Make the necessary changes to live your best life

As mentioned in the film Rent, there are 526,600 minutes in a year.

This means there are 526,600 minutes we can use to better our lives and incite change or to continue on in one’s unhappiness.

People rush into the New Year with lists of resolutions on how they are going to change themselves and their lives, hoping this will finally be the year they lose those 10 extra pounds, save that extra money, or finally do all of the things they’ve always wanted to do.

So my question for you is this, why must you wait until the beginning of a new year to make these changes? If you want to change something, do it.

Looking back at the last 365 days of my life, particularly to this time last year – I was in no place to be inciting changes into my life, yet the universe had other plans for me.

After leaving a mentally draining and exhausting relationship, I was back living in my parent’s basement and needless to say I was miserable.

Not because I was living with my parents again, although it was slightly depressing to think about. I was overweight, smoking a pack a day, wildly unhappy and downright unwilling to make any changes or do anything about it.

All I wanted to do was wallow, so wallow I did.

Many nights spent alone in my room accompanied by Ben & Jerry, my good pal Netflix, and a few good cries were to follow.

This carried on for a few months into 2014, until one morning I woke up and decided something needed to change.

A quote had appeared on my facebook newsfeed the night before stating, “Think less, feel more. Frown less, smile more. Talk less, listen more. Judge less, accept more. Watch less, do more. Complain less, appreciate more. Fear less, love more.”

These words ran on repeat through my mind until I fell asleep that night and were again on my mind when I awoke.

For the last few months all I had been doing was frowning about the things I thought were wrong in my life, talking about my problems, judging the people who I thought had wronged me, watching happy people be happy, complaining about my situation, and living in immense fear of my new unstable and uncertain life.

It was decided that morning that today was going to be the day I would smile again, I would listen with great intent, I would be accepting of everyone and forgive those who I was angry with.

Instead of watching people be happy, I was going to do things that made me happy. Rather than complaining about the problems in my life, I was going to appreciate the things that were right in it.

Last but not least, and I must admit this one certainly took the longest and the most effort – I was going to open my heart to love and stop fearing life.

It’s unclear if I had made a list of resolutions saying these same things if I would’ve actually done them or not, but on this particular day I woke up and I was inspired to make the positive changes in my life that I needed to be happy.

I saw what I needed to do, and I did them.

Some may say it’s easier said than done to simply wake up one morning and change your life, but the will power of a human is truly immeasurable. On that day I designed a life I loved.

It took a few months to see results of my choices but I learned that if you want change in your life, you just have to do it. If you want to lose weight, do it. If you want to save money, do it.

Don’t wait until the New Year to change your life, there are literally 526,600 minutes in a year that you can snap back to reality and make little changes. There are 526,600 minutes in a year that you can choose to smile, listen, accept, do, appreciate and love.

But at the end of the day, that’s just it – you have to choose to do these things and no one is going to force you.

I was pulled out of months of wallowing by one of those ‘light bulb moments’ incited by a simple quote on the Internet, and I would venture to say that everyone needs that inspiration to get the ball rolling.

So maybe my story can be that inspiration for someone else, because life is short and it’s too short to spend it living any way but exactly how you want. You have to design your life, and you have the power to do so. No one in this life is powerless, but sometimes we need inspiration to find our power.

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes later and I’m still working on the life I want to live everyday. I’ve lost some of the weight that was bothering me, but it’s still a choice I have to make everyday. I made the choice to quit smoking, sometimes I slip up but every day is a challenge and from what I hear from people who have quit I very well may struggle with this the rest of my life.

Sure there are days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed, days I feel like eating 17 poutines back to back then smoking an entire pack of cigarettes but I have to fight everyday for the values I want my life to be based on.

Don’t wait for Friday, don’t wait for summer, and don’t wait for the New Year next time you want to make a change because if you keep waiting, one day it might be too late.

jswan@reddeerexpress.com

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