Life naturally has its ups and downs, and we tend to produce many of them simply by making right or wrong decisions at any given time. With such oscillations, it’s often difficult to notice patterns that force us to abandon certain healthy habits or to form unhealthy ones in their stead. Too often, we float through life without giving too much consideration to those common issues, let alone to finding ways to give our choices a structure. 

That is perhaps why so many of your New Year’s resolutions never come to life, or so many of your dreams get replaced by other, subpar solutions. To achieve some of those major milestones in your life means not only to embrace the fact that your entire life’s journey is made up of self-improvement, but to also find systematic ways to take meaningful action. Here are a few starting points to consider that will add purpose and structure to your life and imbue it with meaning and wellbeing. 

Read to expand your horizons

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Some people enjoy sci-fi novels, others like the classics such as Hemingway’s stories, while there are those who love poetry. Maybe you have long abandoned your love for storytelling because digital domination has taken over most of your time, so you enjoy social media or you prefer blogs. However, reading, especially fiction, has a profound effect on your mind, both on a physical and a spiritual level. 

In addition to boosting brain connectivity and various brain functions, devoting some time to reading fiction allows you to develop your imagination, explore alternative ways of self-expression, evolve your language, and boost your communication skills. Even a chapter a day is more than enough to tickle your reading muscles, so give your mind the boost it needs by picking up a book on a regular basis. 

Move to fuel your mind and your body

Forming healthy habits takes time, but when you start with a single healthy habit, you have a better chance of developing others, supporting ones down the line and much sooner than you think. In the today’s era of greater fitness awareness, it’s relatively easy to find an activity that will suit your personality and that will help you grow stronger, more agile, and retain healthy muscle and bone mass as you age, all of which is essential for a long, healthy life.

If you’re a dancer at heart, find high-quality women’s dancewear that you can use as inspiration to hit the dance floor on a regular basis and that will provide you the support you need to dance safely for hours on end. Obtaining the right gear is half the battle, it’s also a source of motivation that will help you get out of the chair more often, so as to stick to your exercise regime. 

Find something new to learn and master

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Although dancing and other physical activities give you ample stimulation and allow you to learn something new as often as you please, learning should become a mindset that helps you improve over time in other areas as well. For example, you can try your hand at chess, take up cooking classes, or take math lessons. 

Expanding your knowledge gives your mind a way to stay nimble, and you’ll be humbled by how much you don’t know, thus be more curious and eager to learn as you go through life. These new insights will also give you a way to connect to new people, expanding your social circle and giving you a better understanding of the world around you.

Create patterns and rituals for your day

Life is so much more than a routine, but in order to lead a functional, fruitful existence, you need to develop habits and rituals that enforce positive behavior, self-love, self-care, and that allow you to accomplish anything you desire without exposing yourself to excessive stress. For example, instead of working haphazardly during the day, you can assign various time-slots to each task you should complete.

If you need to reply to emails every day, take a designated hour to do so. If you need to do some creative work, make sure that you devote time to such tasks when you know you’re most likely to focus, imagine, and create, be it in the morning, afternoon, or evening. That will let you add your exercise schedule into the mix and establish a stable structure in your life that ensures ample time for all activities that help you grow and lead a fulfilling life. 

Systematization may not seem like the most romantic or spiritual way to approach self-development, but it’s by far the most promising one to give you the flexibility and the structure you need to evolve in life. These are just some examples of healthful activities that will empower you to find other, complementary ways to grow and keep learning as your life unravels.