It happens to all of us, at one time or another. We get stuck in a rut.We plateau. We stagnate. If the billion-dollar self-help industry is any indication, we are always looking for ways to better ourselves. We want to lose weight, make more money, have more sex, procrastinate less andnone of these things are easy. There is no quick fix, and anyone whosays otherwise is selling you something you don’t want to buy. But there are simple things that, if done every day, will make a noticeabledifference in the quality of your life.
Here are 50 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life
1. Go to bed an hour earlier for a week A collective seven hours’ extra sleep on the right side of midnight should mean you are fully rebooted by this time next week.
2. Sit at the table for dinner – even if you are on your own As well as being good for the digestion, sitting at a table to eat makesan event of your evening meal – and may even make you appreciate itmore.
3. Turn off the TV Don’t settle for watching the ‘least offensive’ thing on. Switch it off instead.
4. Switch your energy supplier and save shed-loads of money Energy suppliers are hiking up costs left, right and center – but don’t settle for it. Switch to a fixed rate tariff and you could save yourself around £200 a year on your energy bills.
5. Send someone a handwritten letter It’s cheap and therapeutic for both parties.
6. Write ‘nothing’ in your diary one weekend, and do just that Recording ‘nothing’ as an event is often the only way to keep a weekend clear.And if someone asks if you are free, you can tell them you already havesomething in the diary.
7. Smile at strangers Not continuously of course, but the odd flash of your pearly whites can improve your mood as well as theirs.
8. Drink just a little bit more water Experts’recommended volume of water intake can seem a bit extreme. But making ahabit of drinking one glass in the morning, noon and night will keep you hydrated and feeling better.
9. Leave for your destination 5 minutes earlier than you need to Being anxious and effectively going for a run in your work clothes is never a good start to the day. Aim to leave five minutes earlier than you needto and save yourself a world of pain.
10. Don’t be afraid of big decisions – just do what will make you happiest It’s tough but at least you won’t go wrong in the long run.
11. Start saving Even if all you can spare is £5 month, just the fact you are saving is a psychological boost. You can open an easy access savings account with just £1.
12. Take regular exercise outside Exercise doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Just a 20-minute walk outside is still good for you.
13. Do something different from time to time Forexample, a sketch of what you can see outside of your living roomwindow. A worthwhile and harmless exercise – even if you ‘can’t draw’.
14. Buy or borrow a cat or dog – or just stroke one you see Pets are known to boost psychological well being. But if you don’t want theresponsibility, stroke the next one you see in the street.
15. Take baths Water and heat is relaxing – and, besides, you are forced to stay still for half an hour.
16. Quit the fags You’ll save money and improve your health, not to mention get cheaper life insurance.
17. Buy one bottle of good red wine rather than two average ones You’ll drink less, enjoy it more and spend the same money.
18. Play your music louder Remember when your parents told you to ‘turn it down?’ Don’t forget you can now play your music loud as you like.
19. Make meals and freeze them when you’ve got time This will make your life easier when you haven’t.
20. Buy ‘annually’ when you can From train tickets to council tax and car insurance, buying some things on a yearly basis usually costs less overall – and almost always means less hassle.
21. Sort out kitchen cupboards you know are annoying
We all have one, but spending 10 minutes of your time getting it in orderis infinitely preferable to an avalanche of Tupperware or saucepan lidsevery time you open the door.
22. Wear comfortable shoes Little in life will make you more miserable than walking with blisters or cut feet.
23. Mend something, rather than replace it This isn’t just cheaper, but you will get an old-fashioned sense of satisfaction when you mend something you already own.
24. Move to Bristol As we’ve already mentioned, it’s the best of all 12 of the UK’s major cities, according to our Quality of Life Index.
25. Buy flowers – for yourself There’s no law against it.
26. Establish a designated place for your passport……and make putting it back there the first thing you do when you return fromholiday. You will never panic about its whereabouts again.
27. Go for a walk even if it’s raining It will be invigorating and, even if it isn’t, you will appreciate your home when you get back.
28. Bake cakes on Sundays No more information required.
29. Take some time out from the kids Of course,your little angels are the most important thing in life, but yourpartner is probably a close second. Get a babysitter and go out just the two of you from time to time.
30. Use the landline for a change You’ll concentrate more on your conversation – and your call won’t drop out.
31. Start keeping a diary It’s interesting to look back and learn from things you did (or didn’t do) in the past.
32. Switch off the answerphone on your mobile Collecting answer machine messages is time consuming. You can return any missedcalls you see, and they can always text if it’s urgent.
33. Never stay in a job you hate just because it pays well You will always grow (or shrink) into any financial means you have available.
34. Don’t feel guilty for changing into your pyjamas as soon as you get in It’s luxury in its purest form.
35. Buy a decent umbrella Cheap ones are a frustration, not to mention a false economy.
36. Always be reading a book A good one is like a door to a different world that you can carry around with you – whichmight be a welcome thing on your daily commute.
37. Resume whatever musical instrument you once started learning If you made it to Grade 2 trumpet but packed it in when you were 12, haveanother shot. You’re an adult now so will pick it up faster.
38. Call an old friend out of the blue Have a look through your list of contacts and call one of the first ones you input for a chat. (Refer here also to point 30).
39. Sort your paperwork as you go
Letting yourpaperwork build up over weeks and even months can feel like you areliving with a gremlin. Sort it as you go, and even better, registeronline for as many accounts as possible so you can deal with things from your smartphone.
40. Play board games all year round……especially if you have kids.
41. Value your bed We spend approximately onethird of our lives in bed – so put some effort into making it a placeyou want to be. A comfortable mattress and fresh sheets is a good placeto start.
42. Let other drivers out at junctions You have nothing to lose and someone will eventually return the favor.
43. Give into your chocolate cravings Chocolateis known to increase levels of serotonin in your brain which can makeyou feel good. So don’t have a blanket rule that says you can’t eat it.
44. Be a matchmaker Match up single friends who might be suited. You never know what will come of it.
45. Fly a kite with your children The old toys are the best – so buy a kite and take the kids out to fly it. They are sure to love it.
46. Plan for Christmas early to avoid stress There’s two months until Christmas – and it’s going to fly by. Start now andaim to be sorted by, say, 15 December, so you can relax and enjoy therun up.
47. Print your holiday photographs Digital is great but there’s nothing like turning the pages of a photo album.
48. Always wear washing up gloves They are very cheap and your hands are important. Make sure you buy large so the whole family can benefit.
49. Go to the gym before work, not after You will be more energised during the day – and free in the evening.
50. Set yourself targets Whether it’s a 10k run or a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, targets provide punctuation to your life.
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