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20 Things You Need To Do To Tune Up Your Life

20 Things You Need To Do To Tune Up Your Life

Are you stuck in a rut? Or do you just want to step up your game so you can live life to the fullest?

Like a mechanic working on a vehicle, there are specific things you can do to tune up your life. Here’s how.

1. Exercise 5 Times a Week

Some guidelines recommend exercising 3 times a week, but ask anybody in great shape and you’ll hear that they only take one or two days off of their exercise program each week. That means at least 5 days they’re doing cardio, strength, training, flexibility training, or some other type of exercise.

2. Get Rest

Do you normally burn the candle at both ends? At some point you’re gonna run out of wax. Even with responsibilities at work and at home, you’ll still want to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Doing that will ensure you’re working at your peak energy and performance levels each day.

3. Eat Right

Some nutrition “gurus” make us think that there are secret formulas to eating right. But the reality is that eating right is actually pretty simple. Your first step is to cut out all the processed stuff that masquerades as food, and replace that junk with real food–vegetables, fruits, lean meats, beans and nuts.

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If you look at the ingredient list and can’t pronounce anything, put it back and try again.

4. Take Time for Yourself

Do you take any time each day for yourself? Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, take a breather each day to do something you love. It could be a new workout routine, playing a video game, or just taking a walk. The goal is to do something you love, and be mindful while you’re doing it.

5. Know Your Purpose

What’s your purpose in this world? If you’re like most people, you don’t know it. But defining what your purpose is can be the most important activity you ever do. Once you know what you’re meant to do, you should then–

6. Set Goals

Setting goals is the way super-achievers get things done. You’ll want to set a combination of long-term goals with short-term goals. Once you have those defined, you should then–

7. Create a Plan

Having defined goals will set you head and shoulders above your peers, but that’s just the beginning. Create a long-term plan to get you to your goals so you can turn those wishes into reality. This plan should include steps you’ll take each year, month, week and day to help you get to where you want to be.

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8. Write it Down

You may have heard the term “Don’t think it, ink it”. There’s power in writing down your goals and your action plan. Once you put pen to paper you’re turning that wish floating around your head into something real. Magic can happen once you do that.

9. Decide Your Life Will Be Great

You know the difference between people who really enjoy life, and people who just get through it? Those who enjoy life have decided that they’ll embrace the experience. Sounds simple, right? Well it is. So do it. Now. There’s never been a better time.

10. Embrace Change

Change is inevitable so you might as well welcome it instead of fight it. Every change in your life can offer something to learn, and as long as you’re learning, you’re improving, which is the key to long-term growth and living a meaningful life.

11. Replace Complaining with Problem-Solving

It’s raining? Grab an umbrella. Your sandwich fell on the street? Go buy another. Get fired from a great job? Find a better one. The time you spend complaining on what’s wrong with your life will just lead to other problems. When something happens you don’t enjoy, just get to thinking about how you can make it better. There’s no point in doing anything else.

12. Know When to Say No

There are more demands in today’s world than ever before. You probably have everyone from your boss, partner, neighbor and everyone in between asking you for help. But you’re just one person and you can only do so much. More important than that, if you’re only spending time on other people’s requests, you won’t be able to get the stuff done that will get you ahead in life. So know when you need to say “no” and set up some boundaries so you can strike the right balance between helping others while also tending to your needs.

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13. Give Back

Giving back to those in need can help you realize what you already have. More importantly, you’ll be able to help others who are less fortunate than you. So if you want a tune-up in your life, just spend some time helping others, whether it’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, cleaning up your neighborhood, or anything in between.

14. Be Thankful

There’s a funny thing about people who are thankful. They often have everything they need, and then some. And those complainers, always focused on what they don’t have? They’re often struggling.

The simple act of being thankful for what you have can help attract more of it.

15. Think Positive

The positive thinking movement can sound a bit phony, but there’s been lots of studies referencing benefits of positive thinking. So do your mind and body a favor by thinking with a “glass is half full” attitude.

16. Make Time for Friends

One of the most common regrets of the dying is that they didn’t spend more time with those they loved. Call your friends. Plan a guys or girls weekend. Just spending time with those you care about can give you and them the life tune-up you both likely need.

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17. Learn a New Skill

Did you ever want to learn how to play the guitar? Or how to speak a new language? Learning new skills is not just great for your brain, but can help you meet new people and give you something fun to talk about with friends, old and new.

18. Develop Yourself

The world’s most successful people spend serious amounts of time developing themselves professionally and personally. This means reading books, attending seminars, and feeding their mind the food it needs to grow. This often means personal development programs and seminars.

Some people laugh at personal growth products and learning. These are the same people who will get lapped by their peers in a few years because they’re not growing at the same pace. So do yourself a favor and treat these programs as an investment in yourself, which just so happens to be the best investment you can make.

19. Get Organized

Clutter can cause stress, anxiety, and can even be dangerous. Do an audit of your home and clean our your closets and cupboards. Donate what you can and throw out the rest.

20. Get Rid of Negative Influences

Are you in a toxic relationship? Do you have friends or coworkers who always tear you down, or just want you to join them in their misery? Sometimes it’s best to cut the chord and move on. Freeing yourself from negative people can be difficult but wise. And doing that can send a message to them that they’ll need to get their act together if they want to enjoy the type of success you’re bound to have.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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