Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

10 Health Benefits Of Avocado If You Feel Trapped, Do These 9 Things To Take Your Life Back If You Feel Trapped, Do These 9 Things To Take Your Life Back This List of 50 Low-cost Hobbies Will Excite You Daily Routine of Successful People That Will Inspire You to Achieve More 15 Inspirational Weekend Activities to do by Yourself

Trending in Communication

1 Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better? 2 What Makes a Good Leader: 10 Critical Leadership Qualities 3 Why You’re Feeling Empty and How to Fill the Void 4 Had a Bad Day? 6 Ways to Rebound from It 5 How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome and Be Happy Again

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 9, 2019

What Makes a Good Leader: 10 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 10 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge. High-ranking people – your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or at the workplace.

The following is a list of characteristics of a leader who successfully leads a great team:

1. Stay Positive, Even in the Worst Situations

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and, by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing cupcakes or beers on Fridays can make the world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figure out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney (1901-1966), had his share of hardships and challenges; and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse.

    What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?

    Break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

    Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down — Because sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

    2. Exhibit Confidence Everywhere

    All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

    Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high and the problem will be solved more quickly.

    If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go down hill from there.

    Advertising

    Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

      What Can You Learn from Elon Musk?

      You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

      • List 10 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll be more confident about yourself.
      • Work on your strengths, do your best to enhance them.

      3. Have a Sense of Humor

      It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

      Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off, because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

      Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the work place.

      As president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes”,[1] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[2] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest – no doubt that helped during some tense moments in the White House!

        What Can You Learn from Barak Obama?

        Laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

        Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspirations from the internet.

        4. Embrace Failures and Manage Set Backs

        No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

        Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear and binge-drinking under desks.

        Great leaders do in fact lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

        Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

        Advertising

          What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?

          Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

          To do this, use the 5 Whys problem solving framework.

          By asking “why” for 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

          You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

          5. Listen, and Give Feedback

          This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

          The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

          The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

            What Can You Learn from Dalai Lama?

            Encourage communication between team members and establishing an open door policy.

            Practice not to interrupt team members when they’re talking.

            Summarize what they say and ask for feedback every time after you have talked about your ideas.

            6. Know How and When to Delegate

            No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

            Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

            Although Steve Jobs is known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members – like Tim Cook – Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even while he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

            Advertising

              What Can You Learn from Steve Jobs?

              To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

              • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses and personalities.
              • Talk with your team members more too to know more about their passion and interests.

              Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

              7. Inspire and Grow People Around

              Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

              Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

              Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk drew attention, because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

                What Can You Learn from Pope Francis?

                Spend time to talk with other team members individually to understand them.

                Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

                8. Take Responsibility and Never Blame Others

                Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

                The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

                Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind.[3] This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

                  What Can You Learn from Howard Gillman?

                  Ask yourself what you could have done better to prevent this from happening.

                  Take the responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

                  Advertising

                  9. Make Decisions Based on Lessons Learned in the Past

                  It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career (figuratively, of course). Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

                  Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

                  You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories, or search from your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

                  Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake.[4] From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely – and it shows.

                    What Can You Learn from Warren Buffett?

                    Write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made.

                    Have all the lessons well organized and  when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

                    10. Lead by Example and Commit to Do the Best

                    Great leaders stick to their commitments and promises, and they are the most committed and hard working ones on the job. All great leaders lead by example.

                    Why should your staff and team members give it their all if you don’t bother to? By proving your own commitment, great leaders will inspire others to do the same, as well as earn their respect and instill a good work ethic.

                    After 15 years of house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was voted state counsellor in Myanmar – one of the highest-profile and most powerful positions in the country. She became a symbol of peaceful resistance when she attempted to bring democracy to her country.[5] In the early years of her detention, she was often in solitary confinement. Suu Kyi is a perfect example of committed and belief-driven leadership, which she openly demonstrated during her many years of house arrest.

                      What Can You Learn from Aung San Suu Kyi?

                      Some people learn by observing the way you perform a task, some need more detailed guidelines.

                      So dedicate time to demonstrate your work to team members, let them observe how you do it. Summarize the skills you use and let team members know how you make difficult things work.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader too.

                      Make small changes your habits when you work with your team – wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs.

                      But we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

                      More About Leadership

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next