11 Ways to Take Charge of Your Life

11 Ways to Take Charge of Your Life
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Many of us try to make changes and build new habits in our lives but struggle. This struggle can trip us up and discourage us. It doesn’t have to be this way. In this post, we’ll get into some specific tactics that help us to take charge.

1) Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Left unchecked this can become a toxic habit and lead to us never feeling truly satisfied with who we are or our own accomplishments.

Learn from others certainly but forget comparisons.

2) Focus on One

We live in an age of constant distractions.

We flit from this to that trying to give everything equal attention but losing the battle along the way.

What if we focused completely on one thing at a time instead? What if we quit the multi-tasking and juggling? Wouldn’t that be less stressful and a more effective use of our time?

Focus totally on that one thing (or person) in front of you until you’re done with it then, and only then, move onto whatever is next.

3) Less Complaining, More Gratitude

Making room for gratitude in our lives helps us see all we truly have already. Complaining never really does any good anyway, it’s poison.

There will always be something to bemoan if we have a negative outlook. But we can take charge of our outlook and be accountable instead (see no 9).

Utilise the power of positive thought and gratitude.

4) Know and Be Yourself

Trying to be anyone else but you is exhausting. Better to be true to who we really are.

5) Go 80/20

The Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule, the vital few and the trivial many, call it what you will. The thinking behind 80/20 has stood the test of time for a very good reason, it works.

We can use 80/20 thinking as a tool to ensure our attention is focused on the tasks and people that matter most to us. From there, we arrange our time and days accordingly.

Some useful 80/20 questions:

Is this really a great use of my time?

Does this support and/or get me closer to a personal goal or achievement? If not, can I drop it?

Are these the people that I really want to surround myself with?

Revisit these and other 80/20 type questions often to ensure you’re taking charge of your time on the planet as much as you can. Prioritise your time with what’s important.

6) Simplify, Declutter & Repeat

Get rid of the noise and unnecessary moving parts in your life. Simplify and give yourself room to breathe.

7) Stop Trying to Sprint All the Way

Stop trying to do everything at breakneck speed. Make a little time to smell the flowers, celebrate successes and appreciate life along the way instead. Appreciate the power of slow.

8) Simplify your To Do list

We often load our To Do lists up with lots to be done that never really gets to done. Better to have less on our list that stands a good chance of getting completed rather than a whole lot that just overwhelms and stresses us.

Simplify life by reducing your To Do list down to 1 or 2 key tasks per day only. You can always add more once you’ve completed your top 1 or 2 priorities.

9) Be Accountable

Taking charge of our lives means we are accountable. We can’t hide behind excuses, we have to get up and be counted. No one else is going to take our dreams and goals as seriously as we will so best we take the reins in our hands.

Be accountable for your choices and actions in life. Be empowered.

10) Stop Comparing Yourself to that Vision of Your Future, Perfect Self

Too much of this leads to deferred (future) living and we never feel happy or content. Better to make the most of who we are and where we are now. Perfect doesn’t exist anyway.

11) Get Comfortable with Saying No

Most of us are people pleasers at heart and saying no can be difficult. However, taking charge of our lives will mean we have to get comfortable saying no on occasion. Otherwise we run the risk of spreading ourselves too thin.

Bonus Point:

Aim High and Tune Out the Naysayers

People love to put barriers up telling us “you can’t”, “that’s not the way it’s done”, “no” and other such mantras of doom and general dead ends.

Often, this comes down to their own fears or beliefs spoken out loud. Maybe they “can’t” because they tell themselves they can’t. You don’t have to enter into that. You can blaze your own trail instead.

Just because someone says it can’t be done, it doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be done.

Set your aim high, work hard to achieve your dreams and meet your goals and you just might surprise yourself (as well as the naysayers). Get used to the fact that you’ll hear “you can’t” a lot if you try just about anything in life. Sometimes you just have to go ahead and do it anyway.

Keep your resolve strong and focused on what’s important to you.

These points are just scratching the surface on ways that we can all take charge of our lives. Add your own ideas and live the life you want, in the way that you want, and you’ll be taking charge.

Note: This is a riff off an earlier post at my site

Carl is the author of several short books full of big ideas including: Slow: Seeking Stillness in Fast Paced Times and Need Less, Live More . He is also the proud owner of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers live a simpler, more personally satisfying, life.

Support HuffPost

Popular in the Community