When you feel stuck in life, there’s only one thing to do to move forward; change. It’s a scary word. Many people fear change and what it might mean, but you don’t have to. It’s a necessary process to turn your life for the better.
If you’re tired of feeling stuck and want to do something about it, then do it. To help, I’ve created a list of 17 ways you can change your life in less than 90 days. Keep reading for tips on how you can turn your life around starting now.
1. Stop Making Excuses
Take ownership of your life to turn it around. How? Stop making excuses. We’ve all done it. Maybe you have a project due in a couple of days, so instead of getting started, you make an excuse, “oh, but I have a couple more days.” Or, maybe you partake in the more daily excuses such as “I’m too tired,” “I don’t have time,” or “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Push yourself instead.
Making excuses limits yourself and your abilities. Stopping lets you give yourself a chance for success and to use your full potential. Not to mention, making excuses will inhibit your performance, especially when concerning deadlines.
If you have a project due a week from now, you are more likely to do well on the assignment when you start right away, get prepared, and exert more effort. If you start on the day it’s due because you made excuses for starting before then, the project will most likely seem rushed, sloppy, and not your best work.
2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Everyone is uniquely beautiful, you included, so stop comparing yourself to other people. Comparing yourself to others only damages your self-esteem and overall mental wellbeing. Consistently doing so can lead to heightened anxiety, body dysmorphia, and depression.
It would help if you did not look exactly like someone else or have an identical lifestyle because you’re you, and they’re them. Comparing yourself isn’t fair. Once you stop setting yourself against other people, you free yourself from limitations and anxious thoughts.
You can embrace who you are and invite more positive thoughts into your mind while simultaneously combating mental health issues.
3. Embrace the Unknown
More recent studies have shown that embracing new or unknown things improves your thinking skills. Indulging in something you typically wouldn’t or exploring a new area that you’ve never been to before are both examples of new things you can try to encourage new thinking skills.
What does trying new things have to do with your thinking abilities? It helps encourage a process called neurogenesis. When you do something new or unfamiliar, your brain makes new connections between brain cells, a process that scientists initially thought impossible.
You don’t have to go crazy with your discoveries either. You can try little things each day, such as brushing your teeth with the opposite hand or making minor abnormal changes to an otherwise mundane routine. By embracing the unknown, you’re improving your brain’s strength and your overall health.
4. Set Goals to Achieve Milestones
Looming projects or milestones you’d like to meet can feel daunting. Instead of worrying about them, break them down into smaller goals to make them easier to achieve. Plans will not only help you meet milestones easier, but they will help improve you as well. Goal setting helps provide clarity, challenges, and commitments.
Setting goals for a more considerable milestone allows you to breakdown requirements for success. This breakdown explains what you need to do when you need to do it and why you need to do it. Ultimately, it takes the guesswork out of projects which eliminates any worry or stress.
Breaking down your project into smaller goals also gives you challenges to overcome on your way to reaching the end-goal. Challenges are healthy because they stimulate your brain and improve your cognitive functioning. Finally, setting goals is also like making a substantial commitment to a project because they help you stick to a schedule.
5. Start Journaling
In more recent years, journaling has increased in popularity for all people because of its beneficial mental health effects. It helps treat anxiety, depression, stress, and more because it allows people to express themselves without pressure.
While it’s a great tool to use when dealing with mental health issues, you can journal if you don’t suffer from anything. Journalling allows you to express your thoughts and concerns, helps you plan out your priorities, and provides a creative outlet.
Journaling is like talking to someone without having to talk to someone. Instead, you communicate with yourself, and who knows you better than you?
Try to journal at least once a day as you see fit, and don’t place any restrictions or requirements on your writing. Besides writing your thoughts and expressing yourself, journaling gives you a sense of stability and security when things feel out of control or when you feel stuck.
