If you want to drastically improve your life, it’s a very simple fix. Stop lying to yourself and stop making excuses. Sounds easy, until you actually try to stop, that is. When you get used to making excuses it becomes a crutch. When you get used to lying to yourself as a means to falsify the state of your real life, you become deathly afraid of the truth. Here’s what I want you to do, and you can start by doing this slow and working your way up.

First off, stop lying to yourself. Open your eyes and admit to yourself what things you don’t like about your life: your job, relationships, body image, home situation, unfulfilled goals, or anything else you want to change. Take a long reflective look at yourself and write down all the things you wish were different. Once you write these down, come up with solutions how to fix these issues, one by one. Don’t rush and try to fix everything at once. Just focus on one problem at a time. This will keep you from getting discouraged and is the first step in building positive lifestyle changes and good habits/routines. Once you’re honest with yourself, positive changes can be made.

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Second, stop making fucking excuses! To be fair, there are legitimate excuses not to do things. What you need to do is, again, be honest with yourself, and really look into why you’re making an excuse for something. Did you decide not apply for a higher paying position in your company because you don’t want to work more hours, or because you were scared you’d get turned down and look stupid? Did you decide to skip the gym because you were legitimately injured, or were you just lazy?

If you want to turn your life around for the better, you must become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Challenge yourself: sweat, get sore, try new things, work on things you suck at. This is how you improve your life and yourself. Don’t give up on writing your first novel because you “don’t have the time.” Make the time. Don’t skip out on a morning jog because “it’s too cold out.” Wear more layers! The ham-fisted point I’m trying to make is, you’re only as productive as your excuses allow you to be. Humans are hardwired to take the path of least resistance. Yet, the most successful of us are the ones who carve their own path through rock, dirt, and grime. Life isn’t easy and you should embrace that; not shy away from it!

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Struggle creates character and crafts a good work ethic. Don’t be afraid to struggle or fail. And remember, even if you do fail, or fail a lot, at least you can say you tried. That, you can deal with. You can look yourself in the mirror with pride knowing you did all you could. But you can’t look in the mirror when you know you ran away from all obstacles—when you know you failed because you didn’t try. Because those who don’t try fail 100% of the time.

I would like to leave you with this bit of wisdom. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t make excuses. Don’t let fear deter you from your goals. Do work hard. Do try new things. Do accept that you’ll fail at things but can try them again. Life isn’t about being the best or the happiest or the most put together out of your friends and family; it’s about living in such a way that when you die you will have done so with no regrets. Don’t run away from life, run towards it screaming with your fists ready for a fight.

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If you enjoyed this, please share it. Then check out these other great life pieces!

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