The most effective way to make positive changes in your life is to change your habits. This includes both physical habits and mental habits. In the instant-gratification world we live in, people can have a tough time changing their unhealthy habits because it’s time-consuming. No matter what anyone tells you, you are not going to change overnight.
Instead, think of the actions as an investment. You might not see the full scope of the results for months or even years, but investing in yourself is worth it. After all, you do have to live with yourself for your whole life.
It can be hard to know what kinds of actions you can take for positive changes in your life, so many people stick to their old habits (even if they’re not working). While every person is different, there are some methods that work for most people.
Here are eight actions you can take to start a positive transformation in your life. If you commit deeply to them, your life with change for the better.
No matter how hard things get or how bad they seem, there is always something you can be grateful for. Expressing gratitude during dark times may not be easy, but it will change your life.
Remember that complaining does not make the challenge go away. Complaining allows your mind to focus on the negative, and negative thought spirals rarely lead to good solutions.
One of the most effective ways to feel better during a rough period is to express your gratitude consciously. Think about some of the good things in your life, no matter how small they may seem.
They may include things that are easy to forget and that you often take for granted, like support from family and friends, a meal on the table or a roof over your head.
There are many benefits of replacing negativity with gratitude. Generally speaking, grateful people don’t find themselves so tied to material possessions and are less envious of others. They also tend to feel less stress, which is linked to better physical and mental health overall. Furthermore, practicing grateful thinking daily can lead to increased enthusiasm, alertness and energy.
Regardless of how you choose to express gratitude, be it in a gratitude journal, aloud to family and friends or quietly to yourself, it is a habit that will lead to positive life changes.
If you choose to show your gratitude more vocally in your daily life, it will probably strengthen your relationships. People love being thanked, and they will associate you with graciousness if you share your feelings of appreciation.
Setting your alarm half an hour earlier every day is an actionable goal that can easily change your life for the better.
Successful people are always talking about how important it is to start the day early, and they couldn’t all be wrong. No one is saying you should get up at an unreasonable hour, but if you normally get up at 7 a.m., it shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment to set your alarm for 6:30 a.m. instead.
The extra half hour in the morning can be used for anything, and no matter what you choose to do with that time, you will be jumpstarting your day. Many successful early risers opt to do things like read, exercise, meditate, have a calm breakfast or organize their day right when they wake up in the morning.
That way, they never begin the day with rushed, frantic energy. Waking up a little earlier also helps you to feel more accomplished about the day right off the bat. You can feed off of that positive energy for the rest of the day, and many people find that it snowballs into even more productivity.
Time-tracking in general is a path to self-improvement. It makes it easier to achieve the goals of the day when they are compartmentalized this way. Giving yourself specific time frames for each action makes it more likely that they will be completed efficiently.
Setting a bunch of goals sounds great in theory, but the situation only turns out great if you are truly able to follow through on them. Follow-through is important for many reasons.
When we make promises to ourselves and keep them, it builds confidence and can have a domino effect on real productivity. Conversely, creating goals that you don’t carry out can lead to a spiral of self-degradation and negative thoughts, where you end up getting less done than you would have otherwise.
This is why it is so important to only set realistic goals. Goals are easier to accomplish when they are well-defined and straightforward. Start small. Instead of committing to a huge task, try breaking it up into small, manageable tasks.
For example, if you want to learn the stock market, you’re not going to do it in a day. Start with reading one book. Then read one more book. Then another. Then take an online class. Similarly, if you want to learn to meditate, begin with a one-minute session.
When you can successfully do that, gradually increase your meditation time until you’re an expert. These are the kinds of simple, clear-cut goals that help people to be successful.
It’s always better to set small goals that you can accomplish than put too much on your plate and have to disappoint both yourself and others because you can’t get it done. While this should not be used as an excuse to do less, having follow-through is a critical habit if you want to change your life for the better.
