Plan Your New Era: 10 Things To Start Today To Glow Up In 30 Days

Ahh, the glow-up. Many of us have a love/hate relationship with this notion. We love the person we become on the other side. But that process? Not for the faint of heart. I recently turned 37 and while it wasn’t a milestone birthday, I realized I’m closer to 40 than 30. I might not ever be the size I was when I first crossed into this decade or return to the woman I was before becoming a mom. But that doesn’t mean I can’t level up and have my own pre-mid-life transformation. And it’s the same for you.

Think about it. It takes 21 days to create a habit, so imagine what you can do in 30 with consistency and commitment to simply being your best self. You deserve that and more.

Whether you want to evolve and learn a new skill or just be proud of the person you are and the decisions you’ve made when the new year makes its entrance, the glow-up is more within your reach than you think. Here are a few ways you can begin the journey.

1.Positive Affirmations Are Top-Tier

On my mama, on my hood, I look fly, I look good,” is one of the best millennial proverbs to date. The devil is busy, so given even the smallest chance, negativity will find a way to seep into our minds and poison everything we’ve worked so hard to overcome. Speaking positive, motivating thoughts is one of the easiest ways to glow up with a quickness. Write out a few statements that make you feel unstoppable and speak them over yourself daily. Shut down self-doubt and remind yourself that you’re that chick! Becoming your best self will be inevitable.

2.Move, Sis!

Black-woman-in-exercise-clothes-doing-Pilates-beginnerFreshSplash/Getty Images

Exercise has proven to help our mental health over and over again. It’s “a mood booster” that “has been scientifically proven to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression,” licensed mental health counselor Joanne Frederick, L.P.C., told Shape. Simply put, according to Frederick, “Physical activity raises endorphins in the body, which are the brain's feel-good chemicals.”

Still, if you’re like me, the thought of going to the gym five days a week makes you want to faint. So you can start with something fun, like going for a walk while listening to a podcast or taking a virtual or in-person dance class. Either way, exercise is a guaranteed way to glow up from the inside out.

3.Read Something

There’s something about picking up a book (or pressing play on an audiobook in the car or while cleaning up) that just makes us feel like we’re elevating ourselves. *insert shoulder shimmy.* It could be an erotica novel, an empowering memoir, or a book that gives you the ins and outs of how to excel in your trade. Whatever the topic, any book can spark your desire to use your imagination, expand your vocabulary, and inspire you to reflect on your own life story. Most of us love a good TV show binge, but when it comes to leveling up, adding a book or two into our rotation is the chef’s kiss.

4.You Are What You Eat

Black woman eating healthy food in kitchenAleksandarNakic/Getty Images

Can we discuss food for a minute? Whew. For many of us, it’s our Achilles heel on the journey to glowing up. From emotional eating to jumping into the latest diet fad in every last effort to un-big our backs, it’s easy to fall victim and go from one extreme to the other. But for now, why not just start small, with one thing at a time for 30 days, instead of trying to go cold turkey and switch up everything at once?

Maybe you could commit to eating healthy, whole foods, skip fast food, and opt for meal prepping at the beginning of the week. Or take a break from eating fried foods or over-indulging in beloved sweets. There are so many ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle through our nutrition, and the feeling of having power and control over what we put in our bodies instead of letting it take over us is indescribable.

5.What Are You Looking At? 

If you can’t see it, can you really manifest it? Creating vision and mood boards isn’t just for the beginning of the year. Making them all year round will help keep your goals fresh and at the forefront of your mind. Seeing your aspirations in bright colors, motivating images, and uplifting phrases will inspire you to do what it takes to stay on your journey to a better, and ultimately the best, version of yourself. You can create one for a specific goal or a generic one for multiple areas of your life. If you really want to get into it, put your board in a place where you can’t avoid it — in your bathroom, bedroom, living room, etc., letting it serve as a reminder that your evolution isn’t out of reach.

6.Sleep On It

Black-woman-taking-a-nap-sleeping-in-bedGetty Images

Team No Sleep is not my testimony. If taking naps was a love language, it would be mine. And I’m not ashamed… anymore. Getting enough sleep is imperative to becoming your best self. Have you noticed that more celebrities are bragging about how much sleep they actually get? From Angela White (aka Blac Chyna) sharing that she gets 8-9 hours of sleep a day, to Oprah Winfrey’s Oprah Dailyrevealing her two favorite places are the bathtub and her bed.

This whole idea of grinding day and night just isn’t as noble as it used to be. From reducing stress, boosting your memory and energy, rejuvenating your body, and giving your heart some TLC, there are several benefits of getting a solid night's sleep, per Very Well Health. The traditional 7-9 hours of sleep each night might not be realistic for you. If that’s the case, quality over quantity is key. Either way, go to bed, girl!

7.Don’t Be Thirsty

We take pride in drinking our water and minding our business. But there are some serious benefits to staying hydrated. Via Byrdie, board-certified dermatologist Margarita Lolis notes that the Mayo Clinic recommends women drink 2.7 liters a day, that’s about 92 oz. With this magic number, you could start to see: a boost in your metabolism, improved endurance in your workouts, glowing skin, healthier eating habits, and better brain function.

Though cramping could also be a factor, that can be subsided by discovering how much water is best for your physique. Don’t let that discourage you from increasing your water intake if needed because it’s the key to literally glowing up your skin and body.

8.The Great Purge

Young-woman-cleaning-her-homeRockaa/Getty Images

Out with the old, in with the new, right? Purging things from your closet to cleaning out your car makes room for the beautiful and new things to come into your life. A new season like spring or fall has been touted as the perfect time in the past, but is there any better moment than the present? From schedules and old sweaters, worries and plans about the future, and tasks like laundry (which is in a class of its own), our minds are just so…cluttered.

The first step to clearing it out could be cleaning out things that no longer serve you. Taking a couple of times a week to purge various places of your life can put you in the mental space to manifest and prepare for the person you’ve been aiming to become. A clean area can lead to more productivity, confidence, and a free mind, which is a game changer in leveling up.

9.Try Something New

One thing I love about stepping into a new era is that it’s never too late to evolve and try new things. As you go through this process, start thinking of ways to actually enjoy it. What sets your heart on fire that you have yet to tap into? What’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing but have been too afraid, busy, or unmotivated to try? With technology, virtual learning, good old YouTube University, and the #TikTokTaughtMe concept, you can literally master anything with time.

Whether you want to travel to expand your horizon and mind, challenge yourself by learning how to cook, or start embracing the great outdoors by going on a hike, taking on new adventures will undoubtedly add fuel to your journey, inspiring you to stick it out when things feel mundane.

10.Stay Consistent

focused-Black-woman-sitting-at-desk-working-from-homeAnchiy/Getty Images

Can you relate to the shame that comes with starting over while pursuing the same goal? We get a plan, start off super motivated and inspired, ready to flawlessly knock it out within X amount of days…only to fall off. I’ve kept promises to other people, but when it comes to myself, I can justify dropping the ball. If we’ve learned anything in our journey to a glow-up, it’s that consistency is key.

Keep showing up for yourself because you deserve to become the woman you’ve always wanted to be. It’s going to take sacrifice, dedication, and commitment. Bottom line, it’ll be hard. But if you take it one day at a time and keep your promises to yourself, you’ll get there and be so proud of yourself when you do.

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