How to Turn Your Life Around (29 Tips + Expert Insights)

I know how it feels to be stuck and unhappy in life. I’ve been there, too. But I want you to know that you can change your life, no matter how hard it seems right now.

In this article, I’ll explain the main ways to make good changes in your life. Trust me, it won’t be easy, but it will be so worth it. So, if you’re ready to take the first step towards a better future, keep reading!

Set Clear Goals

Having definite goals keeps you laser-focused. It turns a wish into a plan; without a goal, you could end up anywhere, and let’s face it, that could be nowhere special.

Goals work like a compass, keeping you moving in the right direction. They help you manage your time well, and stay on track, and yeah, it’s awesome to cross things off your to-do list.

Example: Want to be fit? Setting specific targets like “Run three times a week and attend two yoga classes” provides clear actions to follow.

Wake Up Early

Getting up early can work wonders. It’s quiet, you’re not rushing, and you get a head start on the day. Early mornings are a chance to do what’s important to you before other stuff gets in the way. It’s not just about waking up; it’s what you do with that time.

Consider this:

  • Morning quiet time can improve your mood.
  • Completing tasks early gives a sense of accomplishment.
  • Early mornings encourage discipline, impacting other life areas.

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude shifts your perspective from “I have to” to “I get to,” viewing challenges as opportunities.

Gratitude can brighten your mood and help you cope better with stress. It’s about recognizing the good, which can remind you that even on tough days, there is something positive going on.

Example: Write down three things you’re thankful for every day, and watch how it helps you focus on the positive.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise isn’t just about building muscles or losing weight; it’s a pillar for mental health and clarity.

When you move your body, you’re also giving your mood a boost, thanks to those happy hormones called endorphins. It’s about commitment, setting aside time for yourself, and respecting your body’s need for movement.

Example: If you make time for a 30-minute walk every day, you’re not only getting fit but also clearing your mind, which is a double win.

"Here's an example of the steps I took to 'get healthy and fit'. I started with 30 sit-ups and 5 push-ups a day. When that habit stuck after several weeks of trying, I joined a women's boot camp... No one noticed when I first started, but by the time I could run 800 meters in under 4 minutes and have lost 35 pounds to go from an extra-large to a medium, people could notice."

— Janie Jurkovich | Speaker | Author, Live the Life You Have Imagined 

Embrace Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is less about strict diets and more about making smarter food choices consistently. It’s about fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to work like a well-oiled machine.

When you eat well, you’re telling your body, “Hey, I’ve got your back.” Good food can improve your energy levels and sharpen your mind, and yes, it often goes hand in hand with regular exercise.

Example: Swap out that mid-afternoon candy bar for a piece of fruit. It’s amazing how a small change can greatly impact how you feel.

Prioritize Sleep

Sleep is like resetting your mind and body every night. It’s important for your mind to process the day and for your body to rest and repair. Without enough rest, everything else can become harder, like focusing, managing emotions, and making healthy choices.

Sleep is the foundation of good health. It might seem cool to claim you can function on very little sleep, but the truth is your body and mind will eventually disagree. Respect your need for good sleep, and watch how many parts of your life start to get better.

Example: Creating a bedtime routine and sticking to it can train your body to slip into deep, restorative sleep—that means no screens an hour before bed!

Break Bad Habits

Breaking bad habits is all about making small but positive changes every day. Think about the habits you have that get in the way of your goals or mess with your health.

Breaking them down involves figuring out what sets them off and finding better things to do instead. Yes, it takes a bit of time and effort, but you’ve got this. Knocking these habits out of your life bit by bit not only feels good but also shows you can change for the better.

Think about it:

  • Bad habits feel good now but cause problems later.
  • Kicking bad habits is a big win for your personal growth.
  • Learning to break bad habits is all about learning to be strong.

Declutter Your Space

If your place is a mess, it’s hard to think straight. When everything is neat and where it should be, you can focus better. Cleaning up isn’t just about having a nice space; it’s about making a place where you can do your best.

A clear space means no time wasted looking for your stuff, and less stress. And let me tell you, getting rid of stuff you don’t need feels pretty good.

