Can you change your life—really change it? People will tell you that you can’t, but there’s evidence all-around of other people who made big transformations. It won’t be easy, but it can be done, and the steps below can help.
Take the Leap
You probably know some people who talk a lot about “someday,” or maybe you are one of those people yourself. “Someday” you’ll go back to school, start your own business, move to France or run a marathon. The truth is that many people are perfectly happy with a “someday” that they always dream about but which never actually comes.
If you aren’t, then the first thing you have to do is make a real commitment to change. This is going to mean moving outside of your comfort zone and making sacrifices, but if it’s what you truly want, it’s the right thing to do.
Set Your Goals
Once you’ve realized that you really can make changes, it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to make. Change is hard, so you should start with just one. A good goal has several important qualities. It should be as specific as possible. An example of a good, specific goal might be “get a bachelor’s degree in accounting.” It should also be something that has a time limit.
Perhaps you’ll aim to achieve this in five or six years, or maybe it will take longer if you attend school part-time. It should also be something that you can measure. These qualities will help you avoid vague goals like “get more education.” What does “more” mean, and when will you do it? The answer to the second question is probably “someday,” and then you’re right back where you started.
Make Your Plan
You need to take a series of smaller steps to reach that big goal. For example, you might need to figure out how you’ll pay for that business degree. Choosing Earnest private student loans is one option, and you can quickly find out if you are eligible for them. Other options include federal student aid along with private grants and scholarships.
You will also need to research which schools might be right for you and prepare your applications. Each of these steps takes you closer to your ultimate goal.
Get Ready for Challenges
If you’ve done all of the above, you’re probably feeling giddy with excitement. What could go wrong? The answer is a lot, but don’t let this discourage you. In fact, you should be prepared for the fact that things won’t always go well. After all, if changing your life was easy, everyone would do it. When you encounter setbacks, challenges, or even failures, this isn’t a sign that you are on the wrong path. It’s simply an inevitable thing that happens sometimes when you are trying to accomplish something difficult.
Keep in mind as well that you can always start fresh. It’s not unusual to talk yourself out of something if you are already struggling. For example, if you are training for a marathon and you missed a training session, you might think you’ve messed up your schedule for the week. It could even throw you off your training entirely. Instead, you should put the setback behind you and pick up where you left off.