Life is made up of a long string of choices. We can’t blame anyone for our current circumstance, though we’d like to. Often times, it’s just easier to pawn things off on others. No one likes taking responsibility for their actions when the result is a negative one. But admission is the first step to recovery. If you want to make positive changes in your life, start looking in the mirror. It may be hard and it may be ugly, but it’s necessary. And once you get over the hump of admitting and accepting your faults, you can start making changes and taking control of your life.
1. Make a Plan
Creating a plan will help elicit feelings of security, safety, and predictability. No one likes flying through life by the seat of their pants. This can leave you feeling anxious, paranoid, and worried. Some people like to plan years in advance like creating a retirement plan, writing a will or opening a 401(k). But plans don’t always need to be earth-shattering.
Simply creating a monthly budget, making weekend dates or scheduling necessary doctor’s appointments are all small steps that will help you feel more in control of your life. Planning is the perfect way to eliminate the “unknowns” in life and put you in the driver’s seat.
2. Allow Yourself to Say No
Are you a yes man or woman? Do you find it hard to say no? Maybe it’s because you hate disappointing people or have an incessant need to please everyone. Whatever the reason, you need to knock it the fuck off! It’s okay to say no sometimes. The world will not come crashing down and the earth will not fall off its axis if you decline an invite or say no to working overtime. Listen to your body. If you’re feeling overworked, overtired, or overwhelmed it means it’s time to start using the power of “no.”
3. Put Your Needs First
It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. In fact, it’s called self-preservation. Practicing self-care and self-love are an important part of feeling happy, healthy, and in control of your life. This includes eating a healthy balanced diet but also indulging in the things you love most. Staying active will help improve your overall health and leave you feeling energized. If you’re feeling especially tired, take a short nap or skip on that dinner date you had planned. Don’t feel bad. Even if your friends are disappointed that you can’t make it, nothing is worse than being disappointed in yourself for spreading yourself too thin and neglecting your own needs. You need to put yourself above all else when it comes to self-care.
4. Create a Routine
Many of our daily actions are all about muscle memory, willpower, and creating a routine that quickly becomes second nature. Once your body and mind are trained to perform similar tasks each day at a certain time, you’ll be amazing at how smoothly your day runs. Try going to bed around the same time each night and getting up at the same time. Space out your meals several hours apart each day. Hit the gym early in the morning. Whatever it is that helps your body develop a routine will help your mind feel more in control of what’s happening, which is an extremely empowering feeling.
5. Do One Thing at a Time
There’s nothing worse than spreading yourself too thin. No good can come of this. You end up overwhelmed and flustered and the result is underwhelming, to say the least. How many times have you been rushing around like a idiot, trying to accomplish 10 things at once only to knock your coffee cup off the table, poke yourself in the eye with your mascara, and stub your toe? Rushing and multitasking can have disastrous effects. Calm down. Take a deep breath. And attack one task at a time, giving each one the attention it needs. You’ll be much more efficient and productive this way.
6. Fight Your Instincts
Some people believe in going with your gut. And though this can be beneficial sometimes, for the most part, your body will respond by following the basic instinct of fight or flight. When faced with a difficult, new or uncomfortable situation, your initial reaction might be to retreat. Run away. Get the F outta there. Well, don’t! As long as safety isn’t an issue, face down those fears and tough situations. Pushing through tough times and venturing outside of your comfort zone is where positive change happens. Your next amazing experience may be waiting just on the other side of those feelings of discomfort. So tell your internal flight response to STFU and start fighting for what you want!