With each year that passes, my idea of the "perfect" life tends to alter in its own way. I remember back in high school, I pictured that by the age of 25 I would be married and either pregnant or already with my first child. Thinking of that idea now and well into my mid 20's, I can’t help but to laugh. Our idea and mental images of how we want our lives to look in the next five to ten years are constantly changing and evolving (this is a good thing). With each year, we learn, experience and grow. With this, our individual and unique experiences are what help to shape the expectations we have for our lives.
Two years ago, you could have told me that in 2020, I would have a blog and be sharing many life experiences with the audience I’ve gained. I probably would have laughed and mentioned how insane that sounded. The more we mature and the more experiences we have enable us to continue altering our way of thinking and view on life matters. This in return makes us more capable of making our dreams a reality. Sometimes our dreams can seem so far or unattainable, therefore, it's our job to convince ourselves that, "if that person can do it, I can do it as well."
With that being said, I am sharing a few suggestions for self-improvement. Try to remember, the process is different for everyone and your journey will be entirely unique to you. Apply what seems attractive to you and leave the rest.
Create your own definition of success.
• Try to think of how you truly want your life to look in the next five to ten years.
• Ask yourself these questions:
What is most important to me? (Quality of life, family, friends, traveling, etc.)
What do I want this to look like? (Quality of life for you could mean living in a cozy apartment overlooking the beach and to someone else, it could mean owning a private jet or yacht.)
When do I want to have this idea of success achieved by? (In the next two years, three years, etc.)
• Set short-term and long-term goals and list the steps it will take in order to achieve those goals.
Start a daily journal and/or planner.
• Purchase the most appealing journal and/or planner you can find.
• Try to make it a habit of jotting in all your week's "to-do's" in there. You can also get creative and fun with color coating and stickers.
• Use the extra space on the pages or blank note pages for gratitude journaling. Gratitude journaling is a great way to stay positive and focus on all of the uplifting things that are happening in your life. A simple way to practice is to take ten minutes before bed to jot down everything you were grateful for during that day.
Read a book.
Books are a great way to educate yourself and to expand your vocabulary.
Here are some of my favorites:
Take a break from social media.
Easier said than done, I know, but surprisingly this is extremely easy for me. Social media can be toxic and addicting. The internet contains many false expectations which can be damaging to our mental health and sanity. Allow yourself a few mental health days in order to focus on reality and to recharge your brain. Try setting your phone down an hour before bed tonight.
Wake up early.
I usually set my alarm for 8:30 am and I’m out of bed by 9:00 am. This is a revolving struggle for me, reason being is because I am always getting to bed super late. Chris (my significant other) works a 3-11 pm shift, so I typically find myself waiting up for him at night. On the days he works we don't get much time together because we're so busy, so I’ll usually wait up so we can spend about an hour together before bed. This means my head isn't hitting the pillow until around 12:30-1 am. I've been going back and forth with how I would like to change my sleeping schedule for a while now and I've come to the conclusion that waking up early is a must for me.
• When setting goals, start small so you can easily transition to your ultimate goal.
Step outside your comfort zone.
• Try saying "yes" to more social activities
• Try saying "no" when you really want to
• Start a new hobby
• Study a new culture
• Learn a new language
• Start a side-hustle
• Speak to someone about something personal you went through
• Conquer a fear
• Purchase a furry friend (puppies are always great)
• Give up one "luxury item" you have for one whole week
• Work on one of your weaknesses
• Break a bad habit
• Work on your short-term goals