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When You Start To Do These 20 Things Today, Your Life Will Be Greatly Improved

When You Start To Do These 20 Things Today, Your Life Will Be Greatly Improved

Life can at times be difficult, boring, or just not quite what we envisioned for ourselves. We get stuck in a rut, a never-ending circle of bad habits, obligations, laziness, and fear of failure. We keep spinning our wheels in place and there never seems to be enough time to do anything about it. Well, I can assure you, there can be plenty of time if you decide to make it. I’m going to assume that initial spark of motivation to change , no matter how small, has brought you to this article, so in a sense, you’ve already made the first tiny step. Now it’s time to make some grown up steps towards self-improvement, and you can start by doing the things listed below.

1. Do a quick warm up and then stretch for about 15 minutes in the morning or during the day

Stretching at home

    When you get out of bed or any time during the day when you feel cramped, do a quick 5 minutes of light running or aerobic exercises to warm up the muscles and then stretch from head to toe for about 15 minutes. This will improve blood flow, make you feel fresh, prevent minor aches and pains, and make you less likely to injure yourself during physical activities.

    2. Start doing a fun form of cardio that lets you blow off steam

    Cardiovascular exercise is great for the heart and can help you blow out all the pent up adrenaline and anger you have. Just choose something that you find fun – for some it’s running long distance, for some it’s sprinting, some like dancing, some yet swimming or punching a heavy bag. Some 3-6 times a week should be enough.

    3. Develop a healthy sleep pattern

    Set a particular time when you want to go to sleep and a time when you wish to get up, and set up your alarm clock to wake you up at the same time every morning. Before going to bed, have a short wind-down ritual – showering, brushing teeth and turning off the lights – and make sure the room is free of all noise and lights.

    4. Cut down on sugary drinks and high-calorie foods with few micronutrients

    If you can’t just quit altogether, try to eat as little fast food as possible. You can switch to diet soda or home-made juice, drink plain black coffee and water. Consumption of anything that is deep fried, full of trans-fat and has no micronutrients or fiber has to be minimized for the sake of health and your figure.

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    5. Start eating more fruit and vegetables

    fruit and veggetables

      Speaking of micronutrients, plenty of vegetables with every meal and a few good servings of fruit each day will ensure that your body has what it needs to feel fresh, focused and ready for anything. It will also help you avoid catching most of the common pesky diseases or feeling sluggish.

      6. Do intense strength training 2-4 times a week

      This will make your muscles grow, but it will also strengthen bones and connective tissue, which will make you less injury prone, improve your aesthetic appeal and boost your confidence through the roof. Regular exercise will also improve your sex drive and help balance out your hormones.

      7. Try to be nice and polite to people throughout the day

      Not only will being polite and generally nice make people like you and more likely to help you out, it will also put you in a positive mindset and help you stay out of trouble. Many a fight has broken out because of a few harsh words and many friendships have started because of a few kind ones.

      8. Work on controlling you anger and letting go of grudges

      Serious fact: road rage and screaming outbursts in bars have gotten many people stabbed, shot and beaten. Grudges and easily hurt pride have ended countless relationships. Work on cool-down tactics like deep slow breathing, and apply them as soon as you feel you’re getting angry. Try not to stay angry with someone over a small thing for more than 10-60 minutes, and then just let it go.

      9. Learn how to protect yourself and those you love

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      back off

        Knowing how to protect yourself and those around you will lower your risk of getting assaulted, but it is about more than just knowing how to throw a punch. You need situational awareness, an understanding of how criminals work, an understanding of how violent people think, knowing what happens during dangerous situations, knowing the legal difference between a fight and self-defense, knowing how to secure your home, knowing what not to do avoid getting attacked, knowing how to be assertive etc. You’ll need to read up on all of these things or get some first-hand instruction, before working on your hand-to-hand combat and 200 meter dash skills.

        10. Devote an hour a day to reading books

        You can read just about anything from classical literature, art and history to books on gardening, staying safe or home DIY. Try to diversify your interests and read both fiction and non-fiction. You will become much more interesting because of all the new things you’ve learned and a lot of the information can come in handy.

        11. Dedicate some time to learning useful skills

        With some things it’s not enough just to read about them – you have to keep practicing to get better. The good news is that you can get good enough at doing small household repairs, cooking or using a piece of software in a few months of active practice. Find the skills that would be most beneficial to you and take 20-60 minutes out of your day to practice them.

