By Olivia Mian

Have you ever wanted to make a change in your life? Have you ever needed to get everything under control? I certainly have. I have spent the last year trying to find myself and discovering new ways to walk through life. I have learned a lot about making mistakes and about picking myself up. Most importantly, I have learned how to achieve my goals. While this may seem rudimentary, it quite complex. It is important to know that change can be both negative and positive. Often times change is regarded as being a bad thing, but attaining goals and kickstarting progress requires not only accepting, but seeking out and welcoming change.  

Often, making change is approached entirely incorrectly. If you tell yourself that you need to become a new person in 24 hours, you’ll never get there. It’s not realistic to make a list of everything you need to do to be happy and then give yourself a week to finish it. Change is slow and takes a certain mindset. You need to be willing to commit time and effort, to be disciplined, but you also need to know fundamentally how to approach change. Working towards happiness begins with simply having the courage to admit that you’re not as happy as you could be and recognizing where you’ve fallen short. Achieving happiness is a lifelong journey and an adventure. Start your adventure now.

  1. Start Small: Rome was not built in a day. Start off with realistic, attainable expectations for yourself. Maybe make a list of five easy things that you want to implement into your day and stick to them. Remember you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself or you will ultimately give up. Try to set goals that are easily tracked. For example, drink ten glasses of water, smile at five new people today, clean for ten minutes today, read for ten minutes before bed, meditate for five minutes, finish my homework before 8:00PM, tell three people I love that I love them, or spend twenty minutes outside today. This is just the beginning – “Slow and steady wins the race.”
  2. Reflect Often: Having a journal is very helpful when it comes to keeping track of your progress. Changing bad habits into good ones can be challenging and having a place to pour your thoughts helps to lessen that struggle. Be honest with yourself. Write down how you feel, where you went wrong, and where you succeeded. A big part of happiness is being able to understand and learn from your mistakes. Happiness requires that you be honest with yourself and accept how you feel. Try to implement a daily reflection or meditation for a clearer head and an open mind.
  3. Smile today: Lastly, try to smile more. No, this does not mean fake-smile through your day. This means recognize, analyze, and then let go of your short comings. To repeat, attaining happiness is a lifelong journey. It is imperative that you enjoy the road, that you learn to see the joy in all the little things. 

Once you have cultivated this progressive and hopeful, yet realistic mindset, you will be able to set and achieve goals. So, let’s do it! Let’s all embark on the journey of making change. One day, if you stick with it, you will get to the end of that list. You will become the person you’ve always dreamed of. Making change is all about being honest, being disciplined, and being brave. So, open your eyes, be honest, be disciplined, have courage, and you can do anything.