Whether we like it or not, the way you look can define your feelings about ourselves and even about the environment we live in. When you’re not happy it can show on your skin and even manifest itself in your choices of what to eat. Breakups aren’t synonymous with ice cream binging for nothing. The truth is, no matter what you’re going through looking good can make you feel good.
Everyone knows that one person who seems to be rocking life in every way imaginable. They come into a room and everyone is amazed. But, if you look closer this person probably isn’t the thinnest, prettiest, or youngest. They just carry themselves with such confidence that you don’t notice any downside. You see what they want you to see because they exude confidence in every choice they make.
You can do that too. You can look good in order to feel good. After all looking younger and feeling better will boost your confidence in every way. In order to do that you’ll need to assess where you are now and compare it to where you want to go. Then, you’ll need to set realistic goals that you work toward each and every day.
Here are some confidence building tips.
WHERE YOU ARE NOW
This is a time where you need to be really honest about where you are. If you’ve neglected your appearance, or other aspects of your life for others, which isn’t unusual for most people who are married, have kids, jobs, and other responsibilities. To get fair assessments go to the doctor and get a physical. Check where you are on the BMI charts, weight charts, and other health assessments.
• Get a Blood Test – Ask the doctor to check your hormone and vitamin levels. You want to know where you stand because if you are having any hormone imbalances or issues with getting enough vitamins that can affect all aspects of your life and make you not only look older but feel older.
• Check Your Weight – This is hard because everyone wants to think they’re okay and healthy no matter their weight. But, the truth is, if you’re over or underweight you won’t be healthy long term even if you’re healthy right this minute. There is a lot more to it than just weight though so check your BMI and weight charts to try to assess where you are in terms of risks with your weight.
• Analyze Your Diet – Look at the last week of eating and determine approximate calories and nutrition you’re getting. You can use a system like Cronometer.com to help you enter your food and see where you stand on your nutritional goals.
• Determine if You Get Enough Exercise – Look at how much moving you’ve done the last week too. Exercise doesn’t have to mean that you spend an hour working out at a gym. Perhaps you love to surf or you like to work in your garden. These activities count too. One thing is clear though, is that movement will help you not only feel younger but actually keeps your body working as if it’s younger.
• How Are You Mentally? – This is about education. How do you feel about the education you have? Is there anything you want to keep learning? Getting an education doesn’t need to be about going to a college or university. You can learn things from books on your own without a formal education. Keeping your mind open to learning new things will keep you feeling young.
• How’s Your Career? – Are you satisfied with your career choice? Do you feel as if what you’re doing is what you were meant to do or is there something else you’d rather be doing but you’re not sure how to go about it? Being miserable in a career can make you feel much older than you are.
• Where Are You Emotionally? – This is a hard thing to look at but do you have emotions that are hard to control? Are you often angry? Worried? Stressed? If you are, then you want to try to figure out how you can change that about yourself. It could be a hormone imbalance or due to lack of exercise and nutrition, but it could also be more serious. If you don’t wake up most days feeling glad, make sure you get some professional help.
• How Are Your Relationships? – Do you get along with your friends, your parents, your spouse, and children? If you have issues with these relationships you may want to try to figure out what you can do. Sometimes people are simply toxic and you need to get out of the relationships this is true whether they are related to you or not. Do the best you can, in a positive way, but if that doesn’t work you can love people from afar if that is what is needed.
Taking the time to assess where you are is an important part of making your life better. Now take that information and assess where you want to be.
WHERE YOU WANT TO BE
Now you need to take all that information you gleaned about where you are and compare it to where you want to be. One thing to keep in mind is to not only determine where you want to be but where it’s possible for you to be. It’s very important that you are realistic about your desires.
For example, if you have stretch marks the truth is you’re always going to have them. They will fade, but you’ll always have them unless it’s possible to cut them off, then if you do that, you’ll have a scar. Look at the things you analyzed to determine where you are and figure out how you differ from where you want to be. Below are some examples of what might be and how to record it so you can fix it.
• Blood Test: For example, let’s say your blood test showed you are low on vitamin B12 and vitamin D3. You’ll need to find a supplement and start adding more foods with these vitamins in your diet. Use the results to set up a plan of action rather than doing nothing.
