Some people can easily adapt to change while others may struggle a bit more. Some people are very willing to try new things while others prefer to stay in their comfort zone. Either way, change can be overwhelming and there is a level of uncertainty that comes with it. In life, things are always going to change. We can either look at this as a negative thing, or a positive thing. We can experience so many different kinds of changes whether that is moving to a new city, going to college, or something on a smaller scale such as switching up your diet. Many people believe that in order for change to happen, they need to do something big and they need to do it quickly. There are so many small things that you can do that can lead to big and positive changes over time. Today, I wanted to share some small things that I have been doing that have had positive effects on me and my life. I hope that by me sharing this, you will be inspired to make some positive changes in your life.
Recently, I noticed that I was making subtle changes to my daily routine and this is not only making me feel happier, but it is making me feel healthier all around. I am currently a junior in college and I just recently started a new semester. This is always a little stressful and overwhelming for me because it can take some time for me to get comfortable in a new routine. It was so nice to have some time to relax over the holidays, but now I am back to school and my schedule is not ideal. My days are pretty long and I have some pretty big gaps in between my classes.
I was nervous to start this semester because not only was I taking new classes with new people, but I was also about to start my first internship. I am the type of person who likes to plan things out and I enjoy routine. I wanted to sit down before the semester started to write out a schedule that included everything I wanted or had to do in a day. This schedule included school, school work, my internship, the gym, and time for my family and myself. I had no idea how I was going to do it all in one day, but 4 weeks into the semester, I can (somewhat) confidently say, I am handling it. In this situation, I was somewhat forced into change. A new schedule meant I had to turn things around, so change was necessary.
First, I wanted to talk about how I have been able to get to the gym. When I first started my fitness journey, I was in high school. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday my dad would pick me up from school and we would go to the gym together. Once I started college, I began going to the gym on my own and I went earlier in the day (typically I would leave for the gym around 1pm). Luckily, my school schedule allowed me to go at this time most days, so this is the schedule I stuck to for quite some time.
As some of you may know, I felt like I had lost my motivation last year quite a bit and I knew I needed a change. Now, mostly due to my school schedule, I have to work out in the mornings. This is something that I was not used to because I was never one to work out in the mornings. Although I am a morning person, the idea of waking up and going straight to the gym just sounded exhausting. I think this change was exactly what I needed. I have been going to the gym in the mornings around 9am and I have been feeling really good about it. After my workouts, I always feel more awake, more energized, and happier. I am now able to get to the gym early, and then I can focus on school and my internship for the rest of the day. There are only a couple minor issues with going to the gym in the morning. One issue is that I start to feel tired and sluggish after lunch time, so I need to find a way to keep my energy up in a healthy way (if you have any tips or advice on how to get over this, please leave a comment below). And the other issue is that I feel like my workouts are a bit rushed because I have to get to school right after the gym. I could wake up a bit earlier, but it is difficult!
On to a similar topic: healthy eating. Along with losing my motivation for the gym last year, I was also falling off track with my healthy eating. Well, I knew this year I wanted to do better, so I have made small changes. Since my days at school are pretty long, I always pack a lunch. I rarely eat fast food, and I am usually comfortable making my own food at home. When I pack my lunches, I make sure to bring healthy options. Even if there are sweets at home, I try to avoid them and save them for later when I get back home. I’ll typically pack something like grapes, an apple, turkey, crackers, nuts, and yogurt. This is usually enough to get me through the school day. When I get home, I eat my dinner, and then I’ll let myself enjoy something sweet. I have a major sweet tooth so avoiding sugar is incredibly challenging for me. I allow myself to enjoy my cravings however I don’t go crazy. Moderation is always key.
I think that many of you can relate when I say that technology is absolutely addicting, and it can negatively affect us in more ways than one. I was never the type of person to allow people on social media to bother me and I think this is because I know who I am and I understand that people like to showcase their highlight reels. What I do have a problem with is knowing when to put my phone down. I struggle with this mostly at night. I know I do not get enough sleep and it is something I am working on. I decided to limit my time on technology at night. After I finish my school work and take a shower, I don’t bring my ipad downstairs with me. If I do, I know I will end up on Netflix and I will binge watch my favorite TV shows all night long. Now, I’ll just scroll through Instagram and eat a small snack before I head off to bed. I try to get to sleep by 12:30 instead of 1 or 2am like I used to. Since I have to be up early for class most days, I need to sleep even more now.
These are just a few small things that I decided to change in my daily routine. I knew that if I didn’t make these changes and stick to them, I would feel much more tired and I simply wouldn’t feel healthy. Certain situations in life are going to push you to make some changes. While my new schedule is what gave me the push I needed to make these changes, I also make choices in my day to day life to stick to my goals. I don’t HAVE to go to the gym, eat healthy or put my phone down. I CHOOSE to wake up and go to the gym (let me tell you, it is so tempting to sleep in on those days), I CHOOSE to pack healthy and delicious foods for lunch because I know I am going to enjoy it and it is going to make me feel good. I CHOOSE to limit the amount of time I use technology. We make choices every single day; make sure to make positive ones.
Thank you so much for reading. I know change can be difficult. Trust me, I don’t always like it and I had a couple of breakdowns when trying to figure out how I would do all of this. But let me just say, sometimes change will push you to make better decisions and it will even push you to better yourself. If you get a little off track, it is ok. Take your time, make small changes, and you CAN change your life in such positive ways. It all starts with you; your attitude, and your choices.