Maybe you’re not completely happy with life right now.

Everyone’s situations are different but maybe things are kind of rough for you. Despite this, you feel ready to start making changes to your life, to make things better. But if you feel stuck and like you’re going through a rough time, it can be so hard starting self improvement when you have no motivation for anything.

This guide is for you if:

  • You feel like you’re just existing and going through the motions
  • It’s a struggle to get out of bed in the morning
  • There’s nothing in your day you feel really excited about
  • You feel tired and apathetic to the real world
  • There’s nothing driving you to start your day

If you feel overwhelmed by simple tasks and the thought of making any lasting change sounds near impossible, considering you can barely get up in the morning, then let’s start small. I’m going to help you make some small changes to start taking care of yourself, setting goals, finding things to be excited about and getting back to the life you love.

Don’t stress yet. You might assume these changes will be overwhelming right now. Nope. I’m not gonna tell you to run a marathon on day 1. That’s too much to start with right now and I’m not going to set you up to fail. Let’s make this easy. I’m going to give you some small steps to get started in the right direction, that I promise, that you can totally handle. These steps might sound too easy and simple, but that’s the point. I’m going to make it too easy for you to fail.

These small things will make it a little easier to start making improvements in your life when you just really don’t care. I’m going to break this out into small steps for you to do over the next five days. Try to keep the tasks going after you do them and build on them. For example, on day 1 do step 1, on day 2 do step 1 and 2, on day 3 do step 1, 2 and 3 and so on. If you can’t or don’t want to that’s OK! No judgement here, you do what works for you. Even if you do just the step for that day, you will still be making progress in the right direction! Ready to get started?

Starting Self Improvement When Everything is a Struggle

1. Get Up and Brush Your Teeth

how to start self improvement - toothbrush
Hopefully you use this guy everyday. If not, no judgement… we’ll just start now…

The night before, set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than what you normally wake up. Now you have a little bit of a comfort zone to reduce stress before starting your day.

Play on your phone, just lay in bed, whatever you want. This is your time for 10 minutes to completely relax. If it stresses you then don’t think about your day ahead. If you just feel blah about your day try to think about anything you can look forward to. Favorite show on tonight? Can you order in your favorite lunch or dinner? Anything to make you feel a spark of excitement no matter how small.

When those 10 minutes are up, get up. Don’t hesitate, don’t think. I know this is easier said than done, but just force yourself to get up. Now go brush your teeth. You will feel refreshed, and no matter how your day goes, you got something done. You got out of bed and brushed your teeth. Don’t know about you but I’ll call that a win.

And that’s all I’m asking of you today. If you need to go to work, then go to work. Got nothing planned but staying in bed? That’s fine too, go back to bed! You got something done so check this off.

2. Take a Shower and Eat 1 Healthy Thing

how to start self improvement - banana
I actually hate bananas. They’re supposed to be good for you. Maybe you’ll have more luck with them…

It doesn’t matter if you do this right after waking up or the end of your day. Whenever you want is totally fine but take a shower. This will make you feel so much better. Sometimes when you’re in a rut it can be too easy to quit taking care of yourself and this simple thing will make you feel new again.

When you get out put something clean on. I don’t care if it’s just a different pair of pajamas but change clothes. It’s like a new clean you.

Also, at some point today eat something good for you. It’s cool if you still eat fast food and drink soda, but try to eat one healthy thing. Eat a piece of fruit, a carrot stick, heck even a vitamin is great. Just get some form of nutrition, no matter how small, into your system. That carrot stick isn’t going to change your life, but the fact that you did it just might.

3. Think of 3 Things That Make You Happy or Grateful

how to start self improvement - balloons
You can be happy I found this super cute balloon image. Come on, who doesn’t love balloons?

It can be tough to do this when life sucks but it will really help. Today, think of 3 things that you’re grateful for or make you happy. It doesn’t have to be anything complex or deep, just any 3 things that make your day a little better.

You can say “I’m grateful for my cat, I’m grateful the milk in the fridge isn’t expired yet, and I’m happy that it’s almost the weekend”. No one will know what you’re thinking but you, and you don’t have to go big on this one. We just want to get in the habit of recognizing things to be grateful for over time.

4. Write Down 1 Goal

how to start self improvement - goals
You don’t need an actual planner yet, we’ll work on that later when you’re killing these goals.

This might seem tricky at first but of course, we’re making it really easy. This goal can be anything, and I mean anything. Make it as simple or ridiculous as you want. The point of this is to start feeling a little bit ambitious again and to have something clear to work towards.

You can say my goal is to be a millionaire. Cool! While this won’t be achievable right now, this gives us something to shoot for and start to work towards. Later we can hone in on this and find ways to put it into practice and make it doable (link to goals you can achieve), but right now just start thinking of anything that you can shoot for and pat yourself on the back when you achieve.

Not ready for something big? That’s alright. Make your goal something simple like brushing your teeth, doing a load of laundry, doing 1 pushup. We don’t care what the goal is, just that you have one.

5. Go Outside

how to start self improvement - outdoors
Maybe you aren’t at a gorgeous jungle resort, but sunshine is sunshine and it’s still worth it.

This is the big one. Today we’re going to go outside. Besides the many science backed benefits of being outdoors, a little bit of fresh air and daylight will do your mind good, no matter how much you don’t want to.

Just step outside. You don’t have to go for a walk or anything, just physically be outdoors for a minute.

Take out the trash, check the mail, sit on your porch or balcony. Just be outside for a short period of time, then go back and hide. That’s ok! Sometimes getting out can be the hardest part, and you did it.

If you’re thinking, well I already brush my teeth and shower, and occasionally go outdoors and hate it, this won’t help at all, that’s OK, you can feel that way! I promise it won’t hurt my feelings, but let me explain.

This exercise serves 3 purposes:

  1. To make you start to feel good about your achievements, no matter how small.
  2. Teach you to start to set goals, and get your ambition back.
  3. To start to be kind to yourself.

If you already do these things, have you acknowledged how difficult it might be for you to do these things when you don’t care about yourself or want to do anything? I know you didn’t feel like doing anything today. But you did something. You took care of yourself, you set a goal, you practiced gratitude. And that is huge at this moment. And I’m proud of you for doing it.

When you feel like you’re ready to move on, go back to the Getting Started page and find some new goals to set. Use the ideas you learned from this to make those as simple as you need to. Any progress, no matter how small still counts!

Have you tried some of these tips? How are they working for you?

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