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100 Tiny Swaps That Can Make Your Life Totally Different

100 Tiny Swaps That Can Make Your Life Totally Different

Small things add up. If you want to improve your life, check out these 100 small swaps you can make today to improve various aspects of your life, making you happier, healthier, and more productive.

Happiness

1. Swap texting for a phone call. Even if you initially feel shy or awkward, once you are used to making phone calls you will find them faster and more enjoyable!

2. Swap sitting on social media for an hour for Skyping with a friend. You will have more fun and you will strengthen a bond with someone you love.

3. Swap each complaint for gratitude. The world will seem like a more positive place when you change your outlook.

4. Swap watching television to reading a book. It is more peaceful and relaxing, and nothing feels better than getting lost in a book.

5. Swap playing on your phone for taking a walk. People can waste hours checking Twitter and Instagram on their phones – instead of looking at filtered pictures, go get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.

6. Swap stressing for meditation – it is much more likely to relax you.

7. Swap frowning for smiling – it will help you to feel happier and more positive.

8. Swap safe clothes for your favourite top to feel more confident.

9. Swap falling asleep whenever for setting a bedtime – this will improve your sleeping habits and the quality of your sleep.

10. Swap seething for venting. If you feel annoyed, talking it out will help to relax you and clear your head.

11. Swap ignoring strangers for smiling at them. It will improve your mood – and theirs!

12. Swap over-planning for saying “no.” If you don’t want to do something, be honest. You will be happier for it!

13. Swap being alone for throwing a gathering with your friends. It is better for your mental wellbeing and a great way to maintain friendships!

14. Embrace your flaws instead of worrying about them. No one is perfect, and everyone should embrace their uniqueness.

15. Instead of forcing friendships, let some people go. Not all friendships last forever and trying to maintain bad ones is often stressful.

16. Swap sitting inside for sitting outside when the weather is good. The park is a beautiful, atmospheric place to read a book or get some work done.

17. Swap passive-aggressive behaviour for upfront honesty. It is better for your emotional state to work out problems rather than skirt around them.

18. Instead of being pessimistic, be optimistic. You weren’t born one or the other; it is a choice how you choose to see the world.

19. Swap uncomfortable heels for shoes you love. If you are comfortable, you will be happier and more confident.

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20. Swap driving alone for carpooling. You will save money on petrol and have fun with your coworkers!

21. Swap worrying about previous mistakes for focusing on the future. The past is set in stone, but anything could happen in your future.

22. Instead of overeating when you are upset, journal your feelings. This will help you to deal with and work through your problems.

23. Instead of criticising yourself, try praising yourself.

24. Instead of sitting at home with no plans, volunteer with a local charity.

25. Instead of trying to please everyone, realize that you can’t actually please everyone. It is better to focus on pleasing yourself and your loved ones.

Productivity

26. Instead of doing nothing on your commute, do some work to make it more productive.

27. Instead of under-planning, write a to-do list when you start work so you know exactly what you need to do.

28. Instead of treating yourself when shopping, start an emergency fund. You never know when you will need it!

29. Instead of procrastinating, improve your resume.

30. Swap working late for starting early. Most people are at their most productive when they first wake up.

31. Swap procrastination for planning. If you don’t feel like working right now, you can at least set a time to start.

32. Instead of working a job you dislike, create a start-up company that you feel passionate about.

33. Swap a lay-in for an early morning to have a more productive, successful day.

34. Swap daunting goals for small milestones so you can watch your progress more accurately.

35. Instead of spending freely, set a budget so you know where your money goes.

36. Swap a cluttered workplace for a clean one for a more productive working day.

37. Swap working on lots of tasks for working on one. Research shows that we are less productive when we multitask.

38. Instead of buying a new car, start to save for your retirement.

39. Instead of watching TV, take night classes to advance your skills.

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40. Instead of emailing throughout the night for work, switch off your phone and reply to all of the emails during work hours.

41. Instead of emailing throughout the working day, set times aside to check your email so you can focus on your other work.

42. Instead of being unsure of your progress, set goals so that you can see your success.

43. Instead of keeping your keys on you, set aside a place in your home where you can keep them so you never waste time looking for them.

44. Swap spending for saving. Simply saving $10 a week will make a huge difference after one year.

45. Instead of making a list of things to do in your mind, write it down so you can see what you need to do.

46. Instead of feeling baffled, use the internet to find the answers to all of your questions.

47. Instead of struggling to focus at work, try to accomplish something every hour.

48. Swap excuses for honesty. You will achieve more when you are realistic about yourself!

49. Swap too-much technology for the right amount. Delete social apps you don’t use and install new ones that will help you to work.

