05/20/2014 07:09 am ET Updated Jul 20, 2014

5 Easy Ways to Feel Totally Transformed (Even If You're Not There Yet)


"Transformed" is a big word, but the process doesn't have to be as big and scary as it sounds. Sure, we can achieve total spiritual and mental transformation by venturing down any number of roads: consistent meditation, a diet overhaul, new wardrobe, a fresh start in a new city -- the list goes on and on. But if you're like me and would prefer to just read the Cliff Notes version and get it over with, keep reading this! What if we can pare down that infinite list of possibilities to a few simple, baby steps towards that same end? Anytime I feel stuck in a rut or suffocated by things on my to-do list, my instinct is to freeze up and do none of it, which only amplifies those feelings of stuck-ness. I know I'm not alone here! Next time you're feeling overwhelmed, remember that it can be easier to take one tiny step forward -- in any productive direction -- than not moving at all. My favorite things to do when I'm feeling stuck are simple, but almost always put me in a better state to keep on truckin':

1. Get rid of old clothes. "Um, what?" Wait, wait, stay with me! Hear me out: You know those ripped denim shorts from American Eagle you haven't worn since college but somehow don't have the heart to get rid of yet? "I might be 25, but I can totally wear these!" No. If you haven't worn something in more than a year (or three), there's probably good reason to retire it. It may seem innocent, but holding on to a whole lot of extraneous stuff from our past can subconsciously weigh us down and prevent us from transitioning to the next chapter. So go ahead! Donate the gently used stuff, but toss the tees with stains, holes, and everything else that's lost its dazzle.

2. Clean house. Aside from all the regular "organize your life" points, be sure to give a little TLC to the stuff that always gets overlooked. Clean the couch cushions, wash the pillows (I checked the tags on mine and I can just put them in the washer/dryer like anything else!) Tidy up from top to bottom -- vacuum, dust, scrub the bathrooms, organize the drawers and shelves, clean out the fridge. Wash the bed linens, clean out your car (somehow I always have a collection of about 27 half-empty water bottles, if anyone's interested), and organize your pantry.

3. Connect with people! I'm not talking about dating or making brand new friends. All I'm saying is it's easy to stay stuck inside your head when you don't exercise the muscle that pulls you out of it! Get out there and be social. Pick up the phone to confirm an appointment instead of sending an impersonal text. Go inside your favorite coffee spot instead of sitting at the drive-up window. Get to yoga a few minutes early to greet the people around you. Even something as simple as going for a walk with your dog in the sunlight can pull you out of your own head.

4. Try something new. When the same old same old is keeping you on a mental lock down, what do you think it's time for? How about buying that parasailing Groupon you've been eyeing? All right, even I LOL'd at that prospect. More reasonably for someone like me who finds adventure in picking out a new cereal when I grocery shop... how about changing up your route to work? Maybe you could finally tackle that DIY Pinterest board? Keep your eyes open for an opportunity to come off cruise control and experience something new.

5. Kick a bad habit. Be creative! One I'm totally guilty of is leaving small projects unfinished. "All right, time to buckle down and fold this laundry and -- actually first, let me just do a handstand or two or 50." An hour later, I meander back to my room and repeat the process three more times before calling it and writing off for my tomorrow's self to worry about. This is still a work in progress! Other ideas: quit gossiping, cut back on caffeine, don't go to bed too late, stop skipping the gym, don't spend too much time on Facebook... you get the idea. Pick one that you know you could and should get rid of, but may keep putting it off.

What are your favorite tips for feeling totally transformed in your daily life?