Start Living Today (Workbook Review)

Start Living Today is a workbook to help you figure what your goals in life are and puts you on the path towards achieving them. I used this workbook myself and this is what I think about it.

Some time ago, I published a post about how to achieve anything you want in life, I shared how I had this awakening moment where I felt the need to make a change and decided I no longer wanted to be a passerby in my own life, but to live consciously and with a purpose and a plan in order to create the type of life I want to live.

And this week, I am going to share with you something that can help you figure out the kind of goals you need to have in front of you and which can help you put your feet on the first steps towards achieving them.

This post is my review of the Start Living Today workbook by one of my favourite bloggers, Vanessa C. Dias (The Wellbeing Blogger). It is “a 30-page e-book designed to help people organise their goals and life in general.”

This workbook was gifted to me to use it and share my honest thoughts about it here.

This review is more of my own reflection and my thoughts on some parts of the workbook. This post certainly does not contain all the material or all the ideas discussed in this workbook. You can jump to my conclusion here.

What does your life look like?

When reading the intro to this workbook, I couldn’t help but relate to every word. The motive behind creating this workbook was also my motive to finally stop wondering about what my life could have been like, had I been there or had I done that, and start taking actual steps towards creating the life I want to live.

“I craved real change and I was tired of reading and listening to hundreds and hundreds of inspirational messages without achieving any real progress in life.” Dias says in the intro.

This workbook is designed with the purpose of helping you take this step too. To define your goals in life and work your way through towards achieving them.

start living today workbook review. a page taken from the book: your life, your rules
A page from the workbook.

The book starts by first helping you figure out what your life consists of and what matters to you in general.

What does your life currently look like? What are the things that are most important to you?

In order to make real progress in life, you need to have a very clear and defined point of view which will help you create a plan, but you first need to know exactly where you are in life and exactly where you want to be.

Where do you want to be in life?

After you make a list of the most important aspects/dimensions of your life, the workbook helps you decide where you stand now in each dimension of life, and it then proceeds to take you step by step to see how you can achieve the progress you need in order to get where you want to be in each of these aspects you specified.

The design of the workbook itself is created in a way that helps you write down every thing. There are questions to lead you on and then there are spaces so you can go ahead and write down your thoughts.

This way you become more aware of each aspect of your life. You are able to have an overview of your thoughts on each aspect in an organized, written form, and this makes you see things more clearly.

What is the story of your future self?

Towards the end of this workbook, you are asked to write the story of your life, given that you have followed all the steps in the book and achieved all the goals set there. And this was my favourite part!

As you have documented the way you see everything in your life right now and what you wish to change or achieve. You will have a clear idea of what kind of life you would be having when you do all those steps and achieve your goals.

When writing this part, of what my life would look like, describing everything in detail and including every aspect of my life that I wish to progress in, it honestly felt incredible.

It felt real and doable. It felt like this is something that I can work through and achieve. It made me want to move and start taking more actions towards my dream life, and start taking them right now.

start living today workbook review. a page taken from the book: what you can see, you can do
Another page from the workbook.

What do I think of this workbook?

To be completely honest, when I first checked this workbook, I didn’t really feel like it could be of any help to me. I thought in my mind, “well, I already know this stuff,” and so I was skeptic that it was actually going to help me much.

But I decided to sit down and follow through and write down the answer to every question anyway, because I wanted to review it, and I wanted the review to be honest and based on my own experience with it.

After I went through all the questions and wrote the last answer to the last question.. I felt amazing! I felt happy and motivated.

There is a huge difference between knowing the answers to the questions in your head, and taking the time to sit down and write them in detail.

You may actually surprise yourself with things you didn’t even know were on your mind, or things that just slipped your mind due to the many other aspects of your life that you are juggling everyday.

The best part about this workbook, and why it is different from reading a self-help book, for example, is that it is something that actually pushes you to take steps as you go with every page.

So you’re not just sitting there, stuffing words into your brain that may or may not stick with you, you’re actually applying what you learn, and with every page you take a practical step forward towards your goal.

Final words on this:

If you already have your plan figured out and/or already took the first steps towards achieving your goals, it may still be helpful in the way that it was to me, helping me write down things I didn’t realize I had in mind, but I honestly don’t think it is mainly designed for you.

If you are someone who feels they are not living a life they are happy with, or if you feel like you need to make a change and you just don’t know how to start and you wish someone could help you and talk you through it, then this workbook will definitely help you.

It is going to help you have a closer look at your current situation and encourage you to think of different ways to make it better.