Example: Start with something small, like cleaning off your desk or a cluttered drawer. Seeing one clean spot can motivate you to do more.

Keep a Journal

Writing in a journal lets you see how you’re doing and figure stuff out. It’s just for you, to say what you’re thinking or how you’re feeling.

Journals help you spot what’s working and what’s not, blow off steam, and come up with plans. It’s like having a talk with yourself, which can clear your head and help you understand your emotions.

Think about it:

  • Journals clear out the noise in your head.
  • They show how much you’ve changed over time.
  • Writing about your experiences helps process emotions.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness means paying full attention to what’s happening right now. It’s about slowing down, taking a deep breath, and really noticing what you’re doing.

When you practice mindfulness, you focus on the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future. It can help keep stress levels down because you’re not caught up in what-ifs or should-haves.

Example: Try focusing on your breath for a few minutes each day. It helps calm your mind and brings you back to the now.

Limit Social Media Time

Spending too much time on social media can make you feel like you’re missing out or not doing enough with your life.

It’s easy to get lost scrolling through endless posts and comparing your behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel. Cutting back on social media can help you focus more on your own life and what makes you happy.

Example: Set a daily limit for social media use, like an hour. Stick to it to focus more on offline activities.

Read More Books

Picking up a book is a great way to learn new things, escape reality for a bit, or find inspiration. Books can:

  • Take you to new worlds.
  • Show you different perspectives.
  • Spark ideas you might never have considered.

Reading regularly can also improve your focus, vocabulary, and understanding of different cultures and people. It’s a low-cost hobby that can bring a lot of joy and knowledge into your life. 

Learn Something New

Learning something new keeps your brain active and makes life more interesting. It could be anything: a new language, cooking skill, or even how to play an instrument.

This isn’t just about adding another skill to your list. It’s about challenging yourself, stepping out of your comfort zone, and growing. It reminds you that you’re capable of more than you might think.

Example: Signing up for a painting class not only taps into your creative side but also introduces you to people with similar interests.

Strengthen Relationships

Having strong relationships with family and friends can really make a difference in your life. These are the people who stand by you, make you laugh, and give you advice when you need it.

Sure, relationships can have their ups and downs, but putting in the effort to strengthen them can make your life a bit brighter and more secure.

Think about it:

  • A strong support network means you’re never truly alone.
  • Sharing experiences with others creates lasting memories.
  • Strong connections can provide support when you’re facing tough times.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

It’s pretty simple: When you’re around positive vibes, it’s easier to be positive, too. Staying around people who lift you up and avoiding those who drag you down can change how you view your life.

Positivity can be contagious, and it’s a big help when you’re aiming for a life turnaround. Whether it’s friends, books, or even the music you listen to, make sure they add good vibes to your days.

Example: Starting a weekly ‘positive highlights’ chat with friends where you share good things that happened during the week can reinforce a positive outlook.

Speak Kindly to Yourself

Talking to yourself in a nice way is a game-changer. Think about it; you wouldn’t be harsh to a friend, so why do it to yourself?

Speaking kindly boosts your confidence and motivation. It helps during tough times or when you’re trying to break out of your comfort zone. Treat yourself like you’d treat a good friend, with pep talks and all.

Example: Next time you make a mistake, instead of being tough on yourself, try saying, “It’s okay, I’ll learn from this.” See how that small change in words makes a big difference.

"You will never get what you want if you think negative about yourself or think you can't get what you want. When the voices start (and they will) putting doubt, confusion, self-depreciation, and unworthiness in your mind, SHUT…THEM…DOWN!"

— Robert Crown | Public Speaker | International Award-Winning Author, Suffering Ends When Awakening Begins

Focus on What You Can Control

There’s a lot in life you can’t control—like the weather or what others think. But focusing on what you can manage, like your actions and your attitude, really matters.

This mindset can reduce stress because you’re not stuck on things outside your grip. It’s about acknowledging limits and working within them to move towards your goals.

Example: Caught in bad traffic? Instead of fuming, crank up a cool podcast or some music. You’re using your time smart, not sweating the small stuff.

"I had lost not just my 'stuff' but my life's story that my home and 'stuff' represented. I cried (and still do) over what was lost, but knew I had to turn my life from despair to hope. To do that, I had to create a new story... The lessons I learned from such a traumatic event? Don't forget the past, but always look forward."

— Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D. | Psychologist | Trial consultant | Author

Visualize Your Success

When you picture your success, it’s like rehearsing for a big win. Visualization is about creating a clear image in your mind of what achieving your goal looks like.

This practice can build your motivation and make your goals feel more real. It’s a way to prime your brain to recognize opportunities that help you succeed.

Example: Picture yourself acing a presentation, including the preparation and the applause, to make it feel more achievable.

"Imagine the kind of life you truly want... We will never achieve a level of success that we don't first allow ourselves to imagine."

— Rusty Gaillard | Motivational Speaker | Certified Transformational Coach, Silicon Valley Dreambuilders 

Be Patient with Yourself

Cut yourself some slack when you’re working on making changes. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are big life turnarounds.

Rushing or being hard on yourself when things don’t happen immediately can backfire. Remember, slow and steady can win the race. Keep at it, and give yourself the time you need to see those changes stick.

Consider this:

  • Rushing can lead to burnout.
  • Taking it slow means less chance of giving up.
  • Patience makes learning from mistakes easier.
"You didn’t come to this point overnight so make the change in small increments. This is a process, not a marathon. The slow steady change is sustainable. Sudden drastic changes are not likely to be maintained."

— Dr. Linda F. Williams, DSW | Trained Psychotherapist | Behaviorist | Certified Coach, Whose Apple 

Celebrate Small Wins

Every time you tick something off your goal list, it’s a big deal. Those tiny victories add up to huge progress over time. It’s the small wins that keep the motivation engine running.

Think of it like a video game; you have to get through the levels before hitting the final boss. Each small win is a level completed. Pat yourself on the back for them, and you’ll feel stoked to take on the next.

Example: If you finally wake up early like you wanted, that’s a win. Treat yourself to your favorite snack or an hour of doing something you love as a reward.

Practice Self-Care

Looking after yourself isn’t selfish; it’s necessary. Like putting on your oxygen mask first on a plane, you can’t help others if you’re not okay.

Self-care is recognizing when you need a break and not feeling guilty for taking it. It can be as simple as getting enough sleep or hitting the gym. It’s important because it keeps you balanced and ready to keep up with your goals. 

Example: Catch yourself feeling wound up? Take a time-out for a 20-minute walk or listen to your favorite music. You’ll likely return feeling refreshed and ready to go.

Learn to Say “No”

Saying “No” shows you know your limits and what you’re okay with taking on. It’s not about letting people down; it’s about not getting too piled up with stuff to do.

When you’re clear about things that don’t fit into your life, you have more time for what you actually care about. It keeps you from feeling too busy and stressed out. It’s a big thing, making sure your life’s going the way you want.

Example: If a friend asks you to help move on a busy weekend, it’s okay to say you can’t. You’re respecting your need for downtime, which is important.

Volunteer Your Time

Giving your time to help out is volunteering. It’s a way to do something good for others and feel connected to your community.

Volunteering can help you see things differently and put your own problems in another light. It’s a real-world way to make your life and others better.

Example: Join in at a local community center. You’re pitching in for a good cause and might make friends who care just like you do.

Take Up a New Hobby

Starting a new hobby can make your days more interesting. It’s about taking time to do something just for the fun of it.

Hobbies can help you chill out and are a great break from the daily routine. They can push you to be more creative and could help you meet people who like the same things. Plus, hobbies are a cool way to find out more about yourself:

  • What you’re into.
  • What you’re good at.
  • What makes you happy.
"Do something you really like in your childhood or something which makes you excited no matter what as long you enjoy doing it, just do it!"

— Fahad I. | CEO, Brandnic

Spend Time in Nature

Heading outdoors and soaking up nature really does wonders. It’s like hitting refresh for your brain.

Trees, rivers, even fresh grass smell—all of it helps you chill out. Nature’s quiet compared to the usual city or home noise. You don’t need to plan a big adventure—simply hanging out at a nearby park works, too.

Example: Grab a sandwich and eat lunch in the park instead of at your desk. It’s a simple switch that adds some chill to your day.

