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Have you ever heard the remark “I need to find myself” or “I need to do some soul searching” or even “I need to change my life”? Well these are all forms of self-discovery, and it is definitely a work in progress, an ongoing adventure, if you will. I have found that each time I think I have me figured out, I change. However I have also learned a few simple steps that have helped me to keep up with myself. I would like to pass those along to you.

1. Make a written description of the “YOU “ you want to become. Be detailed in your portrayal, don’t skip any aspect inside or out. From how you want to look to how you want to feel and act. This will be the guideline to help keep you focused on where it is you are heading. As your ideal of who you want to be changes (and it will) so should your description.

2. Next you will want to make a list of steps you need to take to reach this new you. It is best to start with the steps that you can implement right away. You should also be sure that this is something that you review often.

3. Affirm yourself. Affirmation is a very strong tool, and should be used to give yourself a pat on the back with a reassuring quote. Such as: Today I am strong, Or I am in charge of my own life. Tape some of these to your bathroom mirror and you car dash.

4. Visualization is another very important tool. Spend time daily seeing yourself as the new you. How you look, how you interact with others.

5. Practice being who it is you wish to be right now. Live it, breathe it, and after a while you wont simply be practicing anymore, you will just Be.

6. Be mindful. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings each day. Bring yourself back to your goal for that day as often as you can think of it. This will keep you on track.

7. Keep a journal. This is the best way to keep track of your progress on a daily basis. Also it will be nice to look back next year and see how much you have grown.

8. Reward yourself. A reward need not be expensive: pop some corn and watch a movie, take a bubble bath wish candles and music, go for a nice walk in the country, or give yourself a facial at home. The important thing is that you are being rewarded in some way for all the work and progress.

9. Breathe. Spend at least 5 min. a day paying attention to your breathing. Most of us are oxygen deprived and should be mindful of our breath as often as possible.

10. Exercise can be a great way to motivate oneself, as well as an excellent method of staying in touch with yourself. Take advantage of this escape at least once daily.

11. Eat well. Some food has the ability to actually cloud our minds and bodies while others can help keep us clean and clear. Clear is always better.

12. Make time for you. At least once a week, do something just for you. Leave your responsibility and problems behind for a while and nurture yourself.

13. Meditate daily. Spend time each day getting in touch with the inner you. This will keep you grounded and on track. It is something that takes practice for some, but it is the best way to figure out any self issue. Sit and concentrate on your breathing, if a problem comes to mind see it recognize it and then push it out. Continue this for 20 to 30 minutes each day. The more you do it the better you will get at it.

14. Enjoy the journey. Before you get there you long for change, after you have it you are done: enjoy what is in between, for this is life.

15. Be your own best friend. Be forgiving. If your best friend had a fault or broke a promise, you would forgive them and continue to love them and be there for them. Please do the same for yourself.

Most of all, know that the vision you have now will change often and that is as it should be. Remember, we are human beings and we evolve constantly. The secret is keeping up with the changes. Reading, I have found, is one of the best tools for change. You cannot become or see what you do not know of. I wish you all luck on your journey to self discovery. We can all reach the stars, perhaps even a few of us can send back a map to those who have yet to leave. But remember when you get your map that as the seasons and cycles change so do the placement of the stars. We all must to learn how to navigate on our own.