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Change Your Life in a Year (With Seven Harsh Decisions)

Cover photo for Change Your Life in a Year

Of course, building a side hustle is one of them.

never doubted my dad always loved me. But I felt it for the first time only three years ago, one year after leaving home.

We have been two hotheads for all our life. But as soon as I left, I realized my temper made me lose many relationships. I wanted to change who I was. So I made some harsh decisions that transformed my life forever.

One year later, my father realized I did change. He told me out of the blue. And that night, I cried because I had searched for that recognition for years.

From that moment, I never stopped trying to improve myself however I could. And today, not only have I recovered all the relationships I’ve lost. But I have also become a better friend and partner.

Therefore, I will summarize the seven steps I took to change my life in a year so that you can do it too.

1 — Become the king of confidence.

Become the king of confidence
Become the king of confidence

It may be shameless to say it, but today am the king of confidence.

A few years ago, I used to avoid talking to strangers. And the shame I felt was preventing me from living because even reserving a table for dinner was out of reach.

Every time I had to interact with someone else, I rushed everything out, and people often didn’t understand me. So the shame grew in me until I couldn’t take it anymore.

But everything changed when my first long relationship finished.

Suddenly, my comfort zone broke. The friends we shared disappeared. And I had to interact with strangers again because I couldn’t rely on her social skills.

So I started working on my confidence. But this time, my goal wasn’t limited to talking more with strangers. I wanted to become the most confident person in the room and a master of social interactions. So I started reading and practicing any social skills and tricks I found.

And I succeeded.

How can you do it?

Rebuilding confidence starting from the ground is complicated.

Usually, you don’t have any friends supporting you. And the loved ones are useless because they try to protect you from suffering. So you have to deal with everything by yourself.

But every time you achieve something new, the feedback is unique. And only you can understand how much it means to reach those confidence goals you pursued so long.

Since I started working on my confidence, I only had one motto:

Fake it until you make it.

And it worked.

So here is the routine I used to change my life and become more confident in only one year:

  • Practice power poses every day.
  • Make eye contact with at least one stranger every day.
  • Review your moments of confidence three times a month.
  • Change your style and practice new looks.
  • Speak more slowly and clearly.
  • Take time to admire your progress.
  • Use your hands to express your feelings.

Three months later, I’ve already experienced the first results of my work. I could talk with anyone, even people I had never seen before. And after one year, I became the most confident person in the room.

2 — Embrace the pain.

Embrace the pain - Change Your Life in a Year
Embrace the pain

Toxic relationships can destroy your life. But fortunatelypain doesn’t last forever. And once you deal with it, you become stronger.

But, of course, you have to deal with it first. And that part can be brutal.

On my path to dealing with traumas, I discovered closure was the only thing I needed. And resolving my pain without any closure was incredibly long and complicated.

However, closure is useless when you are still in pain. So first, deal with your pain and fill the gap it leaves with something else. Then, you can search for closure.

How can you do it?

How do you deal with pain?

I’ll give you a second.

When it comes to pain, you have two options — fight or flight. And even if escaping is the easiest solution, it is not the most useful.

If you run away from problems, they never leave. And they turn back every time you think about them. But if you fight themyou will achieve a piece of mind you cannot find anywhere else.

In my experience, I always embraced my pain in two ways.

  • Usually, you can fill the emptiness of a past relationship by searching for new ones. And they don’t have to be of the same kind. So if you lost your partner, it doesn’t mean you have to search for another one. You can even surround yourself with new friends.
  • Otherwise, you can deal with a failed relationship by starting a new project. It can be going to the gym, learning new skills, or even doing a work task. But it has to tire you down until you have no more time for anything else.

Both these solutions create a distance that breaks codependency and illusion. So you will get away from pain and embrace your new life.

3 — Build a side hustle.

Build a side hustle - Change Your Life in a Year
Build a side hustle

Most people trade their freedom for security and are happy to work in a 9–5 job. And there is nothing wrong with that. I am doing it myself, and I am satisfied with my path.

But for some, the trade is not worth the price. And even if 9–5 is necessary, they would like more freedom and less security. So they start building a side hustle.

The first time I tried to build one, I was young and innocent. I didn’t know anything about side hustles and was a terrible writer. So I failed painfully.

But every time I try again, I achieve higher heights. I improve every day. And improvement after improvement, I will reach my goal and become an independent writer one day.

How can you do it?

Building freedom requires time and hard work.

For a few years, you will work from 6a.m to 11p.m only because you don’t want to live the life of your parents. And even if you wish to abandon everything when you fail, keep going.

Strong motivators will help you succeed at building a side hustle. So here are some of the strongest I know:

  • Build a side hustle for your passions because you will never get tired of them.
  • Do it if you hate your current situation and want to escape it. But you also understand it takes time to build from nothing.
  • And use every success if it makes you feel alive. Or learn to get past the first failures that will demotivate you.

And some of the weakest you should not use:

  • You can’t do it for the money, or you will leave as soon as you realize how much it takes to make a side hustle profitable.
  • You can’t do it for fame because you will run away as soon as haters fill your inbox.
  • And you can’t do it only because you want to escape your current situation. Building a side hustle is not a fast solution. So even playing in the lottery would be better in this case.

