Let’s face it. Everyone’s life could use a little bit of improvement. Whether you’re wanting to increase your joy or just up your productivity, here are a eleven easy ways that you can change your life for the better.
1. Get uncomfortable.
Really. It works. When you stay in your comfort zone, you’re never pushed to grow or become a better version of yourself. Just like an out of shape individual will experience pain and discomfort when they start to exercise, someone who is bettering themselves spiritually, mentally or emotionally will feel a little bit (or a lot) of discomfort, especially at first. However, without those uncomfortable moments, you’ll never improve either your physique or your life.
2. Challenge someone.
If you have a great friend, spouse or family member, put them up to the challenge as well. For many individuals, a good, healthy challenge can be a great motivator and set you on the right track to reach your goals. A competition never hurt anyone, anyway. Whether it’s seeing who can make the most in side income, who can put in the most hours at the gym or who can mark more off their to-do list, you can turn anything into a race.
3. Get moving!
It’s just plain science that a good exercise routine will make you feel better, both inside and out. If you don’t think you have time throughout the normal course of your day to head to the gym, or maybe you just don’t have the extra cash to drop on a gym membership, try alternative methods of getting active. Make use of your local city and state parks for walks on your lunch break or a hike on the weekends. Take your dog around the block a few more times than normal. Park as far from the store entrance as possible. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. Learn something new.
Just because you’ve graduated college, doesn’t mean that you’ve learned all that you can. There are tons of online, free courses offered from top universities in a myriad of interesting and engaging topics. Better yet, there are no deadlines, so you can go at your own pace, reading materials and listening to lectures. If you’re not into a class-style format, find a few educational podcasts on topics you enjoy, watch a good documentary or just pick up a nonfiction book from the library or bookstore.
5. Make your day longer.
If you have the luxury of sleeping in before work, maybe you should consider breaking the routine and adding a few more hours of daylight to your day. Waking up around 6 a.m. often gives individuals all the time they need to get ready to face the day. Whether you want to set your own pace and do some leisurely reading with your breakfast before heading to the office, or you want to fit in some exercise, or even spend some quiet time in the Word, the morning hours can be your most productive.
7. Write it out.
You don’t have to be an excellent writer to enjoy writing, especially if no one’s going to read your work. Throw caution to the wind and be unafraid of grammatical errors and mistakes. Start a journal to keep up with your day-to-day thoughts, then re-read your journal entries at a later date to see how you’ve changed and grown. There are even journaling apps to download that you can use on the go, if you’d prefer to just type out your thoughts rather than scribbling them down.
7. Stop bad habits in their tracks.
Everyone has a bad habit, or two, or three. Identify them. If you can’t, ask someone else to do so for you. You may even have a few bad habits that you’re unaware of! Whatever it is, it’s time to stop. Identify which of your bad habits is the worst, and then work from there. Choose the ones that affect others to begin with. For example, do you have a bad habit of interrupting others? Make a conscious effort to stop. This can harm you both socially and professionally.
8. Read more.
Reading not only helps you learn, it also is a great tool for learning about yourself, your opinions and exercising your brain, particularly if you work in a field which doesn’t require much critical thinking. Read the news, opinion pieces, self-help books or even just the latest best-selling novel. Try to get a good mix of everything, and you’ll find your thoughts becoming more varied and your interests more well rounded.
9. Face your fears.
Everyone has some kind of fear, whether it’s a little one or a big one. If you allow fear to control your life, you’re not living your best, most joyful life and, worse of all, you’re not exhibiting true faith. Fear is a tool of the Enemy to steal your potential and happiness. Face your fears head on and be sure of who you are as a Christian and as an individual.
10. Find a new interest.
There are so many hobbies in the world, why limit yourself to just one or two? Start with identifying what you already love to do, then branch off of that. Love to cook? See if gardening to grow your own herbs and vegetables is up your alley. Love to write? Try vlogging as a new medium to get your stories and opinions out to the world. Maybe, though, you want to try something completely out of the blue, which can be incredibly fun as well. Find something you’ve never tried and go for it! Even if you don’t like it, you’ll never know until you try.
11. Up your language skills.
Not only is bilingualism an incredibly valuable tool in the workplace, it’s also an amazing way to connect with others and keep your brain healthy and happy. Choose one of the most popular languages to learn today (Mandarin, Spanish or Arabic), or go for something you’ve always wanted to learn, for no reason other than that’s what you want!