        12. Come up with a schedule

        All this exercising, reading, practicing, meditating and anger management will require some spare time on your hands, and the only way to stay on top of things is by making a schedule. Fit in work and family time, but be sure have plenty of little tasks throughout the day and week that will help you improve instead of scheduling four hours of Netflix time.

        13. List the biggest problems you have and work on fixing them one by one

        There are always a few things that we keep in the back of our minds and that keep eating away at us, making us anxious and killing our focus. Make the list of the biggest problems in your life that you would like to solve and bad habits that you would like to change, and then direct most of your energy on one thing until you have solved it or at least made it a smaller problem. Then move on to the next, constantly trying to diminish their hold on you. Ditching bad habits is not easy, but it can be done and it will do wonders for your mental health.

        14. Take 10-20 minutes to meditate each day

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        Meditating to relax

          At the end of the day or whenever you feel stressed, just slip into something comfortable sit down with your back straight, and close your eyes two thirds of the way down and start drawing long slow breaths. When a thought enters your mind, acknowledge it and just let it pass over, like saying no thank you to a Jehovah’s Witness at your door. This will help you control your emotions and reduce stress.

          15. Name your biggest fears and insecurities and face them

          This can be done every day. Name all that you fear and that makes you anxious and insecure, and then address these issues one by one. Say out loud how some of these are irrational, overblown or can be and will be overcome in specific ways. Convince yourself that you are strong, charming and smart enough to overcome all of it, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone from time to time, so you can learn to handle challenges.

          16. Clean up your house

          Some people are slobs that thrive in chaos, but even they can find a method to the madness. Cleaning the room you spend most time in is essential – throw out the trash, dust, vacuum, let some air in, put things in their place, put away the pile of clothes on the chair in the corner, move all the junk off the floor and make some space. A clean home has a more professional feel to it and can keep you motivated and make you more efficient.

          17. Buy some new clothes that you look stunning in

          Looking good means feeling good and the right attire can take care of both those things. If you have no fashion sense, take someone who knows their stuff with you and get yourself a few new items that really bring out your best features. Trust your “stylist” and don’t worry, a lot of great clothes can be very affordable due to sales and if you look for quality rather than brand names – it’s all made in third-world factories anyway.

          18. Get out more and meet new people

          People having fun

            A lack of social life and a bit of variety when it comes to friends can lead to depression, close-mindedness and plenty of missed opportunities. Nothing will happen to you if you stay at home all the time or hang out with the same people in the same places. Not only will you get new experiences and learn new things, you may actually get some great job or career-building opportunities.

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            19. Focus more time and energy on improving your love life

            Going out is fun and all, but a lot of people are missing out on that great feeling of meeting someone new and having plenty of stress-reducing and endorphin-pumping human contact. So, make it a mission to approach cute and sexy people and get more comfortable around someone you like. If you are in a relationship make an effort to keep things hot and exiting, and don’t skimp on little gifts and fun dates.

            20. Start saying “No”, “Sorry” and “That’s interesting, go on” more often

            Saying “No” means knowing what you want, establishing boundaries, not letting people take advantage of you and not succumbing to peer pressure. Saying “Sorry” means you know you can make a mistake sometimes, that you care about other people’s feelings and that you care about keeping the peace more than you care about stroking your ego. The last one is all about letting others speak and listening to what they have to say – you’ll remember a lot of useful information about them and come off as a good friend. All of these will reduce stress, nip problems in the bud and strengthen relationships.

            I know this seems like a lot at first, but if you start making an effort right now, and begin doing these things regularly you will improve your life significantly within the next year.

            Featured photo credit: Amy Clarke/Never a frown, with golden brown via flickr.com

            More by this author

            Ivan Dimitrijevic

            Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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            Last Updated on September 16, 2019

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

            We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

            The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

            Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

            1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

            Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

            For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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            • (1) Research
            • (2) Deciding the topic
            • (3) Creating the outline
            • (4) Drafting the content
            • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
            • (6) Revision
            • (7) etc.

            Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

            2. Change Your Environment

            Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

            One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

            3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

            Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

            Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

            My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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            Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

            4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

            If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

            Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

            I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

            5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

            I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

            Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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            As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

            6. Get a Buddy

            Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

            I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

            7. Tell Others About Your Goals

            This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

            For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

            8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

            What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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            9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

            If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

            Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

            10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

            Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

            Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

            11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

            At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

            Reality check:

            I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

            More About Procrastination

            Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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