8 Steps to Change Your Life and Stay Motivated

Lifestyle

Whether you're looking to start a new side-hustle, need help getting through study season, want to become a morning person, or are simply hoping to implement some positive changes in your life, the tips in this article will be invaluable going forward. It's easy enough to say 'I want to make positive changes in my life', but actually implementing them - or even knowing where to start - is often where people become unstuck. But, using the below tips as guidance, you will be left with a plethora of self-improvement methods, and I know that you will succeed!

1. Plan your day the night before.

Plan, plan and plan some more. For many, the key to success and staying on track is knowing exactly what you should be doing at every moment throughout the day. Not only does this help hold you accountable, but it saves time and brainpower from needing to sit down and work out what you need to do next. I find Google Calendar vital to my daily routine, with the app quick and easy to check as I go about my day. Keep a to-do list in order of priority, and set aside specific time slots for completing each task, thereby making sure never to miss a deadline or important meeting. Taking just five minutes each night before you go to bed to map out your day and update a to-do list is honestly a game-changer and will ensure you never miss a deadline again!

2. Set aside time just for you.

I'm a huge believer that you cannot ever perform at your best if you're constantly rushing from place to place and never taking a moment out to breathe. Making a little bit of time each day to take things slow and just focus on yourself is the best way to make sure you can work at your optimal at other points during the day. The book 'To Hell With the Hustle'  is a great read for those who feel they often burn out through overworking themselves - instead, it advocates for setting aside a specific time where you are fully focused on work, and specific time to be fully disconnected and switched off from all things other than feeding your mind and soul and doing things to make yourself happy. 

3. Create a workout routine.

Working out is not something that only can benefit your physical self, but more vitally it can reap amazing mental benefits. Whether a workout routine comes in the form of running on a treadmill for twenty minutes, going to a spin class or taking a walk around your neighborhood each morning, moving your body is the best way to stimulate a positive mindset and make yourself feel empowered to achieve all your goals.


4. Write it all down.

As you can probably gather by now, I love a good plan and routine. Here, I'm encouraging you to write down all your goals on one list and then break down the steps to achieving each one on a separate list. The best way to stop procrastinating is to remove excuses - and if you have a full step by step plan for reaching goals, the ability for you to make an excuse for not hustling to tick off a step becomes much weaker. If you want to make things happen, you have to just go for it, but if you know the direction and steps you need to take get to your goal, the journey will suddenly seem a lot less complicated.


5. Start your day with your phone away.

Nowadays, most of us are glued to our phones. What's the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before bed? It's probably looking through your texts, social media or the internet. And I think it would be fair to say that we all know we shouldn't be doing it - it's just hard not to when your phone is sat right next to your bed. But before you know it, you'll have wasted a whole hour scrolling on Instagram and suddenly the day will feel a whole lot shorter, and in consequence, you'll feel less primed to work hard. So, the solution here is simple - keep your phone downstairs at night and focus on starting your day on the right foot before picking it up. Challenge yourself each day to stay away for longer than the previous day - I promise you that your productivity will go through the roof! 

6. Sleep when you need it.

Our bodies function best when we are rested. Why? Because sleep isn’t merely closing our eyes to relax, it's how we heal, develop and reset for the better. People's hundred-hour workweeks and five hours of nightly sleep shouldn't be aspirational, because behind the numbers is a simple fact - we should be working harder, not smarter. It's impossible to get anything done when we are physically, and mentally, exhausted, so always listen to your body and keep sleep at the top of your priorities list.

7. Know what you're working towards.

I love the big picture. Having things put into a wider context, and knowing the 'end goal' is exactly what we need when our motivation has hit rock bottom. Ask yourself what you want your life to be like in a month, a year or even 5 years, and write down your picture and why. Keep that note in a safe place, and know that whenever you feel demotivated or lost, you can look to the note to remember why you are putting in the hours and working hard now. And remember, dreams don't work unless you do.

8. Don't spread yourself too thin.

It's all too easy to become a 'yes' person nowadays -- offering your help to anyone who asks or giving up your time to do something you're not truly invested in. And don't get me wrong - being a friend who people know they can rely on to help out is not something to change about yourself. However, it's all too easy to become spread too thin when you're saying 'yes' to everyone, and when that happens, it's often the long-term 'big dream' side projects that you've been working on that will take the hit. Instead, you need to look at your priorities and the time you want to dedicate to elements of your life -- start saying 'no' to things that don't make you happy, and instead fill the time with that which you love.

Good habits build on good habits, and all your big goals and dreams will become reachable sooner than you think. Put in the hard work and you'll be able to achieve whatever it is that you're picturing of achieving right now and more. I know you've got this!

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Portia Grace

Portia is a high school student currently living in England. She has a keen interest in all things fashion and beauty, which, partnered with her love for reading and writing, prompted her to join the Teen Magazine writing team.


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