“There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction.” – Winston Churchill.
“Your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch.
Change is difficult.
So, today we will be looking at positive changes you can make in your life that are not scary but will help you succeed.
Humans are creatures of habit. Therefore, change makes us nervous, and it makes us question where we are and where we are going in life, and can sometimes make us feel powerless.
However, change doesn’t always have to be a scary thing. If you are actively looking to change something in your life because you feel the need to shake things up, it doesn’t have to be a difficult process.
Change can be big or small, and any change at all proves that you are still growing and adapting to the world and the challenges that you may face from time to time.
Some changes take a bit more commitment than others. But you can work your way up to them one step at a time.
Read on to gain some tips for success, as well as a few small and big changes you can make in your personal life for growth and developing positive habits.
Tips for making positive changes
If you’re not sure where to start with making changes in your life, try some of the tips below:
1. Identify what you want to change
First, what do you want to change?
Change can be related to your eating or exercising habits, the time of morning you choose to wake up before work, or how to wind down at night for bed.
One step to making changes is to identify what is important to you. Try writing these down in a notebook to look back on later.
According to a study done at the Dominican University in California, you are 62% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down! Writing improves our memory and commitment to our tasks.
After you identify what is important to you, say, for example, better relationships with your coworkers, you can start figuring out ways to make that change happen. Perhaps you can work on saying “good morning” more often or offering to grab them something from the break room while you’re in there making your coffee.
Additionally, remember to embrace small positive changes, too!
This can be something as simple as rinsing your dishes before you set them in the sink or turning off the lights as you leave a room. Anything that you consider to change, no matter big or small, can be important to achieving a better life.
2. Don’t try to change everything at once
Social media can be a great thing, but it can also lead us to ingesting a bunch of information about what we “should” be doing to achieve a better lifestyle.
You don’t have to change everything about your day to become a better, more productive person. This is where your list from earlier can come in handy!
Take baby steps
Try to start with one or two positive changes, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Restarting your entire routine for a day can not only be unrealistic but completely exhausting. Try to change something about your morning, then when you have that down, move on to others on your list.
You can even try to change week by week by trying out a new positive change on Monday and sticking with it for seven days. When those seven days are up, incorporate another change!
3. Don’t quit if you mess up or fall off the wagon
Failure can be disappointing, but not everything we do will go seamlessly the first time we try. Remember, you are only human!
Regardless, sometimes when we fail ourselves, it can make us feel down or like we can’t live up to our own expectations. It’s important not to shy away from the challenge of dusting yourself off and getting up to try again.
If you eat a healthy breakfast for three days straight, and then because you are rushing on the fourth day, you grab a fast-food combo on your way into work, this doesn’t mean that you’ve completely failed yourself! You made it three days, and that’s worth recognizing.
Positive changes take time, so give yourself that time.
4. Rid yourself of negativity
Similarly, it’s also hard to make positive changes in your life if you or someone else is constantly putting you down about your choices and successes.
Rather than letting these opinions affect you, it’s better to remove yourself from anyone who does not encourage the changes you’re trying to make.
This includes unfollowing them from social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) if their negative attitude spans past your relationship with them.
Additionally, it’s important to change your mindset if you are in the habit of thinking negatively about yourself when you aren’t immediately successful. Try readjusting the way you perceive yourself. We all need to practice self-love sometimes because we can be our harshest critics when it comes to failure.
Remember: negativity can be harmful when you are trying to make personal changes, so it’s best to remove yourself from it altogether, no matter if it’s from yourself or others!
5. Lean on your support systems
When you get rid of the negative people in your life, you can then use the support and advice of those who bring positivity to the table.
It’s okay to lean on the people around you when you need help. You might even align your goals with some of your friends to make the activity of change more enjoyable.
For example, if you know that one of your goals is to exercise more frequently and you have a friend who is a part of a walking group within their neighborhood, you can pair and make it a group walk.
This way, you are strengthening your relationships with others and accomplishing your goals in a way that strengthens your sense of self.
6. Reward yourself for your successes
While you are on the path to change, there will be ups and downs, challenges, and failures, but there will also be successes. And they are worth celebrating.
