The Three Month Self Improvement Challenge and Why You Should Do It

Wellness

If you’ve ever lost your sense of direction, confidence, or doubted yourself, you're not alone. Our lives are always changing and as much as we try to rebuild and keep things the same there will be times when we feel like we're crumbling. Through these times you must show resilience and the ability to bounce back from the problems we're facing. Three months ago I experienced this feeling and which is why I made a promise to myself; I promised to take the next three months and improve myself as much as I could.

Why make that kind of promise?

Making this promise seemed like an obstacle, but it’s worth it. There are some common instances why people will take up this challenge: a breakup, the end of a friendship or it could even be due to the pandemic and you feel trapped with the loss of freedom. It may be tricky to come to terms with what caused you to feel like this but it’s important to identify the cause and tackle it head-on and be able to move forwards and push past it. For me, It was feeling like I put everything before myself and I let people walk all over me which made me lose sense of my worth and myself. Why three months you might ask? Trialing out new ways to improve yourself will take time, it’s a process. Developing a new mindset doesn’t happen overnight, thinking a certain way is one thing but you need to be able to believe it.

Where to begin?

Allowing yourself to put yourself first can be hard at the beginning, you may even think you're being self-centered or selfish. I started my self-improvement journey with a fresh new appearance, I went from fully brunette to a blonde ombre in a matter of hours…a change that went completely against what my normal stubborn self would do. Take some time out of your day to try something new: a new set of nails, eyelash extensions or even doing your makeup differently. Changing up your appearance is a common first step in the right direction to improving yourself, a minor or dramatic change such as a different hairstyle can already make you feel like a new person. Buying a new outfit you thought you’d never be able to pull off or even rearranging your room and space can be a start.

Set some rules

Now that you're looking like an improved version of yourself it’s time to feel like one. Through my experience I found it’s important to set some rules, this can vary from person to person. I deleted my playlist full of sad songs and replaced it with uplifting and empowering songs because I found that music heavily influences my emotions and who wants to listen to sad songs when you're trying to create a positive mindset? Another rule I set for myself was to do more things I enjoyed, and more often! I began to bake and write more, I even had multiple pamper days a week. A common rule that I’ve seen is when going through an improvement stage like this people are often debating to contact somebody, whether this is an ex who caused them to feel like this or a toxic friend. It’s vital that if this is the case, you stay focused and ignore the urges to “fix” things with them and fix yourself.

How to work on your mentality

Working on your mentality is why this improvement process takes a long time, whether you're trying to forget someone or something that dragged you down, it’s important to battle those thoughts and emotions. I used a journal to jot down my feelings, something about writing down on pen and paper and letting the words flow was a way for me to vent and let out what was truly causing me to feel this way. Mediation can also be a useful technique to add calmness and a sense of control to your day, allowing you to have full control over your crowded mind. I found that writing down some positive affirmations and quotes, whether it be on your laptop notes or a notebook, and reading them every day was something that helped me clear my vision and made me see myself and my life differently. Keep a gratitude list! Write down what you're grateful for, it could even be the smallest of things. It’ll make you realize the positives in your day.

It’s not always going to be easy!

I will admit, it wasn’t a steady climb. There were the occasional nights where I doubted myself and felt like it wasn’t working like I was still the same shy and fragile girl I was before and would never turn into the ambitious, powerful, and carefree girl I aspired to be. Progress isn’t always a pretty sight but when you finally do start to believe in yourself and take that time for you, you’ll feel like you can conquer the world. You need to learn to be dependent on yourself, happiness stems from you and you can’t depend on others all the time. Spend time being so busy improving your life that you’ve completely forgotten about what made you feel low. Focus on working towards your goals, aspirations, work, and envision your future self… start acting like them and imagine how successful and happy they are.

What to expect after three months?

Those weeks will fly by and soon the duration of the challenge will come to an end. My experience with the three-month improvement challenge turned out better than I expected, I have become the person I wanted to be and have embraced a confident and healthy mindset. This challenge made me regain my sense of direction and self-worth, I accomplished goals that I had been working towards and realized a lot about myself. A lesson that I desperately needed to learn was that I had to rely on myself, people come and go and I found myself depending on them, and when they’d leave I would go through a cycle of feeling low, which is why this challenge intrigued me. So, if you're ever feeling like you’ve lost yourself, trust me you haven’t. Try taking three months and you’ll find yourself, a better version and you’ll be happy you made that promise.

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Mia Bennett

Mia Bennett is a high school student in Auckland, New Zealand and is striving to work as a Journalist in later years.