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Have you ever thought about all that you could accomplish if you strived to reach your full potential?
You could get in shape, you could get out of debt, you could start a successful business, or whatever you dream of.
The weeks, months, and years seem to be going faster and faster. And if you’re just letting things slip between your fingers day in and day out, you’ll soon be years older. You’ll look back and think, “Why didn’t I do that?” or “I wish I had done more.”
Instead, what if you took advantage of every day of your life? You pushed yourself to do uncomfortable things and chase your goals. That is striving to reach your full potential.
Only you know what you truly want and only you can figure out your full potential.
Here are 11 ways you can start getting there:
Where you currently are in life, is directly related to your choices.
You may have had a horrible childhood, grew up poor, and lack proper education.
You may have been cheated on, abused, or taken advantage of in a recent relationship.
But now…what YOU decide to think of the past and what actions YOU decide to take, are completely your responsibility.
The past is the past and there is no point in blaming anyone. I am not saying you are at fault for a bad childhood or any other circumstance that WAS out of your control, but what is the point of using that as an excuse anymore?
No one can take away your ability to improve your life.
Take responsibility for everything from here on out and your life will simply become easier.
If something is not your responsibility but it still affects you, it is your responsibility to determine how you react.
Learn from your past
Mistakes are inevitable and are key to learning. However, mistakes become a bad thing when the same ones are made over and over again. Those are no longer mistakes, those are decisions to do the wrong thing.
The past is gone and there is nothing you can do to go back. However, it is our greatest lesson.
How many times have you said, “I’ll never make that mistake again!” And you really never do.
You can also use the past to guide you in the right direction. If you have done something that has worked before, you can do it again and repeat that success.
You are not defined from your past, but there are endless lessons to learn from it.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Problems are forever and tons of small annoyances/inconveniences/problems are going to come up.
Instead of worrying about all those little things 24/7, focus on the big picture.
Will the problem(s) you’re currently having matter in 5 years? Can it be resolved in the next week? Probably.
If you spend all your time stressed and worried about the little things, when will you get to enjoy life?
Instead, celebrate the small wins in your life, put tons of energy into your big goals and projects, and focus on the important things like your relationships, memories, and overall well-being.
Book to Read: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff
Set goals – Long-term and Short-term
If you’re just floating aimlessly through life then you’ll never reach your full potential.
Whatever big goal you have, go BIGGER.
Don’t limit your potential, you have so much more in you!
Set big goals that scare you and develop a plan of action to achieve it.
Put a timeline in place, do research on what you need to do, and break it down into smaller goals.
Personally, I set weekly, monthly, yearly, and even 5,10+ year goals. I revisit and evaluate them all the time.
This keeps me aligned and on track with my big and long-term goals.
If you miss a deadline or don’t quite reach exactly what you were striving for, who cares?! Don’t let that bring you down. You are further than you were before.
Take care of yourself
I don’t have to tell you that you can’t reach your full potential if you eat junk food, sit around, and watch Netflix all week right?
Take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, financially, etc.
You should be your number one priority because that is how you can become your best self to serve others.
This includes your health:
- Eat a balanced diet rich in whole foods, vitamins, and minerals
- Drink enough water
- Limit caffeine intake
- Don’t sit too much
- Get moving daily
- Incorporate strength training to protect your joints and increase muscle
- Schedule doctor visits (OB/GYN, eye doctor, dentist, etc.)
- Protect your skin from the sun
- Journal your feelings
- Make a plan for getting out of debt
- Make a budget and stick to it
- Save, save, save
- Invest early and wisely
- Think before you buy
- Track your spending
Who you are in relationships:
- Speak up for yourself
- Voice your opinion if it is important to you
- Tell your significant other how you really feel
- Don’t stay in a relationship for comfort
- Cut out negative people
Take action daily
If you set goals and don’t take action on them, those are just dreams. They won’t come to life because you’re not focusing on them.
What can you do today that would improve your tomorrow?
What can you do today that would make you feel proud and accomplished when you go to bed?
Take action on what you want in life every single day even if it’s just 5 minutes. Even if it’s not the best you’ve ever done. Give your best effort for today.
