Happy New Year! Do you have New Year resolutions? Do you know you can drastically improve the quality of your life in 6 months? If you want to feel more optimistic, increase your self-esteem, increase your energy levels and become more productive, you can achieve this in a span of 6 months or less.
Why don’t you challenge yourself to improve your life in the next six months and see how that turns out?
Here is how you can completely transform your life in the next 6 months!
1. Eat well
You will be surprised how much a good diet can do for your body. When you eat well, that is, include more fruits and vegetables in your diet, you will feel it take effect on your body.
The good thing is the healthier you eat, the more your body will adapt to clean eating and crave healthier foods as opposed to a craving for junk. Eating a lot of junk makes your body feel sluggish.
In the next month, make an effort to cook more so that you incorporate vegetables into your diet. If you can, cut down on the foods with additives such as sodas and energy drinks, canned foods and the like.
Instead, choose water as your main way of hydration and rely more on plant foods such as vegetables, legumes, sprouts and the like. If you manage this in the next month, chances are you will keep it up for the next six months and before you know it, you have made it your lifestyle.
2. Exercise more
When we hear of exercise, we tend to think it includes signing up for gym membership, running all the time and lifting up weight. Not necessarily.
Simply exercise such as walking for a few kilometers in a day, taking the stairs or stretching. Depending on your level of fitness, you can incorporate some level of exercise in your week and trust me, your body will thank you for it.
My exercise routine involves jogging/walking for about 6 kilometers at least 3 times a week. Other days I take up low impact exercises and lifting light weights for toning and strength building.
Exercise has the potential to boost up your energy levels, lift your mood and overall increase your productivity.
3. Spend time alone
Solitude is good for you. Even if you are an extrovert and you thrive in the company of others, learn to spend time alone. This lone time teaches you to reflect and get in some introspection.
This can lead to improved self-awareness. Spending time alone teaches you to appreciate your own company such as you develop independence. You reduce co-dependency since you don’t need others to cheer up.
Spending time alone helps you improve your self-identity. The only way you learn about yourself is if you learn what you like or don’t like independently without the influence of others.
My extroverted friend told me she recently was forced to some alone tome by some circumstances and she says that was some of the best time she had.
She learned so much about herself in this time since she had a lot of time to reflect on friendship, relationships, and careers and gained some clarity.
4. Get enough sleep
Your body needs enough rest. No matter how much you have on your plate, make sure that you get enough rest. Many believe that when you have much to do you need to give up sleep.
However, you are more productive if you get enough sleep hours. You can still optimize on productivity and get good rest by choosing to sleep during times when you are not productive such as choosing to get enough sleep time on weekdays rather than socializing.
5. Read more
Nonfiction books such as self-development books will help you improve various areas of your lives. Books can teach you how to be more productive, how to form better relationships, develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence which you need in your professional and personal life.
Even if you are not a reader, you can develop a reading culture by starting small and expanding your reading. I also recommend listening to audiobooks if you don’t have much time to read or you don’t like reading. I also listen to audiobooks when I am exercising, running errands or driving.
Audiobooks are time-saving and help me vet which books to buy if I find that they’re impactful and would like to refer to them in the future or have them on my shelf. Blinkist has also developed a way for readers to get book summaries.
You can get a summary of your favorite books in 15 minutes and decide if you want more of the book you can buy it after getting a summary on Blinkist.
6. Spend time with the right people
Seek out to spend time with people that rejuvenate you. These are people that are good for your spirit and improve your mood. Also, purpose to spend people who help you grow.
Other than meeting your friends and spending time in gossip and complaining, seek out to spend time with people who improve you. These are people you can discuss important topics with such as self-awareness, how you can improve yourself, learning experiences you can learn from and the like.
I have a couple of friends who we sit and talk about what we are working on, encourage each other, discuss our self-awareness journey, books that we are reading and how to develop and maintain a growth mindset.
Learn to cut out toxic people. Spend less time with negative people who have nothing good to say about you and about life in general. The more you spend time with negative people, the more you will find that you are becoming negative as well.
You will always think of the bad things happening as opposed to good things and this adds little or no value to your life. I have cut off toxic people in the past and I am thankful for it.
7. Revise your goals
It makes no sense if you are motivated and working hard but have no specific goal. If you have no clarity on what you are working towards, your motivation and productivity could be going to waste.
Sometimes, especially when you are in your 20s, it’s not always that you have such clear goals on what you want to do with your life. However, your goals don’t have to be long term. You can focus on short term goals such as to graduate, to work hard and take up that job you are on probation, to finish a dissertation.
Having clear goals gives you more focus and a reason to get up in the morning, take care of your body and mind so that you are in good shape to achieve your goals.
8. More action
Sometimes we know what we need to do to get what we want but we haven’t taken action to get there.
“80% of success is showing up”-Woody Allen.
If you want to start a blog, for example, don’t keep talking about it, get started. If you want to develop a reading culture, don’t talk about it, get started, buy or borrow your first book and start reading.
If you want to be a better person in relationships, then take that action and start acting in a way that you are closer to where you want to be. Action is what will take you closer to your goal.
We often lag behind because we wait for motivation and inspiration to get started and if this does not happen, think we will start tomorrow. In writing, for example, it’s not every day that one feels motivated to write.
However, making good habits and deciding that whether or not I feel like writing I will still write a number of words in a day makes me make taking action as part of my routine and leads to productivity.
9. Make fear your friend
I cannot lie to you and say that the best performers in their field are not afraid. Everyone is afraid, especially of the unknown. However, they learn to take action in spite of fear. In his book, The War of Art, author Stephen Pressfield says that fear is good because it is an indicator.
It tells us what we need to do. The more we are scared, the more we should be sure we should do it. Further, Adam Grant’s book Originals discusses how originals or non-conformists act even when they are afraid.
In fact, they experience the most fear and the highest levels of self-doubt, but they take action anyway. Adam Grant says that we should make fear our friend. Act with fear, and the good thing about fear is that it makes us acknowledge what’s worse could happen, and prepare for it as well.
In order to change your life, therefore, no matter how much fear you feel, make fear your friend, face that which makes you afraid. Once you unveil the monster, you will realize that it wasn’t so scary after all.
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