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Seven Important Steps That Can Help You Make Positive Changes This Year

make positive changes

There comes a time in all of our lives when we realize that we need to make a big change. For some people, this recognition is the result of a long and difficult journey, almost a point of no return.

For others, it is simply a recognition that some of their behaviors are no longer working for them. It can be a difficult thing to realize that you need to pivot toward a different direction, especially if you have found yourself in a position that feels painful or hopeless. But that realization is also a sign of strength and fortitude, an understanding that the situation is no longer tenable and that there are better things to come with change.

However, it is one thing to realize that you want to make a change. It is quite another to figure out how you are going to make it happen. It can often feel like the odds are stacked against you, and that this is going to be an impossible uphill battle. But there are always ways that you can find to carve your own path forward. Some of the steps are about attitude. Others are about preparation. And some are about knowing how to reach out and ask for help. We have put together a guide to the best ways to make positive changes, so let’s get started.

1. Take Stock Of Your Situation

One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to changing your situation is recognizing where you are right now. If you find that things are often overwhelming, then one of the best things that you can do is to sit down and make a detailed list of what it is that you want to change. Try to make sure that you are not doing this in a way that feels self-punishing. Remember that this is a positive step, and that there is nothing that you want to change that cannot be changed.

2. Make A Schedule

When we are feeling like things have spiraled out of our control, getting our hands back on the steering wheel can feel like an uphill struggle. The best place to start is by taking control of your day. This may sound a little simplistic, but you may be surprised by just how much of a difference giving yourself a daily timetable can make. Give yourself enough time in the morning to take a shower and get outside into the fresh air before work (we will talk more about that in just a moment). Set mealtimes and try to stick to them. Give yourself pockets of time throughout the day that are just for you and see if you can get to bed at the same time every day.

3. Look At Your Diet

For many of us, our diets are right at the top of the list of things that we want to change. And we are not just talking about wanting to lose a few pounds. There are many elements to a diet that could be doing us a lot more harm than good. For example, you should seriously think about how much caffeine you are drinking during the course of an average day. So many of us rely on coffee to give us a kickstart at the break of day but overdoing it can lead to blood pressure issues and disturbed sleep. 

Speaking of blood pressure, if you are looking to make positive changes to your diet then your health is one of the best motivating factors. It can be easier said than done to cut back on the number of fatty foods, high-salt meals, and sweet treats. First of all, look at some healthy alternatives that you can add to your meal plan. It is always worth looking at meals that you would actually enjoy eating, instead of just loading up on food that you don’t actually like just because you think it is healthier. Cooking yourself meals you enjoy is always a better way to stick to a diet plan. Making a meal plan for the week and writing yourself a shopping list can really help you to avoid temptation at the grocery store and cut back on those impulse purchases.

4. Look For Help

Admitting that you have a problem that you need to fix is half of the battle. Accepting that you are going to need help to get there is a huge part of the rest. One of the reasons why so many of us struggle to reach out and find professional help is that it can feel like this is something that we need to do ourselves. Some people feel as though there is something shameful in needing assistance to get back on track. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Consider how many people struggle with alcohol or drug addiction, for example. This is not a problem that is unique to anyone and talking to an expert about the best steps to take to recovery is one of the best ways to look after your own wellbeing. It is a courageous step to get proactive with your physical and mental health and to recognize that taking a step such as registering at a rehab center is the best thing to do. You need to remember that these people are on your side, and they have years of experience and expertise to get you to a healthier place. If you are looking for a California rehab center, look at Shoreline Recovery Center. They can help you with a wide range of issues, including alcohol and drug dependence and mental health struggles.

5. Talk To Your Loved Ones 

It can be hard enough to talk to a paid professional when you are struggling. It can be even harder to really open up to the people who are closest to you. When our problems start to stack up, it can be so easy to start to close ourselves off. For anyone who is dealing with an issue that they perceive to be shameful, this drive to shut out our friends and family or pretend like nothing is wrong gets even stronger. However, if you have decided that you need some positive changes, then you are going to need to have a support network in place. 

Something that you may want to consider is how much we have all learned about mental health in the last couple of years. The statistics don’t lie, and we have seen just how widespread these problems have been from adults to teens, who have been particularly hard hit recently. The chances are that you may know someone who is going through, or has been through, something similar. But the most important thing to remember is that you have people in your life who love you. If you are deciding to try and make your life better, they will be there to support you. 

6. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Exercise

This point may seem a little flippant considering some of the previous issues that we have been talking about but hear us out. One of the simplest ways that you can start to make positive changes in your life is with an exercise routine. To start with, giving yourself an achievable goal to work towards is always a good idea to give yourself some structure and to improve your health. 

In much the same way that a dietary plan that you like the sound of is more realistic than attempting to stick with something you hate, you stand a much better chance of keeping to an exercise routine if you enjoy the form of exercise that you are doing and if you give yourself realistic targets. Doctors recommend that we should all be getting at least half an hour’s worth of moderate physical activity a day, so think about where you could slot a jog or even a brisk walk into your schedule. Exercise is not just important for your body; it can also do wonders for your mind. See if taking yourself for some exercise can help you to get out of your own head a bit.

7. Remember To Be Kind To Yourself

One of the negative things that can happen with recognizing the need to make a positive change is that we can start being overly hard on ourselves. If you really want to make these changes, then being kind to yourself is one of the best things that you can do. It does not always come easily, especially if you have grown used to the idea of negative reinforcement and self-criticism. However, recognizing that you deserve to be better is one of the most important steps that you can take. It is one thing to realize that you do not like the way that your life is going. It is another to realize that you are worth the time and the effort that it will take to turn things around. Recognize your accomplishments, take note of the little things, and you will see that you are doing something really special.