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5 Steps to Upgrading Your Life (successfully!)

August 19, 2015

Maybe you’ve just landed your dream job, only to realize that your clubbing outfits from college (or your last job’s uniform) won’t cut it at your new corporation.

Perhaps your kids are (finally) out of the house and you decide it’s time to upgrade your furniture from that time you bought out Ikea 20 years ago.

Or, you could just be tired of being fat, eating unhealthy, not exercising, and/or just not feeling your best.

Whatever the case, you’ve made the decision to upgrade your life. In essence, ‘upgrading your life’ just means that you’re switching out the old for a high quality newer model. It all sounds good in theory. I mean, how many times have we heard these phrases: “The new diet starts Monday!” or “I am going to buy less and buy better”. The key is to not only follow through with your changes, but successfully make them into permanent habits. Here’s how:


1. It’s all about Motives. First, determine your motives. WHY do you want a more high quality lifestyle? Is it to enhance your career? Impress a guy/girl? Make day to day life easier and more pleasurable for yourself? Show up your neighbors? Whatever the reason, you’ll need to figure out what drives you. If there is a weak (or no) motivating force behind a goal, there will be no change.

2. Choosing your upgrades. Most of the time, you know what you want to upgrade. Right now, all my shoes, save for a few pair, are looking a bit rough. It’s time for new shoes and I am looking to get some that are more professional and last longer (read: upgrade). You might, however, just have an idea of what you want to achieve (ex: I want to look more professional), without knowing how to go about that. If you are in that camp, I recommend looking at people who you admire and would like to emulate. What about them do you want for yourself? (Side Note Warning: just because it works for one person, doesn’t mean it works for everyone. See #4)

3. Set your priorities. Decide what changes are most important to you. Maybe you care more about upgrading your eating habits than your shoe collection. Maybe a newly furnished house is more important than designer makeup. Make a list of areas in your life that you wish to upgrade. Now- and here’s the hard part- only tackle one thing at a time. No one has the time, energy, and money to wake up on a Monday morning and instantly start eating better, exercising, buying a new wardrobe, redecorating, etc.

4. Know thyself. Just because a certain diet, style, or hobby works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you. For example: I am vegan because I believe it is a healthy diet. Someone who is paleo might say the exact same thing, even though the diets are very different. Is one person wrong? Of course not! It’s just that different choices work for different people. If everyone in your office wears a certain brand of shirt, should you go out and buy the same brand even though the fit isn’t good for your body? Of course not. Know what works for you and what doesn’t. This is also why knowing your motives is important. If you are motivated by ‘impressing others and trying to fit in’, you will buy the shirt that doesn’t fit because it’s cool. If you are motivated by ‘looking professional in your workplace’ you will find a similar shirt in a brand that works for your body type.

5. Shoot low and go slow. You are more likely to achieve the lifestyle changes that you want, if you create lower, attainable goals and set a realistic pace. You wouldn’t go from the couch to a half marathon and you wouldn’t go from a lifetime of thrift clothes to Armani. Patience is the key here. Start small and then build. What’s the step up from where you currently are? Try that out and see if you like it. Then keep going. If you decide it’s not worth it or you don’t like the upgrade, it’s painless to switch back. For example: Say you want to try nicer makeup than what is offered at a drugstore. Instead of going to Barney’s and buying out the whole Chanel counter, try going to Ulta and getting a makeover. If you like a product better than one your currently using, THEN buy it. If you buy one nice piece of makeup a month over the course of the year, it will be easier on your budget and the transition to your goal.

With enough patience and discipline, you can pretty much achieve any lifestyle (within reason) that you would like. Now, if you’d excuse me, I need to work on my shoe collection.



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