We all want to be the best versions of ourselves. Whether it’s in our careers, relationships, health, or finances, we all have room for improvement.
The process of striving to be your best self is often referred to as a “glow up.”
A glow up is about making positive changes in your life to become the person you want to be. It’s about setting goals, making plans, and taking action to improve yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically.
If you want to know how to glow up but don’t know where to start, ahead we cover everything you need to know to start your glow up journey.
Follow these tips to create the life you’ve always imagined – one where you are healthy, confident, successful, and living your best life!
Start Your Glow Up With self-care
Before you start to improve other areas in your life, you’ll need to establish healthy self-care habits to strengthen your mind, body and spirit. Make your overall wellbeing a top priority in your daily routine:
1. Strive for 7-9 Hours of Sleep Per Night
Sleep has an immense impact on happiness, focus and energy levels. Go to bed and wake up at consistent times to regulate your circadian rhythm.
Power down screens an hour before bed and make your bedroom a dark, relaxing sanctuary ideal for rest.
If you struggle with insomnia, try sipping chamomile tea before bed, taking a warm bath, reading fiction and practicing deep breathing exercises to lull yourself to sleep.
2. Adopt a Nutritious Diet
What you eat directly affects how you feel and perform. Fuel your body with whole, unprocessed foods including lean proteins like salmon, chicken and egg whites, complex carbohydrates like quinoa, oatmeal and sweet potatoes, healthy fats like avocados and olive oil, and a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
Limit sweets, fried foods, processed snacks, sugary drinks and excessive alcohol. Meal prep a few nourishing breakfasts, lunches and dinners on Sundays so you have healthy options on hand when hunger strikes during the busy work week.
Snack on mixed nuts, Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs and fresh fruits and veggies. Stay hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day to meet your daily water intake goals.
3. Exercise 4-5 Days Per Week
Regular exercise provides an array of benefits including improved mood, reduced stress, enhanced brain function and better sleep. Aim for 30-60 minutes of cardio like brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming 4-5 days per week.
Strength train 2-3 days a week to build lean muscle mass.
Mix up your workouts to prevent boredom: hike nature trails, take dance classes, join recreational sports leagues, do at-home workout videos or use gym equipment like ellipticals and treadmills.
Even short 10-20 minute workouts can help you meet your fitness goals.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness through meditation, deep breathing, journaling, being present and spending time in nature reduces anxiety and clears mental clutter so you feel peaceful and focused. Set aside 10-15 minutes in the morning and evening for reflection. Try meditation apps like Calm that guide you through the process.
5. Enjoy Hobbies You Love
Make time for hobbies that spark creativity and joy. Gardening, reading novels, painting, playing instruments, photography and crafts are wonderful for expressing yourself and easing stress.
Schedule hobby time in your planner so it doesn’t get deprioritized.
6. Plan Relaxing Treats
Avoid burnout by scheduling periodic treats like a massage, pedicure, shopping excursion or fun evening out with friends or your partner.
Listen to your needs and give yourself permission to take a break and recharge when required. You are worthy of enjoying yourself.
Set Goals and Make Plans to Reach Them
Guiding your growth with intentional goal-setting gives life direction and purpose. Follow these strategies for achieving your goals and accomplishing your ambitious dreams:
7. Set Specific, Measurable Goals with Deadlines
Draft S.M.A.R.T. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Determine precisely what success looks like for each goal and how you’ll track progress with metrics.
Set realistic deadlines. For example, “I will lose 15 pounds by Christmas by tracking my weight weekly and sticking to a 1500 calorie healthy diet and 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.”
8. Break Big Goals into Smaller Milestones
Don’t get overwhelmed when thinking about lofty goals. Divide intimidating goals into bite-sized daily and weekly tasks to build momentum. Want to write a book? Start by brainstorming ideas, researching your genre and writing for 30 minutes daily.
9. Use a Planner to Schedule Progress
Plot out steps for completing goals on your calendar or phone schedule to assign times for taking action. Consistent effort is key when working toward long-term objectives. Don’t let tasks fall through the cracks.
10. Track Your Habits and Celebrate Small Wins
Check off completed tasks on your to-do list and use apps to monitor habits over time. Tracking fosters accountability and gives you a visual record of your improvement.
Reward milestones like a day sticking to your healthy diet or a week where you meditated daily with a special treat. Celebrating small wins provides a great sense of achievement.
12. Build Routines that Facilitate Growth
Replace unproductive patterns with habits aligned with your goals. Wake up early to squeeze in a home workout before work.
Schedule 20 minutes of evening reading time 4 days per week. Meal prep on Sundays. Limit social media use to one hour daily. Routines help you make progress in your everyday life.
