Create the life you want. (It's easier than you'd think!)

We live in the age of the internet, and the "if it's not perfect, it's not worth sharing" mentality runs rampant. Having such stylized lives thrown in our faces on Pinterest, Instagram, and other blogs can be discouraging, especially when we realize that our lives don't live up to the standards we glean from others (and that they probably never will).

As the end of December draws near and we're all expected to create New Years' Resolutions, it's easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged. The truth is, you're not going to instantly change into a new person with a picturesque life on January 1st, and that's perfectly fine. However, it is possible to create some better habits and to ultimately achieve the improved life you've always wanted to live. Sound contradictory? It isn't, I promise. It's all about the baby steps... 

Fully understand why you want to change.
Are you trying to change some aspects of your life in order to impress other people? If that's the main reason, stop right there. If you're trying to change aspects of your life for the sake of others, you're not being fair to yourself. You are the one in charge of your life, not those who you want to impress.

Consider this: would you want to lose weight only because other people will find you more attractive, or because you know you can treat your body better and become a healthier person? Though impressing other people can be a great additional motivating factor, if you don't have the self-motivation to accomplish the task in the first place, you are less likely to follow through with its completion.

Figure out what the "ideal you" entails. 
In order to create the best version of yourself you can be, you'll have to start with some brainstorming. Grab a pen and paper and write down a list of some characteristics that you wish you could have, something you'd like to be better at, or positive traits of other people that you admire. The characteristics on my list include healthy eater, self-motivated, actually enjoys exersize, and postive attitude. 

Make it happen - slowly. 
Acknowledge what your ultimate goals are, and take some baby steps towards them. You aren't going to turn into an exercise aficionado overnight if you've spent the last decade on the couch watching television. Ease yourself into the process and allow yourself to be proud of the little successes you make. Just don't give up after a few little victories: you're in this for the long run. Save the big celebrations for big victories.

Create a space that inspires you and allows you to grow.
Rearrange your furniture. Buy a bookshelf. Paint your walls. Buy or make some art. Grow a few plants. Display photos of your favorite memories, or make an inspiration board to remind yourself of what your goals are. If you decidedly put some effort into creating a positive atmosphere for yourself, you'll steer yourself toward the direction in which you want to grow.

Don't punish yourself for your mistakes.
So, you wanted to become a more motivated person... but you've snoozed through your morning workout sessions every morning for the last week. It really is okay. Making positive changes in your life isn't an overnight experience. In fact, it's going to take a lot of time....  so much time that you might not want to do it anymore. Trust me on this: it will be worth it when you can get off that couch and run a marathon whenever you feel like it, or when you've finally managed to stick to the organization process you designed and your house isn't consumed by clutter. Acknowledge your setbacks for what they are - a temporary hindrance, not a permanent obstacle - and keep moving forward.

Will any of you be taking baby steps toward creating the life you want this New Years? Share your master plans with us in the comments below.

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