Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to make drastic changes in order to notice an improvement in the quality of your life. At the same time, you don’t need to wait a long time in order to see the measurable results that come from taking positive action.
All you have to do is take small steps, and take them consistently, for a period of 100 days.
Why 100 Days?
You may ask, why 100 days? Because this is how the small steps you take gradually become your powerful habits. (In fact, the power of these little habits are beyond your imagination! Here’s why.)
60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life
Below you’ll find 60 small ways to improve all areas of your life in the next 100 days.
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1. Create a “100 Days to Conquer Clutter Calendar” by penciling in one group of items you plan to declutter every day, for the next 100 days. Here’s an example:
- Day 1: Declutter Magazines
- Day 2: Declutter DVD’s
- Day 3: Declutter books
- Day 4: Declutter kitchen appliances
2. Live by the mantra: a place for everything and everything in its place. For the next 100 days follow these four rules to keep your house in order:
- If you take it out, put it back.
- If you open it, close it.
- If you throw it down, pick it up.
- If you take it off, hang it up.
3. Walk around your home and identify 100 things you’ve been tolerating; fix one each day. Here are some examples:
- A burnt light bulb that needs to be changed.
- A button that’s missing on your favorite shirt.
- The fact that every time you open your top kitchen cabinet all of the plastic food containers fall out.
4. Follow the advice proffered by positive psychologists and write down 5 to 10 things that you’re grateful for, every day.
5. Make a list of 20 small things that you enjoy doing, and make sure that you do at least one of these things every day for the next 100 days. Your list can include things such as the following:
- Eating your lunch outside.
- Calling your best friend to chat.
- Taking the time to sit down and read a novel by your favorite author for a few minutes.
6. Keep a log of your mental chatter, both positive and negative, for ten days. Be as specific as possible:
- How many times do you beat yourself up during the day?
- Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
- Are you constantly thinking critical thoughts of others?
- How many positive thoughts do you have during the day?
Also, make a note of the emotions that accompany these thoughts. Then, for the next 90 days, begin changing your emotions for the better by modifying your mental chatter.
7. For the next 100 days, have a good laugh at least once a day: get one of those calendars that has a different joke for every day of the year, or stop by a web site that features your favorite cartoons.
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8. Choose a book that requires effort and concentration and read a little of it every day, so that you read it from cover to cover in 100 days.
9. Make it a point to learn at least one new thing each day: the name of a flower that grows in your garden, the capital of a far-off country, or the name of a piece of classical music you hear playing in your favorite clothing boutique as you shop. If it’s time for bed and you can’t identify anything you’ve learned that day, take out your dictionary and learn a new word.
10. Stop complaining for the next 100 days. A couple of years back, Will Bowen gave a purple rubber bracelet to each person in his congregation to remind them to stop complaining. “Negative talk produces negative thoughts; negative thoughts produce negative results”, says Bowen. For the next 100 days, whenever you catch yourself complaining about anything, stop yourself.
11. Set your alarm a minute earlier every day for the next 100 days. Then make sure that you get out of bed as soon as your alarm rings, open the windows to let in some sunlight, and do some light stretching. In 100 days, you’ll be waking up an hour and forty minutes earlier than you’re waking up now. Learn how to get motivated to wake up every day here!
12. For the next 100 days, keep Morning Pages, which is a tool suggested by Julia Cameron. Morning Pages are simply three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.
13. For the next 100 days make it a point to feed your mind with the thoughts, words, and images that are most consistent with who you want to be, what you want to have, and what you want to achieve. Do you know what motivates you most? Find your answer here.
14. Create a spending plan (also known as a budget). Track every cent that you spend for the next 100 days to make sure that you’re sticking to your spending plan.
15. Scour the internet for frugality tips, choose ten of the tips that you find, and apply them for the next 100 days. Here are some possibilities:
- Go to the grocery store with cash and a calculator instead of using your debit card.
- Take inventory before going to the grocery store to avoid buying repeat items.
- Scale back the cable.
- Ask yourself if you really need a landline telephone.
- Consolidate errands into one trip to save on gas.
Keep track of how much money you save over the next 100 days by applying these tips.
16. For the next 100 days, pay for everything with paper money and keep any change that you receive. Then, put all of your change in a jar and see how much money you can accumulate in 100 days.
17. Don’t buy anything that you don’t absolutely need for 100 days. Use any money you save by doing this to do one of the following:
- Pay down your debt, if you have any.
- Put it toward your six month emergency fund.
- Start setting aside money to invest.
18. Set an hour aside every day for the next 100 days to devote to creating one source of passive income.
19. For the next 100 days, take a notebook with you everywhere in order to keep your mind decluttered. Better yet, get yourself this Digital Brain. Record everything, so that it’s safely stored in one place—out of your head—where you can decide what to do with it later. Include things such as the following:
- Ideas for writing assignments.
- Appointment dates.
- To Do list items
20. Track how you spend your time for 5 days. Use the information that you gather in order to create a time budget: the percentage of your time that you want to devote to each activity that you engage in on a regular basis. This can include things such as:
- Income-Generating Activities
Make sure that you stick to your time budget for the remaining 95 days.
