How To Change Your Life When You’re Sick Of It

By Anni

Wanna learn how to change your life?  How to totally change your WHOLE life around?

If so, I’m qualified to be your guide, not because I have managed to make my own life perfect in every possible way, but because I have managed to screw it up in every possible way and then figure out how to slowly climb out of the hole of desperation I found myself in.  Climb out of that hole with sweat beads on my forehead and dirt under my fingernails.

Many years ago when I first started suffering from depression, I thought my depression was a disease of the brain that had struck me out of nowhere.  I just wasn’t happy with anything even though I had everything.  I didn’t know why I was unhappy or how to stop being unhappy.  All I knew was that I was so unhappy I barely wanted to be alive anymore.

So I went to the doctor and got a prescription for antidepressants.  And I got myself a therapist and talked about my life for 50 minutes every Wednesday at 7pm.

And I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.

I had my medications adjusted.  Again.  And again.  And again.  And again.

And nothing.

My unhappiness wouldn’t lift.

Until I finally came to realize that my unhappiness was not a disease that had struck out of nowhere like the flu virus does every fall.

My distress, my exhaustion, my hopelessness, my unwillingness to continue living…  All of it was a result of living the wrong kind of life.  The kind of life that a person like me wasn’t well suited for.

I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).  I am an intuitive introvert.  And I was copying the lifestyles of non-HSP extroverts.  

It would have been the perfect life for many – maybe even most? – other people.  It was the life society tells us to want.

But it just wasn’t the kind of life I needed or wanted in order to be healthy and happy.

And the only way for me to get better was by letting that life go.  Completely dismantling it.

My life needed a gut-job renovation – one room at a time.

And that’s what I have been working on for a few years now.  Slowly nudging my life into the direction that works for me.  Slowly learning how to change my life.  Rebuilding it little by little.

I have done this in so many areas of my life now that I feel like I have become quite the life improvement expert.  🙂  I have a method nailed down.  I have figured out what works and what doesn’t work.

So today I wanted to share with you some of my secrets for making life changes in case your life is in need of a little (or a big!) sprucing up too.

How to change your life for the better: here are the 7 steps I have used to change my whole life around after hitting rock bottom. :)

(Pssst, I like to share my personal experience overcoming depression with the hope that some of my discoveries might resonate with others. Making lifestyle changes has greatly contributed to my own well-being, and as a life coach, I help people make impactful changes in their own lives. But I’m not a mental health professional and I’m not qualified to diagnose or treat mental health conditions. Depression has many potential causes, and if you have questions about the appropriate intervention for you, please consult a qualified professional.)

How To Change Your Life Around

1. Make A Detailed List Of Everything You Are Dissatisfied With In Your Life

You can’t fix a problem, if you don’t know what the problem is.  So the first step in transforming your life is to become crystal clear about what the problem areas are.  What are you unhappy with exactly?

Here is a list of possibilities to get you started.

Physical Well-being

  • Sleep/Energy levels
  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • Stress levels

Mental Well-being

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Other


  • Significant other
  • Kids
  • Extended family
  • Friendships


  • The kind of work you are doing
  • The place where you work
  • The people you are working with
  • How much money you are making

Hobbies & Interests

  • What you do for fun
  • How much time you have to devote to your interests

Where You Live

  • City/town
  • Neighborhood
  • Your apartment or house

If these prompts don’t get your wheels turning – if you just have a vague feeling that you are unhappy, but you are not sure why – then work on #2 first and come back to this step.

2. Create A Vision Of Your Ideal Life

You will never be able to build the kind of life you want to live if you don’t know what that life is like.  So the next step is to figure out what exactly you want and create a detailed vision of your ideal life.

How do you want to feel?  What do you want to do?  Who do you want to be with?

In order to complete this step successfully, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Self Awareness Is Key

  • You need to find your authentic self.  You need to become aware of your true preferences, your personality traits, your strengths, and your weaknesses.  This is the only way to create a life that is a good match to the unique person that is YOU.

This Is About What YOU Want

  • The only way to create a life that YOU are happy with is to focus on what YOU want from life.  Let go of other people’s expectations from you or for you.  Let go of what you have been taught you should want and figure out what you actually want.

