues, worries, and problems with a registered professional is far more accepted in mainstream society.
Now, it may well be that you cannot identify palpable issues and roadblocks which are stopping you advance in your life and moving forward, but often, there are hidden and suppressed emotions and situations you have never consciously dealt with that could be holding you back.
There is a wide plethora of impressive and frankly, life-changing benefits to talking therapy, including the following to name just a few:
- Physical signs and symptoms of distress may well also improve
- Being listened to in a calm and neutral environment
- Access to proven-to-be effective self-led exercises
- An opportunity to reflect and make peace
- A powerful level of containment and validation
- A substantial chance of reduced stress and anxiety
- A boost to your energy and overall levels of motivation
Push Yourself Outside of Your Comfort Zone
An often-quoted, yet unfortunately rarely listened to way to transform both your short-term experiences and your long-term goals and targets is to physically and emotionally push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Borrowing the fundamentals from CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), for a moment, in changing your core behaviors and patterns within that behaviour, you will begin to transform your associated thoughts, and this forms the basis of changing your everyday reality.
Some suggestions to help you break free from your comfort zone include:
- Make small changes to your day-to-day routine
- Volunteer just an hour or two of your time
- Cook a meal which you would never have eaten before
- Indulge your inner child with painting and crafting
- Contact an old friend
- Read new genres of books which you never have before
- Sit in a different chair in the evening and watch something different on television
Start Saying No
One of the most important new strategies you should begin to implement immediately to start taking control of your own life is to simply start to say no.
How often do you agree to a task, chore, meeting, or even a social occasion because you feel as if you must or you ‘should’ attend, and if it was up to you, you would not even entertain going? From now on, if you do not want to do anything, do not do it, unless, of course, this relates to professional or personal responsibility.
Remember, you are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people in your life warm.
Get Better at Prioritizing
Everybody, regardless of age, gender, lifestyle, and personal situation, has important tasks they must complete, be those related to work or family, and as with any task or responsibility, the idea of completion is often far harder to compute than the actuality.
Procrastination is, cliched but true, the thief of time, and to have more freedom and indeed more control of the direction your life is taking, you should start to prioritize your important tasks first.
Start to take personal and direct responsibility for your actions and your own life, and as hard as it may seem, you need to start making decisions and changing your behavioral patterns to benefit you, rather than to self-sabotage.
Begin a More Positive Routine
For some people, even the idea of a morning or daily routine is enough to make them feel trapped, and conversely for others, a routine is the most effective way of feeling in control of their day.
Unless you are one of the incredibly fortunate few, you will have to earn money in one way or another and may have other personal and important roles and responsibilities, such as raising children or looking after other loved ones and pets.
Aside from the basic and necessary commitments you currently have, remember that your spare time belongs to you and you alone, and that your habits and actions are essentially the manifestations of your beliefs, needs, and desires. Creating a routine will allow you to get the important things done in a timely manner, leaving plenty of spare time for you to pursue other things that you enjoy.