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5 Small Steps Toward Building a Better and Happier Future

5 Small Steps Toward Building a Better and Happier Future
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You forge your own destiny — it’s that simple. Instead of wasting your time on thinking about how others around you got lucky, you should take matters into your own hands and live your life exactly how you want.

It’s all about being determined, really. We all daydream and have desires, and those who are actually happy make those wishes come true by themselves. Forming a realistic vision that’s based on a list of your life priorities is definitely a start.

When we daydream about the things we want, it’s often based on material items, like having a car that’s crazy expensive or having a closet full of haute couture clothes. All of this is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but it’s quite human to want material possessions. However, the best way to attain happiness is by focusing on things that actually matter and see the bigger picture, so that you can understand all its puzzle pieces.

1. Feed Your Mind

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    For your mind to be happy and healthy, it needs to be well fed. You spend your whole life learning, but it’s important to direct all that lifelong education the right way. The fact is that your choice of education already got you to a certain point, but that doesn’t mean that you have to develop only a certain skillset. Besides, you can’t know if you’re any good at something if you don’t try it, which is why my sincere suggestion is to experiment and spend your life trying out new things that look fun and exciting.

    As far as I’m concerned, and as many great minds have agreed, reading is a gateway to happiness. Skillfully written books allow you to take a place of another person and they help you develop an understanding for the world and those who differ from you.

    “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

    —George RR Martin.

    2. Take Care of Your Body

    A fortress that keeps your health safe, your body is a very important factor that will determine your happiness. The quality of your lifestyle does depend on the numbers on your bank account, sure, but the greatest factor is your health. Ask any person that has health issues and I’m sure that all of them will tell you the very same — the only priority and wish of an unhealthy person is to find their way back to health.

    Your age should never be treated as an obstacle; on the contrary — the experience you have thanks to being on the planet longer than those younger than you is your advantage. People are scared of turning fifty, and forty, and even thirty, but those big round numbers are milestones — age is only a state of mind and your perception of it will directly affect your happiness levels. Dwelling on the past, wanting to turn back time and regretting that it is passing you by is actually filling your mind with despair, and that doesn’t leave much room for happy thoughts.

    3. Embellish Your Environment

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      Although it can be a bit difficult to comprehend because it’s one of those daily things we don’t pay much attention to, the appearance of your home has a say in your overall life satisfaction. It’s quite simple if you only think about it — spending time surrounded by things you don’t like is a source of negativity that needs to be avoided.

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      Naturally, you immediately thought about money now, but it’s not necessary to spend a whole fortune in order to start liking your home. My suggestion is to start with your bedroom because it’s imperative that you turn it into a stress free zone. Begin by browsing online and searching for bedroom ideas — you’d be surprised with what you can do only by properly applying colors.

      4. Enjoy Your Job

      Not all of us are fortunate to have the perfect career, but until you’re ready to take that scary step and pursue the job you actually want, you should find ways to enjoy your current one in any way you can.

      I believe that every career can be fulfilling, just as long as you find a meaningful perspective of what your job actually represents and what good comes from what you do. This way, you will be able to see how you contribute to society and I’m sure this knowledge will help establish fresh enthusiasm and enable you to enjoy the time you spend in your office.

      You should also work on improving your efficiency — the quality time you spend in your office depends on the quality of the breaks you take. You shouldn’t feel like you’re forced to sit down and work; it should be your choice, so make sure to surround yourself with positivity — talk to the people you like, listen to good music and you can even exercise in your office. Do anything you need to feel good.

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      5. Secure Your Future

        Thinking about what lies ahead is scary mostly because the universe has a very good sense of humor when it comes to our plans. However, there are things that are in your power and you can do them and take control of your future life. True happiness isn’t in money, although our society revolves around it. Developing a plan for your future will secure your happiness, and it’s never too early to start thinking about your pension fund.

        I already mentioned how I consider different ages to be milestones, which is a great way to set goals in front of you with reasonable deadlines. You need to put on your thinking hat and find out what you want in life, what needs to be done in order to have that and how much time it takes to achieve those goals.

        The hardest thing about all these steps is probably the change of mindset necessary for them to work out. The bottom line is that you deserve to be happy and that you should do everything to make good things happen for you, even if you need to change the way you think. Take your time and allow your mind to embrace this change — everything that comes afterwards will be a piece of one delicious cake.

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        Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/Unsplash-242387/ via pixabay.com

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        Nemanja Manojlovic

        Editor at MyCity Web

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        Last Updated on July 21, 2021

        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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        No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

        Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

        Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

        A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

        Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

        In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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        From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

        A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

        For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

        This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

        The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

        That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

        Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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        The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

        Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

        But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

        The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

        The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

        A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

        For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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        But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

        If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

        For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

        These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

        For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

        How to Make a Reminder Works for You

        Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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        Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

        Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

        My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

        Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

        I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

        More on Building Habits

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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        Reference

        [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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