7 proven strategies to take control of your life today (with examples)

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Today, you’ll learn how to take control of your life in 7 easy steps. so if you

  • feel stuck in your life right now.
  • don’t know how to get out of your current situation 
  • feel life is just something that happens to you, and you have no control over it
  • feel happiness and success easily locate other people except you

Then, you’re not alone. Taking control of your life might look like the greatest mystery in the world, but in reality, the steps to making it happen are easy and straightforward.

Here’s what this guide can help you do

  • Get unstuck from your current situation
  • Take control of your life
  • Find happiness and success
  • Build a better life for yourself.

Warning ⚠ 

The guide will show you exactly how you can take control of your life through easy and practical tips.

But you must be prepared to do the work.

If you are not prepared, then you shouldn’t read further; just close this post and get back to whining about how unfair life is treating you. 

But if you are, and you’ve made up your mind to step out of your comfort zone by letting go of the things that are holding you back and stepping up to life, you’ll discover that life will step up to meet you.

So let’s get right to it, shall we?

How to take control of your life

Acknowledge your situation

acknowledge your situation
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.com

The first step to taking control of your life is by acknowledging your situation.

Sometimes, when things don’t go according to your plan, you might want to just stay indoors and hope that your problems will just magically disappear.

 At the very least, you won’t have to face them, right?

But running away from your problems won’t automatically solve them, so you have to face your problems head-on.

 Here’s how to acknowledge your situation, for example, if you’re having financial problems, you should

  • Bring out your bank statement and find out how much you have
  • Write down your sources of income and how much you make a month 
  • Draw a list of your monthly expenses
  • Draw a list of people you owe and those owing you
  • Write down exactly how much you’re owing and how much you’re owed

Once you get a good picture of where you are financially, it’ll form the basis of getting everything resolved.

Read this article to learn how to plan your finances against an unknown future

And this doesn’t just apply to your finances; if you’re worried about your weight, check your current weight, find out how much you’re eating and how much you need to eat. If you’re concerned about your health, visit the hospital today and get checked out.

When you arm yourself with the information about your current situation, you’re taken a step closer to making things better.

You might be scared of the results at first, but once you get to grips with exactly where you are, you’ll find it liberating – and it might not even be as bad as you thought.

Stop putting conditions on your happiness.

Most of us grew up with the idea that somehow, the outside world will reward us, and then we will be happy.

You might be thinking that you will only be happy when you.

  • Get married 
  • Get a promotion
  • Start your business
  • Get a degree
  • Buy a car
  • Become super-rich 
  • Or when your life resembles that of your friends
  • Are super famous on social media

It might look like you’re setting a goal, but you’re not. When you add conditions to your happiness, you are actually prolonging your unhappiness by holding on to notions of things that you don’t have, wishing for a life that isn’t yours and comparing yourself to others. And you can’t take control of your life and move forward.

Don’t think that you’ll be “happy when,” instead, think of being “happy, and then…”

Try to focus on your happiness first, and the rest of your life will fall into place. You should not wait for something unrealistic or beyond your reach to happen first before you choose to be happy.

To do this, you have to let go of the things you can’t control and focus on the things you can control.

Read our article on how to focus on what you want

Some things you CAN’T control

There are many things in life that you can’t influence. But when you spend too much time trying to control them, you’ll become frustrated, upset, bitter and angry. You’ll then convince yourself that bad things always happen to you and that life is unfair.

But you have to understand that there are tons of things beyond your control, including:

  • Other people’s actions
  • Their thoughts and feelings
  • How your client behaves
  • How the world rewards you
  • The national lottery
  • The passing of time
  • Everything else that is not you.

Read more about overthinking and 10 signs you are an overthinker

But here’s the twist, the more you work on the things within your control, the more those things outside your influence will start to line up in your favour.

But here’s what you CAN control

  • What you think
  • How you feel
  • How you act
  • How you interact with others
  • And how you respond to your immediate environment.

