Just because it’s officially past the new year, doesn’t mean we have to fall victim to “forgetting” about those new year resolutions. Don’t let February drag you down in life and become another statistic. Use it as a way to motivate and check-in with yourself.
This post provides things you can be doing every day to lead a better and more colorful life. Instead of thinking about this as just another February, make this Feb-YOU-ary and focus on growth and progress!
So here are 10 things you can do each day to lead a better life:
1. Enjoy nature.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that’s an excuse not to enjoy nature. Bundle up, put some headphones in, start a new episode of your favorite podcast and go for a walk around the block.
Take the pup for a quick stroll when you get home from work.
Walk to the store down the street instead of driving.
Whatever the case may be, walking in nature is good for the brain.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin
Don’t waste a day. Life’s too short.
3. Catch up with someone in your network
There’s no excuse not to do this every single day. It’s the 21st century – you can connect with people either in-person or digitally through social media, texting or calling.
Setup a coffee with an old colleague or mentor. Reach out to an old friend via Facebook and let them know you’re thinking about them. Call a family member you haven’t talked to in a while on your commute home from work. Be it a big or small gesture, just do it.
Whether it’s the daily newspaper, your favorite online magazine or your latest book you should take time to read.
For me, I catch-up on current events every morning with The Skimm and will pull out my Kindle Paperwhite when I have a few minutes in-line at the coffee shop or during lunch to read a few pages from the latest book in my queue (check out my Goodreads profile for some recommendations).
Even if you can only do it for 15 minutes, it’s better than nothing! Need proof? Here’s all the evidentiary support you need.
5. Keep a “ta-da” list
We all have our dreaded to-do lists and if yours looks anything like mine on most days, it can be overwhelming. To counter this I have a “ta-da” list that keeps track of everything I did for that day that relates to a certain goal.
Finished a report for a client: ta-da list.
Hit your step goal for the day: ta-da list.
Pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone: ta-da list.
Feel fabulous and keep track of your accomplishments.
6. Try a different route
Unless you’re a travel blogger or runway model, many of us face the monotony of the 9 to 5 workday. Spice it up by taking just a slightly different route to or from work. Even the slightest change in scenery can make a world of difference.
And who knows? You could even stumble upon a new store or restaurant you never noticed before. Oh, the places you’ll go!
Avoid the effect of Hurricane Clutter by spending just a few minutes a day getting rid of excess stuff.
Go through that one stack (or 20) of papers by your desk and recycle what you don’t need and scan the rest to save on your computer. Pick up those random pair of mismatched shoes sitting in the hallway at home and reunite them with their mates. For my digitally inclined peeps, spend 15 minutes organizing your desktop computer so it doesn’t end up looking something like this:
Whatever it is, embrace the mantra: destress and tackle the mess.
Nobody likes exercise. People like the way exercise makes them feel. Just remember that. And if you’re one of the people who thoroughly enjoys lunges and running six miles in the rain…what’s wrong with you? (just kidding…sort of)
In all seriousness, it’s all about short-term pain for long-term gain. The sooner you start forming the habit, the easier it will become. And don’t overdo it. Start with 30-minutes a day on the elliptical, three days a week. That’s where I’m at now. I’m on week three and it’s getting easier to head to the gym at 6 a.m. (and trust me, even two months ago I would’ve signed in blood that I would never say that. Look at me now, ma!).
Write a short story. Scribble your grocery list. Doodle some thoughts about a project you’re working on. Keep a journal. Reflect on your day so far.
No matter what you do, make an effort to write every single day. Start small.
Need an extra push? Check out this great post from Zen Habits.
10. Choose happiness
This is obvious…in theory. While we know happiness is important, it can sometimes be challenging to always see things through a glass half full lens. That’s why it’s important to make a point of seeing the brighter side of things.
Besides the fact that people appreciate cheerful people, there are also numerous health benefits to optimism.
So don’t limit yourself with pessimism. Make sure your outlook is always half full, rather than half empty! If you’re looking for more information on being happier, check out Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. I read this a few year’s back and it’s a nice framework for a path to happier days.
There you have it!
This is a great start to improve your daily life. And if you made it to this point you also completed your daily dose of reading for the day…add that to your “ta-da” list!
What other things are on your top 10 list? Share below in the comments!