Time for a Change? 5 Ways to Transform Your Life
Have you been feeling stagnant and stuck lately? Sometimes, we all need to change things up to feel motivated again – especially when we’ve spent the last year coping with a worldwide pandemic. If you’re unhappy with where you are now or the direction your life is headed, you always have the opportunity to try something new.
The idea of shifting your habits and routines can seem daunting, but if you focus on small, achievable goals, you’ll be surprised at how easily you adapt. You may not notice a difference overnight, but with time, patience, and dedication, psychologist Stacy Reuille-Dupont believes that taking these steps to transform your life will pay off.
Get in Shape
Finding a sport that suits your interests and lifestyle makes exercising feel like fun rather than a chore. After a couple of months of exercising regularly, you’ll have more endurance, you’ll sleep better, and you’ll definitely tone up.
Starting a fitness routine doesn’t have to mean lifting weights or running miles every morning. In addition to weights, exercise bikes, and treadmills, joining a gym typically gives you access to lots of classes, like pilates and yoga.
If you’d prefer to work out at home or you’re simply looking to save a little money by forgoing a gym membership, you still have plenty of options when it comes to exercising. For example, you can follow along to workout videos on your TV with a streaming device. Find some channels and apps featuring instructors you like, and it can feel like you have a personal trainer in your living room! To boost your motivation, you can also put together custom workout playlists to stream while you exercise. Choose an easy-to-use streaming device so you can flip through channels and songs effortlessly while you work out.
Cook Healthy Meals
Working out is just one aspect of living a healthier lifestyle. Stocking your pantry with healthy staples and committing to cooking most nights rather than eating out can have a significant positive impact on your physical and mental health. Packaged, processed food and restaurant meals are often loaded with excess sugar and sodium. You don’t have to be a skilled chef to whip up tasty, nutritious meals – with a little practice, you’ll have the basics mastered in no time.
Not sure where to begin? Harvard Health Publishing suggests incorporating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains into your diet. Next, experiment with new recipes that combine ingredients you already love and find healthier alternatives to dishes you enjoy. You’ll have more energy on a daily basis, and you’ll save money in the process!
Make a Budget
Want to take control of your financial future? Creating a realistic budget that helps you stay on track to your savings goals is the first step. With countless apps that help you watch your spending, sticking to a budget has never been easier.
If you’re ready to figure out your personal budget, begin by taking stock of all of your necessary expenses, like rent, utilities, insurance, and other monthly bills. Next, account for eating out, shopping, and getting drinks with friends. Look for ways you can save money each month, such as:
- Refinance loan rates remain low, so now is the perfect time to lower your monthly payments.
- Reducing the number of services you subscribe to. For example, if you use Netflix and Hulu more often than you watch live TV, it might make sense to cancel or cut down your cable package.
- Cutting down on your grocery budget. As noted above, eating an excessive amount of packaged foods can impact your physical and mental health – and buying them can put a dent in your wallet.
Any ancillary funds you can save can be put toward a long-term savings or emergency account. Having this financial cushion will give you peace of mind right away, not to mention in the event you need to use it.
Talk to a Therapist
If you’ve been struggling with depression or anxiety and your symptoms are holding you back from living the life you really want, it’s time to talk to a therapist. A therapist can help you understand why you feel the way you do and teach you coping strategies that will help you manage your stress and move beyond depression.
It may take a little while to find a therapist who is right for you. Begin your search by looking up providers in your area, and make a few phone calls to schedule your first session. Committing to therapy for even just a few months can dramatically transform your mindset.
When you decide to take responsibility for your path in life and move confidently toward your goals, gradual changes are the key to lasting success. With the right tools and support, you have the power to transform your life.