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5 Small Steps Toward Building a Better and Happier Future

5 Small Steps Toward Building a Better and Happier Future

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 September 11, 2019

        Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

        Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

        How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

        Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

        To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

        Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

        Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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        • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
        • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
        • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
        • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

        Benefits of Using a To-Do List

        However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

        • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
        • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
        • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
        • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
        • You feel more organized.
        • It helps you with planning.

        4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

        Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

        1. Categorize

        Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

        It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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        2. Add Estimations

        You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

        Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

        Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

        3. Prioritize

        To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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        • Important and urgent
        • Not urgent but important
        • Not important but urgent
        • Not important or urgent

        You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

        Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

        4.  Review

        To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

        For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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        Bottom Line

        So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

        To your success!

        More to Help You Achieve More in Less Time

        Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

        Reference

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