Problems rarely affect only one area of a person’s life. Often, when you’re having problems in one area of your life, such as problems resulting from too much stress, things spiral downward on multiple fronts. Financial problems lead to erosion of quality of family life as you are totally occupied with making the ends meet month to month. And wealthy people are not free from stress either because in their case, stress arises from constant monitoring of mortal enemies, fighting the government on taxes, fighting litigation from claims on wealth, and attacks on reputation. Irrespective of where you are in life, you may begin to feel like your life is totally out of control.
The reason you feel out of control is that you don’t know what to do about your problems and may feel that the problems have gotten bigger than you and can’t be solved. Focusing too much on what you don’t have is counterproductive because it leads to lack of action or even depression, so first write down what it is that you really want. There is something special about writing thoughts on a paper because they start becoming much more clear and many of the fuzzy interwined thoughts in your mind start taking concrete shape once you put them on paper and some of the vague fears start going away.
Take a deep breath and realize that all problems have solutions. Once you’ve accepted that your life isn’t where you want it to be, the next step is to figure out what it is that you do want. Think hard about this. If you’re depressed because you don’t have money or don’t follow a certain lifestyle or don’t react emotionally the way you want, the way out is to figure out exactly what you want. Don’t be vague when writing down your goals; the more specific you can be, the better. For example, don’t say “I wish I made more money.” Decide how much money you need and want and write it down.
As you write these specific goals down, you might feel uncomfortable. Negative thoughts may come to you; you may feel that you can’t achieve the goal or that you don’t deserve to achieve it. Don’t give in to these feelings. Just write them down. Then, once they’re written down, write down the opposite of the feeling. For example, if you think, “It’ll take too long to achieve this goal,” write down, “I easily achieve this goal.” Then imagine that your new statement is true and focus on what behavioral changes you might make. This will tell you what you need to do to change your life.
Once you have this all written down, you have the framework for a plan to change your life in the you want it to be. The next step is to make sub-goals for the next 30 days of your life. On a new sheet of paper, write down each of your goals. Then list 5-10 things you need to do during the next 30 days to bring you closer to that goal. Once you’ve got your list, write a completion date for each goal. Then, put your sub-goals on your calendar. That way, you can take action towards your goal every day.
It’s not easy to get back in control of your life, but it’s worth it. By taking one step at a time, you can not only take back control of your life, but can create a better life than you ever imagined.