A Better Way to Answer ‘How Have You Been?’

UPDATED: May 27, 2014
PUBLISHED: May 27, 2014

What have you accomplished in the past year? Don’t like the answers? Wish you had better ones, more fulfilling ones? You can—just one year from now.

You have within yourself the power to decide that when someone asks you just one year from now, “What have you been up to?” you will respond, “Let me tell you—I’ve been on fire!”

You aren’t getting any younger, and neither am I. If nothing changes, next year you will be one year older and still stuck in the rut wondering when you will achieve your dreams. But you can change.

1. Decide what you want this year. 

What is it exactly? You will never pursue it, nor get it, if you do not know what “it” is. Crystallize it in your mind. See it. Know it.

2. Put some sort of physical reminder where you will see it every day.

Maybe you want to lose weight. Put a picture of someone who looks the way you want to, or perhaps a picture of yourself from when you weighed what you want to weigh again. This will keep it in your mind each and every day.

3. Increase your positive self-talk. 

Stop telling yourself negative things, and include thoughts, not just verbal talk. Start telling yourself positive things. “But Chris, those thoughts just run around in my head. I don’t put them there!” Well, catch them. Take them captive and throw them out. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop and ask yourself what the exact opposite would be. Then begin to think it. Let the positive thought expand and take over the terrain of your mind the same way the negative thought would have before you ran it out of town.

4. Act. Yes, act. 

I don’t mean join a theater group. I mean get some action going in your life. Want to get out of debt? Ask the boss for five hours of overtime a week. Over a year that would be 250 hours (I give you two weeks for vacation. Aren’t I nice?). If you normally make $15 an hour, you will make $30 (or something like that—go with me here); $30 multiplied by 250 is $7,500. Your action will move you toward your goal. Worrying about money won’t. If you want to lose weight, go to the gym on a set schedule. Whatever you do, act. Just make the action something that will propel you toward your goal.

If you do the above, if you decide what you want, put a physical reminder of it where you will see it, increase your positive self-talk and take actions that will propel you toward your goals, you will ignite your life! And next year when someone asks how you have been, your eyes will light up and you will boldly say, “Man, I have been on fire! Let me tell you all about it…”

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for SUCCESS.com. A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.