If you manage to get through a week or two of journaling, maybe invest in a few more supplies (pens, highlighters, etc.) that will make you continue to want to write your thoughts down on paper.
If you’ve been exercising consistently, buy yourself a new outfit.
If you’ve been eating well and according to your diet or meal plans, treat yourself to a cheat day where you get to relax a little on your restrictions.
On a simpler note, don’t forget to tell yourself “good job” sometimes. It may feel weird to compliment ourselves, but if it’s easy to berate ourselves mentally when we fail, why can’t it be just as easy to compliment ourselves when we succeed?
Examples of positive changes
If you are looking for a few positive changes to incorporate into your routine, keep reading! These changes range from big to small, and you can decide which ones suit the things you are looking to improve on.
Take baby steps when approaching positive changes within yourself, and you’ll find it’s easier to adjust and later be successful in doing so.
Declutter your life
Sometimes we have too many things. Too many pens, notebooks, clothes, figures to dust on the shelf, pieces of furniture, the list could go on forever. However, while having an abundance of “things” may make it seem like we are doing well in life, it can also make it hard to focus.
Think about it like this: when your eyes have too much to land on, it can be a frustrating and anxiety-inducing experience. Why? White space is beneficial because it gives the eyes a break.
Having clutter can make you more prone to spending a lot of time rearranging or cleaning, so it’s important to tidy up and throw out unnecessary items frequently.
Start a morning or night routine
Routines are great examples of positive changes. If you have a set way that you are used to doing something, there is less time for surprises. Therefore, you can focus on more important tasks at hand, such as getting to work on time!
Getting a jump start on your day can save you some hours to yourself later. Try making a list of everything you need to do before leaving the house and giving yourself ample time to complete those tasks.
Similarly, a nighttime routine can be incredibly beneficial. Get into a habit of getting off your phone and relaxing with a cup of evening tea and a book. When you do it enough, your body will start to associate these tasks with winding down and make it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
Take up a new hobby
Getting into a new hobby can be a positive change in your life. It can open new doors to relationships with others if you join a club or team and can also give you a new outlet to express yourself within.
If you’re not sure where to start when looking for a new hobby, here are a few ideas:
- learning a new instrument
- needlework, crocheting, or knitting
- painting or drawing
Be kind to others
This can be a day-to-day task to try and accomplish.
If possible, focus on setting out to do something nice for another person once a day.
This can be something as small as holding the door open, letting someone over in traffic, or saying good morning and giving someone a friendly smile. Treating others with kindness also makes it easier to be kinder to ourselves.
Try getting your thoughts or goals out on paper occasionally. This will make them feel more concrete and also give you an outlet to release things that you are happy or stressed about.
Knock something off your to-read list
Reading is a great positive change to incorporate into your routine. You can try winding down from the stress of school or work with a book that you’ve been eyeing for a while.
Make a positive vibes playlist
When you’re looking for a pick-me-up, you can listen to your favorite songs for some positivity for your day.
Listening to music while you’re getting dressed for the day can be a great way to wake up and get yourself in the right mindset before you walk out of the house. Additionally, you can also listen to those tunes in the car to make the drive more enjoyable!
Wear your favorite outfit
Wearing clothes that we love gives us confidence and a sense of individuality.
Make it a daily task to wear one item you really like in your closet, whether it be a bracelet, a hair accessory, a tie, or a pair of cufflinks. Regardless of how small it is, it can make a difference when getting dressed.
Wearing something that you love can help you start your day off feeling confident and ready to face whatever tasks are ahead.
Make time for friends and family
Again, building a support system is important for influencing change.
Find some time in your week to make room for the people around you. It’s important to surround ourselves with people that lift us and encourage us to continue in our personal endeavors, and these support systems can consist of friends, family, or coworkers.
If you are super busy, you can try sending a text message or check in on them with a short phone call to make them feel appreciated as a part of your life. Any communication is better than none.
With most of the changes mentioned above, these will not come easily to someone who does not practice it regularly. Be proud of yourself for attempting to make positive changes within your life and take it slow. Before long, they will become a pattern of tasks that you don’t have to think about anymore that will ultimately make your life more meaningful and enjoyable.