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Last Updated on January 3, 2018

60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life in the Next 100 Days

60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life in the Next 100 Days

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.

Below you’ll find 60 small ways to improve all areas of your life in the next 100 days.

Home

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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.

    Happiness

    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.

    Learning/Personal Development

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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.

      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.

      Finances

      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.

      Time Management

      19. For the next 100 days, take a notebook with you everywhere in order to keep your mind decluttered. 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:

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      • Transportation
      • Housework
      • Leisure
      • 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.

      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?”

      Health

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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.

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        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.

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        46. For the next 100 days, make it a daily ritual to mediate, breath, or visualize every day in order to calm your mind.

        Your Relationship

        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.

        Social

        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.

        Featured photo credit: Young pregnant woman holding red balloons. Photo in old color image style. via shutterstock.com

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        Last Updated on August 15, 2018

        7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

        7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

        Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

        Video Summary

        Why is it important to train up our core strength?

        There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

        This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

        Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

        In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

        One Exercise, multiple benefits

        There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

        By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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        When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

        Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

        In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

        What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

        What will happen when you start doing planks every day

          1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

          Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

          • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
          • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
          • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
          • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

          2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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            Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

            Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

            3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

              Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

              4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                5. You’ll improve overall balance

                  Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                  6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                    Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                    7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                      Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                      How to hold a plank position

                      1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                      2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                      3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                      4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                      5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                      6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                      7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                      Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                      Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                        How to improve your plank time gradually

                        1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                        2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                        3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                        Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                        Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                        You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                        • Prolapse
                        • After prolapse surgery
                        • Pelvic pain conditions
                        • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                        • Previous childbirth
                        • Overweight

                        Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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