In this article, I’ll show you the 5 steps necessary to control your life.
This guide is practical. It’s useful only if you implement it. If you’re 100% happy with your life as it is now, reading this post is probably a waste of your time, but if you could use some leveling-up, this might be interesting to you.
My life wasn’t incredible a few months back.
This is how my daily weekday looked like:
- Watching Netflix until 2 am
- Getting barely anything done in the day
- Zero good habits, little self-control
- Feeling terrible + depressed + frustrated
Now it looks more like:
- Healthy sleep
- Working out 3x/week
- Stacking a bunch of good habits
- Getting 3x more done than I usually would on very productive days
- And kinda feeling like a badass in control of his life.
I’m not saying I suddenly became superman. I still have many struggles & doubts, as well as a plethora of stuff I could improve in my life, which I’ll (partly) document on this blog.
The upside is that now I’m able to get things done. I’m in a place where I can actually solve the other challenges I’m facing, and I’m creating positive momentum. I got out of misery and sickening inertia.
Here are the steps to claim back control of your life.
1: Unfuck yourself
I was a mess, I couldn’t think straight and I had low energy. There are a few things to do to get out of a funk like that.
I had to exercise, get back to a healthy sleep schedule and do the work I was supposed to do. It wasn’t too hard to figure out.
I installed the Freedom app to block social media + distracting websites from 10 pm to 6 pm the next day (this timeframe evolves but it moves around my work+routines time). Result? I couldn’t do Netflix marathons, I had little obstacles to exercise and nothing else to do but work until 6 pm. (insert screenshot)
Getting your head right might look different for you. Maybe it means taking a walk, swimming, punching a punching bag, tidying-up, talking with someone close to you. Physical movement & human connection rarely fail to help.
2: Identify Areas of Improvement & Goals.
Then I started thinking about all the things I wanted to improve on. There were many, including:
- Getting more done faster.
- Becoming worthy to be paid in copywriting
- Clearing the absolute messiness around me.
- Figuring out how to train in the gym
- Falling asleep faster, early.
And there’s more.
I encourage you to do the same. List all the things you want to improve in your life. It can also be as mundane as having more fun on the daily. Don’t linger on it. Write down what you want to be, and what you want to be able to do.
Of course, you won’t immediately improve on all these things at once. Choose the most urgent/frustrating issues and focus on them. For me, it was fixing my productivity and working out in the gym. Now it’s about my skill in copywriting.
Also, define a few solid goals for things that you want to do, or have to do (financial, professional or personal projects). Put some numbers and deadlines in there to make it more concrete. Having a sense of direction will help you go through moments of doubt, boredom, comfort, depression, and other random stuff that always strays you away from the life you want.
These goals can be things like:
- hit x in sales at my job this year
- finish semester with x grade
- grow my business to x in revenue in 6 months
- finish x project before x deadline
3: Identify Habits & Next Steps.
Now ask yourself, what are the habits I need to add in my life to improve on these things?
At this point, it’s gonna be common sense, but you can always google “best habits to improve/solve x problem”. Think cause and effect:
- Sleeping enough = Less tired
- Reading everyday = Smarter/Wiser
- To-do list used correctly = Organized/Productive
- Exercising regularly = Healthy, Improved Cognition, Better Sleep, Increased Confidence, Lowered Stress.
Write down all these potential habits. Anywhere. Sheets of paper, journal or smartphone notepad.
Ask yourself this now. What are the next things I have to do to improve this area of my life? For example, let’s say you’re going to the gym. Now you need to find a workout plan, buy shoes and decent training clothing and learn how to do a few exercises with correct posture. We’re talking about those one-time things you have to do. Write it down.
Ask yourself the same question for your work/business/life goals.
A. What habits can I implement to help get to x income? B. What’s the next thing I have to do to get there?
A. What habits can I implement to do x project, build this thing, etc? B. What are the next steps I have to take to reach that goal?
Basic example for starting a business:
A. habit = read 10 pages of a business book every day, work one hour a day on this project after work, etc.
B. action steps = brainstorm business ideas, choose one, do a product-market fit check, register a domain name, etc).
Write down all of it. It’ll be useful next.
You’re probably a bit overwhelmed by now. Don’t worry. Just keep your lists safe and furnished. I’m going to share with you a tool that will make it much easier to integrate all of this into your daily life.
