1. Try reading for a set amount of time each day.
If you read for 30 minutes every day, that’s 3.5 hours a week, which is enough to finish a book every two to four weeks. Depending on what you choose to read, that’s 12 to 24 books completed in a year!
2. Practice swapping “sorry” for “thank you” when the situation is right
I used to (and still do) have a problem with over-apologizing in basically every situation even when a serious apology isn’t needed. When you get into this kind of habit, it may seem reactive to just apologize for everything you do to try to please other people. It can affect your confidence and also degrade the way other people view you because you become the person who’s sorry for everything.
So, I’ve tried to consciously use ‘thank you’ to change that. Every time I get into a situation or catch myself about to say I’m sorry for something (that really doesn’t warrant a heartfelt apology), I look for a reason to say thank you instead. Running late for work? Say ‘thanks for your patience’ instead of ‘sorry I’m late.’ Not only does this keep you from looking like a sad sack for apologizing all the time, it actually shifts focus onto the person you’re apologizing to.
3. Don’t just put things down, put them away
Wise words from my mates grandma “Don’t put it down, put it away”.
So much of the mess around my apartment was down to me leaving things out instead of taking the extra minute to put them away in their correct place.
I’m not perfect but it has helped!!
4. And do your dishes every single day
Dishes, do your goddamn dishes every day and you wont feel fucked up every 2 weeks with a pile of them.
5. If something’s going to take you less than two minutes, just do it then and there
Live by the rule: if something takes 2 minutes or less to accomplish, just do it.
You’ll notice how many things are really not that bad, but also how much accomplishing things is just a mental block.
6. Try to go to bed and get up at similar times each day
Recovering insomniac here. Ensuring consistency in your sleep/rise times is one of the most important parts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI). Makes waaaaay more of a difference than you’d first think.
7. Actually start flossing your teeth every day
Honestly the sense of satisfaction when you answer “yes” to the dentist about flossing daily after a lifetime of the guilty “no” is well worth it.
Plus my mouth feels pretty decent now.
8. Put all of your spare change into a jar for an entire year
Put all your spare change in a jar
Image Credit: Tyranny of Style
9. Make a plan for the following day before you go to bed at night
Plan the next day before going to bed at night and write a ‘to do list’. The next day before repeating the process review your to-do list. Sounds really simple, but it’s a real procrastination buster.
10. Practice a new kind of handwriting like cursive or calligraphy
Practice from a cursive chart found online, until you reach typing-like speeds, then integrate as many of the techniques and forms as you can into your printed handwriting. You don’t need to know cursive these days, but you’re not learning cursive (well, you are, obviously, but it’s not the end goal), you’re learning how to write quickly and fluidly, where and how to place extra lines for aesthetic reasons when needed, and where to start and end your strokes. If you’re tired of your handwriting looking like a 6 year old’s, which it has ever since you learned a combination of imitating Times New Roman and scrawling down your best impression of what your 1st grade teacher showed you, learn cursive. You may never use cursive again, but your printed handwriting will become Christmas card worthy, and 2-3x as fast.
11. Learn three words in a new language every day
For me that would be learn 3 words in Spanish everyday. Started this a month ago and I am getting better! :)
12. Get into the habit of writing in a journal daily
It is cliche but it works. I used to do it, but when I felt like my life was on track I just stopped. It led to me falling into a lot of bad habits and being able to convince myself I was fine. Drinking, smoking, video games — I fell into a mindless state that led to serious dissociation and memory issues.
But keeping a journal has a way of keeping you honest with yourself. You aren’t writing for anyone else. You aren’t trying to present your best self. You can just work through your thoughts honestly and openly. You can reflect in a way that you otherwise wouldn’t. You can just let it all out without worrying what that exposure and vulnerability will mean. It really helps. I’d recommend this to everyone, especially people with anxiety.
13. Run for as long as you can…and then run again the next day, and the next
Running. Get a good pair of running shoes and take off! You would be surprised how easy it is to run a 5k after a few weeks.
14. Make your bed every morning before you leave the house
It’s the best thing to come home to. It almost feels like someone else made my bed, like I have a servant — except the servant was a very sleepy me that doesn’t remember making their bed. It looks nice, makes me happy, and I feel good.
15. Add new and healthy foods to your diet rather than focusing on removing other food groups
Instead of taking away something from your diet, add something healthy each month. In January, add an apple a day. In February, add a handful of plain almonds each day. In March, add one extra glass of water, and so on. You won’t feel deprived, and you will increase your healthy habits painlessly.
16. And try meditating, starting with just five minutes a day
Meditate 5 mins a day. Then work yourself up to 20 min a day. It is the biggest change I have made in my life. It is incredible how crazy and out of control our minds are. And as the old saying goes,”If you don’t have 20 minute to sit, you should sit for an hour.”