And how do you do this? By looking after your mind, spirit, and body. These three elements are connected, and neglecting any of them will severely impact the other two.

Here’s an example. When you don’t get enough exercise, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, drink enough water and only take processed foods (body), it’ll start to affect your mental sharpness, decision making and mental acuity (mind), then, you’ll become more prone to depression and anxiety (spirit).

take control of your life by looking after your mind, soul, and body
The relationship between the mind, soul and body

Once this happens, it’ll 

  • diminish your ability to function in the world properly
  • your performance in school and at work will suffer
  • your relationships will become strained, 
  • and so will your ability to “get by.”

And you’ll find yourself back at square one wondering why the world is against you, and you can’t control your life.

But the opposite will happen when you care for your spirit by

  • Journaling (learn how to start here)
  • Meditating
  • Supporting a cause
  • Praying

Care for your body by

And care for your mind by engaging your brain as much as possible with

  • Books
  • Online courses
  • Positive conversations
  • Strategy games like chess

And this will, in turn,

  • Improve your performance at work and school
  • Improve your relationships
  • Improve the things you can’t directly control

Related: how to stop worrying 9 simple habits

Think about this… 

If you’re always late to work because your house is far from your bus stop and you miss the first bus every time, you will miss out on that performance-related promotion. Surely, you’ll blame the world for being cruel and unfair.

Yes, you can’t control the bus, but you can control when you get to the bus stop.

If you get there 30 minutes earlier, you will not only catch the first bus, but your story will change dramatically.

It’s up to YOU!

Be emotionally independent

man with fireworks
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Does this sound familiar? 

  • You’re boiling with anger because someone that you know is living a better life than you are
  • You’re filled with resentment because someone doesn’t call you or invite you when they go out
  • You flair up because someone takes a long time to reply to your chats or doesn’t comment on your status
  • Or you’re bad-mouthing someone because they always seem to have all the luck. 

If you can relate to at least one of these scenarios, then prepare yourself for the big reveal… it’s not about you; get over it! 

Stop taking it personally when your friend or neighbour achieves something that you haven’t. It’s a reflection of their life, not yours. 

There are tons of reasons why someone might not reply to your chats as fast you’d like or why they forgot to call you. People are busy. It’s their life. You can’t control it.

You will never be happy if you continue to hang your happiness on the lives and actions of other people. 

Here’s what you can do

  • Celebrate other people’s achievements just as you’d like them to celebrate yours. 
  • Learn to be satisfied with what you have and not compare your state with that of other people. 
  • Stop obsessing about the things other people have that you don’t. 
  • If you want to see someone, chat them up or give them a call. 

Stop seeking validation, approval or permission 

Is this you? 

  • I want everyone to like me
  • I want to get as many likes on my Instagram post as possible 
  • I want everyone to complement my new jacket when I wear it to class or work

Sometimes, we want validation and approval from others that we find ourselves changing how we live our lives, the way we do things, and even refraining from making important decisions. 

Related: 10 ways to stop being a slave to emotions

But here’s the sad truth; they are not living your life. And you can’t be in control of your life if you continue to live according to what you feel is important to them. 

So here’s what you can do today

  • Stop caring about what others think
  • Stop seeking validation or approval before you act
  • Start making decisions about your life without anyone else’s permission 
  • Learn to love yourself

Once you start doing this, you’ll not only feel more in control of your life, you’ll also become 

Count your blessing

woman falling in line holding each other
Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

Let’s face it, gratitude is overrated, your life is messed up, and there’s nothing to be grateful for, right? 

I mean, apart from your job and the roof over your head. And your supportive friends or family. Apart from the admission you just got or that you’re one year closer to getting your first degree. And that extra boost of confidence from that guy or lady that winked at you today. And, and, and… 

The problem with us humans is that we are wired to only focus on our problems, everything that’s going wrong, and everything that’s missing in our lives. 

And our constant exposure to capitalism on social media and the rolling news cycle makes everything worse. 

