This past Saturday, October 27th, marked one year since my sister’s accident – one she should have never survived. Tough as nails, Mariah went off a dirt mound, launched about 10 feet in the air, hit a tree, landed in a river, and walked away from it. As I sat and reflected on this, I realized how absent I had been for my sister during this extremely tough time. Instead of letting myself feel the severity of her situation and being there for my little sister, I gave my time and energy to partying and trying to fit in. I was not myself. I was not showing up for people who mattered. I was not showing up for me. I was not showing up anywhere in my life except the next frat party.
It wasn’t until 45 days ago that this version of myself came to a head. I decided it was truly time to make a change, one with a purpose that didn’t truly hit home until Saturday. For me, this change involved not drinking. I decided that instead of giving my extra time and energy to alcohol, I was going to dedicate it to bettering myself and achieving my goals.
I listened to a podcast by Nick Long where he explained how he gave up drinking for 90 days. After learning about his triumphs with this challenge, I made a pledge to myself to not drink for the same amount of time. I’m now halfway through this goal and, being immersed in a college environment, it’s definitely not easy. There have been people who I’ve felt didn’t completely support it, made fun of my goal, or simply stopped inviting me along. All understandable. I’ve tried to do this a few times, failing miserably. But this time it’s different. I found the tools necessary to follow through so I’d like to share them. Below are six mantras you can use to walk yourself through the process of making a positive change in your life.
I am unwilling to continue like this
The first step in deciding to make a change in your lifestyle is acknowledging that you are no longer willing to continue whatever it is that isn’t serving you. You’ll typically be able to identify these things because they’re those actions or habits which you strive to defend or justify to yourself and/or others. Once you tell yourself you’re unwilling to continue something that is ultimately hindering you, you’re ready for the second mantra.
I deserve more
You must want more from your life. There has to be a willingness to better yourself. Not only this, but you need to believe you’re capable of more. Often times we are our own biggest obstacles. We are afraid of what others will say and think, fearful of failure, and uncomfortable being uncomfortable. Why do you want to make a change in your life? Once you know this, it helps you to feel as though you’re deserving. Remember this.
I will achieve my goal
What is it that you need to eliminate and implement into your life in order to be a better version of you? Is this a habit you need to kick, eating healthier, working out, focusing on your relationships? Identify what it is you want and what’s standing in your way of getting there.
I have support
Find one person, just one, who will not only believe in you but who truly wants to see you succeed. It’s easy for someone to say good job, but who is going to want to see you make this change in your life? Who is going to stand beside you when you are doubting yourself? Find just one of these people because once you find one, the other people will gravitate.
I know what to do
Make a plan of action. Set small goals you can do each day to help cultivate this larger shift in your life. Not only this, but note what you will do if you’re tempted to go back to your old ways. Furthermore, create methods to measure your progress. This can be setting goals each day, mentally checking in with yourself, rewarding yourself when you achieve certain stages of your goal, or whatever will help you stay motivated and accountable.
I am relentless
Do it and don’t stop. Understand that changing something in your life requires a complete lifestyle shift. The habits we adopt and the environments we create are suited for what we are currently doing and where we currently reside in life. If you want more, do more. If you crave something different, do something different. If you want to be a better version of yourself, do better things that serve you.
Remember, when we want more for ourselves, it’s not only affecting us but the people around us as well. People get used to who and how you are. So when you want to change, it can be uncomfortable for them as well. With this being said, sometimes we face pushback in our pursuits but YOU CANNOT LET THIS STOP YOU. KEEP GOING. Find the people that want to see you succeed, nourish those relationships, and remember your why. You can’t make a difference doing the same things you’ve been doing. Learn, create, share, step outside of the norm, make yourself uncomfortable, dare to desire more, and encourage others to do the same.