5 Steps, 5 Minutes: Change Your Life for the Better

Are you like so many of us, people who want to improve, want to make some changes to our lives, but seem stuck in the daily/weekly muck of our work and personal lives? You want to make some changes, but feel you do not have the time or energy -- or resources -- to do so?

If nothing else comes from this article, know that many others are in the same spot as you. We all have multiple responsibilities and obligations, and it is often hard to make time for ourselves, especially when change is involved.

Guess what? You can find the time, starting with five simple tasks and as little as five minutes daily. Once you get into change mode, you'll actually discover you have even more time to devote to yourself and to the change(s) you want to make.

Start with giving yourself five minutes today... to read these tips. Then tomorrow, start implementing the tips, one at a time, for at least five minutes. Where can you find five minutes? Take a shorter shower, shave five minutes off your social media viewing, skip a television show, put your child to bed five minutes early... or, worst case, go to bed five minutes later than normal.

5 Steps to Changing Your Life

1. Stop Making Excuses, Blaming Others, and Take Inventory. We, and we alone, control our destiny. It's far easier to blame someone else for our situation, but the reality is the first step to change is realizing that you are the change-maker for your life. Once you take ownership in your future, you can begin to move on to the next steps... but before you jump ahead, take an inventory of your situation, strengths, skills, training, education, and tools.

2. Set Goals, Vision, Direction. In this second step, the real fun begins as you start envisioning a new and better future for yourself. Take time to research and assess the ideal future. For example, in changing careers, focus on something you are passionate about -- something you have a calling to do. It is certainly okay to dream big in this step, even if that goal seems too far in the distance, because you'll use the next two steps to bring you ever closer to your vision.

3. Map a Path to Your Goal(s). Once you have your end-goal, your vision of a better life, a better you, the next step is researching and mapping the steps (and there may be many) you will need to take to achieve that goal, that vision. It is in this step you may need to make some tough choices and prioritize your time and energy. For example, you may need to give up your nights to attend training or pursue additional education.

4. Take Steps Daily Toward Your Goal(s). Once you have your map, the final piece is breaking down that map into small pieces and making change and steps forward part of your daily schedule. Once you make these steps part of your routine, you'll look back and wonder why you didn't start earlier. Remember, you will not achieve your goal, you will not change, if you do not incorporate change into your life. Finally, remember that these steps can be as small as five minutes on LinkedIn to add more people to your network, or five minutes researching a training opportunity. Of course, if you find you can uncover more than 5 minutes, the faster you'll make change happen.

5. Be Accountable to Yourself, Reward Small and Big Accomplishments. You are your own change agent, but because change may be slow in developing, remember to reward yourself for both the big and small accomplishments. Change takes work and courage and time and effort. By rewarding yourself for achieving steps toward your goal, you are positively reinforcing yourself and your actions. But also be accountable to yourself if you find yourself slipping back to the old ways, the status quo.

Final Thoughts on Your Power to Change Yourself

Regardless of how busy or crazy your life is right now, you can always find at least five minutes to plan and work on your future; if you can't, then you are simply making excuses and/or are afraid of change.

One other option for making change (and the work involved a bit more fun) is to enlist a friend who is also trying to change his/her life, and becoming partners who help and encourage each other, just as people do for friends who are dieting or working on other self-improvement projects.

Finally, be good to yourself and take your time in implementing change and expecting results. Setbacks will happen, and you should be prepared. But if you keep at it, the change you want will slowly appear bigger and bigger on the horizon -- until it is yours. Good luck!

Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com.

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.