We are constantly reminded that everyone’s dying, the world is burning, and our leaders are all corrupt. Plus, we can never be light-skinned enough, tall enough, slim enough, drive that lovely car, or go on that “baecation.” 

But with gratitude practice, we can reprogram ourselves to start focusing more on the things we do have and worry less about the things we don’t. 

You’ll then discover that there is much goodness around you to be grateful for that you really haven’t noticed before. 

 Here’s what you can do today

  • Start a gratitude journal
  • practice daily affirmations (here are 16 daily affirmations you should try)
  • Think of three things to be grateful for when you wake up every morning and before you sleep at night
  • Say a thank you prayer before you sleep and when you wake up (don’t ask for anything) 
  • Smile more when you’re alone or around people
  • Thank people when they help you and show kindness to others
  • Spend time with people who matter
  • Focus on your strengths 
  • Take on positive challenges and learn from them 
  • Pick a day or two of the week when you won’t complain about anything. 

If you can practice this every day, you’ll notice that doors will begin to open for you, and you will have more control of your life. 

Stop judging, blaming and complaining.

multiethnic friends gossiping behind attentive classmate
Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

We’ve said that gratitude is shifting your focus to all the good stuff in your life. We’ll, these three do the exact opposite and bring more negativity into your life. 

When you complain a lot, you have a lot more to complain about, and that’s because you are only focused on all the wrong things and the things you don’t have in your life. 

And the bitter truth is, it’s draining. People may not tell you, but no one loves to be around people who complain a lot because they are spread bad energy and vibes. You don’t want to be the one with bad vibes, do you? 

The same thing applies to blaming. You can’t take control of your life when you’re busy blaming everyone else for your situation. 

Related: 15 unhealthy habits to avoid before 30

As for judging, that’s a great way for people who do nothing about their life to feel good about themselves. Because humans are naturally judgemental, and when you try to do something different, you get judged. It’s a way for them to kill your spirit and bring you down to their level. You don’t want to be a drag on other people’s lives, do you? 

Do these things today to take control of your life

  • Stop judging
  • Stop blaming
  • Stop complaining

Do unto others… 

If you want people to be interested in you, then you have to be interested in them. Interact with others as you’d like them to interact with you, give as much positive energy as you would want to receive. And while you’re at it, make sure to add more colour to your life so your life can be interesting. 

Here’s how to do this

Happiness is a lifestyle choice. 

Remember we talked about exercise when we mentioned the interrelationship of our mind, soul and body? Well, you don’t hit the gym one day and magically grow biceps and a six-pack – it’s through regular practice. 

The same applies to being happy. If you’re not naturally blessed with something, then you have to practice it. You must do it daily, or you risk losing the benefits that come with it, and you’ll find yourself back at square one. If you want to take control of your life, you have to bring happiness into your life and make it a part of you. 

Read more: 10 personal development goals for success and happiness

Final words

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and even the happiest and most successful people have bad days. Still, if you practice these tips, you’ll be in the right position to turn your situation and take control of your life. 

But the reason why these resources don’t work at times is that it’s easy to find comfort in the safety of our unhappiness. You’ll start making different excuses like

~ I’ll start tomorrow

~ I’d love to do this, but I don’t have time. 

~ Well, I’ll do these things, but I’ll have to do this or buy this first before I start

~ Meditation? Come on! 

But ask yourself this. 

How bad should your situation be before you take the first step out of your situation? 

When will you step out of the shadows and stop waiting for the sun to locate you? 

Read next: Here’s what to do if you’re always making bad decisions

If you choose to step up to life, it’ll step up to meet you. Sometimes, that means facing the bitter truth about your bad habits or let go of that dream you’ve been holding on to, which are holding you back and making you feel stuck.

Listen, nothing will change until you make things happen. So you can choose to run back to your unhappy but comfortable zone today and, in six months time, Google up another post on how to take control of your life, or you can take the bold step today.

Yes, it takes time, and it takes effort, but so is doing nothing. You really have nothing to lose (apart from losing your current situation and gaining better control of your life).

So what’s stopping you?

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