When people wonder about how to improve their day to day life, many may think they need to turn their lives around and perform a full life makeover.
However, that’s not true at all!
Performing these small but significant activities on a daily basis can boost your mood and your energy levels, make you smarter, reduce your anxiety levels and bring abundance to your life.
The best part? You can start TODAY!
If you want to improve your daily life, check out this list and don’t wait long before you start implementing these simple but life-changing habits.
How to improve your day to day life
I’ve been practicing gratitude journaling for around a month now and the results have been impressive.
I feel a lot happier and calmer. And, as if by magic, things are improving a great deal in my business and personal life.
Take a piece of paper or journal and a pen and write down three things you feel deeply grateful for. Do this in the morning before your day starts and right before bed.
List anything, no matter how big or small you think it is. Write it down and feel that gratitude flooding your whole body. Think about how different your life would be if you didn’t have that one thing.
Clean up your space before starting your day
According to the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, a cluttered environment limit’s your ability to process information.
What happens is that the number of objects you see while you’re working and the actual task you’re working on competing for your brain’s attention, resulting in less focus on the thing you’re doing.
Basically, all the objects and clutter you can see around you can distract you and lower your productivity levels.
So yes, working on a cluttered and disorganized space can actually mess with your work or study.
Before you get to work, especially if you work from home or if you’re a student, take 10-15 minutes of your time to declutter your desk, tide up a little or sweep the floor. You’ll thank yourself later!
Watch your breathing
We may think that breathing is a thing that kind of just… happens. We don’t need to control it, right? Our own body takes care of it “automatically”.
Well, if you think like that, you’re wrong.
Breathing correctly is actually something you need to train yourself to do because if you’re like most people, you probably have some bad breathing habits like taking short breaths or holding your breath.
It’s crazy, but sometimes when I’m feeling anxious I realize I’m not breathing!
So, as with any other thing in life, practicing daily will make you a master of the subject.
Every once in a while make sure you’re breathing through your nose, with your mouth closed. Take long, deep breaths and feel your lungs filling up. Exhale and repeat.
Read a non-fiction book
Yes, you’ve probably heard this one a thousand times and if you haven’t built this daily habit yet, I’m hopeful that if you see it one more time, you’ll be convinced to start today.
Now, I’m not talking about reading Harry Potter (no offense). I’m talking about reading non-fiction books about topics that interest you and can help you learn something useful and make progress towards something you want to achieve.
If you want to make progress in life you’ll need help from other people and there’s no better way to access someone else’s knowledge than reading a good non-fiction book about a subject you’re interested in.
Remember there’s an endless number of lessons to learn in every area of your life and reading books on those areas will speed up the process and save you a lot of time and effort.
My top 3 non-fiction books I’ve read this year, in no particular order:
- Can’t Hurt Me, by David Goggins
- The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy
- The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau
Set daily intentions
Do you want to make real progress in a specific area of your life?
Whether it’s work, relationships, your health or a passion project, you need to take small steps every day to get where you want to be and build habits that last.
Start your day by setting a daily intention about what you want to achieve that day. Write it down and make sure you work towards that.
Doing this daily will prevent you from feeling lost and bored.
Wake up as soon as your alarm goes off
This one’s hard, I know.
However, since your mornings can actually set the tone for the rest of your day, you won’t want to let laziness defeat you, don’t you?
As I said before, I know it’s hard. But try waking up before dawn (or as early as you can handle) for a set period of time (let’s say 5-7 days).
Use that extra time to work on your side hustle or passion project and, by the end of that set period of time, assess how you feel about waking up early and at the same time each day.
Waking up at 5 a.m. every day to write and work on my blog until 6:30 a.m. has allowed me to start and maintain this project no matter what life throws at me during the day.
You’ll see it’s 100% worth it. Trust me.
In case you’re not familiar with Marie Kondo and the “decluttering trend” she’s inspired, let me introduce you to the topic.
Living and working on a cluttered space increases your stress and anxiety levels, decreases productivity, encourages bad eating and spending habits, and even triggers respiratory issues due to all the dust that accumulates in cluttered homes.
Decluttering your home or office will bring you countless benefits; it helps you be more productive and it can even ease family tension. Besides, decluttering makes you feel happier and calmer when you’re home.
Throw away objects that aren’t serving you, like that pen that ran out of ink but for some reason, it’s still lying around somewhere or empties of products you’ve used up. Check your fridge and throw away spoiled food.
Digital decluttering is also a thing: Unfollow that Instagram “influencer” that makes you fall into comparison traps, delete those unread emails in your inbox you’re never going to read, unsubscribe from that email list, delete that Evernote note you saved 7 years ago.
Also, take some time to gather things you could donate because they work perfectly fine but you don’t like/need them anymore.
In case you don’t know them (and you totally should) check out The Minimalists podcast. I recently discover this minimalism 30-Day game they came up with that basically consists of throwing away or donating things for 30 days straight and I’m so ready to start!
Write on your journal
If you’ve read my other posts you probably already know how much I love journaling.
Journaling consists of taking some minutes a day to write down whatever’s in your head.
There are several types of journaling like morning pages or gratitude journaling and they all serve different and amazing purposes.
Take 10-15 minutes every day to write down your thoughts and let them out. This will help you recognize thought patterns, boost your mood, know yourself better and fight stress.
You can also list things you’re grateful for. Make a little 3-item list in the morning and another one in the evening of things that make you feel grateful. Showing gratitude increases your calmness and brings every kind of abundance into your life.
Drink enough water
Did you know that our bodies are mainly made up of water? That’s correct. Around 60% of our bodies is water.