4 — Listen to people.

Listen to people
Listen to people

Listening to what people had to say was one of the things that helped me the most to change my life in a year. It allowed me to build many friends and social connections. And those connections made me improve even more because I could learn something different from each.

But can listening to people help you change your life in a year?

It does.

People love to talk with someone that knows how to listen and remembers even the slightest nuance of what they said. So they will be more willing to interact with you when you meet. And they will remember you because they know you listen to them.

How can you do it?

I was mind blown when I discovered how many deep connections you can build by simply listening to your interlocutor. But I have always forgotten most of what people told me. Therefore, I had to create a mental pattern to help me with the most important things.

  • The name is the most important thing. So when you meet someone new, link their identity with another person. Or, if you don’t know anybody with the same name, repeat it a few times during your first conversation so it will be easier to remember.
  • Their passion is the second most important thing. Everybody loves to talk about theirs. Therefore, identify one passion that can link you with them because you will never lack discussion topics if you find one.
  • The private feature is the hidden key. In my experience, I noticed people open up at one point during any interaction. And you have to use that small gap to enter their world. So if you spot that private feature, ask about it. And if the interlocutor starts talking freely, act interested and keep asking for more because they will never forget you if you do.

5 — Never stop working out.

Work out - Change Your Life in a Year
Work out

In the past, I’ve always decided to work out when I was in pain and wanted to escape it. But as soon as I did, I also quit training.

So even if I managed to lose more than 15kg in the past, I am not proud of it anymore because I gained them back as soon as my situation improved. And I didn’t have the same motivation anymore.

However, everything changed as soon as I subscribed to the gym.

In the beginning, getting out of bed and training your body will be harsh. But as soon as you learn the advantages of keeping your body in movement, you will never skip it anymore. It will change your life.

How can you do it?

When you are in pain, your workouts are the best. Your wounds boost your grit and fill you with negative energy, ready to explode. But if you don’t build discipline, you will stop working out as soon as the pain goes away.

So if you want to work out consistently, work on your discipline and find advantages in your training. Many could help you remain motivated:

  • Based on the type of training, your body improves in many ways. You lose fatbuild more muscles, or even invigorate your body.
  • You experience higher energy levels. Working out puts your body in motion and simplifies daily tasks.
  • Your mood improves too. I was skeptical initially. But a theory sustains that your body releases dopamine and serotonin when you work out. Therefore, you become happier and in a better mood.

So, what do you want to improve first? How are you going to change your life?

6 — Learn a new language.

Learn a new language
Learn a new language

How many times have you pledged to learn a new language and never did?

Maybe too many times to count.

Still, learning a new language opens so many doors and brings you so many advantages in life. And I don’t mean knowing a few words they teach you at school, but speaking the language fluently enough that you can express anything you desire.

For me, that language was English. And even if learning it was difficult, it opened me three job positions I could have never accessed without it.

  • First, my two 9–5 jobs had English as their minimum requirement. But since I knew it a little better than my colleagues, I could access international projects and interact with foreign clients before everyone else.
  • And second, my side hustle. I could have never started writing online without English. I’ve tried many times in my mother tongue, but it is not the same thing. You don’t have the same reach, and fan bases are small.

How can you do it?

Learning a new language is harsh. But it can change your life in one year.

It took me many years to become better. And often, I still make mistakes. But you can boost your improvement in one year if you only take a few simple steps. Or, at least, this is how I did it.

  • Watch TV series and films with subtitles even before knowing the basic rules of the language. It will help you gain familiarity with the words and the cadence.
  • Then, read simple books and articles for children or young adults. Reading makes you understand how to use verbs and improve your dictionary. So pay attention to verbs and research the words you don’t know.
  • And last, practice speaking and writing. Practice is always better than theory. But you won’t realize how bad you are until you try to use the language to express your thoughts. So find someone who already knows the language, and talk to them.

7 — Take a degree or any other certification.

Take a degree - Change Your Life in a Year
Take a degree

Some people say your degree doesn’t say anything about you. But usually, they haven’t taken one themselves. And if you want to advance even faster in your career, a degree can help you with a comfortable initial boost.

You live in an era where you can’t quit your studies after high school anymore. You can still become a millionaire or financially independent. Those things still require a lifetime of work. But with a degree, at least you find a good job position.

So why would you risk everything if you can afford to take one?

I recently switched jobs thanks to my degree. And at the moment, I am the highest rank of my team even though they worked on the project for more than three years.

Without a degree, I couldn’t have worked here. And the master’s degree even rewarded me with higher retribution and rank. So what do you need more?

How can you do it?

I don’t think you need my advice here.

Enroll at the university you like the most, and start studying. It will change your life.

Final Thoughts

I never doubted my dad always loved me. But from the moment I became a better person, I could see in his eyes how much he appreciated the new me.

I wasn’t an immoral person before. But I couldn’t show people how mature and full of resources I was. So even my father treated me like a child until I showed him he was wrong.

In the past few years, I made many decisions that transformed my life forever. And if you follow them, you can change your life in one year.

A Cosmopolitan MINDSET’S Newsletter

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Cover photo by Greta Farnedi on Unsplash for Change your Life in a Year.