Everyone tells you to exercise more, and it’s probably not your favorite thing to hear. However, there are too many benefits of exercise to overlook its value. Making a habit of exercising has huge benefits for both your physical and mental health.
If you exercise, your body will be better equipped to perform a wider range of activities. People who practice regular cardio tend to find themselves out of breath much less often, and tend to sleep better.
The psychological benefits are equally profound. People who make a habit of exercising are in a better mood more often. They have less stress and anxiety, and they are more disciplined in their lives in general, leading to greater confidence and productivity.
A lot of these mental benefits are thanks to the chemicals the brain releases during a hard workout, such as endorphins and dopamine. When these chemicals are released, the body experiences a type of euphoria and all-around positive feelings.
So, while it might be easy to make excuses for why you don’t need to exercise all the time, resist that urge. Exercising regularly is a positive life change that everyone can benefit from.
Society focuses on productivity, and it can be easy to forget that it’s just as important to take an occasional break. Personal wellness is necessary to function at your best, including relaxation, so make time for it.
This can include any tranquil leisure activity, like taking the time to cook a healthy meal and sitting down to enjoy it, taking a long shower or a soothing bath full of essential oils, or taking a long, easy walk in nature.
These days, more people have been using CBD, a nonpsychoactive natural compound found in the cannabis plant, to feel relaxed.
For instance, a few drops of CBD oil in a cup of tea can help you get into a calmer mood without feeling intoxicated. Remember, you are not a machine. Self-care should be an essential part of your routine if you want to move your life in a positive direction.
It probably sounds counterintuitive to make a habit of seeking out rejection as a way to improve your life. However, if you reach out to at least a couple of people each day who you would like to work or interact with, even if you’re sure they would never respond, eventually someone is going to get back to you.
The people you are reaching out to could be anyone: a potential employer, a potential friend, an agent, an influencer, a celebrity − you name it. You really have nothing to lose by doing this, and you have so much to gain.
Implicit in doing all this asking is that you will be rejected pretty often. Yes, rejection can be hard to swallow, especially at first, but there is a lot to gain by experiencing rejection.
In getting used to being rejected, you can actually build confidence. You stop letting others control the way you value yourself, and you stop taking rejection so personally. Soon, it becomes easier to ask for the things you want in life, making it more likely that you will get at least some of what you’re asking for.
Laughter might truly be the best medicine. An easy way to gain a broader sense of humor is realizing that not everything has to be serious all the time. When you notice yourself getting worked up about something, take a moment and ask yourself what is so important about this specific thing or why it is so important that your opinion is heard. Is it really necessary?
Or is it just your ego getting in the way of you having a good time? In instances when you find things are not so serious, this is a good time to take a deep breath and let it go.
Allowing yourself to take things less seriously will positively impact your mental health, as your stress levels are likely to drop. It will also have a positive impact on your relationships. It’s enjoyable to be around lighthearted people, who can laugh things off, and tend to ease tension rather than create it.
Reading more has numerous benefits. It will make you smarter, build your vocabulary, keep the wheels of creativity turning and keep you occupied with something valuable instead of wasting away hours scrolling mindlessly. Even if you’re not a person who likes to read books, you can learn and grow through reading other things.
Read the newspaper, focusing on articles that interest you. Listen to an audiobook. If reading a novel seems too daunting, read a short story.
People who read are engaging with new ideas, and that helps them grow. Self-growth and success in life usually go hand in hand. That’s why making a habit of reading is such a positive (and simple) change you can make in your life.
Changing your habits is imperative if you want to make positive changes in your life. Even making just one of the mental or physical changes listed above is bound to show you just how important daily activities are.
Express gratitude every day. Get up earlier. Do what you say you are going to do. Exercise more, read more and broaden your sense of humor. And don’t forget to take the time to really relax.
Just as important is that you start making the changes now. Why wait until tomorrow to express gratitude when you can start doing it at this very moment? The sooner you change your habits to healthier ones, the better you will feel and the more successful you will be.