*Sits under a tree. Thinks. Then calls it a thinking tree.*
If you knew you could improve your life now, why wouldn’t you?
Time is a gift given in order for you to make changes at any minute, not even one second should go to waste. And hey we're only in the second month!
Here are simple practices to keep in mind in order to help improve your year now and get to where you want to be. Action, flow, repeat!
1) Start with an idea, but start off small.
My personal idea started as a goal of mine. Slowly but surely, I finally decided to be open to the idea of leaving my roots in the Bay Area and move before I turned 25. It was pretty obvious what two cities I needed to consider in order to contribute my talents to the fashion industry, New York or Los Angeles. A couple months in, I started making my words turn into action. A job interview and Airbnb visit later, I’m moved Los Angeles in the beginning of January to pursue a career opportunity in LA and I couldn’t have been more excited.
So remember that big dream you couldn’t stop thinking about? Or that small idea you had that was tucked away because it was a little crazy? It’s 2017, maybe a new technological advancement came about to help make it a reality.
Seriously, whatever your idea is, you’re already on the right track. I had an idea, put it into action and now I’ve never been more sure of anything in my entire life.
2) Feel the fear but do it anyway.
A lot of the time, you don’t know where to begin with an idea that it makes you feel intimidated. It’s like beginning an 5,000 piece puzzle. It may seem impossible and be quite the mess at first, but you have to start somewhere. Everyone knows to start piecing together the corners. Then, focus on an area of the puzzle that stands out and build up from there.
Finally, you get stuck.
This is perfectly normal. You’re not going to have all the answers right away. You may need to take some time to step away from the puzzle, rest it out, then come back.
It’s always worth a try when the end result may be a complete, piece of art.
3) Be curious... about everything.
The key to this is simply making small efforts to learn more about something or someone you’ve always been interested in. I feel like I adapt well to new things because I dive in never assuming I know everything about it.
Or when I ask about someone’s day, it’s not just small talk. I really want to hear about your day, I’m here to listen. You might find something new you have in common with a coworker that can bring you closer together at the office or even outside of work.
4) Do the hard work, find your passion along the way.
At some point in life, we’ll all have to take a low paying job or perform the tasks we didn’t like. But it doesn’t mean you need to be miserable. Gather the right perspective and learn how to make it work for you.
I’ve started a job doing customer service and it wasn’t exactly my thing. I thought to myself, “I can’t be doing this forever.” I eventually made my way up to marketing manager and in this role, I found new strengths and weaknesses.
I knew I had the skills to do more, so I did.
I wanted to continue to tell stories visually and use my creative eye to inspire. That’s when I applied my experience in photography. I became the brain behind a new product launch and created the inspiration behind a new collection.
I knew what I had discovered that I loved was overseeing any creative aspects of my job and art directing. My new passion is to keep working to become a creative director in the fashion industry.
Whatever it was that felt right to me, I kept doing.
5) Patience is really key.
I’m the type of person that when I want something, I want it now.
In fact, a lot of our generation can’t help it. We’re programmed this way in a sense, the idea of instant gratification. Instant likes on our photos, online banking accessibility straight from our phones, or seeing someone start typing on iMessage that gives us so much anxiety.
If you’re consistent with what you’re doing, you WILL yield the results. Maybe it’s not in the exact timing you had in mind, but timing is everything and inspiration will come at the right moment for you.
6) Welcome change and a lot of it.
When it rains, it pours.
And when it comes, welcome it with a big, warm hug. Chances are you’ve only had just a taste of what’s to come. The more you welcome something out of your comfort zone, the more you expose yourself to more and more opportunity, experiences, and life lessons you are going to learn.
So say yes to something you normally wouldn’t. You never know, it might lead you to a new path in your direction.
7) Take a break. Really, you deserve it.
I’m my own worst critic and an Aries, which means I have restless energy and tend to take on more than I can handle at times. When I don’t achieve all the tasks I’ve set out to do? I feel like crap. I blame my uncompleted work to laziness and criticize myself for being a failure.
We. Need. To. Stop. This! We need to take a deep breath and know that we’re doing the best we can because everything in life is just better with balance.
I started off my year being terribly sick with a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and everything. I barely have lazy days to myself but this time, I spent the whole day dedicated to being in bed, watching crappy reality tv, chugging orange juice, and sleeping in order to make a full recovery. My body thanked me and so did my mental. Then, it was back to work.
8) Make gratitude your only attitude.
I had my lowest low in the middle of 2016 which led me to a dark place for awhile. This event in my life gave me a reality check. But that dark time last year only led me to appreciate all the good that’s happening in my life NOW. It’s true that things can only get better if you choose to see the light.
I even get ridiculously happy about the littlest things in my life that I could cry. Seeing my friends happy makes me eternally grateful because I was there to witness the smiles on their faces in that moment. If I know something will make my parents happy, I will do it because it’s always worth it.
If you take time to appreciate the people in your lives that love and support you, you will always feel like you are succeeding in life. And that in itself is enough, it really is.