Upgrade Your Life
Pat Divilly has spent the last few years teaching people how to make changes – in fitness, health and happiness.
His latest book, Upgrade Your Life, is a workbook filled with success rituals, guidelines and principles which should be carried out for six weeks straight. The results, he says, will be life changing.
As it’s the time of year when we abandon all our vices (for a while) and try and improve our lives with New Year’s resolutions, we asked Pat for some tips that can help us make lasting, rather than fleeting, change.
He suggests that we all adopt the phrase ‘Safe Place’ as a guideline to help keep moving forward and get the results we want.
S : Space
“We really don’t give ourselves space to think about how we can look after ourselves. It’s time to stop looking outside for someone to come and save you – can you make a change and cultivate it for the rest of your life and do it for yourself?
Also make some ‘self space’: take time for yourself, it’s a lot easier to distract yourself from what is making you unhappy than face up to it – can you take some time to think, walk, do some journaling every day?”.
A : Awareness
“You need to learn about and know yourself. The biggest learning is to ask yourself the question, ‘am I happy?’ and be honest about where you are. If you are unaware, then someone or something else has control over you and when you gain awareness, you know you have the choice. With awareness, you can shine a light on some area of your life and see what is or isn’t working.”
F : Freedom (from Expection)
“If you have freedom, you are free from most stress in life. A lot of the problems we have are because we want life or people to act in a certain way and we have this picture in our head of how we want things to be. It makes us unhappy now – we are all waiting for something to change and make us happy in the future. But we only have this present moment to be happy…
P : Perception
“You don’t know what’s going to happen in life and sometimes the worst things that happen can be the greatest gift – that can help you make a change in certain areas or change course. It’s all about how you look at it.”
L : Limit
“What kind of language are you using and how are you limiting yourself? Saying “I have to keep the weight off’ is not motivational. Try changing it to “I want to be healthy and fit’. Think about how you limit yourself everyday in your words and actions and commit to make a change.”
A : Acceptance
“We all come into the world perfect and fearless and as we grow and go through our lives, we develop fear, self doubt and other behaviours. Accept what has happened and understand that these are learned behaviours and you can unlearn them and learn new ways of thinking and acting that suit you better. Be mindful of how you talk to yourself.”
C : Courage
“Most adults are afraid to fail in life – this means many people won’t even try something new. But take some steps now and do something different that you have not done before. We all need to develop our willingness to try something new and potentially make a mistake – what’s the worst that can happen? Building new skills helps us grow and develop.”
E : Execution
“All the plans in the world will not work unless you take some action. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed if you try and tackle something big and then you will fail. Instead take a step-by-step approach and make a start. Think of it like a GPS showing you how to get somewhere– it won’t take you 100 steps in one go, it shows you the way step-by-step. So take a small step and then another and before you know it, you are making progress. “
There is no such thing as a perfect plan so accept that you have a choice, you can make changes and take some action, Divilly says.
Get started with making changes with this exercise from Upgrade Your Life.
Getting real is the best thing you can do for your journey to success. Step back and realise you are not living the way you want to live. People often shy away from this exercise because it can be hard to admit that you’re not the person you have convinced yourself you are.
Answer these questions honestly.
Q What kind of life do I want to live?
Q What kind of life am I really living?
Pat Divilly’s latest book Upgrade Your Life is published by Capstone and available in all bookshops priced €13.99.