Everyday we wake up with a choice, do we want to stay the same or do we want to improve ourselves. Surprisingly is doesn’t take much time or effort to improve ourselves, it can be as easy as putting a little extra work into our appearance for the day or as simple as drinking one more glass of water before going to work. Little things add up to change and I want to share with you all the little things that I have been doing regularly and purposefully to improve myself. I hope that one or more of these habits might inspire and encourage you to make the changes today to better your tomorrows.
Read one chapter of a book each day. Reading is a fun way to explore and learn new things. When I read daily I notice that my vocabulary grows and I add more variety.
Exercise every day. I am either running with my dogs, doing an hour workout or just taking a minimum of 30 minutes of stretching in the mornings.
Drink plenty of water. After moving to Nevada’s high desert from sea level in California I learned that I require a lot more water. I am drinking at least 100 ounces each day.
Creating. I used to love crafts and creating things when I was younger. Out of nowhere I just stopped being creative. Recently I have invested my time and some money into creative things again. Right now I am learning to do felting. I am working on a quilt. I started a journal of 99 things that bring me joy, each day is a new topic and I fill out my answers. It only takes about 5 minutes each day but I feel happy answering the questions which starts my day off with a positive mindset. I’ve done a few puzzles in the past few months. I’ve made time to draw, paint and doodle. I’ve made some candles. I am also working on some embroidery. Crafting is important to me because it is one of the few things in life that resets me. I don’t have to think about anything while I am doing it and I have nobody to please but myself with the outcome. If you love being creative but don’t know where to start try an adult coloring book or a creative journal. I have some of each and they help me get back into being a creative person again.
Walk in the rain. Every single time it rains or gets really stormy where I live you can bet I am outside in it. My favorite weather is a dark cloudy gray sky and even better if there is a downpour of rain. What is your favorite weather? Make sure you get outside to enjoy it.
Blog. I love to share my life experiences and the things I think or the way I feel. Blogging helps me to share my innermost thoughts and put them out there hoping someone gets even a sliver of use out of them.
Watch motivational videos. I love to watch motivational videos on youtube. Days that I struggle to get out of bed or don’t want to do the things that I need to do I watch one of these videos and it instantly inspires me to do everything I need to and more.
Meditate. It isn’t as easy as it seems. I read a great book titled “10% Happier”. In it the author talks about his experience with mediation and it sparked my interest. I have no religion attached to it, I just sit for 10 minutes (which is all I have really been able to accomplish so far) clear my mind and breathe. Every time a thought pops up I acknowledge it and clear my mind again, focusing on my breathing in and out. You would be amazed at how refreshing it is to sit and do nothing for 10 minutes a day. Can you actually think of the last time you truly did nothing? A time where you weren’t on your computer, watching a movie, listening to music while driving, talking on the phone while getting house work done? Can you imagine just sitting in silence and breathing?
Learning something new. In our time right now we have everything we could imagine at our fingertips. If you want to learn something its just a few clicks away online, its sitting on a shelf at the library waiting to be read, it is just a drive away ready to be explored. When you are stagnant then you are not growing. If you are not growing how can you go to bed each night feeling good or successful? I don’t think any of us could feel good about living a life of stagnation. The other day I was having trouble with a door knob. Usually I can fix them effortlessly as I have replaced over 20 of them in the last 5 years. This door knob was not working for me and I could not figure out why until I did over an hour of research. There was a piece missing and therefore would not work properly without it. I got a new one and replaced it, easy fix. Now I know much more about door knobs than I ever expected to in my lifetime. I did go to bed feeling a substantial amount of success though.
Do a good deed. Over the years I have given people money, bought someone a meal, spent time with someone that needed advice, adopted animals, went out of my way to compliment a stranger and made a phone call just to tell someone that I love them. I love doing good things for others, not only does it have the power to improve their day, it beings my heart so much joy. I love kids and when I would watch TV and Shriner’s or Saint Jude’s commercials would come on my heart would just go out to those kids. One day I just started a monthly donation to each charity and continue to do so knowing that my small donation can have a large impact for someone else. I’ve made donations towards animal shelters as well because I love animals. If you don’t have time to give you can give money to a charity that touches your heart. If you don’t have the time or money to give look at the things you are regularly buying, can you switch to brands that support the things that you support? I love coffee and I came across Black Rifle Coffee with my husband, looking into the brand they hire veterans and make some killer coffee. We switched brands just to Black Rifle Coffee because it is delicious but it is a brand that we love supporting simply because of what they stand for.
Try something new. I love to live a full life and a big step in that is trying new things. I love a variety of food, games, adventures, movies, products, brands, routes to drive I mean the list goes on and on. Variety as they say, is the spice of life. Mind you, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to try something out. If you love food just pick up a fruit you have never eaten, I recommend a dragon fruit or a lychee for starters. If you live in a tropical place then this is nothing new for you. If you love to relax in the bath order yourself a bath bomb online. Sometimes you can get your regular essentials for bath products on ulta.com and they throw in a free gift. Try it out and you could get lucky with a new product you haven’t tried before or wouldn’t go out of your way to purchase. I just got my shampoo and conditioner online and they are sending me a 10 piece hair sampler. One morning before you go to the grocery store leave your house a little earlier and try driving a new route, you might be surprised what you might come across. After work in California I would drive home the long way and it would take me by a dam, through the mountains and across the river, I would roll my windows down and breathe in the fresh air while experiencing the new sights, it took an extra 15 minutes but I gained 15 minutes of relaxation and joy. I think that is always a fair trade.
At this point you may be thinking, “What do each of these items do to improve yourself?” Anything that you enjoy brings you happiness, happiness makes your day better, during your good day you might change someone else’s bad day into a good one, the cycle can go on and on. Trying new things to eat might end up great or you may find a new food that you will vow to never eat again, either way you will feel daring and doing something daring with a person you love actually improves your relationship because of the way chemicals in our brains act at that time. (Don’t ask me to explain it any better because that is as doctorly as I get. P.S. I will add this to my “Things to research list”.) Everything that we do has the power to change us for better or in a negative way. My life has always been meant to be lived fully. The best way I know how to live fully is to relentlessly improve myself. Do small things each day to improve yourself and you will be amazed to find that you are better than imagined, happier than you dreamed of and living life fuller than you could have ever fantasized.