15 Things To Start Doing Right Away If You Want To Improve Your Life

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and you’re really not happy with where you are in life, it might be very difficult to get motivated to make changes. You might not know where to start, or feel like it wouldn’t matter anyway, but you’d be surprised at how much change can happen with even the simplest actions.

Perhaps you could start by doing some of these…

1. Be Present

This can’t be emphasized enough: be as present and mindful as you possibly can. A lot of people are held back from improving their lives because they’re mired in muck from their pasts, or they’re worried about the future. Well, the past is passed and the future is nothing but smoke and wishes: ALL you have, ever, is the present moment, so try to inhabit it fully and mindfully.

2. Eat Well, And Get Better Sleep

Every situation becomes easier to handle when you’re well rested and well fed. Skip the junk food and fill yourself with nutrient-dense meals. Turn off all electronics an hour before bed and either read or meditate before you go to sleep. Doing these two things can help your overall wellbeing more than you can imagine.

3. Start Journaling

If you don’t yet have a journal, get one. It doesn’t have to be fancy: a simple spiral-bound notebook works just fine. Every morning, write down one simple little thing you’d like to achieve during the day, and every evening, write down one thing that you appreciated about your day. You don’t have to write a novel. Being able to check off a small achievement, and take note of something with gratitude, is enough.

4. Connect With New People

This is especially important for people who work from home, as it’s very easy to become isolated and withdrawn due to a lack of regular social interaction. You know that high you get when you make a real connection with a great new person? Do that! Make it a point of connecting with someone new every single day for the next year: send friend requests on Facebook, follow new Twitter and Instagram accounts, chat with neighbors and people at your local café. “Hello” is a very powerful word.

5. Cull Your Belongings

“The things you own end up owning you.” – Fight Club

If you’re at home, take a look at the items around you. If your house were on fire, how many of those pieces would be crammed into a bag and taken with you because they’re special and meaningful to you? Probably very few of them. Get rid of the crap you’ve been carrying around for years “just because.” Donate the clothes you don’t love, put a box of free stuff out on your lawn. You’ll feel immensely lighter and freer, guaranteed.

Speaking of culling…

6. Only Keep People In Your Life Who Actually Enhance It

If there are people in your social circle who act as energy parasites, draining you and bringing you down, take steps to eliminate them from your life. Narcissists, emotional vampires, and other difficult people can wreak havoc on your wellbeing, and you’ll feel a lot better without them around. If you can’t cut them out completely, limit your time with them.

7. Do Something New With Your Space

Clean your space thoroughly and then rearrange some furniture. This creates the sense of having a clean slate to spring from. Burn scented oils or incense, move artwork from one room to another, or invest in one or two small pieces for a change of color or style. A new bedspread or set of curtains can make a world of difference, and you can find some great ones at a local thrift shop.

8. Go Outside

Most of us are trapped indoors for the majority of our time, whether it’s behind a desk in an office, or at home keeping kids alive. Spending time outside helps to ground our energy and lighten our spirits. Have your morning coffee on your porch or balcony, eat lunch outside at a park, and/or go for a walk after dinner. Watch how much better just a few minutes outside can make you feel.

9. Practice Small Acts Of Kindness

Doing kind things for others feels great, and doesn’t everyone appreciate a random act of sweetness? Bring flowers or baked goods to an elderly neighbor. Write a “thank you” card for your postal worker and leave it in your mailbox for them to find. Or, if you’d prefer, do something anonymous, like donating to a charity of your choice. You’ll feel amazing, as will the people you’ve been kind to… and that kind of positive energy tends to have a ripple effect.

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10. Learn Something New

This doesn’t mean that you need to go back to school or commit to a rigorous training program: there are countless online courses that you can do on your own time, in every subject imaginable. You can learn a new language with Memrise or Duolingo, watch YouTube cooking tutorials, or hone some creative techniques on Skillshare. You’ll create new neural pathways and feel great about your achievements.

11. Tap Into Your Spirituality

We are all spiritual beings, though spiritual practice often falls by the wayside when there are TV shows to catch up on and phones to stare at. Immense joy and peace can be found in connection with Spirit, so whatever your philosophical or religious lean may be, take some time to reconnect with it. When was the last time you lay outside and connected with the sky? Do you feel peace and tranquility when lighting candles in a church? Attending mosque or temple services? Doing ritual work with others? Meditating in silence? You can even try all of the above and see what sparks your soul most these days, and make a habit of it.

12. Move Your Body

No, you don’t have to suddenly start jogging or doing kettlebell… whatever the hell it is that people do with kettlebells. Just move. Play a favorite song and dance around your kitchen just for the sheer joy of shaking your butt around a bit. Find some gentle yoga videos online and do a few minutes of stretching in the morning, or before you go to bed. Swim, if there’s a pool or lake close by. If the word “exercise” causes a knee-jerk reaction in you, don’t consider it such: just think that there is immense joy in inhabiting your body and discovering how it can move.

13. Be Honest With Yourself

You know that journal that was mentioned earlier? If you’re so inclined, use it to scrawl out truths about yourself. What do you like about your life right now? What do you dislike? What would you like to change? If you can determine what you think needs to be improved, you can get started on a plan to get to where you want to be.

14. Set A Realistic Goal

A lot of people hold themselves back from achieving a life goal or dream because the goals they envision are immense and intimidating. It’s best to set a small goal, work to achieve that, and then move on to the next one, like hopping across stepping stones. Want to write a novel? Start with one character’s development. Want to run a 10km marathon? Start by walking for 30 min a day.

15. Stop Procrastinating And Do Something

Anything. Just stop wallowing in whatever you’ve been stagnating about and take action. Even if you’re unsure about where you want to end up, it’s okay: remember that you can always change direction once you start moving… but the key is to stop talking about the things you want to do and go do them.

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About Author

Catherine Winter is a writer, art director, and herbalist-in-training based in Quebec's Outaouais region. She has been known to subsist on coffee and soup for days at a time, and when she isn't writing or tending her garden, she can be found wrestling with various knitting projects and befriending local wildlife.