6. Make a List of the Things That Make You Happy
If leading a monotonous and tiresome schedule holds you back from accomplishing what you want each day, there’s a rewarding and straightforward fix to your problem. You can take the time to sit down and make a list of all the things that make you happy. The plan can range from little indulgences, such as getting coffee from your favorite cafe or going for nature walks, to more considerable pleasures such as traveling.
No matter the joy, jot it down into a list and then choose something from that list to incorporate into your daily routine each day. In doing so, you get a fun way to change your daily schedule with something to look forward to. You can use these things to break up your work or as a reward for sticking to your plan.
Either way, incorporating things that make you happy into your daily routine will motivate you more and keep you engaged.
7. Wake Up Early
Every once in a while, sleeping in is deserved, but continuously waking up late will cause general laziness and a lack of motivation. To turn your life around, start waking up early. You don’t have to begin immediately waking up at seven in the morning; you can ease yourself in if that helps. It doesn’t matter how you start, as long as you wake up early.
Early risers have heightened concentration and focus because, in the morning, cortisol release acts as an energy boost rather than a stressor. This release makes you feel more motivated in the morning and fades, so it’s best to use up that energy early-on before you lose it.
Waking up early also gives you more time to accomplish tasks you may avoid later in the day or running out of time to complete. After syncing your early morning schedule, you’ll notice an increase in your motivation, happiness, and energy.
8. Do Something Social Every Week
Even if you’re introverted, it’s healthy to get out and get social every so often. Taking part in a social engagement at least once a week decreases feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. In the long-run, these mental health issues can cause a decline in your cognitive functioning.
Concerning the short-term, social engagement improves your physical health, sleep, and state of mind. When you hang out with friends and family, or when you go out to a public space for an event, you tend to not only engage socially but physically to keep up with what’s happening.
Social outings are also most likely to involve some physical activity, whether that’s going dancing at a club, taking a walk in the park, or strolling around a mall. All of that physical attention and socializing leads to a good night’s sleep. Isolation and anxiety lead to heightened sleeping troubles, so indulging in a social activity helps ward off those feelings leading to better sleep.
9. Get Organized
A lack of organization, such as a cluttered, chaotic space, relates directly to clouded thinking and lack of motivation. Disorganization can also increase stress levels and lead to depression when left unattended. You can get organized to shift your mindset and ultimately turn your life around.
An organized space will help you manage your thoughts and enhance your focus, which is essential when you need to complete tasks and work on projects. Organizing gives your mind a refresher. You can see what’s in front of you, and your mind can fixate on different thoughts.
Organizing also provides stability and security. When you inhabit a cluttered space, you feel more unstable because nothing has a specific location and everything is just everywhere.
Cleaning up and putting items into clearly marked bins or into drawers where they belong will help give you a sense of security because you know what goes where and where to find it when you need it.
10. Create a Budget (and Stick to it)
One of the most significant stressors and factors in unhappiness is money, so to turn your life around, it’s a smart idea to start with your financials. Ideally, create a budget to stick to because it will help reduce stress and anxiety when dealing with your finances.
Instead of immediately spending when you get some money in the bank, think first. What do you need to buy and why? Is purchasing a specific item something you need, or is it just a material possession fulfilling your need for instant gratification?
Budgeting, of course, is more than just limiting what you spend on frivolous wants; it’s about planning for security. When you develop a budget, consider the things that stress you out the most, such as rent/mortgage, insurance, and other bills. Once you plan for those payments, you eliminate the stress of dealing with them as they occur.
While exercise helps you lose weight, it also helps improve your mental wellbeing and is a crucial component to practice when you want to turn your life around. No, you don’t have to attend sweaty cycling sessions or high-intensity cardio classes. Exercising can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood once a day or going out for a quick jog.
Regular exercise promotes neurogenesis, which will help improve your long-term cognitive functioning. Concerning the short-term 90-day track, routinely exercising releases dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters result in mood improvement and elevate energy levels.
When you exercise, you tend to feel happier and motivated afterward. That’s thanks to those neurotransmitter releases. While satisfying almost instantly, the secretion will also help you combat anxiety and depression and help improve your sleep.
