It doesn’t have to be New Year’s Day to decide you want to start a program of self-improvement. That can happen at any time you’re feeling unfulfilled, unhealthy, untethered, or just unhappy with the status quo. You’re ready to shake things up a little or a lot. You know something has to happen, but you’re not really sure what. It just takes wanting it to happen.
A Healthier Way of Eating
Everything you want to do comes down to how you feel, the energy you have, and how healthy a lifestyle you can maintain. What you choose to eat or not eat is the primary factor in how you feel. Eating a balanced diet of proteins, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and adding complex carbohydrates along with eliminating processed foods and sugars can do wonders for your sense of well-being and long-term health.
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If You’re Feeling Sluggish, Get Moving
If you don’t have a regular fitness routine, there’s never a bad time to start. Step one should be to have a goal. Is your goal to become stronger, lose weight, lower your blood pressure, build muscle and strengthen your bones, or a bit of all of that?
Don’t choose a fitness routine based on what you saw someone else do. Choose an activity you enjoy doing. This is the only way you’ll actually stick with it. If you read that swimming is the perfect exercise, but the only pool is twenty minutes from your home, it’s unlikely you’ll be doing it for very long. Instead, find something you enjoy that’s easily accessible, like walking/running, biking, or visiting the gym near your home.
It’s All in Your Head
Sometimes the feeling of being unfulfilled or at loose ends stems from periodic moments of stress and anxiety. By practicing mindfulness and meditation, you’re teaching yourself how to lessen those moments of stress by giving yourself coping mechanisms that allow you to feel calmer, more at peace, and happier about your life.
Mindfulness means being aware moment-to-moment of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and your surrounding environment. Mindfulness is accepting and non-judgmental in that you accept that there is no right or wrong way of thinking. Being mindful is living in the moment rather than thinking of the past or worrying about the future.
In order to practice mindfulness or meditation, you’ll need a quiet place to go to where you won’t be disturbed. You can look for apps that will guide you through both mindfulness and meditation practices.
Hobbies Are Cool
Hobbies can take your day from boring and ho-hum to something challenging and fun. Hobbies took a bad rap for a while the stereotypical nerd with his stamp collection was often derided. But honestly, if you find it exciting, then go for it. Hobbies push you to learn, become more skilled at something, and, in many cases, open up a whole new social circle.
And it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, either. Even if you want to learn to bake wedding cakes, speak Russian, or take up tap dancing, you can probably find online tutorials and instructors either for free or at a low cost.
Love What You Do
If you’re working a job that you no longer enjoy, there’s no law that says you have to keep doing it. Decide what you want to do and dig in with some research. First, find out if there’s a market for it where you are and what skills you may have to have in order to begin that new career. Online degree programs mean you can take classes on your schedule while still working your current job.
You’ll need an updated curriculum vitae (CV) to showcase your academic background, career experiences, and skills. You don’t have to create one out of whole cloth either. There are resources for help building your own template for a CV that is both professional looking and unique enough to stand out from all the others.
Whether it’s eating better and exercising more, starting a new career or a hobby, or taking time for mindfulness and meditation, it’s important to know that improving your life is not only something you can do, it’s absolutely something you must do.