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10 Things to Do (and 7 Things to Give Up) to Change Your Life

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Woman on beach in a hat leaning on a rock

Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights an see possibilities – always see them, for they are always there. - Norman Vincent Peale

Every single one of us has the ability to change our life for the better, and yes, that includes you. You are no different from the rest of us, we all have that power within us to change the parts of our lives that are not making us happy or to feel fulfilled.

For some, that may mean a change of job or career, it may mean finding new friends, ending a toxic relationship, moving to a new country, town or county, finding a new hobby or discovering a life passion. Everything and anything is possible if you just open yourself up to change. Change can be overwhelming and a little terrifying, even if you are only ready to take baby-steps they will still be a step in the right direction.

Only you know what is right for you, so don’t listen to ANYONE else regarding what changes you need to make. Even if they mean well, people have a habit of telling others they can’t do something or shouldn’t do something. It is your life and you have the right to make it anything you want to. So make it one you are not only happy to live with, but one you are proud to be living, a life you enjoy living.

The very first step to living your happy life is to work out what it is YOU want. Not what others say you should want, not what our society say’s you should want, but what gets you excited, what gets you feeling passionate about life again.

Woman Sitting on the beach

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. - Oscar Wilde

Do you remember how it felt when you were young? How everything seemed interesting and wonderful. How you felt curious and adventurous about everything new you came across? How exciting it felt to wake up in the morning knowing there’s a whole brand-new day just waiting for you? How great would it be to get some of that back again, and to see life as an adventure instead of Ground Hog Day, doing the same thing, day in – day out, waking up – snoozing the alarm, knowing that today will be just the same as every other day.

There is nothing stopping you from making life fun and interesting again.

(The only thing that is stopping you is you.)


I have met so many people who are desperately unhappy – and are waiting for something or someone to change. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn is that you can’t change other people. Even if you only want to turn them back into who you thought they were. They only person YOU can change is YOU.

If a relationship in your life is not acceptable to you, if you think there is a chance at fixing it by all means try everything you can to make it work, but if the other person doesn’t even see a problem or tells you the problem is you and won’t even try to work on it, then maybe it’s time for you evaluate your options. All relationships consist of more than one person, which means that it takes more than one person to fix it if it’s not working how it should. You cannot do it alone, and if you are expected to, it’s probably better to be alone.

Woman Sitting on the beach (Pink filter)

Ending a relationship isn’t a sign of failure, (I know people who stay in very unhappy marriages because they don’t want to ‘fail’) it’s a sign of strength and courage and it’s better to do it when you are clear headed and strong, than when it’s been bad for so long that resentment has set in on both sides and it gets messy.

Some people stay together ‘for the kids’ but being around two separate loving parents is better than living in a toxic household, with both parents unwittingly teaching the children that this is how a relationship is supposed to be.


If it’s your job you are unhappy with, and a lot of people are, (that’s why Monday gets such a bad rap, don’t blame Monday, it’s not Monday’s fault you’re in the wrong job) studies suggest that 75% of people are unhappy in their work.

Find a way to change it, you may not be able to do it over night, but if you are patient and proactive you will find a way. If you need to up-skill to get the job you want, take a course, there are lots of ways to up-skill now, so many courses are available online, you can do them around the job you already have. Do some volunteer work in the profession you want to learn and work in.

If you don’t know what you want to do, think about things that interest you, things you are passionate about that get you excited, then google jobs that encompass these things. We tend to think of only the obvious jobs and ways to make a living but there are so many jobs that are out there that you may not even know exist and one might be perfect for you.

Don’t be shy, put out your resume, email the companies that you would like to work for. Send them out with the confidence that the perfect opportunity will present itself.

Woman Sitting on the beach (Orange filter)

Hobbies and Interests

Do you find that you are at a loss when you’re not at work or surrounded by people? Don’t know what to do with yourself or don’t enjoy being alone? This has been one of the things highlighted during the COVID lock-downs. Finding things you are interested in enough to pass the time may even help you find your passion in life.

If you don’t know what you enjoy doing, experiment, after all, our whole life is an experiment. Finding things we like, what’s best to do in any situation, how to bring up the kids, who we want to spend our time with, we are all trying to find the best thing or way for us, this is no different. Read up about things you may be interested in or do a google search on hobbies and look in to how to get started. There is only so much Netflix and Stan you can watch. None of us have a map or a manual to know what we are doing – it’s all an experiment, so have some fun with it.

Health and fitness

This is one so many of us want to change too, the problem is we all know what we’ve got to do:

· eat at a healthy balanced diet

· cut back on junk food and treats

· exercise regularly

· drink plenty of water

So why do countless of us not do what we know is good for us?

Breaking bad habits and creating new ones is not an easy thing to do, it takes way more mental effort than it does physical effort. Which is why we start our health kick off with a bang then within a few days or weeks we are so mentally tired, we lose our motivation and slip back into our old bad habits.

Finding a solid motivation for YOU, not because you want to look good for everyone else, something that gets you feeling good about the changes you’re about to make and recognising that it’s just ‘bad habits’ and not who you are that is keeping you from achieving your goals will help you stay on track and get you in the right mindset to achieve the goal you set yourself, and remember that losing the weight is just part of it, to maintain your hard work and fitness you will need to keep the good habits and make them part of your lifestyle.

Focus on the positive aspect – how you feel after exercise, how good it feels as you pull up your skinny jeans and fasten the button so easily…

I know that I’m making it sound simple… but it is simple, it’s just not easy (never confuse the two). To make changes in your life you will have to overcome obstacles and let go of your limiting beliefs. That in itself is not easy. But if you truly want to, and believe it’s possible, then you can do it.

When I began my journey of making huge changes, it took me a long time. I saw good psychologist and read every self-help book I could find. It took me a lot of soul searching, getting to know myself and discover how I ended up trapped in this unhappy life before I began to make changes. At first the changes were small, eventually I became stronger and began to make bigger ones. My life is now unrecognisable to the one I had been living. And because of that I am calmer, more confident, and better able to handle the twists and turns that inevitably come with life. If I can do it, you can too.

Woman Sitting on the beach (faded)

It sounds harsh, I know, but the truth is that our lives are the way they are because we have allowed it to become this way. On the plus side it means we can change it to whatever we want it to be.

Woman Sitting on the beach (Orange filter)

For you to make the changes that will turn your life into a life you enjoy living here are some things to do:

1. Step out of your comfort zone

2. Learn new things

3. Open your mind to new possibilities

4. Be brave and confident in who you are

5. Appreciate those who help you

7. Ask for help and support

8. Set goals

9. Prioritise

10. Stand tall - back straight, head up

and you’re going to have to give up:

1. Blaming everyone else for the way your life has turned out.

2. Refusing help offered

3. Refusing to seek professional help

4. Toxic people and environments

5. Complaining

7. Making excuses

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