21. Identify one low-priority activity which you can stop doing for the next 100 days, and devote that time to a high priority task instead.
22. Identify five ways in which you regularly waste time, and limit the time that you’re going to spend on these activities each day, for the next 100 days. Here are three examples:
- Watch no more than half-an-hour of television a day.
- Spend no more than half-an-hour each day on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Stumbleupon.
- Spend no more than twenty minutes a day playing video games.
23. For the next 100 days, stop multi-tasking; do one thing at a time without distractions.
24. For the next 100 days, plan your day the night before.
25. For the next 100 days, do the most important thing on your To-Do list first, before you do anything else.
26. For the next 14 weeks, conduct a review of each week. During your weekly review, answer the following:
- What did you accomplish?
- What went wrong?
- What went right?
27. For the next 100 days, spend a few minutes at the end of each day organizing your desk, filing papers, and making sure that your work area is clean and orderly, so that you can walk in to a neat desk the next day.
28. Make a list of all of the commitments and social obligations that you have in the next 100 days. Then, take out a red pen and cross out anything that does not truly bring you joy or help move you along the path to achieving your main life goals. This guide on prioritization will help you find out what matters to you most.
29. For the next 100 days, every time that you switch to a new activity throughout the day stop and ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time at this moment?”
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30. Losing a pound of fat requires burning 3500 calories. If you reduce your caloric intake by 175 calories a day for the next 100 days, you’ll have lost 5 pounds in the next 100 days.
31. For the next 100 days, eat five servings of vegetables every day.
32. For the next 100 days, eat three servings of fruit of every day.
33. Choose one food that constantly sabotages your efforts to eat healthier—whether it’s the decadent cheesecake from the bakery around the corner, deep-dish pizza, or your favorite potato chips—and go cold turkey for the next 100 days.
34. For the next 100 days, eat from a smaller plate to help control portion size.
35. For the next 100 days, buy 100% natural juices instead of the kind with added sugar and preservatives.
36. For the next 100 days, instead of carbonated drinks, drink water.
37. Create a list of 10 healthy, easy to fix breakfast meals.
38. Create a list of 20 healthy, easy to fix meals which can be eaten for lunch or dinner.
39. Create a list of 10 healthy, easy to fix snacks.
40. Use your lists of healthy breakfast meals, lunches, dinners, and snacks in order to plan out your meals for the week ahead of time. Do this for the next 14 weeks.
41. For the next 100 days, keep a food log. This will help you to identify where you’re deviating from your planned menu, and where you’re consuming extra calories.
42. For the next 100 days, get at least twenty minutes of daily exercise.
43. Wear a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps, every day, for the next 100 days. Every step you take during the day counts toward the 10,000 steps:
- When you walk to your car.
- When you walk from your desk to the bathroom.
- When you walk over to talk to a co-worker, and so on.
44. Set up a weight chart and post it up in your bathroom. Every week for the next 14 weeks, keep track of the following:
- Your weight.
- Your percentage of body fat.
- Your waist circumference.
45. For the next 100 days, set your watch to beep once an hour, or set up a computer reminder, to make sure that you drink water on a regular basis throughout the day.
46. For the next 100 days, make it a daily ritual to mediate, breath, or visualize every day in order to calm your mind.
47. For the next 100 days, actively look for something positive in your partner every day, and write it down.
48. Create a scrapbook of all the things you and your partner do together during the next 100 days. At the end of the 100 days, give your partner the list you created of positive things you observed about them each day, as well as the scrapbook you created.
49. Identify 3 actions that you’re going to take each day, for the next 100 days, in order to strengthen your relationship. These can include the following:
- Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” to your significant other every morning.
- Hug your significant other as soon as you see each other after work.
- Go for a twenty minute walk together every day after dinner; hold hands.
50. Connect with someone new every day for the next 100 days, whether it’s by greeting a neighbor you’ve never spoken to before, following someone new on Twitter, leaving a comment on a blog you’ve never commented on before, and so on.
51. For the next 100 days, make it a point to associate with people you admire, respect and want to be like.
52. For the next 100 days, when someone does or says something that upsets you, take a minute to think over your response instead of answering right away.
53. For the next 100 days, don’t even think of passing judgment until you’ve heard both sides of the story.
54. For the next 100 days do one kind deed for someone every day, however small, even if it’s just sending a silent blessing their way.
55. For the next 100 days, make it a point to give praise and approval to those who deserve it.
56. For the next 100 days, practice active listening. When someone is talking to you, remain focused on what they’re saying, instead of rehearsing in your head what you’re going to say next. Paraphrase what you think you heard them say to make sure that you haven’t misinterpreted them, and encourage them to elaborate on any points you’re still not clear about.
57. Practice empathy for the next 100 days. If you disagree with someone, try to see the world from their perspective; put yourself in their shoes. Be curious about the other person, about their beliefs and their life experience, and about the thinking process that they followed to reach their conclusions.
58. For the next 100 days, stay in your own life and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
59. For the next 100 days, place the best possible interpretation on the actions of others.
60. For the next 100 days, keep reminding yourself that everyone is doing the best that they can.
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