Here are 10 everyday things you can do to gain greater control over your life:
1. Avoid putting off the important things
I was going to wait until later in the article to write about this point, but then I realized the irony of my own thinking. But that's just the problem isn't it? We're always putting things off and a lot of times we don't realize it until it's too late. At first it might not seem like a big deal, but eventually time runs out and everything can come crashing down.
As soon as you have the thought to put a task off until later, force yourself to go and do something right then. It doesn't necessarily have to be the same thing you thought to put off, but do something on your to-do list. This requires a conscious effort, but you'll naturally have less of a desire to procrastinate as you train yourself to live by this pattern of action.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
It's human nature to compare ourselves to those around us and we do it with everything. But why? It doesn't make any difference and this type of thinking only drains self-esteem, which then leads to a lack of self-control.
Life isn't a one-size-fits-all experience. We're designed to be unique and different. Embrace who you are and all that you've accomplished. Instead of comparing yourself to others, think of your ideal self and evaluate how you're doing on becoming that person.
3. Take care of your health
Your total health involves your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It's hard to feel in control when you're sick and in pain.
Take time each day to get enough sleep, eat, meditate, and get yourself ready. This will help give you the confidence you need to tackle more difficult challenges.
4. Get organized
Technology is an amazing asset when it comes to organization. There are many apps, widgets, and scheduling tools to help you organize your life. Use whichever method works best for you. Make lists, set goals, plan, and execute. People who have control over their lives know where things are, what they're doing and when they're going to do it.
Past mistakes can be life's greatest teachers. Use these learning experiences to better yourself. Think of what you are going to change or do differently so that you don't make the same mistake again. This process of evaluation will help you make more informed decisions in the future.
6. Laugh more than you cry
Famed poet Robert Frost said, "If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane." Laughter is a key concept to having a positive outlook. It allows your body to release tension and stress. It can change your mood and give you a different perspective on those hard things that are a part of your every day.
7. Help other people
Helping others might not be your first thought when control over your own life seems to be slipping away. However, finding ways to serve the people around you will actually bring you greater control. This principle of goodwill will allow you to see the tangible effects your actions have. It will then be easier to change your own life after you've seen the difference you can make in the lives of others.
8. Be smart with your money
If you can control your money then you can prevent many other potential challenges. Sit down with a sheet of paper and write all of your needs on one half of the page and all of your wants on the other.
Then start a small-scale budget for the next day by deciding which unnecessary expenses you can cut out. This might include not eating out as much or spending less on entertainment. Once you've mastered a daily budget, move on to creating a weekly and monthly spending plan.
9. Have the courage to remove distractions
There are numerous things out there that can break our concentration if we let them. TV, social media, music, and even friends can all be distractions that get in the way of more important commitments. While these of course aren't bad things, the time we spend with them needs to be moderated.
Similar to a financial budget, time budgets can also be really effective. Unplug from excessive media use and remove roadblocks in your life that are holding you back.
Why do you do the things you do? Why do you get up in the morning, go to work, or raise your kids? If you can find your "why" to these types of questions then everything else will make sense. Your "why" will help make the tedious and hard things worth it as you regain control over your life.
Alex recently graduated with a degree in public relations and is now working as an intern helping to produce content for FamilyShare.com. Apart from writing, he enjoys sports, backpacking and spending time with his amazing family.