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For the next little while I’m going to explore a new series – Help that really helps.  Sure we like our 10 steps toand 10 ways you can…we love tactics but I think our fondness towards strategies isn’t as much about the strategies themselves as it is about finding something that really works.

Over the years, I’ve read a ton of self-help books because I like the idea of working on my own self-improvement.  I’ve always felt if I wasn’t growing, I wasn’t really living.  So I’d read all kinds of spiritual, philosophical, motivational, business, etc books in an effort to grow.

The crappy part is, sometimes self-help books don’t really help. Don’t get me wrong, there are great books out there, but a lot of them didn’t give me the results I was looking for or the outcome they promised. And while, some of them sounded good, sometimes the methods they’d employ didn’t feel good.

And at first, I was ok with that because I wanted to grow by any means necessary. And sometimes change can get uncomfortable. But over time, I noticed a problem.

When it doesn’t feel good, it’s not lasting.  I may start off really good in the beginning, but then sooner or later, I’d start to peter out.  Then, I’d wind up feeling like garbage because I couldn’t  be consistent.

And if the change meant I had to cut back -I’d go all hardcore, dropping things cold turkey and eventually feel cheated. Like for eg, when I was working on getting rid of my debt, usually a lot of budgeting books talk about cutting back. Don’t eat out, cook at home, cut down on lattes, purge this, get rid of that.

And it’s not like cutting back is bad, if you’re spending wildly or abusively it’s good to take a look at your spending habits to see what kind of healthy decisions can be made.  But cheating yourself entirely isn’t good either.  That’s  a formula for depression and if you’re not careful it could lead to spending sprees that are even harder to recover from.

Anyways, my whole point is, since one of the biggest things we lack (the root behind a lot of our fears, the reason why we feel unfulfilled or dissatisfied) is self-love – cheating, then beating yourself up is counterproductive to all that.  

Soooo, what I’d like to do is share all the things that helped me without killing me.  It’s kind of funny really because being nicknamed the executioner, in the past, I was a HUGE proponent of change by what ever means necessary.  But the truth is even if you could only be a little bit better, if you do that for enough days in a row, you can end up a lot better.

Besides, does it really make sense to continually beat yourself for what you’re not doing?  Even if you don’t manage to do a lot, isn’t it better than what you’re not doing now?

I think so.  

And guess what? A year ago there were a lot of things that I hadn’t been doing regularly or even at all for years.  But I’m doing them daily or consistently and actually enjoying them.  No self-deprecation or “self”-mutilation necessary ;)

Now doesn’t that sound a lot more sustainable :)?

Please let me know what kinds of things you’d like to change or get consistent (whether it’s habits, feelings, life etc) and from time to time, I’ll dig into my toolkit to share little life hacks I’ve found helpful… and hope you’ll share yours too.