Backpacker sitting  the cliff high in mountains on backgro

8 steps to transform your life

Have you been feeling a bit flat as you think about the year ahead? Perhaps you’re not feeling like your work, relationship or life is where you would like it to be? Do you long to feel inspired and alive but can’t work out how to make it happen? Are you unsure of the direction you would like your life to take?

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, the following eight steps can help you transform your life.

1. Focus on finding a vision for your life

A vision is defined as the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. It’s about working out how you would love your life to be and what it would look like at its best. If you’re thinking, “Great suggestion but how do I do that?”, the next steps will help you on your way.

2. Use the Wheel of Life

This is a go-to coaching tool which allows you to reflect on the different components of your life. Draw a circle and then divide it into eight segments. Label the key categories of your life. It could be, for example, family/friends, partner/romance, career, finances, health, physical environment, recreation/leisure, personal growth and spiritual wellbeing.

wheel of life

Think about what success feels like in each of these areas. Now rank your satisfaction with each area of your life from 1 (very dissatisfied) at the middle of the circle to 10 (fully satisfied) at the outside of the circle. Think about how you feel about the ratings. Identify the areas you would like to most improve and some small steps you can take that will make a difference.

3. Ask yourself two important questions

If you had energy like a happy child, what would you do in your life?

If you had no fear about moving forward, what would your ideal life look like?

Your answers can help you to understand how your life can be without the barriers that may be holding you back and inspire you to take action.

4. Create a vision board

A vision board is a visual representation of all the things you would like in your life. As you focus on compiling images that you relate to, it can help give you clarity. When I did my vision board many years ago, I realised that I was not happy with some parts of my life and that allowed me to make the changes I needed.

vision board

5. Work with your fear

For many people, the most significant barrier holding them back from living their best life is fear. Susan Jeffers wrote a fantastic book years ago called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and, funnily enough, what it says is “feel the fear and do it anyway!” It is very normal to want to avoid uncomfortable feelings of anxiety, stress or fear. Those feelings can tell us when we’re under threat (which is helpful at times) but at other times it’s important to acknowledge those feelings and still focus on doing what you know in your heart you need to do. Another strategy is to see fear as your unwelcome friend. Your friend (fear or anxiety) arrives at your door and may even come in. You can acknowledge that they are there but you don’t need to ask them to sit down.

6. Build confidence through action

Build your confidence by setting yourself teeny, tiny goals and achieving them. I’m a big fan of small steps for big changes. This approach has helped me when I’ve felt stuck or overwhelmed. It can show you over time that you can do it and inspire you to gradually build up to achieving bigger, more significant goals. Start with one small step.

7. Relax and breathe

Take time out of your busy schedule to ponder, relax and breathe. Mindfulness practices can help you to become aware of destructive thought patterns. Meditating for even 5 minutes a day can shift you from feeling as though you’re in an emotional frenzy to having the clarity to reflect on where to from here. When you find yourself experiencing challenging emotions, focus on accepting the feelings and consciously breathing in and breathing out. This can help you connect to a greater sense of peace and clarity.

8. Seek support

We can’t do it alone. I need help. You need help. We all do. Seek regular support from a trusted friend, family member, coach or a therapist. Or, if you need it, all of the above. With support you will gain more insight, be more accountable and make things happen more easily. And you can share your excitement when you see yourself moving forward. A while ago a wonderful coach challenged me to start writing and that’s why you’re even reading this today!

You can do it. Lead your own change.

Tulsi van de Graaff

Tulsi van de Graaff

Tulsi van de Graaff is a former lawyer with a psychology background as well as an experienced management consultant, workplace trainer, facilitator, presenter and coach. She is the founder of Lead Your Own Change and for over 7 years has been working with individuals, teams and organisations to solve their communication and conflict challenges. She also helps develop emotional intelligence and resilience, create positive personal and cultural change, manage change and uncertainty and enhance relationships and communication. Tulsi runs public workshops including Teen Talk: a communication workshop for mums and teen/tween daughters, Couple Talk, to enhance couple communication and Beyond Breakup, for people healing after a break up.

Tulsi is a volunteer facilitator and presenter for Dress for Success Sydney (DFSS). At DFSS, she runs workshops for women in need, including Finding Your Vision and Trusting in Your Ability as well as coaching training for DFSS volunteer coaches.

For more information check out Tulsi's website,, her facebook page or email Tulsi at

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