Liking Something In Theory Is Not The Same As Liking Something In Practice

  • Liking the IDEA of something, is not the same as ACTUALLY enjoying it.  For example, I like the IDEA of having seven kids all happily running around my house, but I know that IN PRACTICE having a large family would be way too exhausting for a highly sensitive introvert like me.

Admiring Someone Doesn’t Mean You Would Be Happy Living Their Life

  • We can have great regard for some people and admire what they are doing with their lives, but know that we would be miserable living their lives.

Settling Will Put You Right Back To Where You Started

  • You want to change your life, because you are unhappy with it as it stands.  So as you create your vision, let go of self imposed limitations that will leave you settling for just a different variety of unhappy.  Let go of “normal”.  Let go of “reasonable”.  Let yourself aim high.  Let yourself dream.

You Are Allowed To Keep Adjusting Your Vision

  • As human beings, we are changing, growing, and developing all the time.  We are constantly learning new things about ourselves and the world.  Don’t be afraid to keep course correcting and adjusting your vision, as doors open to opportunities you didn’t even know existed before.

Exercises And Articles For Brainstorming Your Ideal Life

For more help with creating a vision for your ideal life, check out the Self Discovery section of my website.

3. Put The Life Areas To Be Changed Into Priority Order

You absolutely CAN change your whole life, but you can’t change your whole life overnight.  Whenever I have tried to implement too many changes at once or whenever I have tried to achieve too much in too short of a period of time, I have ended up right back in square one: overwhelmed, stressed out, and unhappy.

So put the problem areas in priority order and work on them in that order.

We all have our unique priorities in life and you should stay true to yours.  In my own life, I have found that physical well-being has to remain priority number 1.  If I’m tired and not feeling well, it’s very difficult for me to work on reaching any of my other goals.  So sufficient rest, good nutrition, and regular exercise are kind of the foundation on which everything else in my life is built upon.

Here are my simple rules for how much change to take on at any one time:

Work On One Habit At A Time

  • If you are changing a habit, work on ONE habit at a time.  When that ONE habit has become automatic, work on the next one.  For example, when my babies weren’t babies anymore, I wanted to start exercising again and improve my diet.  I focused first on establishing an exercise routine.  After a few months, it had become second nature for me to go for a run first thing every morning and only then did I start making changes to my diet.

Don’t Compromise Your Health Or Relationships That Matter The Most

  • When working to achieve other life goals, only take on as much as you can without compromising physical well-being and relationships that are most important to you.  For example, I’m working on changing my career at the moment, but it’s happening very slowly, because I’m a wife and mom first and foremost and because I make taking care of myself (sleep, exercise, and food) my number one priority.

4. Learn How To Transform Your Life – One Area At A Time

One of the biggest obstacles to changing your life for the better is not knowing exactly how to go about it.  This has been a reoccurring theme of my depression as well: I’m unhappy, but I don’t know how to change things.  And when I don’t know how to change things, I start thinking it’s probably not even possible.

But here’s the thing.  Whatever problem you are struggling with, someone else in human history has struggled with as well.  Actually a whole lot of someones have likely struggled with the same problem.  And some of those someones are out there talking about overcoming that problem. Or recording podcasts.  Or crafting blog posts.  Or even writing entire books.

Take advantage of those people.  Learn from them.

Start with your life area priority #1 and research how other people have managed to make a similar change.  Google it.  Pinterest it.  Order a book from Amazon.  Check out the growing library of life change “how to’s” right here on Solutions To All Your Problems.

Some advice you run into won’t work for you, but some of it will.  Keep what works for you and ditch the rest.

5. Set Specific Goals And Create Detailed Plans For Achieving Those Goals

You know what you want and you know how other people have gotten exactly what you want.  It’s time for you to start taking action.

But action can be scary.  It’s new and different and OMG what if you fail?!

Here are two things I have learned to do to make action less scary:

Set Smart Goals

SMART goals are:






For example, “to get in shape” is not a SMART goal.  “To be able to run for 30 minutes three months from now” is a SMART goal.