Adopt a Growth Mindset
Your mindset determines how you respond to challenges on your path to a better self. Cultivate a growth mindset using psychology-backed strategies:
13. View Obstacles as Learning Opportunities
When faced with criticism or setbacks, avoid labeling yourself as a failure or giving up altogether. Instead, reframe the situation as a chance to learn, gain resilience and develop new skills. You only truly fail when you quit trying. Chronic issues just require smarter solutions and sustained effort. Overcoming hurdles provides valuable lessons.
14. Persist Despite Roadblocks
Understand that stumbles and temporary discouragement are part of the growth process. As long as you dust yourself off and keep trying, you’re making progress. Let others’ negativity roll off your back. You know your own abilities and potential. View this as a lifelong journey.
15. Surround Yourself With Supportive People
Seek out uplifting, positive friends, mentors and coaches who empower you and amplify your talents instead of criticizing. Their hope and belief in your abilities bolsters your confidence and conviction.
Cut toxic relationships from your life. Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Choose your company wisely.
16. Challenge Yourself Regularly
Step outside your comfort zone to gain skills and self-knowledge. Sign up for that triathlon. Audition for community theater. Learn salsa dancing. Backpacking across Europe solo. Public speaking. Growth lives outside your comfort zone. Nervousness means you’re brave. Pushing your limits leads to growth.
17. Use Positive Affirmations
Combat negative self-talk by choosing empowering mantras and repeating them until you internalize their positive messages, like:
- I am strong. I am brave. Obstacles make me stronger.
- I am worthy of love, joy and fulfillment.
- I have so much potential waiting to unfold. I am excited for my future.
- My confidence grows daily. I am bold and believe in myself.
- Challenges help me learn and improve. I welcome them.
- My abilities are limitless. I achieve great things through dedication.
Write affirmations on post-its and place them on your mirror, computer and refrigerator to reinforce them all day long.
18. Reflect on Areas for Growth
Through journaling, long walks in nature and deep discussions with trusted mentors and friends, gain clarity on your core values, emotional needs, stress triggers, passions and ideals.
Discover who you aspire to become. Self-knowledge lights the path forward. Some questions for reflection include:
- How do I want to improve in the coming months and years?
- What bad habits am I ready to leave behind?
- How can I take better care of my mental health as well as my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing?
- What sparks joy vs. stress for me?
- What core values guide my life and shape my personal goals?
- How do I want to grow socially, professionally, intellectually and spiritually?
- What knowledge, experiences and skills will help me achieve my goals?
Glow Up Your Physical Appearance
A physical transformation can ignite your inner glow and confidence. Beautify your appearance with these easy upgrades for a true glow up:
19. Get a Flattering, Face-Framing Haircut
Schedule an appointment with a stylist and come armed with inspiring photos of cuts you love. Ask for tips on finding your most flattering length, part and styles for your hair texture, face shape and lifestyle.
Well-styled hair makes you look instantly refreshed and put together. Consider adding dimensional color for added polish.
20. Shape Your Eyebrows
Defined, groomed brows frame your eyes and beautifully accentuate your facial features. Use brow gel to tame stray hairs and fill in sparse spots with subtle pencil strokes. Seek professional threading or waxing for optimal shaping. Frame your eyes to glow up your look.
21. Establish an Effective Skincare Routine
Follow these dermatologist-recommended steps morning and evening for clear, glowing skin:
- Wash with a gentle cleanser suited for your skin type.
Apply alcohol-free toner to restore pH balance and boost radiance.
Use a serum containing vitamin C, retinol or hyaluronic acid to target specific concerns like dark spots, fine lines or dryness.
Moisturize while skin is still damp to seal in hydration.
Choose an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula with broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen during the day.
Exfoliate 1-2 times per week to slough off dead skin cells. Use acne spot treatment as needed.
Don’t pick pimples. Hydrate with a nourishing night cream before bed.
Apply eye cream to prevent crow’s feet and bags.
Use a face mask 1-2 times per week to make your skin glow and feel supple
22. Whiten Your Teeth
A bright, confident smile makes a great first impression. Use whitening toothpaste with hydrogen peroxide and complete an at-home whitening kit with custom trays once per year. Get professional whitening every 5 years. Floss and brush gently twice per day. Flash your pearly whites with pride.
23. Improve Your Posture
Good posture exudes confidence and appears more youthful. Stand tall with chin parallel to floor, shoulders down and back, chest lifted, core engaged and pelvis tucked. Poor posture can drag you down. Stand up straight!
24. Dress for Your Body Type
Determine your body shape and learn which silhouettes, necklines and styles accentuate your figure. Tailor pieces and wear properly fitting foundations to smooth bulges. Shop trends selectively that flatter your shape. Developing your own personal style boosts confidence.
25. Accessorize Strategically
Elevate everyday looks with shoes, handbags, sunglasses and jewelry that express your style. Swap pieces seasonally to refresh worn wardrobes. A put-together appearance boosts self-assurance. Accessories let you shine.
