When it comes to changing our lives, so much of the advice given is focused on the future. Often, these changes can be imperceptibly slow and seem delayed indefinitely, leaving us feeling as though nothing will ever be different. And while major life changes require lots of time and effort, concentrating all of our attention on how we want our lives to be someday does little to affect our lives today.
If you want to improve your life today, here are ten simple things you can do that will have an immediate impact, listed in the order in which you should do them:
Wake up early. Instead of coming home after a long day of work, exhausted and lacking the energy to accomplish the things you’d like to do, wake up early and do them first thing in the morning. Go for a run, practice yoga, work on your book. Doing these things at the beginning of the day will ensure you have the energy to do them, and because you’re finally doing the things you’ve felt guilty for putting off for so long, you’ll feel proud of yourself…an instant boost to your self-esteem!
Eat a healthy breakfast. And no, a cup of coffee and a doughnut isn’t it. Have a bowl of oatmeal with fresh blueberries and almonds, or scrambled egg whites with a slice of whole grain toast. Cooking a healthy breakfast only takes a few minutes and makes a huge difference. You’ll feel more focused and energized, you’ll have more strength, and you might even lose a few pounds. Start your day off right!
Be positive. If you’re always paying attention to drama, hype and negativity, you’re ignoring all the wonderful things about life that surround you every moment of every day. Sometimes “life” happens and we have to work through difficult times. Just try to stay focused on the positive and be optimistic about what the future has in store for you. You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.
Exercise. Intensely. For at least twenty minutes each day. It takes time to see results, and that can be discouraging. It’s a struggle to stay motivated when you’re working your ass off everyday and nothing seems to happen. Be patient, and just keep going. It will be worth it!!!
Make a list. Of all the things you worry about, that stress you out, or that just need to get done. Starting from the top, deal with each one in sequence. Don’t skip tasks and only move to the next thing when you’re completely finished with what you’re working on now. Add to the list as the day goes on and start tomorrow where you left off today.
Simplify. Minimize the material distractions of your life so you have more time to focus on what you really value. The less you have, the less there is to worry about. There’s no need to concern yourself with what you don’t have. If you don’t own it, it can’t be lost, stolen or broken. Minimalist living provides peace of mind. Remember, someone else is happy with less than what you have.
Turn off the TV. And the computer. And your cell phone. Disconnect from the imaginary world of pixels and binary. Become connected and present in the space you’re currently occupying. An icon on a computer screen is a poor substitute for direct human contact. Disconnect and reconnect. Read: Into the Great Wide Open
Visit your Mother (Nature). A series of unlikely events have all conspired to bring us the miracle of life. Spend some time enjoying the beauty and wonder of your life amidst its Creator. Marvel at the moon, watch a sunset, breathe the sweet air of the forest. Your time here is temporary. Appreciate your little glimpse of time between two eternities…
Go to bed an hour earlier. Use the extra time to talk with your partner about life, your hopes and your dreams. Share your most intimate desires and fantasies with each other. Snuggle. Hold each other silently, running your fingers through her hair, or your nails lightly across his back. Be intimate.
Sleep naked. Without the bondage of clothes, your body feels free and relaxed. Liberate yourself!
Steven is the author of the blog Hundred Goals where he writes about following your dreams and accomplishing your goals. Stalk him on Facebook.