10 Things You Can Do Immediately To Improve Your Quality of Life

Visual Freedom

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When I first tapped into the world of personal development, I read as many books as I could. Additionally, I listened to podcasts and watched YouTube videos in every spare minute.

I soaked up as much information as possible, but once I faced a small challenge, such as a conflict with my partner, I was overwhelmed. The minute I should finally be doing what all the books preached, I failed.

And for months, I thought the solution was reading more books and listening to more gurus telling me how I could achieve any goal I set to my mind.

Now, three years later, my approach to personal development is different.

Even though I still read a lot, I don’t expect books to change my life. Instead, I’m chasing tiny, actionable pieces of advice I can immediately apply.

If a book contains one single golden nugget, that if applied, can make me happier, healthier, or more successful, it was worth reading.

While looking for these golden nuggets, I came across lots of useless tips and spent hundreds of hours consuming lame content. But I gladly also came across some ideas that I wish I applied earlier:

Replace Gossiping With Learning

Nobody likes complainers, yet, most of us do complain pretty often.

Our brains are wired to find mistakes, and let’s be honest: It’s easier to talk about somebody else’s mistakes than admitting on our own faults, right?

By avoiding gossip and negative talk, you’ll view the world more positively and see solutions instead of problems. You’ll not only be a more enjoyable person to be around, but you’ll also enjoy life more yourself.

How to do it:

Whenever you’re annoyed by a person, look for one thing you can learn from her.

Every single person you meet can teach you something. In the worst case, they’ll show you how you don’t want to be. But hey, that’s an important lesson too.

You could even start an accountability project together with a friend or your partner and remind each other to stop complaining.

Use the Power of Gratitude

Did you know that positivity leads to significantly better performance? And that specific exercises, such as gratitude journaling, can rewire your brain to be more positive in just a few weeks?

When I first came across gratitude journaling, I gave it a try but didn’t believe it could change my life. I sporadically wrote down what I was grateful for, but I didn’t feel thankful.

Yet, last year, a tiny voice in my head guided me to give it one more shot. So I started writing down what I’m grateful for every single morning.

A few weeks into my routine, I was thrilled how not only my mornings but my days were filled with more positivity.

The positive effect of gratitude journaling on my life was no coincidence. Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, found that expressing gratitude improves our mental, physical, and relational wellbeing.

How to do it:

There are many ways to start a gratitude practice, but my recommendation is to keep a gratitude journal.

Grab a notebook and a pen, open the first page, and write down three things you’re grateful for.

If you can’t come up with anything, remind yourself of all the privileges we take for granted nowadays, such as food, shelter, access to clean water, or education.

I do this every single morning. Sometimes, I write down three to five things; sometimes, I write several pages. And every morning, I close my notebook with a smile on my face.

Ask for An Opportunity Every Day

If you’d chase an opportunity a day for an entire year, you’d end up with 365 possibilities for life to surprise you.

Too often, we lack the courage to simply ask for what we want. Yet, without asking, you’ll never get what you want.

As Oprah says:

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”

How to do it:

Grab pen and paper and write down at least three things you want to accomplish or experience in the next 12 months.

Then, brainstorm who might be able to help you get there.

Do you have any friends or acquaintances that might help you? Or do you have any idols you could reach out to and ask if they’d mentor you? Maybe you can join online communities or a mastermind group?

In life, you’ll only get what you ask for. And once you start reaching out to people in a genuine way, you’ll realize how most of them are happy to help and support others.

Create a Wardrobe That Makes You Feel Good

I’m not into fashion, and most of the time, I’m too lazy to dress up.

I spend 90% of my days working from home, so I mostly wear yoga pants and cozy shirts. Yet, I wear yoga pants and shirts that make me feel good.

Clothing matters as it has a significant impact on how we feel. If you don’t feel comfortable and confident in your outfit, it’ll be hard to be confident.

How to do it:

It might take some time to build a wardrobe that represents your personality and makes you feel comfortable, but you can take two steps right now:

#1 Create a Power Outfit

Particularly women know how daunting standing in front of a full wardrobe can feel. That’s why having at least one power outfit that fits well and makes you feel comfortable is priceless.

Whenever you’re in a rush or don’t know what to wear, you can grab these basics that fit well and look great.

If possible, you can even dedicate a small section in your closet to these go-to pieces so that you’re always quick in creating a good looking outfit in case you run late.

#2 Get rid of everything you don’t like wearing

As long as you own pieces you don’t really like, you’ll wear them. And even if you don’t wear them, they take precious space in your life (or at least in your wardrobe).

Get Rid of Anything That Doesn’t Serve You

Not only should you declutter your wardrobe, but also the rest of your home.