Till next week, happy days!

As explained by the creator of this workbook:

It’s may be a good alternative for those who don’t want or aren’t ready yet to work with a professional coach/psychologist and still want to improve their quality of life.

This workbook is currently available as an e-book.


5 Habits To Live Better And Achieve More

We don’t always have the motivation to do what we need to do; and sometimes we waste hours or days with nothing productive which leads to negative emotions, like guilt or discontentment.

These 5 habits will help you change that.

Waking up with a plan and a purpose helps in achieving all the things you need to achieve in a day, which ultimately helps you achieve your bigger goals in life.

And, sometimes, you need to make a few changes and implement a few things in your daily routine to help you achieve that purpose and those goals the best way you can.

Since I started adapting those 5 habits, I have become a lot more productive, and I feel a lot better about myself and about life in general.

1. Start a workout routine

I know that we all know that we should workout, but sometimes you just need someone to remind you that you really need to start doing this. Like, now.

Working out first thing in the morning can seriously change your entire day. You will start with so much positive energy and willingness to do more and so you will become much more productive.

This doesn’t need to be anything extensive or heavy. Simple morning stretches for 20 minutes, a 15-minute walk, or some light yoga will all do you just fine.

The point is to help your blood flow faster through your body and your brain, which will give you the energy boost you need to start the day right.

If you still need a little bit of convincing, you can read about the many other benefits of working out in the morning.

There are plenty of workout routines that you can adapt which you can do at home and with no equipment.

I personally used to follow a fitness program designed by Alexa Jean, which was very effective. However, at some point, I got lazy for a while and stopped doing them.

A few months after, my body became as stiff as a concrete wall, which made me feel generally unhappy with myself. But I was still too lazy to get back on those serious exercises. So I just started doing some light morning stretches and yoga poses for my back, which was a good warm up to get me back on track of developing this habit again.

Then a few days ago, I found this lovely person named Tyler on Twitter and she was starting a workout challenge, which gave me the push I needed to start getting on with some serious work out routines again.

You can either look for such challenges online if you need something to give you a push to start, or go for a designed program by a fitness coach like the Alexa Jean one, or simply search Google or Youtube for a workout routine that maybe targets a specific area that you wish to work on, such as your abs or your back, and start doing that every day.

However, make sure when you choose a workout, that you pick something easy and beginner level and then gradually increase the level as you grow accustomed to it. This is especially important if it has been a while since you did any workout.

And that is for two reasons, first so you don’t exhaust your body all of a sudden which in some cases can actually cause damage, and second so you don’t feel overwhelmed or too tired from your first try that you give up on the whole thing. We’re trying to build a habit here.

2. Exercise your brain

Your brain is much like your body, if you don’t exercise it, it will become stiff and will not work to its full potential.

Exercising your brain helps enhance your memory, your problem solving, and your ability to perform in your every day life. Since, you know, we use the brain in every thing we do, every decision we make, and every problem we need to solve.

In fact there are studies made that show how exercising your brain can enhance your functioning and your brain’s ability to perform better as you age. And it helps you increase your mental capacity by challenging it to learn and think more.

A brilliant study was made to compare between the brain cells of taxi drivers and bus drivers.

A taxi driver is forced to take different routes every day and they have the ability to memorize an entire city’s map and use that knowledge to navigate through the streets. Unlike a bus driver who only takes the same routes they take every day and therefore are not using the full potential of their memory.

It was found that taxi drivers have a larger volume of gray matter in the hippocampus–which is the part responsible for forming and accessing knowledge and memory. And that is because it is exercised and challenged to form and learn more information every day.

Exercising your brain is like hitting a refresh button to wake those parts of your brain that you weren’t using. And apart from the fact that it does help improve your brain’s performance, some activities would also help you gain knowledge in areas that you probably wouldn’t have gained if you weren’t actively looking.

You can do that through reading a book, learning a new language, or even solving puzzles. You may also choose the exercise to perform by deciding which part you need to work on more, such as sharpening your focus, your memory, or your problem solving skills, etc, and then find a brain activity that can help you work on that.

There are plenty of applications that are specifically designed for such activities. You can also check out this article that suggests a number of different ways to exercise your brain.

3. Feed your soul

The purpose of this one is to fulfill your soul’s/spirit’s needs. How you do this can differ from one person to the other.

One way you can do this is through meditation or praying or both. It depends on what your beliefs are and what you are more comfortable doing.

For meditating, you can do this at the beginning of every day to have a fresh and peaceful start of your day, or before you go to bed which can help you have a peaceful, deep sleep, or you can do them twice! They both have their merits.

