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We’ve all been there. Searching for how to make lifestyle changes so we can be better versions of ourselves.
It’s the start of a new year, and everyone is making resolutions to be the best person they can this year.
You’ve grown excited about all the possibilities of what the year will bring. And you have set goals for yourself to lose weight, be more grateful, be a better parent or to make lifestyle changes to improve your health.
The thing is, making lifestyle changes is not as easy as setting a goal and watching things change. If you want to make lifestyle changes that last, you need to know these things take time.
I have been there. Each year during the New Year holiday, I would set goals and resolutions for the year. But by a couple months into the year, I had let life circumstances take over.
I could always give myself great reasons for letting go of those resolutions. But what they really were, were great excuses.
After years of unresolved resolutions, I finally realized that it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. If I want to make a change, if I want to be a better person, I will have to set an objective, make a plan and actually do the work.
I made the decision to start slow and tackle one thing at a time. I wanted to change my lifestyle completely. And I knew that to do that, I would have to create new habits to replace the old ones.
And you know what? It worked!
Now, I do not claim to be perfect. But, I can honestly say that I am a better person today than I was when I started this self-improvement journey. And it’s all because of the shift in the way I approach change.
So, if you’re looking to make lasting lifestyle changes, I’ve got a few tips to share with you that I’ve learned from my own self-improvement journey.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
11 TIPS FOR MAKING LIFESTYLE CHANGES THAT LAST
As you begin your own journey to make lasting lifestyle changes, these tips will help you follow through and create the life you want! Read them, implement them, and start seeing change.
These tips will give you the confidence and tactics you need to finally make those lifestyle changes you have been mulling over.
Don’t give up on your resolutions this year. Put these tips into action!
1. Surround Yourself with Positive People
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but really think about it. We are an image of the people we spend the most time with.
Spending more time with individuals with positive attitudes and who encourage you, can improve your productivity.
Likewise, spending more time with those who let their unhappiness shine, can negatively impact your progress toward your goals.
I know it’s impossible to cut ties with family and coworkers completely, but if the time you spend with them consists of negative talk and doubt, it would be worth cutting that time in half. You will see a noticeable difference in no time.
Out of all the tips here, this has to be the change that has made the biggest difference in my life.
2. Journal Daily
Whether electronically or on paper, keeping a personal journal can be an invaluable asset. It is a great way to keep track of how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown.
By keeping a personal journal, you will be able to see an attitude change and a shift in the way you think about the things happening around you.
One of the lifestyle changes I wanted to make was being more grateful for the things and people in my life.
I created my own gratitude journal, and write in it daily. You would not believe the impact it has had on me.
I went from waking up dreading the day and being so easily frustrated to waking up excited for the day and eager to spend time with my family.
3. Use Quotes for Inspiration
It’s funny how just a few words strung together in such a poetic fashion can make you feel so creative, impulsive, and inspired.
I have inspirational quotes posted all around my house; on my desk, on my refrigerator, and as a screen saver for my phone. What can I say, these things really work.
I have a couple boards dedicated to quotes on Pinterest. You can follow me on Pinterest here.
You can even buy (or make) these cute signs for your house now, so they fit right in as decor.
4. Build One New Habit at a Time
This is a big one. Build ONLY ONE new habit at a time.
Why? Because if you try to change everything at once, you will end up failing and sitting on the floor crying in utter defeat.
I know. I’ve been there.
But let’s think about it for a minute.
It took your whole life to create your current habits and get so comfortable with them. It might not take quite so long to replace them, but it’s going to take some work.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with keeping up with so many new habits to remember. Focus on one, and once you feel you’ve conquered that one, move on to the next.
5. Start By Building Upon Your Current Foundation
The best way to start working on yourself is to begin with what you have or already know.
Find an activity you enjoy, like reading, and dedicate an hour a day to that task.
If you want to add more personal fitness to your daily routine, start with dedicating 30 minutes a day walking, and add in new exercises as you get comfortable with them.
If you are interested in picking up a new hobby, start with something you already have a basic knowledge of and learn more about it. Sign up for that alternative language or photography class.
6. Set Obtainable Goals
Setting goals is, of course, a necessity if you want to measure your success. However, you need to set goals that are actually obtainable.
I encourage you to set short-term and long-term goals, and write them down.
If you set out on a journey without a final destination in mind, you might start strong, but you’ll end up wandering aimlessly.
Decide on your long term goals, and break them down into steps (short-term goals) that you need to complete to achieve the long term goals.
Achieving these short term goals and being able to mark them off the list, will keep you motivated and moving toward your long term goals.
7. Find an Accountability Partner
For those bigger lifestyle changes (like trying to quit smoking or losing 50+ lbs), the process is longer and tougher. This is especially true if you are on your own.
Having an accountability partner will help you stay on track and give you someone to talk to through the process.
Make sure this person is someone you can talk to openly. Making these big lifestyle changes can be emotional.
This person needs to be available to talk when you feel like lapsing. They should be willing to call and check in on you and your progress.
It’s also beneficial if your accountability partner has made this same lifestyle change. This will allow them to be able to way in on your current situation and provide experience based advice.
8. Make a Trade
There are many emotions that come with making big lifestyle changes. Even though we know it will make us better in the long run, we sometimes feel a since of loss when we stop doing or having something we are accustomed to.
If you really want these changes to stick, instead of trying to quit cold turkey, replace the old habit with a new, healthy habit.
For instance, if you want to stop eating junk food when you feel emotional, you could go for a run, crank up the tunes, or eat fruit to replace the junk food.
The more you do this new thing instead of the old, you will eventually replace the bad habit altogether.
9. Use Resources to Help You Get There
You’re probably wondering where to start when it comes to finding credible resources. There are so many resources out there now to help you through any lifestyle change you want to make.
Nowadays, there is an enormous amount of online resources available to help you with all aspects of life.
But the best resources are the ones that are created by those that have been in your shoes. You can find this in books, online courses, webinars, or conferences.
Here are a few online resources I highly recommend. Any of these would be a great start to making lasting change.
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10. Remember Your Reason “Why”
You will eventually get to a point in your journey where things get tough and you don’t think it’s worth pursuing anymore.
If you can remember your “why,” your reason for beginning this lifestyle change, it will keep you motivated to push through the tough times.
I recommend keeping your “why” front and center.
Set it as your lock screen on your phone and as your background on your laptop. This way you have no choice but to think about it regularly.
11. Don’t Give Up
The only way to lose in life is to give up. The only way to be unsuccessful at making lifestyle changes is to give up.
If you really want it, if your “why” is strong enough, you will keep pushing through.
Yes, there will be times when you feel like giving up. And there is a good chance there will be setbacks in your journey.
But if you get back up and try again, you can’t lose. You will eventually find what works for you.
A Final Note
I’ve been on this journey for quite some time now, and I’ve learned there is never an end to self-improvement – not if you’re trying to live your best life possible.
For those like me, it’s a continuous battle between self-doubt and a yearning for self-fulfillment.
But, if you continue through the doubt, you will prosper and be a better person for it.
As you apply these tips and begin your own self-improvement journey, I encourage you to never stop learning and growing in yourself.
If you invest in yourself, you will make those positive lifestyle changes and be happier for it.
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