With the holidays quickly approaching, people either start up on their previous New Year's resolutions, or plan for their next. Why wait until December 31st to begin your self-improvement? You can start self-improving now in seven simple ways without waiting until the end of the year. Follow these small steps and you will be well on your way to a new you!
- Wake Up Early. Whether you are already a morning person or not, waking up a few minutes earlier can help jumpstart your day. If you have a difficult time in the morning, do not expect yourself to wake up 30 minutes earlier the first day. Start small, by waking up five minutes before you usually do, and then add a few more minutes each day. By adding a few more minutes each day you are setting yourself up for success and can feel accomplished with your goal. Waking up early provides benefits like feeling more accomplished throughout the day, going to bed early, sleeping better, and not feeling in a rush. This small step can set you up for an extremely productive day, so don't be afraid to set your alarm a few minutes early!
- Declutter. Cleaning up your environment; whether your home, office, or both, has long-lasting health benefits. If something can be picked up or put away in two minutes, do it right away. If you are periodically cleaning throughout your day, your home or office will be less cluttered. According to Dr. Rian Rowles, a psychiatrist with Advocate Christ Medical Center, too much clutter can cause tremendous stress and fatigue because when things take longer to find, stress levels rise and so does your risk for illness. By keeping a clean environment, not only are you keeping tidy, but also staying healthy.
- Try Yoga or Meditation. It has been scientifically proven that yoga and meditation can improve your mood and life. You do not need to run out and purchase a membership to your nearest yoga studio to incorporate yoga into your daily routine. Most people do not have the luxury to cut out an hour a day to attend a yoga class, but there are ways around this. If you feel like you don't have an hour to set aside for yoga or meditation, start with ten minutes. You can find guided meditation and yoga videos on the internet, or in free mobile apps. Check out these YouTube links for a list of self-guided yoga and meditation videos to get you started on your daily mindfulness journey.
- Monitor Your Screen Time. This sounds like something most parents do with their children, but it can be extremely beneficial to adults as well. If you work with a computer during the day, and are on your phone, you are constantly exposed to a screen. Looking at a screen for extended periods of time can affect your eyesight and give you headaches. Not only that, but it can become a very addictive habit. By choosing not to spend your time off binge-watching the latest Netflix show, or scrolling aimlessly through social media, you are giving yourself more time in your day. If you try to limit your screen time throughout your day, it will not only allow you to be more productive but can improve your health too.
- Choose Healthier Options. This may seem like a daunting task and something that is difficult to implement in small steps, but it is feasible! Do not expect yourself to cut out all unhealthy foods on day one, remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Begin by choosing healthier snack options for yourself to have at home or the office. Everyone loves a good snack, and it is so easy to choose the quick and fast options that may not be the healthiest. Healthy snacks can be just as quick and simple as the bad options too. Try eating one fruit or vegetable instead of reaching for the sugary granola bar or energy drink to curb your craving. There are plenty of fruits that provide natural sugars that will not leave you with the afternoon crash. If you feel confident in your snack options, then move towards healthier meal options. These small steps can lead to huge successes that will have you feeling better in no time.
- Have a Conversation. In the technology-driven world we live in today, it is less of a priority to have a conversation with someone when you can just send it to them. Technology is an amazing tool that has evolved to help the world in so many ways, but it can also hinder good conversation. No matter your occupation, try to have one conversation with someone new every day. It does not have to be a long conversation, but even a simple hello to a stranger might make yours and their day. Instead of looking at your phone at the dinner table, engage in conversation with your loved ones and ask how their day was. Not only is this a simple tool, but it can positively affect your ability to communicate! You never know what you might learn from someone by just simply saying hello.
- Reflect on Your Day. This is an amazing tool to incorporate into your daily routine and can be done so in many different ways. One way to do this is to begin journaling every night. Instead of scrolling through Facebook or Instagram while you lay in bed, pick up a journal and reflect on your day. Did something happen today that made you feel good, or was not the best? Write it down. According to Happier Humans, there are multitudes of benefits for practicing gratefulness and it can all be done at the end of the day. Begin small by writing down one or two things you are grateful for that day, and slowly add more as you move on. Reflecting on things you are grateful for has incredible benefits including healthier relationships, positive feelings, and better health to just name a few! So
set down your phone and pick up a pen before bed to improve your day.
These seven steps are simple things you can begin to incorporate into your daily routine today. Not only are they easy to manage, but they provide long-lasting positive effects on your life. There is no need to wait till December 31st to begin bettering yourself when it only takes a few easy steps.
If you are interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Self-Improvement section of our blog.
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