5 Ways to Change Your Life From the Inside Out

Michael Leonard

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Personal development wasn’t a big part of my life growing up. In fact, I actively avoided it.

All I wanted to do was make money, play golf, party, and travel. That routine worked for the first 28 years of my life. But something changed in 2016.

I remember getting another promotion at my job and thinking — is this it? I kept thinking to myself, there has to be more to life than climbing the ladder and pursuing the “American dream.”

So I told myself, 2016 was the year to change it. The Universe seemed to listen and sent a perfectly timed Groupon email to my inbox about a Tony Robbins event in my city. I decided to take a day off of work, attend the event alone, and see what all this personal development stuff was about.

After 12+ hours (Tony ran about three hours long), I remember leaving the event feeling more alive than ever. I was literally screaming in my car with pure joy and excitement. Since then I’ve attended his 4-day event, attended countless conferences, joined masterminds, started hypnotherapy, enrolled in coaching programs, and more to upgrade my mind and business.

Of all the money I’ve spent, roughly $50,000 over the past four years, here are the best habits I’ve adopted to create lasting change.

Start Empowering Morning Routines

Magic happens in the morning. Prior to my self-development journey, I had no problem getting up early but lacked the structure of a good morning routine. Instead, I would just take pre-workout powder and go to the gym for an hour before I dragged myself into work.

But once I quit my job in 2017 and became an entrepreneur overnight, I realized how little structure I had in my days. This led to a chaotic and unproductive eight months. It wasn’t until I started reading Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D.’s content and joined his mastermind that I started a real morning routine in 2018.

This helped my life in more ways than ever. While I don’t do the same routine every single day (as it felt like a rut), I always do something to start my day with intention. I combine a set of different habits from this list that can last from 10–60 minutes each morning:

  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Self-hypnosis
  • Set intentions
  • Meditation (TM)
  • Review my goals
  • Listen to motivational podcasts
  • Watch inspirational videos on YouTube
  • Don’t look at my phone for the first 60 minutes

Then at the end of the night, I always map out my plan for tomorrow, review my goals, and imagine tomorrow going perfectly.

“You can’t always control the middle of the day, but you can always control how you start and end the day.” — Ed Mylett

Create Evening Routines

While most people have used or at least read about a morning routine, Benjamin Hardy and other authors introduced me to the power of an evening routine as well. Benjamin taught us that successful people intentionally direct their subconscious to help them with problems before going to sleep.

A great morning routine actually starts the night before. I started living by this Thomas Edison quote,

“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.”

Now, each night I spend 5–10 minutes using my journal to activate my subconscious mind before going to bed. I start by writing my three wins for the day to feel accomplished and proud of the day.

Then, I look at my goals and ask some questions about why I am struggling to achieve them. Instead of thinking of them hard, I write out the problem and several questions asking my subconscious mind for the answers.

This will give my subconscious mind something to work on while I sleep.

Lastly, I write out some of my goals as if they are already complete.

For example, instead of saying “I want to be a professional golfer” I write “I am a professional golfer on the PGA Tour.

Then, I visualize for a few minutes each of these dreams as already completed to give myself a positive visual image before going to bed. This was the exact opposite process of what I had previously done.

Usually, I would wind down in the evening, watch some TV, scroll the ‘gram in bed and finally go to sleep. But when I was drifting off to sleep, I would worry about the future instead of dreaming about it in a positive way.

I’ve since learned that negative thoughts, especially at night, are poison for your mind and goals. Unfortunately, that’s what most people do — go to bed dreading tomorrow, worrying about paying the bills, keeping their job, etc. If you really want to change your life, get clear about what you want and ask your subconscious for help before going to bed.

Don’t forget, your mind is a supercomputer but formal education doesn’t teach us how to tap into the seemingly unlimited power of it. Habits like journaling, hypnotherapy, and asking questions before going to bed will activate your subconscious and help you achieve your goals.

Use A Journal To Create Physical Manifestation

Prior to my self-development journey, I associated journaling with a teenage girl writing in a diary. I never once thought about it until working with Benjamin and noticing it is a common thread among the most successful people in the world.

So I decided to give it a try. The only problem was, I had no clue what I was supposed to write about.

In the beginning, some days I wrote a recap of the day, other entries were how I was feeling, and sometimes it was just random thoughts. While I still got some value, once I learned how to structure my journal writing from a journaling course, I began to see results.

