Are you feeling stagnant? Bored with your life? Want to be more cultured and less stressed? Here are a few things you can start doing today to help you become the person you want to be.
1) Write in a journal. Journaling is a great way to release feelings and gain self-awareness. Plus, they’re interesting to look back on, and your kids will love reading what you wrote.
2) Read a book. Books expand your vocabulary and knowledge, help improve your memory, boost your analytical thinking skills, and improve focus and concentration – not to mention, they’re cheap entertainment.
3) Create to-do lists. Fact: you get a little boost of dopamine (the feel-good hormone) every time you check something off. That’s pretty great motivation to get stuff done. (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/i-can-get-you-addicted-to-cleaning-dopamine-and-the-checklist-200384)
4) Read something uplifting every day. Follow uplifting accounts on instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest (A few of our fave instagram accounts: @happsters, @charitywater, @humansofny, @sunshineheroesfoundation), or get one of those daily inspirational message books.
5) Quit a bad habit. If you don’t work on internal motivation, work towards a prize. Make small goals, and give yourself a small prize after maintaining your goal for a week, then after a month, then after 3 months, until your bad habit is broken.
6) Create a new good habit. There are SO MANY to choose from, that it should be easy to find one you can stick with. A couple ideas: flossing every day, eating more fruits and vegetables, sitting and standing with good posture, drink more water, arrive at work 10 minutes early each day, go on a daily walk…
7) Set a healthy sleep routine. The average adult needs at least 7 hours of sleep to be healthy and alert. Make it a priority. Try getting to bed by 11pm each night. (http://sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/STREPchanges_1.png)
8) Set up a weekly exercise routine. Doesn’t have to be strenuous – research has shown that even just 15 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day can add 3 years on your life and reduce your risk of cancer. (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/15-minutes-exercise-day-adds-years-life/story?id=14307995). Set up a routine that you know you can stick with.
9) Plan your meals. It’ll save you money, and probably help you eat healthier.
10) Challenge Yourself. Set yourself up for a challenge, whether it’s saving money, exercising, or drinking more water every day. If you don’t think you can do it alone, get a partner or group together to hold you accountable.
11) Pick up a new hobby. It can be a sport, a talent like dancing or painting, or helping out at the animal shelter – whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional, learning something new stretches us. There are YouTube videos out there for nearly everything you could possibly want to learn, or most city recreation centers offer classes for everything from pottery to salsa dancing.
12) Refine skills you already have. Who doesn’t want to be better at what they do? If it’s work-related skills you want to improve, see if your boss will pay for a class or seminar. Invest time in getting better at what you already love.
13) Learn a new language. With apps like Duolingo, it’s free and easy! All it takes is a little time, and you’ll feel so cool when you can translate for the older German gentleman who needs help at the airport.
14) Purge your friends list – in facebook and in real life. If you’re hanging out with people who you know are dragging you down, reduce your time with them or cut them out of your life. Our character is influenced by the 5 people we spend the most time with, so make sure they are people you wouldn’t mind being like, and who help you be a better person. If they’re not looking out for your best interests, they’re not really your friends, and you don’t need ‘em.
15) Plan technology-free time every day. Turn off the TV. Go for a walk, play a game, clean the bathroom – whatever makes you happy. But do something more active than vegetating in front of your electronics.
16) Forgive someone who has wronged you. Ooh, this one’s hard, but it’ll probably be the one that changes your life the most. Holding on to grudges prevents you from moving on and becoming a better person. Break away from the past, forgive them, and let it go.
17) Do something nice for someone. You never know when you can completely change someone’s day by doing something nice, and you’ll reap the benefits too.