I’ve realized that most people just make excuses which inhibits them from taking action. It’s like no matter what, there is an excuse. Don’t be like most people.
And be sure you’re ACTUALLY taking action, not just passive action all the time.
Avoid spending too much time learning, reading, watching, etc. Instead, apply the things you learn and actually do what it takes to reach your goals.
Develop positive habits
Positive habits will make your life easier and healthier overall.
Positive habits are difficult to develop because they usually require more self-discipline, mental strength, and energy. This includes habits such as regular exercise, waking up early and not hitting snooze, and maintaining a clean home.
Bad habits on the other hand provide instant gratification and make you feel good in the moment.
If you can develop positive habits, they’ll eventually just be a part of your routine and you won’t even think about it. It will be easier to follow through even if you feel resistance because you’ve incorporated the habit into who you are as a person.
If you don’t value and appreciate what you have now, you probably never will.
Gratitude comes up in nearly every post of mine because it’s just so damn important.
We often forget how many great things we have in our life. We take things for granted and sometimes even disrespect them.
I’ve made a habit of writing down at least 3 things I’m grateful for every day. It’s a great way to start or end your day and it’s the best way to get yourself out of a negative state.
It’s pretty difficult to think negative thoughts and be grateful at the same time.
Gratitude is a way for you to appreciate the present moment or current circumstances, not just focus on the future and what may be.
Practice gratitude daily and truly feel it within yourself. It has the power to transform your life by transforming your thoughts.
Book to Read: The Gratitude Diaries
Work on your confidence
Who is it that you want to be? Do you believe you can be that person? How do you even start to think like that person??
Confidence is so exciting, because once you become so proud of who you are, no one can break you. You’ll still feel fear and discomfort, but deep down you know that you can do anything.
Confidence comes from following through on what you say you’ll do. It comes from doing things that you are proud of.
You have to step outside of your comfort zone, feel fear, and do it anyway.
You have to sit up straight, take care of yourself, and be kind to others.
You have to set goals, work hard to reach them, and then achieve them.
Be proud of all that you have accomplished, big or small.
Learn new things and challenge yourself. Learn about who you are and what you want out of life.
Confidence takes time to develop, but it’s effects will compound with time.
Related Post: 10 Ways to Gain More Confidence
Grit simply means to persevere. To keep going when you fail, when things get tough, and when you really feel like giving up.
Did you know I almost quit this blog 2 years ago??
I was journaling about it. I was having a conversation with myself…”Should I give up because I’m not making progress? Or should I just keep going because it’s what I really want?”
It’s pretty obvious which option I chose. Now I can’t imagine my life without my blog and the results finally came.
Things worth having aren’t a walk in the park. You’ll feel anger, frustration, exhaustion, and most of all you’ll want to give up.
It’s easy to give up.
It’s easy to go back to your old routine and habits because they’re comfortable.
However, if you have grit and push through all the resistance, you’ll come out on top, stronger, and better than ever.
Book to Read: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Have a running quit list
In addition to a “to-do” or “bucket” list, maintain a quit list that you update regularly. A list of things, thoughts, habits, or people you are going to quit or remove from your life.
When you evaluate your life (and you should be regularly), it’s important to recognize the things that are distracting you, holding you back, or simply not good for you.
This quit list should help you realize what to eliminate in order to remove the temptation from your life.
For example, back in March I decided it was time to quit Instagram.
Instagram was a huge distraction for me from my work. I would spend hours each week scrolling through photos and videos of people I didn’t really care about. Initially, I said I would give it up for 30 days, but after 30 days I realized I didn’t want to bring it back in my life right now.
I wanted to post on it like before, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation to scroll day in and day out. So it’s deleted off my phone and I’m logged out of it on my laptop. I get so much more done without it.
Your quit list should help you move forward.
Imagine all that you could achieve if you put a little bit more effort in daily.
Every little step you taking is a building block to reach your greatest potential.
It’s pretty amazing what we can accomplish if we really try, and I hope this inspires you to take advantage of your time.