Life is challenging. There is no doubt about it. Sadly you must try to transition to adulthood, stay healthy and make enough money to support you and your loved ones. You have to navigate the social pressures, and everything else, that are always nagging on you. All that makes it easy to fall into a rut or spend time in the wrong mental (or physical) space.
One of the greatest parts of life, though, is our ability to change or adapt. If you feel like you are in a bad place, here are 10 steps you can take immediately to turn your life around for the better:
1. Put an emphasis on health.
There are two great reasons for this. First, if you do not worry about your health, you are not going to live as long. Second, putting an emphasis on your health will make you feel better. You do not need to have a six pack or look like models on TV. You should do what you can to be healthy, though.
Take the time each week to exercise, eat healthier foods and get the right nutrients. This will leave you not only feeling better after looking in the mirror, but it will give you more energy to tackle each day.
2. Spend more time with people who are good for you.
We are the average of the five people that we spend the most time with. Despite how close you might be to certain people, you need to be honest with yourself about whether they are good for you. If they are not, then you should cut back on spending time with them. As trapped as you might feel, you have the ability to choose who you spend time with. Therefore, make those decisions count.
Surrounding yourself with people who give you energy and motivate you to live a better life will lead to higher levels of happiness and productivity. Make time on your calendar for it.
3. Evaluate how you are spending your time.
You should sit down every week, and less frequently as you go on, and look at how you are spending your time. What did you do in the past week? How many hours working? How many hours on social media and watching TV? Looking at this can help you find places in which you can cut time to put toward other things.
It will also give you an idea of whether you are making enough of an effort to accomplish what you would like to accomplish. Although it can feel like we do not have time to do anything else, we have the ability to prioritize whatever we would like. That means we could pick up any new skill or daily activity if we set our mind to it. Consequently, by evaluating your time, you can better align your actions with your goals.
4. Personally reflect more frequently.
We experience a lot each day. The ways in which we think and act in these situations can be telling of who we are and what we care about. Taking the time to reflect, whether it be through journaling, meditation, going for walks or any other means, will allow you to better understand yourself.
You can learn from your actions and thoughts and find places where you act differently than you would like to. These reflections lead to a higher level of self-awareness, which is critical for personal growth. Remember to not let negative things impact the positive things you’re working on.
5. Challenge yourself each day.
We feel a greater sense of purpose when we are working toward something. Therefore, find ways to challenge yourself each day. It could be little tasks like starting a conversation with someone you do not know or not eating dessert every night.
It could also be larger tasks, like exercising for an hour each day for three weeks. Regardless of what the challenge is, taking something on will allow you to accomplish more of what you would like and feel a greater sense of purpose in doing so.
6. Set goals that you can work toward.
Setting goals and working toward achieving them is a tangible way to achieve things that you would like. Setting these goals can give you a sense of direction and a place to return to when you feel lost.
It is important to constantly evaluate these goals to determine whether they are still the right fit for you. That being said, having goals in the first place will give your life a greater sense of purpose and alignment.
7. Do more of what you love.
To announce that you will now do more of what you love sounds obvious, but many people do not spend their down time doing what they love. This could be because others do not want to join them because they do not actually know what they love.
Think about the things that make you the happiest, though. Common ones include listening to music, playing a sport, being in nature or spending time with loved ones.
These activities restore your energy and make you happier. Therefore, there is no reason not to do more of them, or, at least, work to know what they are.
8. Be willing to change.
To turn your life around, you have to be willing to change. As challenging as it is to be vulnerable, you have to be able to accept that your actions or tendencies over the past many years might not be the most healthy or true to yourself.
Although it will be very challenging at first to peel back these layers and accept change, doing so will leave you a happier and better person.
9. Continue to learn and explore your interests.
Beyond challenging yourself in more of a traditional sense, learning is another great way to grow and feel fulfilled. There are endless books, podcasts, articles, documentaries and other pieces of content that can teach you new things. Find the time each day to learn a bit more.
Relentlessly explore your intellectual curiosities. The process will be fun, you will learn things that can apply to your life/job, and you might even find new interests that you can spend time pursuing professionally.
10. Love yourself, even during tough times or after poor decisions.
Navigating through these nine tactics above can be challenging. In order to really turn your life around, you have to learn to love yourself. Do not judge yourself for having a bad day, acting irrationally, or eating a bunch of food. Doing so will only be detrimental.
Instead, love yourself through this process. Change is extremely tough, and it takes time. Therefore, you have to love yourself in order to get through the process in the most healthy and effective way.
Forget what society says and forget how others act. Just worry about becoming a better version of yourself, day in and day out. This self-love will propel you on a sustainable path toward turning your life around.