Making changes that will improve your life doesn’t always have to be a major lifestyle adjustment. There are small, mindful things you can do each day that will help you see changes in your mood, thoughts, and behavior over time. Start by adding these 8 simple things to your day–to–day life and enjoy the results.
Put down your phone
Americans spend an average of 11 hours per day using electronic media – aka looking at digital screens. While technology has made tremendous strides in improving our lives, it has also come at a cost. We are so connected to the digital world, we often lose sight of ourselves and forget to have meaningful interactions with our friends and family. Instead of scrolling through Facebook while you wait for your coffee, make small talk with the stranger in line with you. Instead of checking your email while at dinner with your significant other, keep your phone in another room and enjoy a thoughtful conversation instead. Taking a break from the saturated world of social media will help you take in your surroundings and improve your overall mood.
Stop overcommitting your time
You know those times when you desperately need to catch up on sleep, but you take on one more work project anyway? Or, when you want nothing more than to sit on your couch, with a glass of wine and catch up on Scandal, but you agree to take your niece for the night instead? Overcommitting your time can be a tough habit to break because we have been conditioned to believe that putting others before our own personal needs is the right thing to do. The polite thing to do. But, protecting your time, mood and physical/mental health are important. Remember, no is a complete sentence.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Practice kindness, with yourself. When someone else succeeds – in a relationship, in their career, in a hobby – that does not mean that you have failed. There is enough room for us all to succeed, by our own definitions of success. Understand that you are on your own path in life, and comparing yourself to others is a sure–fire way to breed unhappiness.
Stop spending money on coffee shops, gym memberships and late fees
Keeping your finances in order can be daunting, but financial freedom has a lot of benefits. Take a look at your spending habits, and start cutting out small luxuries that could save you money. This will help you save money, for larger purchases, such as a new car, international vacation or mortgage. Cut out that coffee shop run and you could save over $1,000 a year! You can also save money by working out at home, not letting late fees sneak up on you and packing your own lunch.
Start bullet journaling
Bullet journaling has been all the hype for a couple years now, but you might be hesitant to try it out. After all, you’ve got your planner and lists to keep you organized. But, bullet journaling is so much more than that, and can really improve your well being. Keep your notes, journal entries, to-dos, appointments, lists, and random thoughts all in one place. Plus, with all of the tapes, stickers, and markers for bullet journaling, it will help your creativity as well!
Learn something new
You may be done with school, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to (or should) stop. Studies have shown that successful people devote their time to being lifelong learners. Building space in your busy life to improve a skill, learn a new trade or enlighten yourself on a new concept is crucial to your health and wellbeing. These online classes will introduce you to a new idea and can be used as a catalyst to jumpstart your creativity.
There is scientific research proving that we can not multitask. Our productivity decreases, we make more mistakes and our creative output is lowered. Not only that but believing you’re good at multitasking is actually just an illusion. In reality, we are bad at ignoring distractions and as a rationalization, we convince ourselves that multitasking is increasing our productivity. Instead of switching back and forth between tasks, block off sections of time to focus on only one task. Remove distractions, such as texts, phone calls, and email and practice monotasking. You will be amazed at how much more efficient you become while increasing the quality of your work.
One of the best ways to increase your awareness is to write down three things you are grateful for each morning. Consider your life thoughtfully, and jot down the things that you are appreciative of that day. This will help you keep your perspective on the positive throughout your day.