Change is hard. We’ve all heard the 21 day guideline for starting a new habit. Honestly, it can really take up to 60 days to make the habit part of your routine. That’s a big number. It can be intimidating by day 21 when you start to really struggle.
Using a habit tracker can help, but if you are anything like me, you tend to put too many habits down. In my Clear Baron Fig notebook, the premade habit tracker had space for 15 habits. As someone who doesn’t have the ideal routine and many more ambitions, I added all 15 habits; most of which I wanted to add/ improve on. Don’t do what I did. Instead of tackling 15 habits, try these six simple improvements you can do to change your life.
Everyone thinks about changing the world. We don’t think about changing ourselves first.
Simple is key when trying to make improvements in your life. We need to first take a small step before we leap towards the end of the long, windy path. So, what exactly can make a difference?
Your Mindset + Goals
Throughout my life, I have struggled with having a healthy mindset. After I was diagnosed with depression in my teens, I never got over the isolation and fears I had instilled in me. It has taken me a long time to finally feel good in my skin.
This common struggle is something that can make or break oneself. From impacting your relationships to the constant negative self, it’s okay to not feel okay. Unfortunately, we don’t tell each other that enough.
Having a positive mindset is crucial if you want to reach any goal. Think of yourself as your biggest cheerleader. As you adjust your thinking, you can begin to hear “Go you!” rather than “I can’t do this”. Start now. Pick one or two improvements you can make. Either modifying your daily routines to feel healthier and happier; or, taking small steps to improve your self care routine.
Change comes within. Make that change and you will see a difference.
Tip #1: Write down all your accomplishments from the past year
Doing a life review can be hard, especially if you have never done one before. My challenge to you is to write down anything you have accomplished. Anything. Making an appointment for a physical, getting a raise, buying a new car/house, or simply getting out of bed on bad days are all accomplishments you should be proud of.
So, get that piece of paper. Grab your Bullet Journal and favorite supplies; write down everything you can think of. This therapeutic brain dump can help you find a center to grab onto.
Tip #2 Pick one small habit to focus on for 21 days
Yes, I know I said making a new habit stick can take longer than 21 days. I want you to really think about a commitment making a commitment to yourself. 21 days may seem like a long time, but in all honesty it’s just three weeks. Pick a new habit that doesn’t have to take too long to accomplish each day. Try to choose something that will not only be good for you, but will be a motivating factor in reaching one of your goals.
For 5 months, I have been trying to train for my first half marathon as a longtime non-runner. I started to really give up after a month when I didn’t see a lot of progress was made. After training 3 days a week for a little over a month, I could only run 10 minutes without stopping. I felt defeated. I saw a drastic drop in my training after I tested myself.
Recently, I have gotten a lot better with making a commitment to be active at least 5 days a week; whether it is running or walking. I had a major breakthrough when I realized talking out loud to my running buddy made a huge difference. I wasn’t focusing on my negative thoughts inside me. I had to stop much less.
We all struggle with making changes to our routines and life, but if you break it down into small steps it can be a lot less troublesome. By pinpointing something like a trigger that makes it easier to stay consistent. Like with my new trigger of having a conversation while running makes me want to run farther. Find something that makes you want to do the new habit.
Tip #3 Grab an accountability partner
If you are struggling to keep up with a new habit, might I suggest an accountability partner? We all need a little help from a friend. You can’t reach all of your goals without support and being held accountable both by yourself and others. Utilize that buddy system! Remember when you needed a buddy to cross the street in PreK?
Think of this the same way. Grab a hold of the person you think can help you best. You need someone who wants to support you, can support you physically and emotionally, and can push you enough to make your realities happen.
Boundaries are key in any relationship.
Now, I have always struggled with holding myself accountable. Often times, I have gotten withdrawn with my accountability buddy because I didn’t want to burn them out. That’s the thing, if you find the right person, they will set proper boundaries. The secret to having a successful accountability partner is not only setting boundaries, but to be both like minded with how to achieve your goals.
Your Mental health + Needs
Tip #4 Take a day off from ALL social media
So, I admit it. I can often be seen scrolling through my Instagram feed first thing in the morning. Oh, how hazardous this is to my health. I see all the posts that give me the “they are better than me” feels. I decided to limit the distractions and negative feelings as much as possible these days; for the sake of my mental health and productivity.
Endless scrolling and endlessly posting is detrimental to our mental health. Good news, though, there is a way to get better. First, you can block your news feeds. I personally did with Facebook on my phone. Unfortunately, I still use my iPad and laptop as an excuse to check in. Hey, I’m not perfect.
So, to combat these compulsions, you can try a no social detox day once a month. Now, this is hard because there are more and more of us that rely on social media for our business. Don’t worry, your followers can wait a day to hear from you.
Tip # 5 Practice gratitude each day
A grateful heart is the best kind of heart. Practicing gratitude is both humbling and keeps you in check. Life can be so black and white. There are too many moments where we question ourselves and capabilities; as well as being discouraged. Look around you. Find three things that you are grateful today. I like to do this during my nightly review. I get to take a couple minutes to just breathe and think about everything that happened that day.
As I have started to make gratitude and self care more a part of my daily routine, I find myself feeling lighter. I can appreciate everything so much more. Like the way my cat snores, my husband saying “I love you”, and that unexpected text message or phone call from a friend. There is so much to be grateful for, but sometimes the darkness in me tries to say otherwise.
Tip #6 Say positive affirmations
Repeat after me, “I am here. I am loved. This is now.” Too many times a day do we hear negative thoughts; whether it is from ourselves or from others, this can have a negative impact on our self-esteem. When you say positive affirmations daily, you are solidifying the beauty that is you. You are brave. You are unique. You are you.
Let me tell you, the more we as women build ourselves up, the more unstoppable we become. By lifting ourselves up, we can lift each other up. Believe in yourself and everything good will follow.
positive vibes only
What changes will you make today?
I hope this post has encouraged you to take action now. The change starts with you. If you commit to trying just one of these tips, you are on your way to a better, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Live the life you deserve. Reach all your dreams.