Did you ever realize that minimalists seem more relaxed compared to the rest of us?

You don’t necessarily need to be a minimalist, but being careful about what you purchase and keep will help you be more organized in the long run.

Don’t let things clutter up your space if you don’t use them. Instead, make more space for the things that spark joy.

The more things you own, the more time and energy you need to spend on maintaining them and keeping stuff organized.

Marie Kondo suggests asking yourself the following question whenever you’re decluttering:

“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”

How to do it:

Start with one room, one specific drawer, or cupboard, and get rid of anything that doesn’t help you to be happier or more fulfilled.

If you didn’t declutter for a while, you’ll likely find tons of things you can quickly get rid of. And once you do that, you’ll experience a big relief.

Allow Yourself to Enjoy the Luxury of Mindfulness

There’s nothing more powerful than incorporating a few mindful minutes into each of your days.

Meditation is a great way to be more mindful, but it’s not the only one. You can also try breathing exercises, journaling, or a calming activity such as swimming.

Yet, grabbing your favorite cup of tea or coffee, and sitting still for a minute while enjoying the smell and warmth of your favorite drink can also be a mindfulness practice.

Do what feels best and most calming for you and experiment with different routines until you find one you genuinely enjoy.

How to do it:

Pick a simple, short activity that will help you to calm down during stressful days and practice it for 30 days in a row. Once you get used to it, you’ll realize how these silent moments will help you feel much more energized and focused throughout your entire day.

Most people fail in creating meditation routines because they start with big intentions. Instead of aiming for a 30-minute meditation ritual, start with 3 minutes. Once you’ve built a streak of a few days or even weeks, you can increase the intensity.

Drink Water

This might sound weird, but given that more than 70% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated, drink more water is solid life-improvement advice.

60% of your body consists of water. Your body and mind can’t operate properly if you’re dehydrated.

How to do it:

Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go, add your favorite fruits for more flavor and show the world that you’re a responsible adult who cares about staying hydrated and the environment.

And if you’re one of the 70% of dehydrated people who claim to forget drinking water, set an hourly timer on your phone to remind yourself. Easy peasy.

Always Go to the Place Least Crowded

Success and peace are usually found where the least people are. If you follow the masses, you’ll end up where everyone else is. If you, however, want to live a life that is different than the ordinary, you might need to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

As Charlie Munger says:

“Always take the high road, it’s far less crowded.”

How to do it:

Whenever you have the opportunity to choose, don’t go where everybody else goes. Instead, follow your heart and, if necessary, go where there is no path yet and leave a trail.

Avoid Electronics an Hour Before Going to Bed

According to Business Insider, 90% of 18–29 year-olds sleep with their phone in or right next to the bed.

And most of them use their phone until they fall asleep. Yet, what might sound like a fun, enjoyable night activity is actually harming your health, but also your productivity.

Studies prove that you’ll sleep better if you avoid electronic devices before going to bed.

This might not sound like a big deal, but given that our sleep and energy levels majorly impact many areas of our life, it is a big deal.

How to do it:

If you’re used to being on your phone or laptop late at night, start small. You can, for instance, start by putting them aside 15 minutes before going to bed and gradually increase the minutes.

Improve the Quality of Your Sleep

Apart from avoiding electronic devices, you should take care of improving the quality of your sleep in general.

The quality of your sleep is one of the few areas of life where you can’t cheat on yourself. At least not for too long.

A lack of sleep weakens your immune system, harms your productivity, and makes it harder to be happy.

How to do it:

There’s a lot you can do to improve your sleep. Here are a few basic tips you can instantly apply:

  • Make sure to sleep in complete darkness: If exposed to too much bright light, your body doesn’t know if it’s day or night. Thus, sleeping becomes harder, and the quality of the rest drops. Sleeping in an utterly dark room, however, will help you to fall asleep faster and wake up fully recovered. If you can’t darken the room, use a sleep mask.
  • Minimize noise: Close all doors and windows that might lead to unnecessary noises during the night. Additionally, make sure to mute or unplug all devices that might be noisy. On top, you can also use earplugs.
  • Sleep in a cool room: When we go to bed, our body temperature usually drops so that we can fall asleep easier. If the temperature in the bedroom, however, is too high, falling asleep becomes challenging. According to studies, the ideal room temperature for high-quality sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).

Final Thoughts

Most of the time, we make life harder than it needs to be. Sometimes, tiny changes can lead to happiness and fulfillment.

And while each of these points can change your life in one way or the other, this is all just food for thought, and you certainly don’t need to apply all of them.

At the end of the day, your personal development journey is defined by you.

Use these ideas as a source of inspiration and brainstorm what might help you to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled life.

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