6 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2021: Your Year of Growth

6 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2021: Your Year of Growth

While we shakily walk into 2021, most people are ready to leave the year that was, 2020, far far behind. We’ve come up with 6 ways to improve your life in 2021. This is your year of GROWTH. 

While some of these things might seem REALLY obvious, we thought we’d put them in this little list so you could see them in one place and truly follow the KISS method (you know, keep it simple, stooopid) because, lets be real, ain’t NOBODY got time to sit through 100 ways to grow.

Here’s how you can have your year of growth in 2021:

🕰 Create Habit - the act of repeating something is really important, to not only prove dedication (to yourself) but also building muscle memory. Habits help us create routine and if you’re looking to spice up your routine and be a better you, start by creating or changing your habits!

The trick with creating habits, is understanding how they’re put together (sort of like a recipe):

  1. The Trigger - this is the thing that will get you off your phat booty and ready for ACTION (which is a perfect segway too...). Find cues (triggers) that you can set up in your environmental remind you to take the action.
  2. The Action - the part of your habit you want to DO. For some though, it may take a little extra pUSB to get up and get moving, which is fine, everyone adopts new habits at different speeds. Remember, excuses only stop you from taking the action, so, find ways to limit the barriers to doing it. Have a friend complete the action with you to keep you motivated and on track.
  3. The Reward - Once you’ve been triggered to perform your action, then it’s time to give yourself that little celebratory ‘gift’. Give your brain something to look forward to. Find ways of making your reward something encouraging to help you keep repeating the habit. 

The big thing here to remember is that creating habits takes time and it’s best to set goals that are realistic/ ACHIEVABLE and keep building on them, and if you mess up, who cares? Start again with the lessons that you already have and keep building on them. The lesson is, even though you have to go back to the start, you know more than you did when you made the initial plan, you can keep doing it.

🧶 Set boundaries - if you’ve ever heard the saying (or you’ve said it someone) “you need to learn boundaries” then, this one’s for you!

Setting boundaries can help create a level of comfort for both yourself and other people. If you need to set them then you’re well on your way to knowing how to divide yourself between things you need in your life and things you don’t. That friends, that’s called GROWTH!

Don’t get us wrong though, setting boundaries can be hard to navigate your way though sometimes, especially when it comes to communicating them to other people, but, they’re essential to your mental and physical well-being.

You’re probably thinking, “what’s the point of setting boundaries?”, and here’s why:

    1. Boost your self-esteem -We all want to feel like our best selves all the time.
    2. Conserve emotional energy - have you ever heard of something called an ‘energy vampire’? Nope, they’re not straight out of twilight, Energy vampires are emotionally immature people who have the sense that the whole world revolves around them. In short, they’re narcissistic a-holes.
    3. Give yourself more independence and agency - basically you give yourself permission to change up the boundaries as needed. Try not to think of your boundaries as being drawn permanently around you, they’re flexible and they allow us to grow and be vulnerable when we need to be (i.e. when they time’s right), but the main thing is, we have control over them.

So now we know the WHY we set boundaries, here’s the HOW we set them:

  1. Ask yourself WHY you want a particular boundary set in place - Do you have difficulty saying No? Do you feel like you’re being treated with a lack of respect? Do you find that there’s unreasonable expectations being set for you? Once you’ve found your WHY, it’s easy to finish off the rest of the steps
  2. Follow your gut - intuition is a powerful personal tool, it lets you know how you’re feeling from a physical standpoint and sometimes, emotional. Check-in with yourself when you feel like your boundaries are being crossed, it’ll help determine how much more or less you need to set/enforce them.
  3. Learn to communicate - there’s power in your voice! If you feel like your boundaries are being crossed or violated, then it’s time to speak up and tell people that you’re not vibing or feeling comfortable. Making sure you’re able to tell people what they’re doing to make you feel weird but also giving full reasons not “you’re exhausting me” or “you’re being annoying” but rather, “i just need some time to chill” or “you’re making me feel uncomfortable when you act like you’re better than everyone else”

📔 Gratitude Journal - listen, if you want to remain thankful throughout 2021 and really appreciate what you have vs. what you don’t or let it serve as a reminder to you for when you’re not feeling your best self, then a gratitude journal is the WAY to go.

Once you start getting into the swing of it, it’s a great tool for helping you change your mindset and a guide to helping you manifest (more on that later).

