“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” Albert Ellis

On our journey to 100 Days to a New You the first step we must do is to reclaim our life. We have to take back what is ours if we truly want to live. I can already hear the “nattering nabobs of negativism” say that we can’t reclaim our lives because of what society thinks or society’s rules. We can’t because of your gender and/or because of your race. We can’t because we are not wealthy. We can’t because we are too young or too old. We can’t because the time isn’t right. We can’t because of this or that. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! The time is never ever going to be right and you will never be the perfect person to them. Put them on ignore and let them stew in their pots of misery and despair. They can’t because they won’t and they want you to join them in their misery too. Yes, outside forces can influence our behavior but unlike most of nature you have been given the most precious gift of all aside from our own lives. We have been given the gift of choice.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility” Eleanor Roosevelt

Here is why I think it’s imperative we take back our lives. So many of our friends and family are living corpses. They just exist without purpose, meaning or direction. They willfully accept someone else’s concocted vision of their lives instead of creating their own vision. You have seen these people. They wake up and go to work at a job they hate. They buy crap they don’t want to impress people they don’t like. They sleep and do it again for the next fifty years of their lives until life does them a favor and unceremoniously ends it all. They are just plain miserable. Well folks that ain’t living.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” Steve Jobs

I won’t lie to you and say it’s not hard. It is but it’s so worth it. So why should you take control of your life? The truth is that our time is very limited. If you are under 30 you have on average 20,000 days left of living to do and if you are older than that. Well you get the picture. When you look back on your life you don’t want to it be full of regret and pain. You want to remember living and you want others to see that you lived too. You want to leave a legacy.
So here are a few steps to reclaim your life:

  • Acknowledging where you are today is a sum of both conscious and unconscious choices you made yesterday.
  • Where you will be tomorrow is where ever you decide you want and think you deserve to be.
  • Write out a six month plan. It doesn’t have to be detailed. Write down what you want and a flexible time line of when you want these things to happen.
  • Post you list on your refrigerator so you can see it every day.
  • Check off the goals you accomplished and reward yourself once you accomplished them. If you haven’t achieve your goal forgive yourself, figure out why and reschedule your goal.
  • Find a new challenge that is on your list and do it once a week. Have a fear of singing? Try karaoke. Can’t cook? Take a foreign food cooking class. Afraid to show the world you have a talent? Post it on YouTube. Just challenge yourself. Here is a post on getting over the fear.

“What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.” Maya Angelou

Do this and I promise you, you will take ownership of your life. Life is for the living. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Have fun and go live!

Don’t forget to follow the 100 Days to a Brand New You Challenge here.