The most important reason our lives go wrong is that we give away our power - to Others, to Life, to God. We cease to take responsibility for ourselves.

Or we say that Life is Unfair. Or that God has let us down. Or that we could be ok - if it wasn't for our Partner, our Parents, our Children, our Employers, our Doctors, etc, etc.

The first step - if you are blaming others for what has happened to you - is to let it go. Whatever people have done to you happened in the past and its over. Go through a process of forgiveness and decide to make a fresh start.

When you forgive and let go you stop living in the past. That's the next step. You can now stop wasting effort on regrets, recriminations and 'if onlys' and your energy level will start to rise (you will feel relief first).

The next step is to stop waiting for Life to get better. That isn't going to happen until YOU happen to Life. To do that you are going to have to break the habit of procrastination, take risks, try something new and start being more honest with people. One of the important laws of life is that you only get out of it what you put in.

Side by side with that step you stop making excuses: 'That won't work', 'I don't know what to do/how to do it', 'People won't like it', 'It's too scary', 'I'm not attractive', 'It's too difficult', 'I don't have time', etc. Instead of making excuses, do that new course, start talking to people about the help you need, say 'No' to people who drain you and make some more time for yourself. Experiment with new clothes, hair-styles, make-up. If you are shy, then look for people who can teach you some social skills.

By now you should be well on the way to doing the single most important thing that helps you get your life back: living in the present. Not the past and not the distant future. Now. That means focusing your attention (aside from the odd ten minutes you spend planning for the immediate future) on activities that satisfy you today. It also helps if you regularly practice an awareness technique that keeps you grounded in your body in the Now. We teach people how to do this in Reverse Therapy but other approaches - Yoga, Breath training, Tai Chi, Meditation, Qi Gung - can work just as well.

When you discipline yourself to stay in the moment you are also letting go of the Headmind chatter - worries, regrets, blame, guilt, day-dreaming - that kept you locked in the past and paralysed your will.

You can learn how to stop listening to that parrot on your shoulder and start listening, instead, to yourself: your emotions, your desires, your needs, your passion, your inner drive toward love, truth, connection to others and self-fulfilling work (or play).

Here are 10 actions you can start on doing now to sort your life out:

1 Forgive others

Forgiving does not mean that the hurt others have done you in the past is now ok. The meaning of the word 'forgive' means giving something back. In this case you are giving the problem back to the past, where it belongs. You forgive when you make a conscious effort to move on.

2 Start being 20% more honest with people than you were before

You don't have to tell people everything you think about them. That doesn't serve them and it doesn't serve you. Just start to open up a bit more. And if you do have 'hard' things you want to say to them then be sure to balance that with appreciation and love (if that's appropriate). A really good place to start is to practice saying 'No' politely to things you don't really want to do.

3 Sort out your finances

This is a common New Year problem and if it doesn't apply to you then you can skip this bit

You first need to work out exactly how much you owe. The most common mistake people in debt make is to avoid calculating it in case it frightens them. Sit down and itemise the amounts you owe, the money you have in your accounts, and your available income.

Next, work out your priority expenses - these usually include your rent/mortgage, loan repayments, basic home expenses and travel costs to and from work.

Now draw up your budget so that you can meet the priority expenses and ascertain how much you have left over for less urgent expenses. Get your partner to agree and stick to that budget.

If you have urgent creditors who want paying now and you don't have the money then don't avoid them - talk to them. Most creditors are only interested in getting their money back; they have no interest in persecuting you. So negotiate with them.

If you are in dire straits and the advice I have just given won't work for you then you need to get expert advice. The Citizens Advice Bureau is a good place to go. Here in the UK there is also an excellent (free) service over on National Debtline.

4 Prioritise your own needs and talk about them

Your needs could cover a wide range. Maybe you need more time and space? Or a new challenge? Or a new job? More time with your friends? More security? More affection and attention? A holiday?

Whatever it is, start talking to people. People who can give you help and advice. People who need to know what you are going through and how you want things to be different. Or people who can give you information about what's out there for you.

Remember, if you don't look after yourself then you are not going to be able to look after the people you love. For every effort you make on behalf of others your Body needs you to balance that with something you do for yourself. Even Christ needed to get some rest after feeding the Five Thousand!

5 Break out of your comfort zone

The comfort zone includes old habits and routines, which can deaden you to life. The zone represents the way things have 'always' been, the safe, the sterile and the boring. It excludes risk, adventure and excitement. Breaking out of the comfort zone will be scary when you start to do it (fear is just your body's way of telling you to take small steps at first) but you will get used to that. Do one thing each day that is new, a little risky or is something you haven't tried before. It doesn't matter whether it works or not - experiment.

6 Do things that raise Endorphins

In my free book - Reverse Therapy for Health - I write a lot more about Endorphins than I have space for here. Endorphins raise your energy levels, keep you grounded in your body, drive away worries and create serenity. Every day, practice the endorphin-raising activities that work best for you.

7. Spend more time with those you love.

The emotional connections you have with the people you love are not an option - they are a necessity. Make time for them.

8. Renegotiate your agreements

In my last post I asserted that the main reason peoples' lives stop working is that they give away their power to others. Without realising what we are doing, we take on excess burdens, obligations and routines that wear us out. Talk to your partners, friends, employers and the people in your family about the things you want to do for them and make them aware of what it is you want in return.

9. Follow your passion

Make 5 lists:

1. Activities you enjoy doing now
2. Activities that still excite you but which you don't do so much now
3. Activities that raise endorphins
4. Activities or sports that give you (enjoyable) physical exercise
5. New interests you could try that are either stimulating, exciting, or a bit daring

Then: create more time each week for lists 1 and 2. Create more time each day for lists 3 and 4. Start finding out how/when/where and with whom opportunities exist for list 5.

10. Create self-fulfilling prophecies that work

In my last post but one - Why your most useful ideas are delusions - I wrote about the difference between depressive thinking and healthy thinking. Depressive thinking focuses on negative facts and things that can go wrong and keeps people trapped. Healthy thinking focuses on possibilities. Both create self-fulfilling prophecies. So which will you choose?

Hopefully, you chose to go for prophecies like:

* I am learning how to be 'me'
* Being honest with people I love will bring us closer together
* There is a better life out there for us
* I have unique talents and abilities
* I can make life better for me and the people around me
* I make my own fortune

Author's Bio: 

John Eaton is the Founder of Reverse Therapy, an organisation that has achieved phenomenal success in the treatment of stress-related conditions such as Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Addictions, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Tension Myositis and IBS. Reverse Therapy is now practiced in the UK, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

John originally trained in Ericksonian therapy in 1988. Since 1996 he has been steadily developing the ideas, techniques, principles and methods that, collectively, he named 'Reverse Therapy' in 2002.

He has brought together a unique blend of insights anf techniques drawn from Bodymind healing approaches, Symptom-focused therapy and Psychobiology that forms a powerful application to many different types of symptom.

John is well known in the UK as a Therapist, Healer, Writer, Coach, Speaker and Trainer and has in fact been training other professionals for 18 years. He graduated with a doctorate from Lancaster University Department of Psychology in 1998 and is a member of the British Psychological Society. Since 1988 he has delivered over 20,000 therapy hours to clients.

In 2006 the Second edition of his bestselling book -'ME, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia - The Reverse Therapy Approach' was published. His latest book 'Reverse Therapy for Health' (2006) has also been published as an ebook. He is also the co-author of Coaching Successfully, Influencing People and Communicate with Emotional Intelligence.