Drinking enough has amazing benefits like helping your body flush waste, preventing kidney damage and delivering oxygen throughout your body.
Surprisingly, many people don’t drink enough because they simply forget or because they wait until they’re thirsty to gulp down that cup of water.
The best method to keep a large bottle full of water whenever you go. Make sure you fill it first thing in the morning and have it by your side when you’re working or studying. Having it on hand will help you drink more and drinking more water will, in turn, make you smarter and look fresh!.
Eat more fruits and veggies
I can’t stress this one enough.
If you want to live a fulfilling life, you need to take care of your body. Giving your body what it needs to function correctly boosts your mood, helps you heal faster and improves your life as a whole.
Besides, eating enough fruits and vegetables can actually reduce your diabetes and cancer risk.
Find ways to add them to your daily life, like throwing finely chopped veggies on your scrambled eggs or eating a piece of fruit after lunch.
Forget about canned or frozen fruits and veggies and prefer fresh ones instead.
Show people some love
Taking care of our relationships is as important as prioritizing our health and working on our business venture or freelance business.
That’s why it’s so important to take some minutes of our time to show people how much we care about them.
There are many ways to show people you love them: you can text them and let them know you’re thinking about them and want to know what they’ve been up to lately, you can schedule some time off to take a cup of coffee with them or you can just simply tell them you love them.
Doing this on a daily basis will keep your relationships strong and will prevent you from becoming an island.
Limit your phone usage
Our phones are a double-edged sword. Even though they can make our life easier, help us connect with others easily and even increase our productivity, they can also make us develop the habit of using it compulsively.
As a result, we may end up developing cellphone addiction.
Being addicted to your phone can have serious consequences like anger, tension, and even depression when you’re not using it, or headaches, neck pain, and car accidents.
So, limiting your phone usage can keep you safe, more present and more productive.
If you want to make the most of your day, limit your phone usage to 1-2 hours max. Make sure those hours are not immediately before going to bed or after you wake up.
To limit your phone usage, I highly recommend 2 apps:
- Forest. My all-time favorite. Plan a tree every time you’re not using your phone! Stay focused, be present.
- My phone time. (If you’re an iOS user, try Moment) In January, when I started using this one, I realized I was spending THREE HOURS A DAY on Instagram! It was eye-opening. You should totally try this one.
Listen to or read something inspiring
Watching a good Ted Talk, listening to a podcast or even pinning some inspirational quotes every day can fill your cup and make you feel ready!
I’ve been meaning to build this habit for months now and even though I haven’t kept a perfect score for days, I can guarantee that this makes a difference on the way I approach my business and life in general.
Listening to other people’s inspiring stories and lessons helps you build a stronger mindset. When you hear how others achieve what they wanted, you start to believe it’s possible for you to do it as well.
Three of my favorite Ted Talks ever to feel inspired:
- What really matters at the end of life | BJ Miller
- My philosophy for a happy life | Sam Berns | TEDxMidAtlantic
- Own your face | Robert Hoge | TEDxSouthBank
Take a cold shower
I know taking cold showers may sound like nasty torture for some, but the benefits of showering with cold water are totally worth it.
Taking a cold shower:
- increases your levels of alertness, which in turn increases your productivity;
- improves your skin and hair, because it helps them keep their natural oils that keep them moisturized and healthy;
- improves blood flow;
- speeds up muscle recovery (this is especially true for my gym workout buddies out there);
- eases stress.
I haven’t been able to keep up with this habit for long, but I can guarantee the benefits are real. I’m always trying to keep up with it because I know cold showers make me feel ready to seize the day.
Take a cold shower every day for 7 days and feel the difference it makes!
Meditate and practice mindfulness
Ever since I read The Power of Now, I’ve embraced meditation and calmness as the ultimate goal in life.
This book delves into the benefits of living in the present moment and into how harmful it is to spend the whole day thinking about things that already happened or things that haven’t happened yet (and probably never will).
I’m guilty of not keeping the habit to actually sit down to meditate for more than 3 days straight, but I do practice mindfulness on a day to day basis, which is a form of meditation.
Simply put, mindfulness consists of training your mind to focus on what you’re doing right now, in the present moment. Whether you’re doing the dishes, reading, driving, hanging out with people, watching a movie, working, whatever, the present is everything you have.
We tend to do all this stuff on autopilot while thinking about the past or the future.
Last but not least: exercise on a daily basis!
This is a no brainer and you’ve probably heard it a thousand times before, but again, in case you haven’t started yet, I’m hoping that if you read it this one more time, you’ll be finally convinced.
- boosts your serotonin levels as well as your brain sensitivity to that hormone, which boosts your mood and relieves feelings of depression and anxiety;
- makes you look better, which in turn will make you feel better;
- reduces the risk of suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease;
- improves your skin because exercise stimulates blood flow, which protects your skin from aging;
- boosts your brain health;
- helps you sleep better.
No matter which kind of physical activity you’re into. Whether it’s weight-lifting, running, swimming, pilates, yoga, whatever… make time on your day for workouts at least 4 times a week.
You won’t ever regret it.
If you want to change your whole life, bear in mind it’s not possible to perform a full life makeover overnight. It’s key you learn how to improve your day to day life for that big transformation to take place.
You’ll need to start implementing small, but powerful habits on a daily basis that’ll take you where you want to be.
In case you do none or few of the things on this list, pick the one that seems easier to you right now and do it for 21 days straight to build the habit.
If that activity makes you feel better and you see results, it’ll be easy for you to make it part of your day.
Then, little by little, start implementing new ones.
If you try to do them all at once you’ll probably feel frustrated and abandon the whole thing, so don’t fall for the I-want-to-do-it-all-now trap.