• Weight: For example, let’s say you’re 40 pounds over the maximum weight you should be in order to be healthy at your height and body makeup. Set up a plan of action to get to where you want to go based on your own research of what is healthy. Don’t go on a crash diet; instead, find a way of eating that includes all the nutrients you need. Love the body you’re in today enough to feed it correctly.
• Diet: This was touched on in weight, but even if you find your weight is normal, it’s important to look at your diet and determine how you can make it better. Your focus should be maximum nutrition, eating enough calories to support your bodily functions and general overall health.
• Exercise: Everyone needs to move a little every single day. If you have a sedentary job you’ll need to seek out intentional exercise. The good news is that it doesn’t take very long to fit in enough movement to be healthy. Just ten minutes of intentional movement every four hours of sitting can undo all the damage. If you want to do more than just the minimum you can do that too, but seek out a balance.
• Mentally: If you identified something you want to learn or get better at, set up a plan to do it. For example, maybe you discovered that you are not happy in your career and you have identified what you need to learn to improve. Don’t wait. Do it.
• Career: If you have realized you’re unhappy in your career then it’s time to do something new. Don’t allow society, age, or what others tell you to stop you from doing what you know is best. If you’re happy with your career keep on going and congratulations!
• Emotionally: If you’ve identified some things you want to change about yourself emotionally, set up a plan of action to do it. For example, if you’ve decided that you want to be kinder, find ways to help others that you’ve not done before. Volunteer someplace that will make you feel kinder.
• Relationships: Be careful about jumping to any conclusions about relationships. Sure, you want to determine which ones you can improve and which one are lost causes, but you can take your time and work on one thing at a time. If anyone is pulling you down though, start the separation process as soon as you can if not physically but mentally while you work on your other issues.
As you match up what you need to do in order to start feeling good, let’s look at some more superficial issues that will help you, almost overnight feel better about yourself.
MAKE THE RIGHT FASHION CHOICES
Fashion is one of those things where you’ll get a lot of opinions. You’ll see fashion magazines, TV shows, and more that frankly are often unrealistic about fashion choices for average people. The best thing to do is determine your style based on what makes you feel good, not what makes others feel good. If you pick something and you love it, that’s all that matters.
Coming up With Your Own Style
One way to get started is to determine your own style. In other words-BeOrganicallYou! Often, your style has to do with your body type, skin color, and budget. But, one way to figure out what you like is to see what you’re attracted to on other people. If you see an outfit you like, find out where the person got it, even if they’re a stranger. Then go try it on. Be realistic about what looks good on your body type. Don’t buy anything unless you fall in love with it no matter what type of sale they have.
If you like comfortable clothing like jeans and t-shirts, this is okay. It’s all about what makes you feel like you. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. If you like to rock blue hair, rock some blue hair. If you like to wear flowery dresses, straighten your hair and wear a lot of makeup, do it. This is about what you like and are interested in, not what others are interested in or say is important. The vital thing is that you feel good in whatever you wear. But, choosing newer styles within that genre will make you appear and feel younger.
For example, Jeans. Remember “mom jeans?” those high waisted jeans that were popular in the 80’s? They’re coming back in style. But, it’s important to know whether or not you have the right body type for that style before you choose to bring it back. If you have a flat bottom, and a small waist, rock the mom jeans. If you have a large butt you may not want to bring that style back.
Who are you? – This is an important question. When someone looks at you what do you want them to see? Do you want them to see that you’re a mom? Do you want them to see that you’re an artist? When you look in the mirror what do you want to see? The more you can exemplify who you are with your fashion the happier you’ll be.
Fashion is really all in how you see the world, and how you want the world to see you, and how you want to see yourself. It’s not about what’s “in” today. If it looks good on you, you feel good in it, and it represents the you that you want the world to see, and more importantly, what you want reflecting back to you in the mirror that’s what you should wear.
Take Care of Your Teeth
Your smile is one of your most important assets. They are one of the first things that show age. If your teeth aren’t looking as good as they could, then it’s time to get over the fear of the dentist.
Cosmetic dentistry has come very far and can make a huge difference in your outlook on life once you get through the process. In the meantime up your oral hygiene care. It matters more than just for looks. People who don’t floss for instance, have a higher incidence of heart disease than those who do.
