Whether it’s January 1st or the middle of July, there's no better time to improve your life than today. You don't need to putt it off for a New Year's resolution or place it on the back burner until there's "more time." If you do that you'll just continually push it to the side. There are plenty of ways you can improve your life starting next week or even today if you'd like. These are simple things that don't take much in way of a new schedule or a shift in your personal lifestyle. However, each one of these individual steps will go a long way in helping you improve the quality of your life.
The body needs sleep. Many of the most productive and successful people in the world wake up before first light. They are hard at work by 6 a.m. when most people are still in bed. However, that doesn't mean they don't sleep. People who wake up early are able to do so because they didn't stay up late the night before, taking in the Law & Order marathon. One of the biggest time stealers of tomorrow is the late night of today. By cutting out the unnecessary activities the night before, you’ll fall asleep earlier, wake up earlier, and yet feel much more refreshed.
Sleep isn't just necessary to feel refreshed and well rested. Your body repairs itself at night. It builds muscles and restores muscle fibers if you hit the gym. It battles colds and sickness. Your downtime allows the body to fine-tune itself. Should you limit sleep, you'll limit your body's ability to fight off infections and other health problems.
Do you struggle to fall asleep early? It might take a bit of time to adjust your mental clock. However, you should move the television out of the bedroom. In fact, don’t conduct any work or use any technology while in the bed. Sleep is a time for relaxation, so if you’re constantly typing away at the laptop (or clicking through social media on your phone), your brain cannot form the connection between your bed and sleep. Go to bed early and ditch the technology in your bedroom. Everything else will fall into place.
Working out comes in many forms. From pumping iron to rock climbing, swimming, and jogging, there's something for everyone. Even if you're not looking to become a member of the next Baywatch, exercise does the body and mind good. It’s also one of the best ways to improve your ability to think and remain productive.
When you exercise, you elevate your heart rate. An elevated heart rate pumps blood faster throughout your body. The blood delivers oxygen, nutrients, and energy to organs and other cells in the body. This includes the brain. So, by working out, you improve the delivery mechanism of nutrients and oxygen to the brain, which in turn boosts its ability to process information. Regardless of the industry you work in and the job title you currently hold, you'll see a boost in productivity and performance.
Exercising also helps with your metabolism. It fires up your ability to absorb and process energy your body brings in. This not only helps keep you energized throughout the day, but it helps avoid the sluggish feeling you may have experienced after eating too much and needing a nap later. Some of the sluggish feeling does come from the kind of food you eat (more on this in a bit), but a fired-up metabolism does wonders in helping you feel better, stay thin and healthy, while ensuring your body absorbs the nutrients you need.
Is there a best time to workout? While some people swear by fitting it in first thing (there are some benefits to this as you'll have the improved oxygen flow to your brain gives you the mental boost for the rest of the day), in reality, you should focus on just squeezing it in when you have the time. If there's no time in the morning with your current schedule, don't force it. Do it when you can.
3. What You Drink Matters
The best way to improve your life is to do everything you can to improve your health. By living a healthy lifestyle everything else falls into place. You'll feel better physically and mentally, allowing you to thrive at everything else you do throughout the day. Sleep and exercise make up a crucial part of this, but so does your diet. Eating and drinking the right foods goes a long way in regulating your body and keeping you energized without bogging you down.
For starters, look at what you drink. You need to be downing at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. That’s the minimum. It might sound like a lot, but 64 ounces of water isn’t all that much. You can pick up a 32-ounce water bottle and sip on it throughout the day. A rule of thumb is if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so make it a habit to have your water bottle around. Lay off the added sugars and caffeine found in sodas and stick to water.
4. Watch the Diet
Beyond what you drink, what you eat is also important (and closely tied together). You don’t need to follow the latest trending diet in order to live a healthy lifestyle. If it helps you maintain a healthy diet you can, but it isn’t necessary. Just focus on a well-balanced diet and opt out of the simple carbohydrates (which your body processes like sugar). When eating carbs, look towards 100% whole grains, brown rice, whole grain pasta and so on. By making some simple diet changes you’ll feel worlds better and, at the same time, boost your energy levels for the rest of the day.
Sometimes life seems like nothing but one stressful situation after another. Work piles on more assignments, but doesn’t give you more time to accomplish it. You’ve hit a roadblock with your current, personal project. Your personal life isn’t going as you’d like it to or your kids are just driving you crazy. Stress comes in many forms, but it always comes. You need to find some time in every day to push the stress away and just center yourself. This is where meditation comes in.
The problem with meditation is far too many people attach a religious connotation to it. Some might look down upon meditation and view it as anti-their-religion. Or they might see it as religious when they are not. There are many religions that do practice meditation to feel closer to their deity. If that’s how you choose to meditate there’s nothing wrong with that at all. However, it doesn’t need to have any religious context at all. It’s more an exercise to help declutter your brain and focus on your inner self. Your brain is constantly running a million miles an hour, so why not use meditation to help you slow it down?
Knowing how to start with meditation might seem difficult. There are probably groups nearby that you can join, but you might not have the time to head out to another group. Instead, there are meditation options through the Internet. Look for guided meditation videos on YouTube, where you can just listen to the audio. You can download audiobooks, podcasts, and apps to your phone that provide guided meditation sessions as well. Try the app called Headspace as another option. Improving your mental state, through regular meditation, will in turn improve your life.
6. Spend Time with Those Who Matter
Happiness comes in many forms. Socializing and spending time with those who matter is one way to build your happiness level. Whether enjoying breakfast with your family or hanging out with your friends on a Friday evening, it is very important to be around those who are important to you. Humans are social beings and require social interactions to remain fulfilled. It is true, some need more socialization than others, but cutting yourself off from family and friends in order to devote 100 percent of your time towards work isn't going to do anything for you long term. You might obtain certain work goals sooner, but you'll likely also feel unsatisfied with the achievements. The bond between friends, significant others and family just can't be replicated any other way. If you want a quick and easy way to improve your life starting next week, look for ways to spend some quality time with those you care about.
7. Set Up Challenges
You need to push and challenge yourself. If you’ve fallen into a rut, it’s because you’re not pushing yourself to accomplish new feats. There might not be anything you can necessarily do at work for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t challenge yourself in other ways. What about that book you’ve always wanted to write, but just haven’t yet? Challenge yourself to begin and write every single day. Perhaps you’d like to propel yourself faster down a given career path? Challenge yourself with taking up night classes. There are all sorts of ways to challenge yourself, and while it does take hard work, you’ll feel more accomplished and satisfied with life when you achieve your set goals. Then, once you’ve accomplished your goals and mastered the current challenge, it just sets yourself up for the next great challenge. If there’s nothing to look forward to, you’ll never truly feel satisfied with life.
You don’t need to take drastic measures to improve your life. Making life-altering decisions at the drop of a hat may shake things up a bit, but it doesn’t always necessarily lead to an improvement in your life. Instead, focus on these seven simple things you can do. It doesn’t take much to fit each into your daily schedule. As soon as you do, you’ll feel not only more satisfied with life, but happier as well, each of which helps with your performance and productivity along the way. Whether you start today or next week, the sooner you take up these tips, the faster you’ll see an improvement in your life.
Tell Us –
From our list above, what do you think is the most important factor? What would you add to the list?