Create Plans With Itty Bitty Baby Steps

Big goals are scary, because they are BIG.  They are GIANT and OVERWHELMING!  But they become a lot less so, if you break everything into itty bitty DOABLE baby steps.  Let’s take the “run for 30 minutes three months from now” example.  Here are the first itty bitty baby steps one could take to achieve this goal:


  • buy a pair of good running shoes
  • find comfortable clothes to run in
  • make a play list of music to listen to while exercising


  • day 1: 3 minutes of running + 15 minutes of walking
  • day 2: 4 minutes of running + 15 minutes of walking
  • day 3: 5 minutes of running + 15 minutes of walking

6. Take Control Of Your Time

Making life changes takes time.  If you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, you probably need to find more time for sleep, exercise, relaxation, and cooking.  If you want to change careers, you probably need to find time for learning new skills.  If you want to connect with your significant other more, you probably need to find more time for hanging out.  And so on and so on…

Here are three ways to deal with the inevitable time issues:

Start Time Blocking

  • Here’s what I mean by time blocking: Start planning your days out in advance by writing down how you will be spending each half-hour block within the day.  It sounds super simple, but it works magic in terms of helping you be more intentional about how you are spending your time.

Stick To Your Priorities

  • Always keep YOUR personal priorities in mind when you are setting up your daily schedule.  When you don’t have time for everything, the things that are not TOP priority need to be cut.  And yes, this means that you need to start saying no to some people and activities you used to spend time on.

Slow Progress Is Better Than No Progress

  • Sometimes you won’t be able to spend as much time as you would ideally like on whatever life goal you are working on at the moment.  When that happens, just do what you have time for.  Remember that slow progress is better than no progress!  Even if it takes you ten years to get to where you want to be, it’s better to get there in ten years than to not start at all and still be stuck ten years from now.

7. Keep Yourself Motivated

Making life changes is hard and takes time.  How do you stay motivated to keep going?

In my experience, here are the conditions that need to be present in order for you to stick to it for the long haul:

You Are Excited About Your Goal

  • When you nail down #2 – creating the vision for your ideal life – it becomes a lot easier to find the motivation to take the steps you need to take.  You will be EXCITED to do what you need to do, because this is something YOU ACTUALLY WANT.  More than you have ever wanted anything else.  (And if that’s not how you feel about your vision, then it’s back to the drawing board!)

Your To-Do List Is Doable

  • The more you are able to break the tasks ahead of you into baby steps, the more doable they become.  Set outrageous end goals, but break them down into itty bitty baby steps.

You Have A Growth Mindset

  • Make the words YET, BUT your new mantra, as in “I don’t know how to do this YET, BUT I can learn.”

Yes, changing your life is hard. But it’s even harder to stay stuck in a life you don’t like.

Start working on your new life today!

P.S. Wanna Learn More About Creating A Life You ACTUALLY Like?

If you are serious about transforming your life, you might be interested in my free video class.  You’ll learn:

  • The SECRET to creating a lifestyle that maximizes happiness and minimizes stress.
  • The simple 5-step framework for turning your life around even if it seems way out of reach and you have no clue how to get started.
  • The 3 critical mistakes that keep people stuck in life and how YOU can avoid them.

If you are interested, just enter your email address in the form below so I can send you an access link.

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What Your Self Doubt Is Saying
The Key To Creating A Life You Love
How To Get Your Life Together

About the author 


Hi! I'm a life coach, a Certified MBTI® Practitioner, and a mentor for stressed out introverts and highly sensitive people. I used to be one myself! My mission is to help you discover your true self and create a life you ACTUALLY like.

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    1. This is such a wonderful blogpost. Extremely helpful so thorough.
      Thanks so much Anni. Keep up the good work.

  1. Very interesting, now I’m curious. I’m at a crossroads in life and this sounds just like what I need. I get overwhelmed easy and stop. So I’m going to give it a go.
    And thank you for all the links alse

  2. Excellent blog, loads of useful information that makes SENSE and is doable. Thank you so much. Glad that your plan worked and you decided to share it, will get on it right away.

  3. I am a mom of five grown and nearly grown children. So I have been dealing with empty nesting, well almost. We also relocated two years ago for my husband’s career. My older two live back home which is two hours away and my grandson is there as well. My younger three, 21,18, and 17 still live at home but are extremely independent. I have always been a stay at home mom so I am dealing with boredom and depression. This article made so much sense to me and I will start to reinvent myself with the steps that are outlined. I want to have a life that I can be content in and love.