4: Putting it together with routines
Routines make it much easier to add new habits on demand.
A routine is a series of things you do one after another. A sequence of habits chained together. I have a morning routine. An evening routine. And a few others (one when I’m done with work, one on Sunday, etc).
I recommend you start with one habit. For example, doing a 10mn Meditation as soon as you wake up. Or reading anything for 15mn before bedtime. Try to do it every day, or every weekday. Then when it’s automatic, when it’s not an effort anymore to do it, add another habit, then another.
As you increase the size of your routines, you’ll have to start cutting out other activities if you want to get them done. The hardest thing for me was to cut down Instagram. My stats said I spent maybe 2 or 3 hours per day on it, even though it felt like way less. It always does. I went down to 45mn on weekdays. Now it varies but stays low.
When you want to improve in all these areas, you’re faced with choices. Not everybody wants to live an ultra-optimized life and that’s okay. But if you have unusually high ambitions you’re fooling yourself when you’re spending 3 hours a day on TV, social media or video games. Those additional 21 hours each week make the difference.
Let’s get back to routines with an example. When I’m done with work I go through a simple routine. I call it the Daily Debrief. It goes like this:
- Look at to-do list
- Add tasks for tomorrow.
- Schedule what’s necessary on the calendar (Google Agenda).
- Sort documents/tidy-up
- 20mn walk outside
This list of things can seem boring to do but each and every step actually helps me on a ton of levels. Looking at the tasks I did this day makes me happier overall. I take some time to be proud of myself and appreciate my efforts, to build confidence and self-love day by day. Adding the next day’s tasks forces me to think ahead and choose what I’ll do the next day. The result is that I always begin my workday knowing exactly what to do. Taking a walk clears my mind, fills my body with oxygen. It helps me recover and sustain all the brain activity I push myself through every day. It leaves me time to think & reflect.
So I encourage you to create routines at specific times that are right for you. A simple & short morning and evening routine is a good start. Start easy and simple, and when you’re comfortable with it, look at the list of habits you made before, and add one to your routine. Then repeat.
5: Do this every week to not go insane.
When I was done through this process, I was fired up and things were going way better, but something was missing.
I had all these goals, these things to improve, these things I wanted to learn, these books to read, etc. And it was getting overwhelming. How am I supposed to keep in mind all these goals I have? When am I going to decide which habits I add or remove in my routines? What should I start learning? What should I focus on now?
I was confused, and after a few headaches, I found the obvious solution. Checking on everything every week! What I did is a Sunday Routine. I call them Strategic Sessions. I have a list of questions, and I answer each of them in a journal. It’s easy because all I have to do is go through them. Here are some of the questions I ask myself:
- Did I move closer to my goals this week?
- What actions can I do next week to move closer?
- What are the other tasks do I have to do this week?
- Did I stick to my habits this week?
- Which habits should I add/remove?
- Update Routines to reflect these changes
- What I am focusing on learning next week?
Want a free pdf with my complete list of journaling questions? Click HERE, then go to file, download, pdf. Easy and I don’t ask for your email or anything.
That’s the essence of it. Imagine if you went through this journaling routine 50 or just 45 times each year. How would your life look like one year from now?
If you haven’t already gone through these steps, do it now.
If you have any trouble with it send me a dm on Instagram (samuel.bars), I’m happy to help out. This whole thing is waaay more likely to work with someone who checks upon you, it’s positive peer pressure! Oh and I’m not charging for this. I can help you with habits, choosing the right goals to focus on and designing a great Sunday routine for example.
First. Unfuck yourself by whatever means necessary.
2. Identify in which areas of life you want to improve, and define all your solid goals as well.
3. Find out which habits you need to improve on what you listed before. And list what the next steps to do it are. Also, find out the habits and next steps for your solid financial/work/project goals.
4. Create simple routines at key moments in your day. Make them very simple to start, and then progressively add important habits.
5. At the end of every week, take some time to reflect on the week that went by, and plan the week ahead. Check your progress in regards to goals, add/remove habits to your routines, define the key tasks you need to do next week, etc. It’s up to you to choose what to evaluate and think about at this moment. Whatever you choose, this habit will prove very helpful if you practice it long enough.