THE BLOG
11/23/2015 02:46 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

3 Ways to Take Your Health And Happiness Back After Losing Them

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Life has a way of passing us by at what feels like the speed of light.

The older you get, the more quickly it seems to move. Before you know it, another day, week, month and year has gone by, and when this realization hits you, you can't help but wonder:

"What have I got to show for it?"

"What have I done with all this time that I'll never get back?"

Personally, this year has been filled with equal parts joy and sorrow. Joy from finally planting the seeds of my own potential and watching it grow, but at the same time, realizing that another part of my life where I found myself having less and less control over just wasn't working.

For a long while, I felt stuck in state of limbo, uncertain about what to do: Do I stay or leave? Do I continue to plow through something that isn't making me happy or contributing to my growth, or stay for the sake of keeping someone else's comfort zone and agenda intact?

Eventually, the situation unraveled (as it always does in life) and in a split second, I did what I'd been wanting to do but was too afraid to do -- walk away.

It was also in that moment that my life started to feel happier and a whole lot healthier--I found myself with plenty of freed up head space and energy to take care of myself. I was finally able to give myself permission to want what I want, guilt-free, and go after it.

If you're stuck in a rut that's affecting your mind, body and happiness in negative ways, here are three actionable steps you can start implementing right now to get the wheels of much-needed change turning:

Start Building Your Tribe
"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with", once said the legendary entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn. As trite as it sounds, this belief has proven itself to be true in my life many times over.

If you're hungry for change but constantly spending time with people who don't support you or even worse, end up resenting you for it, guess what? You're probably not going to go very far. You may even end up giving in to guilt and shame for choosing to put your needs first.

Instead, invest your energy in people who get you, why you want to better yourself, and will step up to give you the loving, supportive nudges you need just as much as you do for them.

Life's too short for you not to.

Focus On Taking Baby Steps
Big goals leaving you feeling daunted and intimidated? Break them down into baby steps that you can take every single day without feeling overwhelmed.

Been meaning to cut down your white rice intake, but can't see yourself going cold turkey? Reduce your portions one spoonful at a time. Want to exercise but not ready for the gym? Take the stairs every day, adding a flight every week. Or just walk more. Maybe add 5 push-ups tomorrow. Hell, maybe you won't even need the gym. Need to add more vegetables to your meals but not a fan of the green stuff? Add a fistful to your lunch and see how it goes. If you don't like it, try something yellow or purple.

Keep your changes microscopic and easy. Experiment, Have fun. You won't break anything.

Figure Out What You Want, Then Find A Way To Get It
It's so easy to get trapped in a routine that conditions you to expect nothing more than what you've always had. But...what if you no longer want to feel stuck in a body that doesn't reflect who you are (or want to be) on the inside?

What if you feel like a square peg trying to force yourself into a round hole that somebody else set up for you?

What if you have a rapidly growing gnawing, aching feeling that you're capable of so much more but have been letting a fear of failure hold you back from taking a different, more rewarding path?

Do this simple but powerful exercise to get a glimpse into what you really want: You've woken up to find yourself in the body and living the life you've always wanted. What does it feel like? What do you do all day? What do you wear? Who are you with? Why are you doing what you're doing?

Now, write down everything you can think of that can help you make these wants a reality, and go get them.

Remember, baby steps first, big results eventually.

What's worked for you and what hasn't in 2015? What do you want for 2016 to live a life that's healthier, happier and just better? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below.

Are you ready to change how you eat and live for a leaner, healthier and stronger mind and body this year? Get started with my free, Lose 4 Pounds in 4 Weeks Without Going On A Diet email course.

This article originally appeared on michelelian.com

Photo credit: Erika Wittlieb