Another way is through doing a selfless act; giving someone a helping hand or a charity or a simple “thank you” note, because even though it is called a “selfless” act, we do gain a lot of satisfaction by doing it, one that we wouldn’t feel any other way.

You can find more activities to feed your soul here.

Regardless of what our beliefs are, I think most of us can agree that we have a soul. And often times this one gets neglected, mostly because the damage done to it is not as physical or as obvious as it would be for our body or our minds; even though, it is the essence of our existence!

So when you think of ways to take care of yourself, don’t forget your soul.

4. Say NO to negativity

Stay away from negativity and negative people at all costs.

Negativity is all around us that sometimes if feels as if people are competing on who can be more negative. And if you don’t become proactive and consciously decide to avoid it, before you know it you will be sucked into this toxic cycle.

It can be in the form of toxic people constantly pulling you into unpleasant conversations or arguments; or it can be people who just generally have a negative mindset (about their life, about work, about the world, etc..) and trying to push their negative thoughts onto you, through constant venting or complaining, for example.

This type of people can be everywhere you go, they can be your colleagues at work/college, a family member, or online on social media.

And I don’t mean that you should have no empathy towards other people or that you should turn into some cold-hearted person. But there is a difference between comforting someone who is in a tough time in their life and knowing that someone is constantly complaining about something all the time, or that someone is simply always looking for a fight, or someone is always looking to criticize you and never has anything nice to say, etc.

When you know that this person has that kind of habit/attitude, you can try and help them see things differently, but if they refuse to see that then do not get dragged into this conversation.

Once you feel that a certain person is pushing you towards an unpleasant conversation, politely dismiss it. You don’t owe anyone anything. And you have every right to keep your mind as clear and peaceful as you can, because this will affect everything else you do throughout your day and, ultimately, your life.

You may also want to read about how to stop negative people from affecting your life.

But beware that when you are avoiding negativity, this does not necessarily mean that you should only feel good and positive and happy all the time, because, realistically speaking, that is not possible.

However, when you are conscious about how you feel and are aware that you need to stay away from a certain feeling, you will bounce out of it faster and you will not let yourself get drawn into that cycle indefinitely.

Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.

5. Make lists

This one should help you do everything else on this list and a lot more.

Making lists has been very, very helpful in organizing my life and getting things done.

There are all kinds of lists you can make for everything you need to do in your life, from a daily to-do list to your annual goals. I share here some of the lists I make that help me organize my life.

Routine List

In this one I add the things that I do every day as part of my routine.

For example, if I have things that I want to do every morning when I wake up, such as workout, meditate, and feed birds, I add all of that in order in the routine list as my “morning routine,” and same thing goes for my evening routine.

But you can add all kinds of other routines you have for yourself, such as your workout routine, cleaning routine, etc.

Chores List

If you have trouble getting house chores done, then you may need this list.

To be completely honest, doing house work is not my strongest asset (some would say I suck at it), and I didn’t imagine how helpful this list would be before I try it, but now I can definitely say that it has been godsend to me.

This is a list where you write down all the different house chores that you need to do, like mopping floors, cleaning fridge, or doing laundry, and then assign a certain day of the week for each one of them.

When you do this, you make this chore part of your routine, and so it won’t take as much effort or thought on your part to get on and do them, you know, as it normally would if you were only cleaning when things look dirty or doing laundry only when there’s no more clean clothes to wear…. (sad true story).

It will also help you have a clean house all the time (which is probably how it should be..).

Annual Goals List

Here is where I add things that I need to have achieved by the end of the year. This helps me be focused on the bigger picture.

As important as it is to have a daily to-do list, it is important to always know what you are eventually aiming for, so that you know when, and if, you need to make a change, in case you find that you are doing something that is somehow hindering you or taking you in an opposite direction of what your main goal is.

Daily To-do List

This list is the one where I write everything that needs to be done today, from the house chores, the morning/evening routines, any appointments, and things I have set earlier to help achieve my annual goals (which is discussed in the 8 steps to achieve anything you want in life).

I have read a lot about how important it is to write that list before you go to bed, but I kind of had the attitude of “couldn’t be bothered,”and so I used to write this list when I woke up in the morning, and it was okay, it helped me be organized throughout the day.

However, recently I thought I’d make a change and started writing that list before I went to bed, and I only wish I did that earlier.

Now I wake up with an already organized mind. I know exactly everything that needs to be done in the day. So, once I get out of bed, I start working on that list.