Instead of aimlessly writing, I spend 10–15 minutes each morning brain dumping:

  • I review and write my goals and vision.
  • I write about 2–3 things I’m really grateful for in my life.
  • I detail my goals as already completed, writing out the specific details and bringing in other senses of the goal becoming accomplished.

Journaling will help reframe your subconscious and reshape your identity by using it as a vehicle to consciously create your intended future.

“The subconscious mind will translate into its physical equivalent, by the most direct and practical method available.” — Napoleon Hill

10X Your Goals

I’ve always been obsessed with goals — while they used to just be about making more money since I thought I could buy happiness, they have since evolved.

Once you start a morning ritual, you have more time to get clear on your goals and create the intention to achieve them. I like to think of the morning as a time to be proactive instead of reactive in designing your future. While goal setting has never been an issue for me, I learned about the power of 10X’ing your goals from Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan to increase success.

Think about, how often do you think of taking your goals and multiplying them by 10? If your goal is to earn $100,000 in the next 12 months why not add a zero and make $1,000,000?

You might think it sounds crazy, and I did too. But once Benjamin Hardy showed us one of his mentors, Dan Sullivan, I began to understand the power of the 10X’ing your goals.

As Dan said in this video, “As an entrepreneur, it’s a lot easier to go 10x on your goals instead of 2x.”

By choosing to 10X your goals, you will gain intellectual engagement and emotional commitment. Once you are committed, your brain will act as a filter and get rid of anything that is unnecessary to your goal by delegating or deleting it.

With every decision you make moving forward your brain will see if it is helping or hurting your 10X goal. 10X vs. 2X made me create a totally different mindset to operate in the world. Ironically enough, I did 10X my writing income in 12 months using this strategy!

Reshape Your Environment

Another way I began shifting my life from the inside out was changing my environment after reading Willpower Doesn’t Work, which says most improvement books have it all wrong.

Most books preach about discipline and willpower to achieve your goals. While those two ingredients are needed, you also need to change your environment to shift everything else around you. As Benjamin Hardy said in the book,

“Environmental design is different. It’s about creating conditions that make your success inevitable. For example, if you want to be focused at work, you need to remove all distractions from your physical and digital workspace. If you want to eat healthily, remove all of the unhealthy foods from your house. If you want to get creative insights, get out of town, and relax for a day or two.”

Remember, willpower fades but your environment can always be changed to help you reach your goals. And it’s worked amazingly for me in several areas of my life. I’ve reshaped my environment by decluttering, cleaning, and removing anything that doesn’t give me a feeling of success.

This may seem too easy but start by cleaning your desk or closet. You’ll notice a significant change.

“A person’s environment forms every aspect of their lives, from their income to their value system to their waistline to their hobbies.” — Benjamin Hardy

Extra Credit: Invest in Yourself

As I mentioned in the intro, personal development was never my thing. I was a personal finance guy so any expense felt like that — an expense. I didn’t see the value of spending money on anything unless there was a tangible return. But learning from Benjamin Hardy and reading endless personal development books, it became obvious how important investing in yourself was to speed up success.

Benjamin Hardy taught that the reason investing in yourself is so effective is a principle known as “sunk cost fallacy.” The term tends to have a negative connotation because you are overvaluing something (i.e. relationship or business) and continuing to stay with it even when it’s clearly not working.

But as Benjamin said,

“Sunk cost doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Actually, you can leverage this human tendency to your benefit.”

By investing in yourself, you put skin in the game.

You are telling your brain what is important and that whatever you’re investing in is a priority. Whether it’s spending money on a coach, trainer, mastermind, or event, it will help you speed up success. I’ve used all of these and now make it a goal to spend more money each year investing in myself to play bigger and step up!

Final Thoughts

Wherever you’re at in life, please know that change is possible. But don’t expect it to happen overnight or easily. You have to be extremely intentional in creating new routines and habits to help you create the life you want.

As Tony Robbins said,

“If you want life to change, you have to change. If you want life to get better, you have to get better. It’s the only way.”

Success and achievement of your goals will only come from getting outside your comfort zone. By changing your environment, routine, and thoughts, you can change your life.

Once you are clear about your future, you can use these lessons to accomplish anything.

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My name is Michael Leonard and I am the creator of Inspire Your Success. I'm on a mission to help readers build online writing businesses and quit their jobs to live a life of freedom!

Scottsdale, AZ
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