Get the Shine Back to Your Hair
Youth and shiny hair go hand-in-hand. One sure fire way to look younger is to get a popular hairstyle. Whether it’s long, short, or in between doesn’t matter as much as whether your hair looks stylish and is the right cut and style for your face shape.
Spend the extra money to go to a good salon that has experts who know how to help you get a look that fits your face, body, and style. Plus, be realistic about how much time you have for up-keep. If it takes an hour every day to straighten your hair and you’re not going to do that, then don’t get that style.
Take Care of Your Skin
Using sunscreen is an important part of staying young but so is finding the right skin care regimen for you. Some people do better with manipulating their skin and some do best leaving it alone.
But sunscreen and moisture are very important parts of keeping your skin healthy not just on your face but your entire body. Find a product that you like and that works for you keeping in mind that anything you put on your skin also goes into your bloodstream.
Eat Right for Your Needs
Based on your blood tests, weight, and dietary needs it’s imperative that you eat right for your needs. Focus on whole foods that are high in nutrients. Skip processed foods as much as possible.
Eating food as close to its natural source as possible is by far the best way to ensure that your diet is healthy. Skip all the fads, and focus on getting in your FDA daily recommendations.
Drink Plenty of Water
You’ve heard it before but drinking water is so important. You don’t need to buy bottled water for the most part. Just drink filtered tap water when possible. Drink about 64 ounces a day in addition to the other liquids you drink or get from food.
You can start slowly by adding an extra glass of water each day until you reach the 64 ounces needed. Take pictures of your face before and after. After 30 days of drinking 64 ounces of water each day you’ll be shocked at the difference.
EXERCISE IN A WAY THAT IS FUN
If you use your body to get places, or do things, it will be a lot more fun than planned exercise for most people. Park at the end of the parking lot and walk in, walk from your house to the store when you can. Use your body to get places instead of a car, trying to get at the minimum of 10,000 steps in each day and you’ll see a huge improvement in your health.
Take Care of Mental Needs Too – When you want to learn something, do it. You don’t have to get a degree to become educated. You can learn so much online free today that you can become an expert in almost any field if you set your mind to it. Expertise doesn’t depend on a piece of paper.
• Make the Right Friends – If you have identified a problem with your friendships, maybe you’ve outgrown them or vice versa you may need to find new friends. The best way to make good friends is to meet them naturally in areas where you are doing something you enjoy, for example, via volunteer work, a book club or while taking a class.
• Set Realistic Goals – In order to set the most realistic goals, you’ll need to understand how to make goals and stay motivated. There is an acronym that works to help you remember how to make goals. S.M.A.R.T. to make smart goals you’ll need to learn this acronym.
S. – Specific: For example, “I want to lose 20 pounds in the next 365 days.”
M. – Measurable: Notice that the goal above is measurable; you can even reduce it down to shorter periods of time such as 1.7 pounds each month. You can use this number even to determine how many calories you need to eat each day.
A– Attainable: Some goals just are impossible. For example, if you set a goal to lose 20 pounds a month, instead of in a year that might be impossible. If not impossible it’s unhealthy and unstainable. Losing 20 lbs. in a year is very doable and attainable without much change at all. That might involve simply giving up your daily soda.
R. – Relevant: When you set a goal it should have something to do with what you’re trying to accomplish. Does losing 20 lbs. really help you achieve more health and happiness?
T. – Time Bound: A goal should have a time limit in order to judge whether or not you’re accomplishing it. Plus, when you have a deadline you can work backward to today and know what you need to do in order to reach the goal.
Working toward improvement and each of these areas will help you look good and feel good before you know it. You just have to decide which one is more important to you. Then watch your confidence grow.
YOU CAN DO IT
The most important aspect of finding ways to look good to feel younger is to know that you can do it. Part of that will require building your confidence. The other part is learning how to stay positive. The interesting thing is, as you tackle each of these components of looking good to feel good, your confidence will naturally build.
Success breeds confidence. Start with just one thing and once you conquer that one thing, move on to the next. By the end of the year you’ll be a younger feeling, happier and more confident version of yourself.
In the meantime, don’t forget to…
Eat well. Be well. Repeat.
Because being healthy is boss.