This has saved me a lot more time and has helped my productivity overall, since I now always wake up with an aim in mind, which is also a great way to start the day.

I have adapted the super helpful lists of chores and routines from a brilliant entrepreneur called Gillian Perkins; if you don’t know about her, you can find her website here.

Click to Pin It on Pinterest.

And this sums up the 5 habits that have increased my productivity and improved my life overall. Hopefully, they will do the same for you.

Till next week, happy days!

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8 Steps To Achieve Anything You Want In Life

This post walks you through everything you need to start achieving your life goals today! Plus 8 practical steps you can easily follow and apply to every goal you have.

Most of us run into many great ideas and read inspiring articles or books that have practical thoughts and ways to improve our lives, but how many of us actually take the time to apply any of it? Well, not many.

Jump to:

As far as I can remember, I never really had a life goal that I was pursuing. If I ever had a goal it was usually short-term and more often than not I’d get bored or lose hope and give up in a few weeks.

In my opinion, I think there two types of people out there: Those who achieve great things and those who spend their lives wondering (me in the past).

And the difference between the two is that one of them took the time to realize what they want out of life and then took action, while the other is just living in a hamster-wheel kind of life where they are preoccupied by their routine to the point that they have no clue what they really want out of life; and, unfortunately, most of them don’t even realize it until very late in life.

I have read so many books and watched countless videos on self-development and how to progress in life; how to plan and set goals and achieve them. However, I haven’t ever sat down and collected all those things that I learned and created one big summary that I can actually follow myself.

And I didn’t realize how much my life was lacking until I decided to do just that a while back, and words can’t begin to describe how much my life has changed since then.

So, in this post, I am sharing that summary of everything I learned about life goals and how to achieve them.

A dream is a dream.

A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.

Harvey Mackay

Why should you have a goal? And how do you choose it?

I believe that there is no greater waste than a life without a goal. Goals give you a vision as to where your life is headed and motivation to keep going and keep getting better. Having a goal helps you make the most out of life and, in successfully achieving your goal, it gives you a sense of pride and confidence.

But what kind of goal should you have? Well, you can have goals in all aspects of life. You can have a goal for your health, your personal life, your finances, your spiritual wellness, etc.

And while it is important to have a goal for every major aspect in your life, it is, also, equally important to realize that it is kind of impossible to do all of them at the same time.

Meaning, if your goals are to be fit, and to be rich, and to meditate every day, and to travel the world, and to get married, and you go ahead and attempt to do all of those things at the same time with an equal amount of attention, thinking you can balance everything, chances are you will either give up completely or, if you’re really special, you will manage to have a mediocre achievement in one, or maybe two, of them.

But in order to truly manage to achieve everything you want, you need to focus only on one or two main goals. Those should be the ones that have 80% of your time and attention. Once you have achieved those goals, or at least reached to a point of confidence that you are well on your way now, you can then move on the next major goal on your list.

And when deciding which goal or which aspect of your life you need to focus on right now, it is best if you ask yourself: which one of them that, if you achieve it, will make achieving everything else easier?

When you answer this question, you will have decided on your goal and you can then go ahead and start working on it.

How do you set a SMART goal?

It is not enough to just have an idea of what you want, to be able to achieve your goal, it needs to be a SMART goal. There are several meanings for a SMART goal, but this is the one I choose to go by:

  • Specific (exact target, be as descriptive as you can)
  • Measurable (you can easily see or feel the target achieved)
  • Action-oriented (has a clear plan with actions you can follow to reach that goal)
  • Relevant (be certain it is relevant to you and your actual desire in life)
  • Time-bound (has a realistic and flexible deadline)

For example, your financial goal can’t just be “I want to be rich;” however, it can be something like, “3 years from now, I want to have 1 million in my bank account through real estate investments.”

Make sure you also write that goal down on a paper and have that goal in front of you at all times.

To be honest, I’ve always wondered what difference it would make if the goal is on a paper or a note on my phone or just in my head, I mean I already know what I want. But I found that just the simple act of writing the goal and reading it every day makes it more tangible and that makes a huge impact. Because, without even realizing it, everything you do subconsciously leads you to achieving that goal, the more you read it and recite it the more real it becomes in your head.

Live your life as if all your dreams have come true then challenge your reality to catch up.

Dan Lok

What happens between setting the goal and achieving it?

After you have a clear specific goal to achieve, now comes the real work. Because there is a huge gap between setting a goal and achieving that goal, and in that gap usually lies the “planning.”

