We as humans are constantly looking for ways to improve our lives, find happiness and hopefully better our circumstances. Gone are the days in which we go through life believing we are stuck with the lot that we are born with. Thanks to technology advances and globalisation we are now afforded with freedoms and choices that generations before us could never have even dreamed of.
Times are undeniably tough and arguably getting tougher, but rather than sitting back and accepting it as fate, why not go the extra mile and try to make a difference. It goes without saying that how we go about improving our life is an individual experience and will vary exponentially but here are some things to keep in mind the next time that motivation bug bites you.
Avoid Getting Stuck in a Rut
We’ve all been guilty of this at one point or another. When we get into a low energy or low mood mindset it’s very easy to fall into bad habits of putting off what can be done today and being less of a yes person and more of a maybe later one. Contrary to how it may seem you do have the power to make a change.
Whether it’s a bad living space, a dead-end job or simply a deterioration of the relationships around you, it’s something you can change. We all make sweeping plans to get to the gym more, finish tasks before the deadline or eat a little healthier. Setting yourself little, obtainable goals for these will increase the likelihood you’ll stick with them.
Don’t Settle in a Dead-End Job
For most of us the prospect of changing jobs is daunting and feels as though it is full of risk with the potential of no reward. It’s far too common we think to ourselves that it’s better the devil we know or the job we’ve gotten so comfortable with. This mindset can be poisonous to any kind of career improvement. Don’t let your comfortability and fear of failure keep you from trying for progression.
Some may require you get some extra certifications (such as childcare educator jobs or trades) others might require a great deal more study. Perhaps you have a dream job in mind, but it feels so far out of your capabilities, getting into the industry can be a great start. Starting out in an entry job like medical equipment sales might feel like a waste of time, until you finally land your nursing job and you’re the practice expert on bariatric equipment. You’ll find working towards a goal can be rewarding and motivating – don’t be so quick to assume it’s unobtainable.
Prioritise Your Sleep
No shock or news, I’m sure, but your quality and quantity of sleep will greatly impact your happiness and general life satisfaction. Many of us miss out on sleep because we try to do more than there are hours in the day, others might just find themselves easily distracted or simply struggle to wind down at the end of the day.
We’re quick to discover we can function on the amount of sleep we’re getting and forego making any effort to make improvements. It’s not until we start getting a decent amount of sleep on a regular basis that we realise just how heavily it was affecting us. Setting aside time to assess your quality of sleep and pinpoint ways you can improve it is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to make a huge improvement to your quality of life. And if necessary, be open to seeking some professional advice or help to make this a reality.
Make Time for Breaks/Holidays
Thanks to many great advancements in workers’ rights, we’re all but guaranteed time off work but somehow many of us aren’t actually using them to schedule a proper break.
Workplace cultures in which the workload is excessively high is all too common and when we do finally get around to taking our time off, we’re far too tired to enjoy it. Don’t just use your annual leave allowance to take long weekends to catch up, or for family events you have to attend, or to catch up on home labour; make sure you take a solid week (or two if you’re able) off each year that is solely for a break from real life.
If going away for this time isn’t an option, then do your best to switch off to the daily tasks at home. Find that time to veg out with your latest book, use the time to finally start that project or garden you’ve been daydreaming about, take yourself to the beach. For most of us, when we switch off from our salaried job, we look to complete the little jobs we’ve been putting off and don’t properly rest. Try to resist that pile of ironing that’s been calling your name, don’t start googling “kitchen renovations Perth” while you sip your morning coffee.
Make that time as much about rest and relaxation as you possibly can, and watch your life improve for it when you come back energised and motivated – ready to take on the world.
Be Unapologetic With your Priorities
This one is tough for most of us to achieve. All too often we find ourselves trying to please all the people around us first and ourselves second and feeling extremely guilty when we reverse that list. Unlike every branding agency Melbourne has to offer, you’re not required to sell yourself to the world.
If your health is a priority for you, then make sure you say no to anything that will compromise it. If you’re being asked to do something or go somewhere that doesn’t align with your priorities or values, learn to say no. Say no without explanation and don’t let anybody make you feel like you owe them one.
Obviously, there will be situations where this isn’t possible, but when you learn to put yourself first, fill up your own cup first, you’ll be surprised to find just how easy it is to show up for the ones you love when they need you. Not to mention, you’ll be happier all round.