Here’s a few of tips to get the most out of your gratitude journal:

  1. Don’t just go through the motions - make a conscious decision to BE happier and more grateful (kind of like a placebo effect).
  2. Go DEEP - get detailed, give reason, don’t just be superficial
  3. Get personal - focus on the people in your life and your real world connection, rather than the stuff you have. 
  4. Imagine what it’s like without - if you find it hard to be grateful for what do have, try imagining your world without it. Does it make it easier or harder to be happy?
  5. The Unexpected - write down things that happened that we’re a surprise (no matter how big or small) and how much more grateful you were for it. 
  6. Don’t overdo it - stick to writing once or twice a week, you don’t need to do it daily (unless you feel like you need to, but it doesn’t make a difference), the key here is to learn to be more thankful and experience happiness for the things we have, as opposed to what we don’t. 

🙅🏽 Learn to say NO - saying NO is a powerful tool, just remember, you don’t need to be a YES MAN all the time.

You have to be able to liberate yourself of making other people happy all the time and be able to say NO when it suits you.

We’ve done the looking so you don’t have to across the inter-webs and here’s a few tips to learn to say NO:

  1. Keep your response simple - If you’re saying NO just say, NO (but be nice about it). Strong body language is also a bonus and don’t say sorry for saying no.
  2. Think about it - tell people you’ll get back to them when you want to weigh up your options to proceed with a plan or not and don’t let yourself feel pressured. 
  3. Compromise - If you’re half into doing something, agree to going ahead with the plan but throw in “I have leave by (a certain time)”. If you don’t want to do something though, don’t compromise just to make people happy, just say no.
  4. Don’t feel guilty - simple as that. This is your chance to set boundary and create a personal habit. Just be yourself and know what you want out of your life.

💁🏾‍♀️ Do you - The saying ‘you do you’ is technically not meant to be sassy, it’s more of a call to praising the fact that you are independent and don’t need anyone to tell you how to do your life.

You are strong enough and grown enough to make your own decisions. Keep growing.

We don’t even need to elaborate on this or the fact that you need to just be yourself. Remember, you’re not living your life for other people (unless you’re a parent, then, probably best to asses the lay of the land with your kids in mind), you’re living your life for you and what brings you total joy. Be yourself. 

☠️ End toxic relationships - you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. CUT. THEM. OUT. 

Once you've established that your relationships are having a negative impact on your life, the best way to end it is with a conversation.

Whether it's a romantic relationship or not, this will feel like a breakup. Be firm about your intentions and do not allow yourself to waver. 

No one ever sets out to be in a toxic relationship. As humans, we want to be able to find what’s going to give us our Disney ‘happily every after’ but sometimes, that doesn’t happen. 

If you’re trying to identify what a ‘toxic relationship’ looks like, here’s 5 red flags to spot a toxic relationship, and what’s stopping you (or someone you know) from growing in 2021:

  1. Unpredictability - being spontaneous is usually something endearing, but when the spontaneous turns into unpredictable at the drop of a hat and you feel like you’re walking on eggshells, it’s not a good time. Especially when you have to start monitoring yourself and your behaviour. 
  2. Vampirism - basically one-sidedness in a relationship wherein you’re investing time, energy, emotions, money etc and getting little in return. Your relationship shouldn’t suck the life out of you!
  3. Squashed - the other half of your relationship (whether business or romantic) shouldn’t hold you down or back or make you feel unhappy when you’re celebrating a win.
  4. Co-dependence - not because you want to, but because your partner is obsessive about where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing etc at all times. That’s not healthy, on the contrary, it’s hella controlling. 
  5. Lack of self worth - if you’re made to feel like you are nothing, you’re criticised, judged, disrespected etc then you need to take real good look at your relationship and realise that this is not where you need to be in 2021 or EVER. Don’t lower yourself so someone else can stand on you. 

Once you’ve looked at those red flags, and made a judgement call on what you want to do, then here’s 5 options to help you make changes to your situation.

  1. Talk to the other party about what’s bothering you - communication is KEY. Maybe they don’t realise it, maybe they do, but, it’s out in the open.
  2. Tell people you trust about the situation and what you’re planning on doing i.e. getting your ass out of it - it’s always a scary step but those that can offer you the support, will. 
  3. Do you - reclaim your self-esteem, and acknowledge that you can do better!
  4. Save money - for a rainy day
  5. Leave, get out, move on - cut off all communication, take time for you and better yourself! 

In 2021, we’re growing and being our best selves. It’s time to leave the last year behind and live the life we’re meant to.

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