12. Delete (or Limit) Social Media Use
We know the world in some way or another seems to revolve around social media. However, social media can have devastating effects on your mental health and general wellbeing, especially if you always scroll and swipe throughout the day, every day.
First, social media negatively affects self-esteem. You scroll down and see these people posting pictures and Tweets about how great their lives are or see posts with stick-thin models and ribs burgeoning their skin. It’s hard not to compare yourself to these people.
Thoughts like these arise from the fake personas that social media allows to wreak havoc on self-esteem levels. Getting rid of social media is an excellent way to keep these thoughts out of mind and enable you to focus on yourself, not in comparison to someone else.
Social media also affects your sleep. The more frequently you scroll throughout the day, the more exposure to blue-light you get, which is the light that emanates from your smart device. The blue hue affects your sleep because it inhibits melatonin production, you know, the chemical that makes you sleepy.
13. Eat Healthier
Eating healthy isn’t always about losing weight, and you don’t have to resort to too limiting fad-diets such as Keto, Whole-30, or Paleo to achieve a better diet. Eating healthy improves your mood, clears your skin, reduces sleeplessness, and increases your energy levels.
Healthy foods produce good bacteria, which influence positive neurotransmitter reactions in your brain, reactions that result in positivity. Junk food, or other unhealthy foods, has the opposite effect: mood swings and sluggishness.
The positivity that results from eating healthy will influence your motivation and energy levels for the day. But that’s not the only way eating healthy affects your energy. Healthy foods have more beneficial ingredients that your body breaks down quickly and uses to sustain you throughout the day.
Junk food typically causes inflammation and increases the likelihood of anxiety and depression. When you eat healthily, it won’t take nearly 90 days to see results, especially if you keep up consistency.
14. Leave Bad Influences Behind
As hard as it may seem to let people go you were once close with; you need to do it sometimes to improve your life.
These types of people can range from those who act as a bad influence to people who don’t have a beneficial impact on your mental wellbeing, such as people who don’t check in on you or people who push your emotions aside.
Letting go of a lousy influence will help you focus on what’s right for you, even if it’s hard to do so. You won’t feel encapsulated by their impact, and you won’t feel the anguish from their lack of perspective, giving you the freedom to do what’s best for you.
15. Project Happiness
Have you ever heard the phrase “fake it till you make it?” Sometimes, that’s what you need to do to change your outlook on life. The more you embody and project happiness, the more you’ll eventually start to feel it.
Projecting happiness will also make other people feel happier, which can benefit you. For example, if you smile while you speak, other people will receive your words easier and are more likely to respond kindly to you. Receiving kindness resulting from embodying happiness can help improve your mood, self-esteem, and general wellbeing.
16. Resist Instant Gratification
As a society, we’ve grown accustomed to instant gratification, but you need to resist when it comes to improving your life. Resisting instant gratification leads to a more disciplined lifestyle, which means you become more consistent and motivated in your own right than concerning the impending reward.
An instant reward for your work may help every once in a while, but setting tips further down the line in your career will only drive you to work harder and will keep you more motivated than a reward at the end of a single sitting.
For example, knowing that when you finish a project, you can go to the beach after will make you rush through the work. Setting a reward further along in your goal setting, such as setting a reward for when you meet a particular goal, will make you more motivated and prompt you to work harder until you reach it.
17. Practice Meditation or Mindfulness
Regularly practicing mindfulness and meditation leads to reduced stress and anxiety. Practice gives you time in the day to slow down and focus on yourself, which is important if you lead a busy lifestyle. It’s essential to take a breather every once in a while.
This practice also gives you space to check-in on yourself and gauge how you feel. By taking the time to communicate with your mind and body properly, you can adjust your mindset accordingly.
Over time, meditation and mindfulness will regularly improve your mood and make it easier for you to fend off stress and anxiety because you’ll know how to handle them.