    1. Hi Angie, thank you for reading and commenting. Facing an empty nest is a big transition and I’m so glad to hear this article was helpful. 🙂

  4. The one constant thing in our life is change. We cannot avoid it and the more we resist change the tougher our life becomes. Trust me, I know this because I was very skilled at deflecting change in my life. We are surrounded by change and it is the one thing that has the most dramatic impact on our lives. Change has the ability to catch up with you at some point in your life. There is no avoiding it because it will find you, challenge you, and force you to reconsider how you live your life.

  5. Awesome post. I absolutely love how you say you are qualified not because your life is perfect but because you have screwed up and climbed out of the hole. I say the same thing. *Great minds think alike*

    Also, SMART goals are the way to go. Once a person learns how to set their goals as SMART goals, they are able to start slaying their goals which makes it easier to do it over and over again. Again – thx for such a great post!

  6. Wow.. I’m lucky to find this out through Pinterest! I did too, lately I’ve been feeling so unhappy, bored blablabla. And maybe until today too, but get a bit better bcs I started to read other people’s articles and try to accept myself. But actually I think I need new places to go or live because I’m way too bored. I decided will take note of this, write down on my diary so I can re-read it again! Thank you.

  7. Really! I’m so happy, motivated and inspired after reading this. It gave me urge to start a new life. Thank you so much. Helped me a lot. I have actually taken screenshots and written down the points. Thank you! You are Great!☺❤

  8. Hi Anni

    You know I read alot of self help books on how to change your life. For some reason I read them but don’t know how to put the words into action.
    Now I read your post and to see that I am not alone in this sick life of mine is really amazing.

    I am so unhappy with myself it’s crazy, I can’t do anything right. When I read your post, I was like ‘ Now this I can do’. I will definitely start with each room of my life “patiently” and see were is will take me.

    Thank you so much

    1. Hi Wendy! You are most definitely not alone. But slow and steady baby steps can take you a long way toward a life that works for you better. 🙂

  9. Thank you for this. I handwrote down all the steps, a MUST for me, and Im ready to get to work. Finding this blogpost was perfect timing!!!

  10. It’s really superb and really worked when I applied. After reading this I have become a diehard fan of you and a little changed person

  11. I’ve read a lot of your articles today and everything you say resonates with me so much, thank you. You are very good at what you do 🙂

  12. Thank you so much for your article. It’s so helpful.. like you really understand the steps you need to take to feel happy, whole, once more. Bless you!

  13. Unfortunately, what I want my life to be and what is reality is two different things. I loved being a wife and mom. It was my purpose in life. My kids are grown and my husband of 28 years left. When I was married I worked part time, which I loved cause I could contribute to the finances and still take care of my home. Now I have to work full time and come home to an empty house. My life could be worse. I do like my job and I have friends and family to spend time with at times, but just not what I wanted my life to be. Sometimes you can’t change things because of what life gives you. It’s not the life I wanted. Just trying to make the best of it.

    1. Hi Penny,

      Thank you for sharing your story. You bring up a very good point. There are some things in life we simply cannot change. I have quite a few thoughts on how to deal with that stuff, so I plan to devote an upcoming article to this topic.

  14. Thank you. I’ve hated my life for awhile but have not known where to begin or how to tackle this mess. I have “everything” that should make me happy, but it’s not working. Appreciate the step by step approach, I just need to not get overwhelmed.

    1. Hi Linda, thank you for reading and commenting! I get overwhelmed easily too, but I find that having a clear plan and focusing on tiny steps in the right direction really helps with that.

  15. I used to be really depressed, until I learned how to control my depression, gratitude. When I first wake up in the morning I give thanks for the good lord waking me up to a new and beautiful day. Your information is right on, my only problem is that I don’t sleep well.. I wake up two or three times a night. I do appreciate your information, I think that it will help me a lot.. thank you very much. Bill.

