This last year, I made a lot of changes in my life and my family member’s lives. They definitely allowed me to make improvements to myself physically, mentally and emotionally. Of course, I’m still a work in progress. Since these helped me and my family so much, I thought I’d share 6 things I’m doing to improve myself that might help you, too. In fact, you might pick 1 of the 6 and see where it takes you.
Texting with a friend about anxiety, life, stress and overall health, I made the comment I want to “Be healthy and enjoy life” when discussing goals. He told me that isn’t a goal but a mission statement and I sort of held onto that. I’ve never really been great about goals or mission statements, but I think this encapsulated what I was trying to achieve and what I will continue to be working towards. This also aligned with some things I had been working on with a counselor in counseling sessions.
If you would prefer, there is a video you can read at the end of this post where I discuss these 6 things, too.
1. Positive affirmations
There has always been a lot of negative self-talk in my head. It’s not healthy and doesn’t do anything for my mentally or emotionally. My sister told me one night she was having her girls say 3 things they like about themselves. I thought, why can’t I do the same thing.
To be honest, it’s not three things every night, but I try to find nice things to say to myself and about myself. Enough of the criticism and attacking myself and more positive.
I can’t be the voice in my head that says ugly things. I wouldn’t say them about my family or friends or kids, so why am I saying them to myself?
If I start to notice negative thoughts or self-talk, I try to catch myself and do a self-assessment and self-check of what I’m saying. Am I being kind to myself? Am I giving myself grace?
Would I say it out loud to myself? To somebody else? If the answer is no, then I shouldn’t be thinking it!
I can’t allow myself to talk to myself that way.
I heard Robin Arzon (from Peloton) say in one or the rides or runs, “If I played my inner monologue on a loudspeaker right now, would I be proud of how I’m talking to myself. Make sure that answer is yes.”
I need to look in the mirror and be able to say those thoughts on a loudspeaker!
2. Positive Language
How you talk and phrase things has an impact on your world and your head. It impacts how you react and feel about things too.
When you reframe how you talk you can change your world. Words are incredibly powerful!
Think about how you say things for yourself and how your kids hear them.
“I have to cook dinner tonight” versus “I get to cook dinner tonight.”
Saying “I’m dieting” versus “fueling my body”
Instead of “exercise” say “I get to train my body to increase my strength.”
Not “I haven’t lost any weight” but “I haven’t gained any weight, or I’m getting stronger”
Making these small shifts in words spoken has a huge impact.
3. Gratitude Journal
My grandmother has been using a gratitude journal for as long as I can remember. She’s tried to get me to do one, too and I never saw the value in it. Approaching 40, I finally do! Finding gratitude and thankfulness in all the things makes you realize just all of the good in your life.
There are so many ways you can do it. You can download an app on your phone. You can keep an open note file on your phone or even Evernote. You could use a google document so you can almost always access it. I find that hand writing in a gratitude journal helps, either using a specific journal or even just a random notebook or spiral.
There is something to be said about the connection between writing things and our brains that helps us to see the positive in things.
I like to use a random spiral or this Gratitude journal by Tiffany Reese.
I try to follow the prompt or write three things I’m grateful each day. It can be as simple as being thankful for the pen in my hand.
4. Food and exercise
You know that expression “Garbage in, garbage out.” I think it applies to our lives, too. What we fuel our bodies with really impacts how we feel day in and day out. And exercise and happy endorphins can be pretty magical.
Through FASTer Way to Fat Loss and my coach Kelley, I’ve learned so much about nutrition and fueling my body (aka what I eat) as well as exercise and how important lifting weights really is.
In this program, you learn how to fueling body properly which will give you more energy and help you feel good. You’ll find strength in movement and weights and have a coach that keeps you accountable.
It might help your confidence and positive affirmations, too!
5. Not drinking alcohol
This has been a big one for both Mr. Serious and myself. I wouldn’t say that we were alcoholics and I’m now touting my sobriety. I don’t want to take anything away from anybody that struggles every single day with an addiction.
I will say that I do think that we were letting alcohol play a role in our lives and didn’t really think it was good.
We started with a 30 day challenge reading The Alcohol Experiment. The book helps explain just how alcohol impacts your body and your life. It walks you through cognitive dissonance and getting your brain to understand what you are doing. The Alcohol Experiment helps teach you that you can’t willpower you way through hard things but shows you how you can get through it.
We are now past 100 days and don’t really have plans to drink anytime soon. Should we decide to, we will have a plan and know what our lines are.
We both had a great time at a fancy dinner while drinking sparkling water. We woke up feeling good and rested instead of one of us being groggy, having a headache or upset stomach or worrying we did something embarrassing the previous evening.
If you think it will help, read the book. You can decide to do the 30 days or not, but I think just reading the book is really eye-opening.
Admittedly, this is my biggest struggle. I really need to be getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
We should all be getting the same amount of sleep the week in and out. We shouldn’t let weekends be any different. (I totally get and appreciate spending time sleeping in and having a break from the morning routine!)
Personally, I should be getting into bed at 10pm, and up at 6am every day. Again, this is my weakest one, but we are all works in progress. We should all get back to a good sleep routine. If only we all slept like this!
Do you think one of these six things or more could help you? Could you think of something else that might make a pivotal difference?