Photo by

Most of us can get to the part where we decide what we want to achieve and have a very good reason as to why we do; however, the reason many of us don’t manage to achieve those goals is because we don’t take the time to actually plan how we are going to get there.

In order to set the right plan for your goal, you will need to break it down into smaller goals and then set a plan to achieve those smaller ones.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

Benjamin Franklin

The 8 steps to follow to achieve any goal you have in life

In this example, I will have a hypothetical scenario for a financial goal for myself and then follow the steps it takes to create a practical and realistic plan for that goal. I chose a financial goal since it is easier to explain with numbers.

1. What is your major financial goal in life?

I want to have financial freedom where I wouldn’t need to have a job to have an income.

This is the big picture, the ultimate goal, but put in a vague statement. So, I need to be more specific.

2. How to change that into a SMART goal?

By the year 2029, I want to have one-million pounds through real estate investments.

Now this is a clear goal that I can start working on.

3. How do you break down this ultimate goal into smaller targets?

  • Ten-year goal: one million
  • Five-year goal: 500K
  • One-year goal: 100K
  • Monthly goal: 8.4K
  • Weekly goal: 2.1K
  • Daily goal: 300

So I broke that major goal down to the point where I know how much money I will need to make on daily basis so that I can achieve the weekly goal, to achieve the monthly goal, to achieve the yearly goal to reach my ultimate goal.

If I don’t manage to hit the daily goal, I will fail to meet the weekly one and therefore the monthly one and so on. So it is very important that you know how your every day activity is going to contribute to the final result.

4. What are the requirements to get there?

This is where I set a list of all the resources, the skills, the knowledge I will need to be able to achieve these goals.

For this example

  • I need to find more ways to make money so that I can meet my daily goal every day.
  • I need to set a budget to be able to save enough money for investment.
  • I need to establish a few sources for real estate investment.
  • I need to learn more about finance, money, and time management.

5. What kind of obstacles may you face along the way?

It is important that if I want to have a realistic plan and have one step ahead is to make sure I study all the possibilities and expect any kind of obstacle, so that when it happens, I am prepared.

The possible obstacles in this scenario are:

  • I may not be able to save enough money for investment.
  • I may fail at one of the investment choices I put my money into and therefore lose money.

6. What do you need to do to avoid/overcome those obstacles?

After I think of the obstacles, it’s time to study the methods through which I can resolve such obstacles whenever they arise.

  • So, I may need to spend more time learning more skills to widen my job opportunities.
  • I need to make sure I stick to the budget I set and cut down unnecessary spending.
  • Contact people who are more knowledgeable and can help me find better ways to invest my money.
  • Do my research before I put my money into any kind of investment.

And, most important of all, I need to accept that eventually there is always a chance of failure in anything in life; so, in the worst case scenario where that happens, I need to take that with a positive mindset to be able to move forward and not be stuck in that one point of failure.

7. Set a schedule

After we set the goal, break it down, study the requirements, the obstacles and how to resolve them, comes the time to put down a strategy to achieve that goal.

Meaning, I need to write down my daily tasks that will lead me to achieve the daily, weekly, and monthly goals.

When setting the daily tasks or my to-do list, it is also helpful to prioritize them. So, I’d think of the most important thing that absolutely has to be done that day. Then ask if I could only finish two things today, what would I do next? And so on, until I have a list of all the important things that need to be done according to their priority.

Here’s a to-do list for our example:

  1. Work 6-7 hours on writing/design tasks to be able to meet the daily goal of 300 pounds.
  2. Study 1 hour of Finance course.
  3. 30 minutes for myself and my well-being (workout, meditate, or interact with family or friends, etc..).
  4. Pitch for new clients.
  5. Do research on the investment options I have.
  6. Read book on time management

I can also go ahead and set the exact hour of day I will be doing those things to be even more organized.

This way, every day I will have a clear idea of what needs to be done in order to get closer to achieving that one ultimate goal. And now I am ready to take action!

8. Share your goal

The last step after I have done all the planning is to share my goal with someone. This could be a family member or a friend (or in my case, a blog, online for everyone to see…) because they will hold me accountable, and this will give me a push to achieve that goal, especially in those moments when things get tough and I may feel like giving up on it.

It will also make it more real, because now it is not just in my head or on a paper on my desk, it is out there and other people know about it too.

This, in a slightly large nutshell, is everything I learned about planning and setting achievable goals for myself.

One last thing to remember:

There are no unreasonable goals, only unreasonable deadlines.

Brian Tracy

Till next week, happy days!

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