Dating and Relationship Advice

Every night I fall asleep, excited that tomorrow will be the first day of my new life. I will start working out. I will pare down my inbox. I will have a perfectly composed outfit. I will smile politely and be the best version of myself. I’ve spent an hour scrolling through Tik Tok’s top recommendations for being the girl I want to be, and tomorrow, for real this time, I will be her.

And then I wake up. And I accidentally spent too much time scrolling, so I’m already tired. And that perfect outfit I was going to wear is too tight in the arms, so I pull a chunky turtleneck over my head instead. And that inbox has ten more emails I need to read. And I tell myself I will work out later, after work, but I also know that I won’t.

I muddle through the day, sliding between tabs and slumping in my seat. I overeat and under-hydrate. I don’t go to the gym when I get home and instead start scrolling on my phone. Before you know it, I’m back on Tik Tok’s tips for face routines, fit pics, and finding my best self. And the cycle is once again launched.

The common denominator of these lifestyle Tik Toks seems to be that you will be happier if you wake up earlier. If you manage to rise before the sun and squeeze in a workout, shower, and smoothie bowl before your day, you are sliding down the slippery slope to “that girlhood.” However, waking up is hard and can be prohibitive to you or your schedule. So if you aren’t interested in a 4 AM run every day, try these tips to be “that girl” that doesn’t require an 8 PM bedtime.

Start a Night Routine

If you can’t wake up earlier, wind down better. Before turning in, make a list of the essentials — such as a cup of tea, packing your bags, picking out clothes, laying out a yoga mat — and craft a sensible routine for your schedule. Sure, it might be hard to surrender your phone for an hour before bed  — as many experts recommend — but occupy your phone with a calming podcast or peaceful playlist while you tidy your room or prepare your planner.

Wellness Habit Tracker

Use an app, page of your planner, or sheet of paper taped to your wall to record your activities. Line the left side with things you want to incorporate into your daily routine — such as journaling, stretching, meditating on gratitude, and self-care — and count the days across the top. As part of your night routine, perhaps, every day, markdown which activities you did. It’s an easy and visual way to keep yourself accountable.

Small Things with Big Regularity, Big Things in Small Steps

Keep a dry erase marker next to your mirror. Write an empowering truth every morning while brushing your teeth. Pick out a water bottle that you love — whether durable beyond dreams or the perfect accessory to your aesthetic — and carry it with consistency. Make a point to compliment one new person every day. If you anchor your life around small, healthy habits, you can transform yourself through a concentrated routine.

Big things are just the opposite: Take a big picture goal and break it into feasible steps to complete it regularly. For instance, if you want to look more polished, calculate how to do that: whiten teeth, trim bangs, file nails, and purge your closet. Or, if you want to be “that girl” who makes smoothies every morning, research smoothie recipes, budget how much you can spend on ingredients, invest in a blender, and incorporate it into your morning routine.

The false reality is that you have to wake up earlier or sleep sooner to be happier. Manipulating the hours in the day can only do so much for you; What matters is what you do with the hours that you are awake.

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