Each day you wake up you have an new opportunity to grow, to change, to improve, to build off what you did yesterday or to go in a new direction. The grand improvements so many people want in their lives can only truly be achieved with little, consistent steps all headed in the appropriate direction. Last week, this series Why Not . . . Improve Your Life? began with five tips on how to change your behavior when it comes to taking responsibility with regards to your work, your money and your attitude, but today we’re going to focus on the simple things that are a part of your every day life that can either help or hinder you in your quest for improvement. Let’s get started.
As human beings, we are social creatures, so it is expected that one would want to be around people, but in order to improve the quality of your life in any dimension, you must surround yourself with people who lift you up instead of those who try to hold you back. It is quite easy to recognize which people you should gravitate towards. These are the folks that upon leaving their company, you feel optimistic, you feel happier and the glass appears half full. The opposite is also true. The difficult part is having the tact and strength to put boundaries up.
Having long term goals is something everyone should set for themselves whether it be a five year plan, a 10 year plan or any goal that involves long term foresight, but in this instance, I’m referring to having a plan for how you want your day to go – one solitary day. When you get out of the bed in the morning, what are you taking on? What are you doing today that will bring you closer to your goals by the time you arrive home in the evening? If not one of your goals is being chipped away at, you might want to reconsider just how you spend your time. Remember, it’s all a matter of baby steps heading in the right direction.
If you want to be the best self you can be, look at your diet. Nothing creates or detracts from your ability to get through the day more than how you fuel your body. So why not add more vegetables and fruits? Fruits, I find, are a bit easier to add because they have natural sweetness, but veggies (at least for me) are something I have to plan. Try this, as suggested in the previous tip, plan in the morning to stash some carrots in your purse or stop by the grocery store for some broccoli and make a simple Broccoli w/Garlic & Soy Sauce salad. Most vegetables simply require a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and either you roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees or sauté them on the stove. And voila!
Another simple ingredient that will help your mind, your skin, your spirit and the outlook on the next day is a good night’s rest. Maybe the idea of going to bed before ten is unbearable, but if you’re getting up at five or six, ten is perfectly fine. A good seven to eight hours on a regular basis will do wonders for your mood and your productivity, and regarding vanity, you’ll be pampering your skin without doing a thing which will help to make you look all the more youthful.
With any goal you choose to pursue, whether it’s weight loss, a promotion in your career, or growth in your 401K, you must have patience in order to see results. Recently, you may already know I took up yoga and during the first few months, I didn’t notice much of a change, but all of a sudden, without warning it seemed, I could reach farther, I noticed my muscles lengthening and appearing less bulky. But the funny thing was, I didn’t see the progress until the weekly yoga class became a routine, set in my mind, and I stopped looking for the change. Sometimes, we just have to do the work, having faith that we will reach our destination, but if we continually are stopping to check and see how far we’ve come, we’ll take that much longer to get there. For a bit more inspiration on acquiring patience and being willing to adopt this virtue, clear here.
Making each step count is all we can do in each moment we are given, and I know we are all capable of that. No matter what your dream, simply add some sweat and the willingness to work for it and your wish will soon become a reality. Click here to view the third and final part in the series.