  16. When the student is ready the teacher will come!!!! You have totally spoken to me – these are things I have known but have lost my way completely. I am going to read and re-read your article. So helpful to me right now. Best regards and thank you

    1. Hi Brambi! So glad to hear the article was helpful. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” is my husband’s favorite saying of all time, so your comment made me smile. 🙂

  17. Amazing tips! I loved this: “Yes, changing your life is hard. But it’s even harder to stay stuck in a life you don’t like.”
    It’s SO true. That’s basically what should give us all enough motivation to work on improving our lives every single day. You can always just make it better, so don’t worry about what exactly you will do to change and whether it will work or not…. just DO IT. You will figure it all out on the way. It will be great.
    I love the name of your blog, by the way! 😀

    1. Thank you Claudia! I definitely agree that you don’t have to have it all figured out before you take action. Just keep moving and course correct as necessary. 🙂

  18. Anni, this was one of the best articles I have read… so much useful and doable information…and very encouraging too.. thanks a ton.. God bless…lots of love

  19. Anni,
    I cannot thank you enough for all the ‘sharing’ you are doing.
    I am in quite a big storm right now- life is totally being flipped upside down. And I am yearning to find ways to adapt, re-design my life.

    How do you do it?!

    I will be all over your reply pages! lol… You have so many posts I need.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Stacy,

      I’m so happy to hear the articles are helpful! I’m actually working on something that is going to take people step-by-step through a life re-design, but it’s going to be a few more months before it’s ready. In the meantime, I hope you find lots of applicable stuff in the articles that are already there. 🙂


  20. I really needed to read this today. I believe nothing is a coincidence, so I am grateful I was ‘led’ to browse Pintrest at almost midnight, which I normally wouldn’t do. Now I can go to bed with good thoughts as outlined in your article. A million thanks! (I subscribed)

  21. I am so sick and tired of been sick and tied! U can only fake smile for so long. It’s physically and mentally freakin exhausting!

  22. pls tell Instagram account so that it will be easy to access your page
    and thanks for such a great attempt …as to clear everyones problems with beautiful and solutions

  23. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am miserable with my life the way it is. I’ve known this for a very long time. I have been searching for the right tools to change it. Problem is they either cost a fortune I do not have or the information offered is incomplete or worse to much. Hell, I can’t manage my life in the simplest way how am I supposed to read thru a 1000 page work book and apply all I was supposed to learn while finding myself at the same time. You put this into manageable terms without over whelming me. I am afraid to make the wrong decision so I don’t make any at all. After going thru and answering the questions you instructed I know the decisions I make will be made with a well thought out reason.

  24. Anni,

    I have been struggling for two years. Feeling lost, sad, and putting my feelings to the side for my little one. Finally coming to terms because I think I’m depressed and reading this just made me break down and cry. Going to try it all tomorrow. Buying a new planner. Going to take a day off and do some reevaluating. This hits home so hard. Thank you so much.

  25. Hi Anni great article and really appreciate all that you had said… I am a mother of 4 young kids and I feel empty and depressed and alone all the time

    1. Hi Seema, thank you for reading and commenting. Parenting can be really exhausting and lonely. I hope you can find some ways to add “me” time to recharge. You deserve it!

  26. Really enjoyed reading your post. I am in that stuck phase where I know life is working out, specifically professionally, but am lost and confused trying to figure it out, Definitely will incorporate some of your strategies. I have that "square peg, round hole" feeling like you did.

  27. I am so grateful I found you!! My issues are that I have raised my family and and my grandchildren are grown and I’m retired now. Suddenly I’m in a place I don’t want to be. I want to travel. I want to dance. I’m in a rut and not much money to put toward either. I’m going to go for it though!! Thank you for the video!! I cannot wait to start!! Truth

  28. Hello Anni! My name is Dave, I have been reading your blog and it has been helping me a lot. I am a place of my life that I really do not get motivation to do anything and i get really frustrated with myself for not being able to take action to change. This is my first time writing a comment on any type of blog online…but i feel like I need help from someone do be able to overcome this procrastination and anxiety in my life. What an i do?

  29. Hello Anni! My name is simran and I am from India, I am also a highly sensitive introvert. I have just read your blog , I am a place of my life that I really do not get motivation to do anything and i get really frustrated with myself for not being able to take action to change.from more than one and half year we are closed in our houses due to lockdown. Many deaths has happend around me . I am just not in a state of working towards my life , always worried , This is my first time writing a comment on any type of blog online…but i feel like I need help from someone do be able to overcome this procrastination and anxiety in my life. overthink alot always worried about future . I had an online counselling ,but that didn't worked .

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