It is perfectly normal to feel unmotivated, overwhelmed, or unhappy at some point in your life. While you might feel helpless at the time, there are things you can do to turn your life around and take back control of your happiness.
It’s about making positive changes to your home life, work life, diet, social circle, and general health. If you don’t know how or where to start, read the following 14-step guide on how to dramatically change your lifestyle, all for the better.
Step One: Candid Self-Evaluation
The first step you must take is to self-evaluate candidly. Think carefully about the habits and routines that are defining your life, as they might not be the features of the type of person you want to be.
Weigh up both your personal strengths and weaknesses and be honest without being too harsh on yourself. Are you happy with your daily routines and behaviors or do you need to make big or small changes to improve your life? For example, do you have goals you want to hit but are allowing procrastination to stand in your way? Make a change. Only you will know the answers to these questions, so it is one step you mustn’t skip if you want to transform your life.
Step Two: Write Down Your New Goals
After you have identified your strengths, weaknesses, and negative behaviors, write down a list of your new goals. Make sure to set short-term realistic expectations, as well as long-term projections, to ensure you don’t feel deflated should you not complete one or more on time. Otherwise, you could revert to your old habits and might be less willing to embrace change in the future.
Step Three: Change Your Outlook
Of course, setting goals isn’t the only thing you will need to do to change your life. All the best intentions in the world won’t matter if you’re not willing to change your outlook on life. If you’re not willing to shift your mindset, you might never tick each goal off your list.
Step Four: Maximize Your Goals from Day One
You must aim to maximize your goals from day one of turning your life around. For example, rather than telling yourself you will diet for a few weeks and then start exercising, embrace physical activity on the first day of your diet. This will help you to lose weight and tone your body at a faster rate.
If you’re struggling with substance abuse, don’t tell yourself you will cut your consumption down over time. Enter a dual diagnosis treatment center to beat your addiction and receive a diagnosis and treatment for a mental health disorder, which could prevent a relapse.
Step Five: Remove Negative Influences
It’s crucial to avoid the prompts that force you to take a step in a negative direction. If you want to reach your goals, you may need to become more self-disciplined.
For example, if you’re struggling to lose weight or living with alcoholism, avoid people who will encourage you to return to your bad habits. By removing negative influences, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of success.
Step Six: Be Willing to Make Sacrifices
Anything worth having in life is worth working hard for each day. If you know you need to change your life, you must be willing to make sacrifices to make your personal goals a reality.
For example, you might need to say no to dinner or drinks with friends to transform your health, or you may need to work a few extra hours after work to climb the career ladder. While it might not always feel easier, you can guarantee it will be worth it once you cross a goal off your list.
Step Seven: Ignore Negativity
There might be times when you or others question your ability to complete a goal. People might laugh in your face when you tell them you want to pump up your muscles, or they might doubt whether you’ll stick to the diet.
Rather than allowing their thoughts to eat into your own, use their negativity as motivation to prove them wrong. Every time you are struggling in the gym, tempted to eat a bad meal, or want to grab a drink, think about the people those people saying “I told you so.” It might be all it takes to help you stay on the right path.
Step Eight: Have Patience
You cannot expect for change to happen overnight. Building a new life for yourself will take time. Don’t be disappointed when standing on the scales on day two of your new weight loss program, and simply stick with it.
You might not see the results you want straight away, or there might be times when you fall down. Whether you’ve eaten one too many snacks, skipped a workout, relapsed, or was late for work one day, it’s never too late to recover from your bad behavior. Be patient with yourself and keep trying. Your efforts will pay off in the end.
Step Nine: Reward Yourself
Everyone deserves a little treat every now and then. If you’re working hard every day to build a happier, healthier life for yourself, you shouldn’t feel guilty about rewarding yourself for your efforts.
For example, if working out in the gym is taking its toll on your muscles and energy levels, book yourself in for a relaxing massage to restore your mind and body. If you’ve been eating healthy every day to lose weight, treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant to mark a milestone. You deserve it.
Step Ten: Surprise Yourself
It’s vital to realize you can do anything you put your mind to, and you’re not limited to your own or other people’s expectations. If you truly want to change your life, you must be willing to try new things. If you tell yourself you can’t jump out a plane, book a skydiving course. If you think you doubt your physical strength, take a boxing class.
The mental and physical challenges will make you realize you can do anything you set your mind to. Embracing new experiences could ultimately fill you with positivity and drive, as you’ll understand your life is in your own hands.
Step Eleven: Write a Bucket List
In addition to setting personal goals, you should write a list of all the things you want to do before you die. For example, if you’re overweight, the last thing you might want to do right now is step onto a rollercoaster. However, visualize the moment you get to feel the thrill of the ride once you’ve lost weight, which could determine the food and exercise choices you make. Maybe you dream of heading off on a dream vacation, but you’re limited by your low salary. Work harder and better to receive a promotion and book that sought-after trip.
Step Twelve: Give Yourself a Much-Needed Break
All work and no play could force you to return your old ways. While you will want to tick your goals off your list as soon as possible, you shouldn’t try to rush the process, or you might mentally and/or physically burn out.
Working 18-hour days to impress your boss will ultimately lead to low productivity and a lack of passion, which will make him or her doubt in your ability. While pumping iron in the gym could lead to damaged muscles and exhaustion, which could set you back.
It is essential to give yourself a break so that you can relax and recover. So, catch up with friends, chill out in front of the TV, go to the movies with your spouse, or visit a theme park. By doing so, you will return feel more motivated and positive than before.
Step Thirteen: Audit Your Journey
People will most likely start to take notice of your changes over time. For example, they might notice you have lost weight, are filled with ambition, or have adopted a more positive attitude to life in general. It is, however, important for you to realize how much progress you have made from day one of your new life.
This will either help you to give yourself a pat on the back for how far you come, which could provide further motivation, or it will provide an insight into the further changes you need to make. For example, if you’re working hard in the gym every day but are seeing few changes for your efforts, a natural step might be to hire a personal trainer to help you improve your target areas.
Step Fourteen: Remember How Far You’ve Come
It is crucial to constantly remind yourself of the progress you have made to date, which will energize you to work harder to make sure you never return to your old ways. Looking back on your success will help to keep your eye on the prize and visualize the future to set bigger goals. You never know, you could potentially exceed your own expectations.