Expand Your Social Circle
Surrounding yourself with positive influences provides nurturing support, new perspectives and fun memories to savor. Here’s how to put yourself out there:
26. Say Yes to Invitations
Accept invites even if you feel shy or anxious at first. Pushing past discomfort leads to meaningful connections and joyful experiences you would’ve missed out on. Each yes gets easier.
27. Join a Class or take up a new hobby
Immerse yourself in hobbies and interests by signing up for dance lessons, book clubs, cycling groups, recreational soccer leagues and more. The shared passion gives built-in social opportunities.
28. Volunteer Your Time
Donate time to a cause aligned with your values. You’ll meet caring, community-oriented people driven by more than just career status. Help at an animal shelter, soup kitchen or children’s hospital.
29. Travel More
Journey solo or with friends to gain fresh perspective. Locals provide insider tips on culture, cuisine and attractions. Push boundaries through international journeys. Budget-friendly options like house sitting or work exchanges help fund trips.
Keep Learning and Growing Your Mind
The adage that knowledge is power still holds true. Keep expanding your mental horizons:
30. Read Books Across Genres
Nonfiction books expand knowledge, spark ideas and provide actionable advice from experts. Devour self-help, business leadership, biographies of inspiring figures, psychology texts and more. Reading just 15-20 minutes daily adds up to dozens of books per year. Some of our fave books are The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and The Mountain is You by Brianna West
31. Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts deliver bite-sized bursts of insight from thinkers, teachers, creatives and innovators that inspire and educate on the go. Find podcasts aligned with your interests and queue up episodes. Download podcasts to enlighten your daily commute.
32. Take Courses to Build Your Skills
Sign up for online courses on platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy and Coursera or in-person community college classes on topics like marketing, web development, photography, writing, cooking and beyond. Lifelong learning prevents mental stagnation.
Care for Your Inner Spirit
A thriving spirit overflows into other areas of life. Make these practices part of your daily routine.
33. Establish a Daily Mindfulness Practice
Set aside 10-15 minutes in the morning and at night for silence, prayer, reflection or meditation using apps like Headspace or Calm. Clear your mind. Breathe deeply. De-stress. Foster spiritual wellbeing through mindfulness.
34. Spend Time in Nature
Unplug from technology and quiet mental chatter by walking in the woods, gardening, hiking and camping. Reconnect with your place in the vast universe. Outdoor activities provide perspective.
35. Explore Your Sense of Purpose
Self-reflection reveals your sources of meaning. What legacy do you want to leave? How will you serve the greater good? Align actions with your purpose. Live intentionally.
36. Read/Listen to Inspirational Texts
From spiritual passages to poetry to philosophical works, inspirational writing provides perspective on the human experience and stimulates inner growth. Try classics by Rumi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rilke. Dig into inspirational works.
37. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Jot down 5-10 things you feel grateful for daily like health, loved ones and simple pleasures. Expressing gratitude for blessings shifts mindset to abundance over scarcity. Reread journal when you need perspective.
Boost Self-Confidence Through Thoughts and Actions
Owning your power involves embracing your worth. Use daily affirmations, celebrating progress and bold action to build unshakeable confidence:
38. Recite Positive Affirmations
Stand confidently in front of the mirror and repeat uplifting mantras like:
- I cherish and believe in myself.
- I deserve greatness. I accept this gift humbly and happily.
- My potential is limitless. I can achieve anything through dedication.
- I am worthy of love, belonging and fulfillment.
- My confidence soars when I relax and trust my abilities.
39. Make a Confidence Playlist
Curate upbeat songs with lyrics that reinforce your magnificence to serve as a daily confidence boost. Create mantras using key lines. Let the music lift your confidence.
40. Identify and Own Your Strengths
Keep an evolving list of your talents, wins, values and noble qualities. Reread it when you need a confidence lift. Have friends and mentors share what they admire in you as well. Know your superpowers.
41. Celebrate Small Wins
Highlight minor daily achievements like eating a vegetable-packed lunch, resisting an unwise purchase or voicing an opinion in a meeting. Each win builds your empowerment muscle. Give yourself props for progress.
42. Use Power Poses
Widen your stance, stand tall, tilt your chin up and place hands on hips or raise arms overhead in a V shape for 2 minutes before challenging moments. Power posing boosts testosterone and lowers stress hormones like cortisol to prime your confidence. The physical creates the mental shift. Strike a power pose!
43. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Sign up for open mic night. Ask for a raise. Learn to surf. Backpack Europe solo. Growth lives outside comfort zones. Nervousness means you’re brave. Flex your courage muscle.
44. Banish Negative Self-Talk
Toss unhelpful thoughts like “I’m too weak” and replace them with encouraging cheerleading like “I got this! One step at a time.” Be your own best friend. Ax the negativity!