All of us want to improve our lives. We want to move forward rather than be left behind, to make progress rather than suffer defeat, and to enjoy a life filled with success rather than one littered with failure.
Yet the desire to improve our lives isn't something new; it's existed since the dawn of time. And while our technological march and quest for innovation have been constant and ever-evolving in the macro sense, the greater desire to improve our lives, individually, remains at the heart of all that we think, say, and do.
While droves of people work on our behalf to improve the state of our world, which includes the speed of our communications, advancements of our technologies, the sustainability of our long-term health, and the efficiency of our education systems, just to name a few, most of us are more caught up trying to understand how we can improve our lives on a personal level.
What are some of the best ways that we can stop, right now, and instantly improve our lives?
While there are likely hundreds, or even thousands of things we can do to improve ourselves over time, there are 23 specific actions we can take to improve our lives at this very moment, right here and right now.
#1 -- State what you're grateful for
The mind gets whatever it focuses on. You reap what you sow. Focus on problems, and you'll see more problems. But focus of positivity, and you'll get more of just that. Take the time, right now, to list off everything you're grateful for, no matter how small it might be.
#2 -- Set meaningful goals
One way to instantly improve your life right now is to set meaningful goals. Not goals that are superficial; goals that have deep-rooted significance in your life, based on things like family, security, freedom, safety, and contribution. Take 15 minutes to write them out.
#3 -- Live in the present moment
We spend a lot of our time regretting things in our past or worrying about the future. Fear, anxiety, stress, and worry can do a number on us. I know that it's hard to move past that. But if we're going to have any degree of mental and emotional stability, we need to be present in the here and now.
#4 -- Stop making assumptions
One way to improve your life almost instantaneously is to stop making assumptions. All we have to do is stop assuming and calm the mind. Whatever happens will happen. Whatever people will say, they will say. No amount of over-thinking is going to change all of that. All you have to do is to keep a sound mind and allow things to play out. You'll feel much better overall.
#5 -- Don't take things personally
It's hard not to taking things personally. We're emotional beings, some of us more so than others. But, the less we take things personally, the more at peace we'll be with ourselves. It's not everyone's intention to harm us by doing what they're doing. They're likely more interested in benefiting themselves.
#6 -- Learn from your failures
Albert Einstein once defined insanity by saying it was the equivalent of "doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." If you want to improve your life, don't make the same mistakes again and again. Learn from those mistakes and their subsequent failures.
#7 -- Stop trying to be perfect
Most of us rest our potential decisions on doing or achieving something on the basis that it must be perfectly executed the first time around. Well, no one ever starts out knowing or mastering something. They learn over time. It takes iteration after iteration, invoking Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000-hour rule even.
#8 -- Smile and laugh
Want to make an impact on your mental, emotional, and even spiritual health? Smiling and laughing have been scientifically shown to boost our prospects of mental and emotional health. The change in physiology signals a transformative change in psychology.
#9 -- Declutter one small space
The need to get organized can often be overwhelming. With so much going on, who has time to go through and organize and declutter everything? While it might seem unimportant at times, clutter can, in fact, cause a near-complete loss of focus, according to one study.
#10 -- Create an empowering morning routine
One way to improve your life in an enormous way is to build an empowering morning routine. It only takes a few minutes to setup a routine by deciding on planning out the first 30 to 60 minutes of your day. Find as many good habits as you can to load into the front part of your day and execute it consistently.
#11 -- Go for a run
According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, "Running, even 5-10 minutes a day, at slow speeds, even slower than 6 miles per hour [10:00 minute pace], is associated with markedly reduced risks of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease."
#12 -- Create a spending budget
One simple way that you can improve your life is to gather all of your monthly bills from the past 6 months and create a spending budget. Buy a notepad and carry it around with you or track your expenses using an app on your phone or another device.
#13 -- Open an investment account
It literally only takes a few minutes. Create an investment account online and automatically transfer money from your checking account to your savings account. Pay yourself first, as the saying goes, and you'll be on your way to saving and investing like a pro.
#14 -- Set up a system for managing your time
An effective system for time management is one way any of us can improve our lives. Time is the greatest equalizer in life. We all have the same amount of time. So be sure to use it wisely. Implement the quadrant time management system or any other system you might find useful.
#15 -- Reduce time spent on social media
According to GWI Social, we're spending roughly 1.72 hours per day on social media, which accounts for roughly 30 percent of our time on the Internet. Reduce the time spent on social media and use it wisely to move you forward in your long-term pursuits, hopes, and dreams.
#16 -- Eat an apple
Epidemiologists have linked the consumption of apples, a fruit rich in phytochemicals, with "reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes." With all these benefits and more, why not eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away, so to speak? A simple and instant way to improve your life.
#17 -- Drink a glass of lemon water
Lemon water can cleanse the body, flushing out unhealthy and unwanted toxins. Numerous studies have validated the importance of lemon water and its health benefits due to the primary active ingredient of Citrate.
#18 -- Decide to quit at least one bad habit
We all have a bad habit or two that we could go without. Decide on one you can quit today, and write down a plan for doing so. Maybe you'll cut out sugar, maybe you'll stop eating fast food, or maybe you'll stop smoking or drinking in excess. Whatever it is, decide, make a plan, and take action towards your goal.
#19 -- Make a list of all the things that make you happy
Sometimes, it takes looking at things in retrospect to really appreciate them for what they are. Jot down everything in life that makes you happy, no matter how simple it is. Then, commit to putting your time into those things rather than ignoring or putting them off.
#20 -- Write a mission statement
Like a company, a personal mission statement summarizes who you are, what you're about, and the core values that you believe in. Take the time to write a personal mission statement. Assess your life on a daily basis based on that mission statement.
#21 -- Tour your dream home
Focus is power. Sometimes, it takes seeing something in person to really get inspired and motivated to achieve great things. Find your dream home and go tour it. Picture yourself living there. The subconscious mind is extremely powerful and will aid you in directing your life towards whatever it is you focus on.
#22 -- Help someone in need
When we help others and contribute something of ourselves, whether it's time or money, it sends a strong signal to the brain. It says that what I have is enough and it's time to give to others. Even if you think you're living in a state of lack, this will create a transformative shift in the mind.
#23 -- Learn something new
It's easy to get caught up in what we know. But if we want to really improve the quality of our lives, we need to always be learning. Find something you can learn today, anything, and get out there and learn it. A special skill, a new language, or anything else, just decide and do it.
Image Credit: Shutterstock | Sunny Studio