Start Saving Money

Putting away money can make you feel more settled because you’ve got backup for when you need it. It’s not about never spending—it’s about spending wisely.

Stash a little away on the regular, and it’ll pile up. This means you’ve got cash ready for anything sudden, and you can plan bigger stuff without freaking out. It’s like being your own hero later down the road.

Example: Skip that daily fancy coffee and put that money into savings instead. You’ll hardly notice it day to day, but it’ll stack up fast.

Seek Feedback

Getting feedback is a bit like asking for directions. It’s good to know what others think about how you’re doing, whether it’s at work or with a new hobby.

When people tell you their thoughts, you might find out some cool things you didn’t know about yourself. Sure, it can sting sometimes, but it’s all about helping you level up. Think of feedback as a helper, not someone pointing fingers.

Think about it:

  • Hearing how you’re doing helps you do better.
  • Acting on feedback can help you improve faster.
  • It’s kind of like a shortcut to doing better.

Find a Mentor

A mentor is like a personal coach in life or work who cheers you on. They’ve been where you are and know how to get past tough spots. 

They’ve got tips and tricks from their own experience that could be a big help. It’s not about someone bossing you around—it’s about getting a helping hand.

Consider this:

  • A good mentor challenges you to do your best.
  • They can help you avoid common slip-ups.
  • Their network might be the next step you need.

Challenge Yourself Often

Pushing yourself to do new or tough stuff keeps your life exciting. When you challenge yourself, you learn what you’re truly made of. You’re stepping out of what’s comfortable—and that’s where the fun starts!

You’ll surprise yourself with what you can handle when you go for it. It might feel scary, but that’s part of what makes it worthwhile. 

Example: If you always run 5Ks, try training for a 10K. You’ll push your limits and feel awesome when you cross that finish line.

"Make a decision that this is what you really want... You have to have the resolution, determination, and tenacity of a mother grizzly bear protecting her cubs... Believe in yourself! Believe nothing is going to get in your way and it won’t!"

— Robert Crown | Public Speaker | International Award-Winning Author, Suffering Ends When Awakening Begins

More Takeaways From Experts

“You can take control of your life by taking control of your thoughts… Thoughts create things; what you think about, you bring about. This is how I created a change in my life.”

Robert Crown | Public Speaker | International Award-Winning Author, Suffering Ends When Awakening Begins

“My advice to anyone who feels that their life isn’t turning out the way they wanted or envisioned it to be is to take control. You can turn it around; it’s all about having the proper mindset.

Charlene Walters, MBA, Ph.D. | Writer | Motivational Speaker | Business & Branding Expert, Own Your Other

“…It all starts with deciding you want to change and taking those small, incremental steps that are so small that the change is slow, steady, and painless.”

Janie Jurkovich | Speaker | Author, Live the Life You Have Imagined

“Get healthy and look great. Shop for good clothes and build your self-esteem back. The power of believing in yourself and liking yourself can propel you to achieve your dreams.”

Elliot Robinson | Owner, Gunsmith Fitness

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I really change my life completely?

Absolutely. Change is possible for anyone who’s determined to make it happen. While the journey is different for each person, with the right mindset and consistent action, you can transform any aspect of your life.

Is it ever too late to turn my life around?

No, it’s never too late to make positive changes in your life. Whether you’re in your 20s, 40s, or even your 60s, you always have the power to start fresh and create the life you want. It may take time and effort, but it’s always possible to turn things around.

Do I need to stop hanging out with my old friends to change my life?

Not always, but if those friends are holding you back or getting you into old habits, you might need to rethink who you’re hanging around with.

What if I have setbacks while trying to turn my life around?

Setbacks are a normal part of making changes. Don’t let them get you down or make you give up on your goals. Instead, see setbacks as chances to learn and grow. Figure out what went wrong, change your approach if needed, and keep moving forward.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has given you some good ideas to turn your life around. But remember, just knowing this stuff isn’t enough. You have to actually do something with it.

So, what’s your plan? How will you start making these changes in your life? Maybe you can start by setting some clear goals or finding a friend to help keep you on track.

Whatever you do, just keep moving forward, one step at a time. Now, go out there and make it happen!

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant.

When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.