The 1 thing I did that changed my entire life for the better

Let me outline for you how I went about making some of the most rapid transformations of my entire life.

Step 1:

When I was 19 years old, afriend had told me about this book called Manifest Your Desires: 365 Ways To Make Your Dreams A Reality.

Now, for context, 19-year-old me didn’t read anything except gaming blogs on the internet. Period. But, I was going through a rough time my first year of college, and this friend of mine insisted that if I read one page per day, and spent 5–10 minutes thinking hard about what that page said, my thoughts would begin to change: about the world, about myself, and even about being open to the concept of reading.

(And no, this isn’t a promotion for the book. This is a true story.)

For 2 years, I woke up every single day and read a page out of this book, quietly in my room.

Then, I either meditated (sitting in silence) or journaled about what the page made me think of. No right answers, no allotted length. I just journaled whatever came up in me. If it didn’t make sense why I was thinking about something seemingly unrelated, I wrote it anyway. Usually, sometime in the near future, I would draw a connection—and it would make sense as to why I had thought of what I had.

Step 2:

Like I said, I did this for 2 years.

Two. Years.

Not 3 days.

Not a few weeks.

Two entire years. I started to see how the people I was surrounding myself with weren’t very conducive to who and what I wanted to become. I started to realize I was terrific at coming up with ideas but horrible at seeing them through to completion. I started to understand why I struggled to make friends, and how closed off I was from the world.

Still, I kept with it, and woke up every morning and read my page, and thought hard about whatever came up.

Step 3:

Over time, I started to become more and more aware of my insecurities.

I was very afraid to talk to people I’d never met/didn’t know very well. I was terrified to talk to just about anyone.

Once I became aware of this, I started challenging myself. I lived in a big apartment complex with all college kids, and the elevator always had someone in it. I would challenge myself to talk to 1 person in that elevator a day. Even if I just said “Hey,” that was a step. I failed a lot. I had a lot of really funny conversations where I probably sounded like an idiot. But slowly and surely, eventually, I got comfortable—and was able to strike up a conversation with anyone.

Step 4:

Once you learn how to listen to yourself and trust yourself, you will see that you are good enough.

You deserve whatever it is you wish to strive for in life.

But before you can become that best version of YOU, there are some simple lessons that have to come first.

Something else that helped me tremendously is that before I went to bed every night, regardless of whether I went out and came home at three in the morning, or called it early and was in bed by 10 pm, I took 5 minutes, stared out the window, and said out loud what I was appreciative of for that day.

Again, I didn’t do this for a week, or a month. I did it for two years. I still do it.

Every day. No matter what.

I still take a moment, look out the window (the sky is beautiful at night), and I say to myself, “Thank you for _______,” before falling asleep. It helps the subconscious go to bed in an appreciative and open state, and I’ve found it helps me wake up motivated and happy.

These are my tactics, but you can come up with your own. I just keep experimenting with different routines, trying to find something that helps me work on the next piece of myself that needs working on.

I urge you to do the same.

There is no right answer to the process of bettering yourself. But the one thing it does require is consistency. Don’t let yourself get tired. Don’t say “tomorrow.” Just do it. Do it right now. Do it before you forget. Do it before you get distracted. Do it while you still care—before the next voice creeps in and convinces you why you shouldn’t.

Accept that you’ll be all “blahhhhh but I don’t wanna!” for a second.

Force yourself anyways.

And within seconds, you’ll be in it and thankful you did.

Carry out that practice every day, and watch your life change.

This article first appeared on Medium