Lifestyle reflects our beliefs, attitudes, customs, behaviors, and values. A lifestyle can fill us with joy, keep us healthy, and allow us to become more successful. It can also contribute to illness or hold us back from the things we are capable of accomplishing.Fortunately, we can choose actions and habits that keep us happy, healthy, and successful. We have that choice daily.Maltbie Babcock summarized this very elegantly when she wrote, “A day dawns, quite like other days; in it, a single hour comes, quite like other hours; but in that day and in that hour the chance of a lifetime faces us.”That chance, however, presents a challenge. A familiar lifestyle is not easy to leave behind, even when negative habits or tolerations make it uncomfortable. Doug Firebaugh wisely said, “Something must die in order to grow – your old habits, your old self image, your old thinking, your old life… must be weeded out for the seeds of success to grow.”People want to be free from the consequences of their vices, but not necessarily from their vices. Many attempt changes that are too large to be realistic. Others try to change too many things at once. Old behaviors creep back very quickly.For example, if it would burden you to carry out a new action on a regular basis, it is probably not a realistic change. Smaller changes carried out regularly more often lead to lasting change. Begin with one new action that can become a regular lifestyle behavior. Then look for tangible results from that change.If you are not already living your ideal lifestyle, take time to think deeply about the following questions. Then write your answers in a journal. This exercise will help you create a clear picture of your ideal lifestyle. It will also help you to design a plan to begin creating the lifestyle that you want.What is my current lifestyle?How have my beliefs created that lifestyle?What is my current lifestyle costing me?If my lifestyle were to become ideal, what differences would I notice immediately in the major areas of my life?For example, what would you be doing differently on a daily basis? What habits would you adopt, and what habits would you discard? Consider the changes you would notice in these areas:
Relationships (Family and Career)
Wellness and self-care
Serenity and inner stillness
Rest and relaxation
Happiness and contentment
How would I look and feel most of the time if I lived my ideal lifestyle?What tolerations, habits of thought, and actions are limiting me from living my ideal lifestyle?What would it require of me to remove those limitations?What is the first thing in my current lifestyle that I would truly like to change or improve?Am I willing to commit to the necessary changes in thought and action to live my ideal lifestyle, and if so, when will I begin to make the first change?How will I feel when I have adopted new habits of thought and action?What is one positive change I could comfortably make today?This exercise will open your mind to the possibilities and options available to you for positive change. When you have a clear picture of your goal and the changes needed, you can begin moving forward toward a lifestyle that will bring you more success in all the important areas of your life.These questions might lead to additional questions you will need to answer. You will need to evaluate your progress on a regular basis, make changes in your initial plan, and adjust your actions accordingly. A professional life strategies coach can also help you to expand these questions to a deeper level, find necessary answers, and design a plan to achieve the lifestyle you want.Envision your ideal lifestyle. Determine necessary changes, and design a realistic plan to achieve your vision. Then make at least one small change in your thoughts and actions immediately. These suggestions will help you begin moving toward your ideal lifestyle today.