It can be all too easy as summer nears and marks the mid-point of the year to have lost the motivation engendered by New Years Resolutions, with a gym membership gathering dust and good intentions gone to the wayside. There is, however, no need to despair as this is the ideal time to focus on ways to improve your life for the long-term, as opposed to quick-fix resolutions that are unsustainable. If there are areas in your life which could be improved, or are not going as well as you hoped, there are steps that you can take to make the necessary changes. For example, simply by focusing on your goals and what you want to achieve will make success more likely, as will increasing the positive messages and fostering a positive attitude in your life on a daily basis. Follow these seven steps to improve your life and find a happier and more successful you.
Focus on your goals
Before you are able to make changes and get closer to your goals, you need to be clear in your own mind what these goals are. If, for example, you have a vague notion that you want to go travelling, to increase the motivation and make the goal more realistic, you need to narrow it down. Pinpoint where exactly you want to go travelling and begin researching the language and cultural norms. Setting goals are important because, with a clear destination in mind, you will have greater motivation to reach it. Goals push you forwards and towards what you want. By committing to a goal, you can also break it down more easily into appropriate steps, thereby making it more achievable. If you can break a goal into smaller steps, then do! Achieving these small goals will give an instant sense of accomplishment and pride, and help you to continue going with renewed motivation. Focus on one goal at a time or prioritise them, so that you are not overwhelmed and disheartened, but instead, you’re more likely to accomplish them. Writing down your goals can be beneficial, helping you to crystallise your thinking and focus your mind. It can also help to stick this list somewhere you will see it on a regular basis to be reminded of where you want to be and the work involved to get you there, promoting feelings of motivation. Not only is it important to define your goals but also you need to make sure they are SMART goals if you want to truly succeed. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic and Time-based. They must be well defined and attainable to give yourself the greatest chance of fulfilling them.
Boost your confidence
Giving your confidence a boost can have an impact in many areas of your life. For example, if you are hoping to change jobs or career then approaching an interview feeling confident will not only make you appear more calm, collected and professional, it may also land you the job as confidence is a key quality that employers look for. To increase your confidence, remind yourself of your strengths. If you are preparing for an important job interview, then write down a list of your positive qualities and examples of when you have utilised them to ensure they are fresh in your mind. If you need a more general boost of confidence, making a list of your achievements, both work-based and others, can help to focus your mind on everything you have and your abilities.
Look good, feel great
Part of feeling confident can be ensuring that you look your best. If you want to prepare for a big upcoming event, for example, a wedding, then focusing on your health and fitness goals in advance can allow you the time to steadily tone up and avoid a crash or yo-yo dieting. Following a regular exercise plan, incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise that raises your heart rate five times a week or more, can boost your physical health and your self-esteem and confidence too.
Supplements can also be taken to help aid weight-loss, for example, raspberry ketone can help weight-loss by naturally transforming your body into a fat-burning machine. While they have been hailed as a ‘miracle fat burner’ by many professionals, it’s important to read as much information about it before you choose to try this method of losing weight. You can learn more online about the benefits of Raspberry Ketone, where it comes from, and why it is now so popular.
Do not underestimate the power of well-fitting clothes to boost your confidence. Research indicates that not only does the way you dress impact on other peoples assessment of you and your capabilities, but it also impacts on your own view of yourself. It suggests that you should spend some time going through your wardrobe and clearing out the clothes that don’t make you feel good about yourself. If you have anything lurking in there that doesn’t fit well, then it is time to give it to a charity shop and make room instead for clothes that will boost your self-esteem and make you feel confident. If you can’t afford a brand new wardrobe, then take a look in charity shops or second-hand sales sites online for bargains. Not only is this an affordable way to refresh your look, but it is also good for the planet by recycling clothes that may otherwise go to landfill, so there is another reason to feel good about it.
Surround yourself with positive messages
Surrounding yourself with positive messages and positive people can have a great impact on your own attitudes and approach to life. Positive thinking can lead to improved wellbeing and increased happiness, and it is worth cultivating ways to regularly look on the brighter side of things and to diminish negative self-talk which will bring you down and can stop you achieving. Try writing a mantra, a short phrase that sums up a key message you want to remember, such as ‘focus on the flowers, not the weeds’, and read it daily to start your day off with a positive spin. Mantras can be any phrasing that helps to reframe things positively for you or focuses your mind on what you want to achieve. You can adapt your mantras for whatever particular challenges you are facing, for example, if you or your partner are approaching labour then a body-positive mantra such as ‘your body is made to do this,’ can help to focus your mind during childbirth and increase the trust in your abilities. Positive affirmations are similar to mantras, they assert something positive in a statement form, helping your mind to believe it as truth. When facing a challenge, for example, using the affirmation, ‘I can overcome this difficulty’ may help to boost your resilience and allow you to overcome the challenge
If you are looking to improve your life then cultivating kindness is a sure-fire way to succeed. Try to build in kindness to your daily life, thereby encouraging it as a habit. Not only will being kind make others happier, but it will make you feel good about yourself and also change how others react to you. By focusing on other people, you will also diminish feelings of inadequacy or negativity about yourself. Each morning remind yourself of your aim to increase your kindness in all interactions, and at every point you can, try to be compassionate and warm. Always treat yourself with kindness too, as it is only with self-acceptance and kindness that you will truly find contentment. The more kindness you give off, to yourself and others, the more will come back to you, thereby improving your life immeasurably.
Surround yourself with nature
One easy and simple way to boost your mood and improve your life is to spend more time regularly in nature. Surrounding yourself with nature, in particular, greenery, can improve your memory and focus, boost your creativity and reduce your overall stress. Taking a daily walk around the block during your lunch break can make a difference so make sure you don’t spend your whole working day sitting at your desk. Even just looking at pictures of the great outdoors can give a boost to your concentration and mental energy, so try setting your screen saver at work as a picture of a forest.
Get enough sleep
Getting a good night sleep is vital to improving your health and mental wellbeing, and the overall quality of your life. Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your mood, concentration, memory, reasoning abilities and focus. It is when you are sleeping that your brain embeds new memories and new skills, so if you are undertaking a course of study then getting enough sleep on a regular basis will increase your ability to retain information and allow you to perform better. As an adult, the average sleep necessary to maintain optimal health is eight hours per night. While this can be difficult in certain situations, such as with a newborn baby, for example, it is important to try and catch up on sleep with daytime naps if you are getting dramatically less on a regular basis. Improve your chances of a good night sleep by avoiding all caffeine and sugary foods or drinks at least two hours before bed, don’t use screens for at least an hour before you want to sleep to allow your brain to wind down and promote the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Spray your pillow with lavender to further calm your senses and ensure a restful sleep.