While it may seem hard to change your life for the better, it can be done. Not only can it be done, it’s not as difficult as you would think, either.
Throughout life, we may endeavor to do many things, however, the reoccurring journey for most of us is to improve ourselves. It’s no wonder then, that the self-help industry continues to thrive, with shelves and shelves of books at every book store you visit. It’s also no wonder that we continually hear about expensive, healthy meal plans being sold on the television, and exercise plans promising us a better body.
But, what does it truly mean to be a better version of yourself? While I most certainly am not perfect and do not have all of my ducks in a row (more like squirrels that are at a rave for me, personally) I do feel like I have a bit of insight regarding where my power truly lies. You see, you can’t find a better life in the self-help section of the bookstore, and you most certainly can’t buy a better you through a fancy plan.
And if all of that is true, where do you start? Well, you have to start from within. Because you are the only one that has the power to change your life. With that being said, there are a number of small changes that you can make and ways in which you can make your journey exponentially easier.
First Week: Small Changes
1. Begin Your Day Earlier and Use Your Time to Promote Peace and Prosperity
Set your alarm for 6 a.m each day, and actually get up. As soon as your alarm goes off, step out of bed and get moving. While it may be hard to adjust at first, getting an earlier start to your day can provide you with more time to get ready, as well as provide you with a bit of peaceful reflection time to sort out your thoughts.
You can also use this time to journal about your change, and what you intend to bring into your new, improved life.
2. Begin Changing Your Diet
This step by itself could prove difficult for anyone trying to make a life change. And even if you feel as though you eat pretty healthy, there is probably at least one change you can make to your diet. However, ease into this change. Try eliminating all sweets and fried foods, to begin with, or cut them down to a few portions a week if you are eating quite a bit of them. Also, stop drinking calorie-laden juices, sodas, and alcoholic beverages.
As you move through the upcoming days, and weeks towards the end of the month, continue to adjust your diet for the better. However, leave room for treats, because you can’t change your life for the better if you don’t allow yourself rewards.
3. Get Sporty
By sport, I am not asking you to run out and join your local basketball league, however, if that is what you choose to do, then go for it! But, there is a variety of sports out there that can provide your life with a quality it didn’t have before. Of course, there are many to choose from, including yoga, swimming, dance, kickboxing, running, Pilates, gymnastics, soccer, etc.
Once you have chosen, try to do it as much as you can.
Second Week: Bringing Order to Your Chaos
1. Spring Cleaning
Clean and organize EVERYTHING. Get rid of items that you are no longer using, whether that means throwing them in the trash or donating to the less fortunate. Clearing out clutter not only alleviates anxiety and depression, it also makes it easier for you to begin anew. Once you have cleared out the clutter, begin cleaning and sanitizing your space.
2. Make Sure You are Fulfilling Your Obligations
Nothing can bring more negativity into your life than the dreaded feeling that you aren’t accomplishing your obligations. This can include personal obligations, obligations to family and friends, as well as your work obligations. Spend as much time is necessary to complete your obligations, and in turn, you will feel exponentially better.
3. Change Your Social Situation
If you have friends that are dragging you down, now is the time to cut ties. Don’t be afraid to say no to people or to spend less social time in order to balance out the rest of your life. And this works both ways, if you aren’t getting enough social time, try to spend more time with good friends. Find a BALANCE.
Third Week: Make Your Plans a Reality
1. Learning to Plan Effectively
Begin setting aside one day a week (Sunday for most) to sit down, and write out a list of plans that you intend to carry out. Make them realistic, and also make sure to allow yourself free time.
Use your free time to do what you enjoy, whether that be having some alone time, or visiting friends and family. Enjoy your free time.
2. Catalog Even Your Most Outlandish Dreams
Make a list of the goals that you have that you feel couldn’t be accomplished. Then, take a bit to meditate on why they can’t be accomplished. What stands in your way? Is there anything that could bring you closer to them?
For example, if you have always wanted to be a psychologist, but the idea just seemed too far out there, maybe you could start by taking some online classes. No matter what your age, you can find a way to achieve what you want within reason.
3. Set Aside Time Each Day To Plan for the Next
Each day, if only for 15-30 minutes, sit down with your weekly plan, and your planner. Set out a plan for each day, including tasks that need to be accomplished by the end of the week. Don’t be unrealistic, and give yourself too much to do, as this will only set you back.
Instead, include chores that need to be done, meal plans, shopping lists, etc. Then, make sure you stick to your word and get them done!
Fourth Week: Shake Things Up A Bit
1. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
It can become easy to get lost in the day-to-day shuffle and to get stuck in old, mundane habits. However, it’s time to change that. Find new hobbies, impulsively go for a drive to visit someone you haven’t seen in a while and try new things.
2. Kick Things Up a Notch
Begin trying things that would normally fear, because the only way to defeat fear is to face it. Are you tired of your boss treating you like crap? Stand up to him. (Assertively, of course, rather than aggressively.) Do you want to go sky-diving? DO IT.
If you are given an opportunity to do something that you want to do but are afraid to do, STOP being afraid.
3. Give Yourself a Break
While no one gets anything accomplished when they sit around constantly, if you have been following this plan, then you have earned some rest and relaxation. Take a moment to sit back, and do something you enjoy, whether it be sipping a glass of wine and watching a movie on Netflix, or sitting outside and enjoying the evening breeze. You earned it!
You may be thinking by now that all of this just seems too simple, however, once you have begun your journey, you will see the transformation of a lifetime. Once you begin, you may even find that some of this are hard, but change takes a bit of difficulty. As you continue to go through the weeks, you will notice a new you emerging from your cocoon as a beautiful butterfly. But, don’t stop at day 30. Instead, continue to add steps to improve your life.