50. Instead of working endlessly, work for 50 minutes, take a 10-minute break, and repeat.

Exercise

51. Swap driving to work for cycling. It is great for your body and the fresh air will help to wake you up.

52. Swap taking the lift for taking the stairs.

53. Instead of taking a nap, go to the gym to wake up and get your blood pumping.

54. Swap doing nothing before your shower for some exercise. You’re already washing yourself, may as well get sweaty first!

55. Swap driving to the local shop for walking.

56. Swap guessing how to get fit for a personal trainer.

57. Swap getting a taxi for getting a bus. The walk to the bus will be good for your heart.

58. Swap playing online for playing on the Wii. There are tonnes of fun games that get you moving around!

59. Swap a workout you hate for a workout you enjoy. If you don’t like squats, don’t do them!

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60. Swap exercising immediately for warming up.

61. Instead of working out alone, work out with a friend to make it more fun.

62. Swap no exercise for 10 sit-ups before you go to sleep.

63. Swap running on a treadmill for running outside. The terrain is often more rocky and uphill so you get more of a workout.

64. Swap your office chair for an exercise ball.

65. Instead of holding the bar when you run on a treadmill, go hands-free. This will challenge your body more, so you will get more out of your workout.

66. Swap a movie date for an active date. Walking around the park is just as fun – and cheaper!

67. Swap running for walking if you are unfit. Run until you can’t, and then move to walking – this way you can build up your stamina.

68. Swap planks for crunches to get great abs.

69. Swap sitting at work for standing for 10 minutes every hour.

70. Swap no exercise for a morning jog. This is great for your heart and mental health!

71. Instead of working out in old clothes, work out in new workout clothes that you love. It will help you to feel more confident in yourself, pushing you to achieve more.

72. Instead of doing the same old workout, make it more intense. This will push your body and improve your fitness quickly!

73. Instead of watching your children play, join in with them. This is one of the most fun ways you can work out – and your children will love it!

74. Swap taking the escalator for taking the stairs.

75. Swap snoozing for doing some yoga next to your bed for 15 minutes.

Diet

76. Swap depriving yourself of food for moderation. You can still enjoy food while being healthy!

77. Instead of eating out for dinner, cook for yourself. It will be cheaper – and often it is more healthy.

78. Swap a meat dinner for a vegetarian dinner. This is often better for your body and the environment.

79. Swap a glass of OJ for an actual orange. You miss out on the fibres when you drink juice, so you don’t get the full benefits.

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80. Swap buying fruit and vegetables at your local store for your farmers’ market. According to the USDA, it may be healthier, and it promotes local food trade.

81. Drink a glass of water instead of a fizzy drink. It will be better for you, but equally as hydrating.

82. Swap pre-made dressings for your own. You can make a great dressing with just lemon juice, pepper, and balsamic oil!

83. Instead of deep-frying food, pan-fry the food to make it healthier – but just as delicious.

84. Swap popsicles for frozen grapes. They are just as sweet and refreshing!

85. Swap normal tea for green tea to help detox your body.

86. Instead of overeating at a restaurant, take a doggy bag home for later. The food will still be good!

87. Eat slowly instead of quickly to improve your digestive system.

88. Swap a quick breakfast for a healthy breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day, so eat something healthy to set yourself up for a productive day.

89. Swap lettuce for other dark leaves. Spinach and kale have more flavour and more vitamins!

90. Cook with whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta to get more fibre in your diet.

91. Swap soda for tonic water as a healthier alternative.

92. If you like dips, go for salsa instead of cheesy dips. It is just as tasty, but it is far better for you!

93. Swap crisps for popcorn if you want a healthier salty snack.

94. Swap beef for fish once a week. Fish is great for your heart, and you can make some seriously delicious meals with it!

95. Instead of skipping meals and snacking, make sure you always eat 3 meals every day.

96. Pack lunch for work instead of buying sandwiches while you are out – it is much cheaper and healthier!

97. Swap white rice for brown rice when you are cooking at home as a healthy alternative.

98. Swap mayonnaise for mustard if you want to keep the flavor but cut down on calories.

99. Swap bacon for turkey if you like to eat meat but you want to cut down on salt.

100. Use avocado instead of butter on your toast in the morning for a tasty, healthy breakfast.

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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