With summer approaching fast, I decided to write this. I've been really unhappy and unsatisfied with my life for a while now, and I find that writing down what I want to do and actively making goals for myself in this way helps me stay on track. Maybe you've been feeling the same way too and want to do something about that, if that's the case, I encourage you to join me and we can do this together. I might do bi-weekly updates if this gets any attention and we can all help each other stay on track, we'll see where the future takes us on our journey to glow-up.
Only you can choose who you want to be. While others can influence your decisions and choices, in the end, if you want to actively change, you have to be the one to put in those steps in the beginning, no matter how hard it may be. If you're unhappy now and do nothing to change that, where will you be in 5 years? Life is short, and while it might sound cheesy, it's important to make every day have some meaning. Not to say you can't pig out and do nothing but watch Netflix for hours some days, probably everybody does that at some point, but if you find you're having those kinds of days often, I find that's not good for you or your mental health in the long-run.
Now, you likely can't go from doing nothing to everything overnight. Often, people will get a sudden burst of energy and declare something along the lines of: I'm going to wake up early every day. I'm going to eat healthy every meal, every day. I'm going to work out every day. I'm going to write that book I've been thinking about for years in 3 months. I'm going to learn an instrument and a new language by next month!
As great as it'd be if we were able to go from 0 to 100 overnight, for most people, it doesn't happen. You might feel that inspiration for a few days, but eventually, you'll probably get unmotivated and give up entirely until your next burst of motivation; this tends to cause a bad mental feeling too due to feeling like you failed.
So what do you do to counter this? Create smaller goals. Instead of "I'm going to work out every day all month!" Think about it, is that something you're 100% committed to and know you can achieve when that motivation eventually runs out? I don't know about you, but I know for sure I'll end up failing at it, which is why I'm setting my goal to something lower (2-3 times a week). That's something I know I can do, and I can work my way up to working out more days. Set your current goal small, but have your final goal big. Baby steps is where it's at.
If you're still reading this, then I ask that you go grab a piece of paper to pull up a notepad, whatever, just something to write on. Write down the goals you've wanted to achieve for a while, no matter how small or big they are and then come back here once you're done. Got your list put together? Good. Now I ask how you plan to achieve them. I'm going to use working out just as an example, but this goes for basically anything.
You can say "I'm going to work out tomorrow." But other than your word, what plan do you have? Are you going to go to the gym? Go on a jog? Zumba class? Bike ride? Are you trying to improve your cardio? Build strength? What do you hope to achieve out of working out? Make it things don't hate either, because if you're miserable the entire time, you're probably going to stop too. For working out, if you hate traditional cardio (running, jumping jacks, burpees, etc) Maybe try Zumba/dance. This can go for eating healthy too, if you're eating foods you don't like, you won't stick with it. If you say "I'm going to start learning a new language." Do you have a class to go to? An online course? A book? Basically, setting aside a time frame and having a general idea on how you're going to achieve that goal will help you stay on track and carry out exactly what you say you're going to do.
Your thoughts greatly impact you; obvious, I know. If your mind is filled with negativity, it's going to make it hard to be productive and be happy. Obvious again, I know. Chances are, if you've had a negative mindset for a long time, it'll be hard to break out of it. When you notice negative thoughts forming, you need to stop them in their tracks. Challenge them. If your brain is saying "You're not good enough to achieve that, just give up." Stop it. Why aren't you good enough? Where's the evidence for that? Who decides who is good enough or not? Repeat this, keep challenging, and don't let them have control anymore.
Hang out with positive people too. If you find you're surrounded by toxic people, that's going to affect you, and likely not in a positive way.
If you find your thoughts are turning negative due to having a bad day. Stop and think if you really had a bad day, or if you had a bad few moments that you let spoil the rest of your day. This is something I've been doing lately, and I gotta say, it really can help. If you change your attitude and the way you look at things, you might find the things you look at change - Wayne Dyer
What are the things that make you happy? Make another list and come back when you're done. Got your list? Good. What's on it? Hanging out with friends/loved ones? Hobbies? A TV show? Playing sports? Vlogging/blogging? Incorporate those things into your daily life. While you likely have school or a job and can't always do things that make you happy 24/7, making some time for the things that you love is important for both self-care and keeping up a positive mindset. If you're always focused on achieving goals and school/work and you're getting stressed, you're going to burn out at some point.
Let's talk about the outside for a moment. While the inside is definitely more important in my opinion, the outside also plays a part. Personally, if I'm not put together, I'm not going to feel good about myself mentally. I'm not saying you need to get fancy like you're going to meet the Queen for tea every day, but putting on a fresh outfit that matches, doing something with my hair, doing a bit of skincare, putting on minimal makeup, and a bit of perfume makes me feel put together. Feeling put together is helpful for me to feel more in control. Treat yourself some days too, facemasks, bubble baths, hair masks, just things that make you feel good and unwind at night.
Occasionally, people need a change. Whenever I get bored with my appearance, I usually resort to dying my hair. Lemme say, having a new hairstyle/color can really make you feel like a new person. I didn't think it could have such an effect until I dyed my hair purple, it affected my entire style in the end. Basically what I'm saying is liking how you look on the outside and actually feeling beautiful tends to give a bit of a mental/confidence boost, which is always a good thing.
Incoming cheesy sayings: While your outer appearance does play a part, feeling beautiful begins within. Outer beauty will always fade, that's just life. But beauty within will always shine and be visible to the entire world.
Maybe you've been working on goals for a while now and you're beginning to feel burnt out, you're losing that motivation. Sometimes it's good to take a step back (I do this during a writing burnout) and let the inspiration come back, but not for too long. If you leave it alone for too long, skills could begin to decrease. You need to reevaluate, what made you start? What's been driving you towards your end goal all this time? Maybe that reason is no longer with you, and you need to find a new reason to keep powering through. Take a couple of weeks, think things through, and then give it another goal. The end result is worth the hardship of the journey.
You might mess up, to be blunt, and that's okay. Everybody messes up at some point in their life. Learn to forgive yourself, pick yourself up again, figure out what caused you to mess up, and start over. Having supportive people around you can help during this, and also encourage you to keep going when it gets hard.
I could keep going on, but I think this is a good place to end this first entry. Like I said earlier, if this gets any attention and people want to go on a journey too, then I'll update every now and again and we can motivate and encourage each other in the comments and share our progress.
My goals for the week are:
Workout x3 times
Write 4,000 words for my novel
Practice my instrument (guitar) for 45 minutes a day
Focus on canceling out negative thoughts
Wake up every day at 7 A.M
These are things I know I'm capable of doing and therefore, I'll be starting with them. I encourage you to make your own list if you're interested in changing your life around.
Good luck and let's grow up together <3