The Need for Life Improvement
If you do what you have always done, you will remain where you have always been. The journey of life improvement is significant. Unfortunately, many noble souls have failed at it utterly. As the saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. However, surprisingly, many have looked to take just one step to reach their destination. This has led them to frustration and fast diminishing life. A popular example is making New Year’s resolutions. An average of 60% make New Year’s resolution, but only about 8% or less achieve it.
To achieve goals such as those written in New Year’s resolution, one must have a clear plan for how those goals will foster life improvement. The root of life improvement is one’s ideology. That is why the human idea box, the mind, is the epicentre of life improvement. There goes the saying; life is as good as your mindset. Because as soon as you accept responsibility for what goes on in your mind, you have claimed the power to change anything in your life. It is only with a positive mind that you can think of positive and productive thoughts. Since ideas rule the world, these productive thoughts and ideas influence you and bring about positive actions.
Why 90 days?
It is not only thoughts and actions that define an improved life. An improved life consists of thought, action, habit, character, and lifestyle. To achieve the life improvement aim of an improved lifestyle, we will be using the 21/90 rule. The rule says it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, and it takes 90 days to create a lifestyle. Now, the life improvement process has already begun. Your mind now has a new lifestyle in view for 90 days from now. If you do not know where you want to be in 90 days, you will never get there.
It is time to buckle down and follow these 15 small ways to improve your life. Stop wishing and start walking! And in 90 days from now, you will be glad you followed all the way!
NB: You should set a note aside for planning and writing. You could use your notepad as well. Do not forget to include all the steps discussed below in the note.
1. Plan your next 90 days
Starting with a plan is very important. As the popular quote by Benjamin Franklin goes, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Therefore, you have to make a comprehensive plan of the things you will be doing for the next 90 days. Your plan should include ten habits you intend to inculcate over this exercise to achieve total life improvement. Do not be afraid to set high goals, but make sure the goals are statistically realistic.
2. Differentiate between workdays and holidays
Planning for workdays is different from planning for weekends and other holidays. For instance, workdays can include 8 hours of office time, while holidays could be 24 hours of family, friends, and social media. Following some of the paths defined below while on a trip is not impossible. But with a plan, it becomes much easier. Therefore, as soon as you wake up, plan your day. Remove all the extravagant activities such as watching or reading social media comments. You can replace such activity with family time or quality hang out with friends. You can plan your break time at work to be used for replying to emails or watching a career-related Ted Talk. Now, before every night’s rest, you should take time to check the plan you made in the morning. See how much of it you have covered. Write out the ones left out in a space for the next day.
3. Start your day at the same time and with the same routine
This should also be included in your plan. If you intend to cut back on your sleeping time, waking up early is a great opportunity to do that. Most importantly, wake up the same time every day. Waking up at the same time every day boosts the internal and external processes that regulate your daily cycle, circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm includes all the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that happen in a daily circle. Setting up your day to depict the same life improvement processes makes achieving your goals in the next 90 days a much achievable feat.
To match your morning alarm should also be routines that will not only keep you awake but serve as your next step of life improvement. As a form of daily reminder, envisioning your 90 days goal should be part of your morning routine. This will keep the goals afresh in your mind all day long and help you scale each goal daily. Other morning routines would include a cold/warm shower, getting ready for the day’s work, and so on.
4. Sleep at the same time every day
Do not forget to include this in your plan note. Sleeping at night is often dependent on how your day goes. But the chances are that you will be able to sleep once the day’s encumberment is off your mind. It is at this stage that your night routine kicks in. Here, the routine comes first. Then you can relax and sleep like a baby. However, time is of the essence. Man needs an average of 6-8 hours of sleep. Night routines should include finishing up assignments and (if needed) having another shower.
5. Read a good book
You have probably heard it said that “A reader is a leader.” That is true. Reading is a powerful tool for building the mind to bring about life improvement. Studies have shown that reading a book is as good as experiencing life the way the writer experienced it. However, what you read is what you become. To improve your life, you have to pick a good book. To pick a good book, you can consult with your team members or others who read well. You can also choose books written by people who are Nobel Prize winners. There are also “best book ever lists” and online apps such as Goodreads that have ratings for each book. You should include it in your plan every day and make a habit of it.
6. Write every day inkling
Writing equips one with both thinking and communication skills. It is one of the most potent forms of expression. Writing out your plan alone is a huge step to achieving the plan. It helps to capture ideas and makes it possible to refine the ideas. You can start with the Morning pages. Morning pages were invented by Julia Cameron, who defined them as “three pages of longhand, stream of conscious writing, done first thing in the morning…They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind – and for your eyes only.” Some of the ideas can be business ideas that will prompt your company’s growth or ideas to generate more income. Another thing you can write about is the points gotten from the book you have studied.
7. Practice active listening
An average person hears between 20,000 and 30,000 words every day. But it is not enough to hear words, especially ones that are (flying around and) not necessarily directed to you. Listening is a profound communication skill. Listening means accurately receiving and interpreting a message. If knowledge about life improvement is communicated to you, the only way to avoid misinterpretation is to listen. However, listening can be active or passive, among many other types. You should participate in active listening to achieve the life improvement goals you have set for these 90 days. Active listening is distinct for response and remembering what was said. The responses help to demonstrate that you understand what is being communicated. On the other hand, passive listening does not ask questions or give feedback about what is communicated. Your 90 days life improvement plan must include listening to a podcast and good music. You can practice active listening by writing down your reflection on the podcast. Picking out good music and podcast takes the same process as picking a good book.
8. Get creative about using social media
Social media has a lot of benefits, but it can be a hindrance to your goals of life improvement. People spend so many hours on social media every day. Maybe it is one of the habits you want to break off from during this 90 days exercise. To start with breaking the habit, you can use applications to lock your social media apps and website. To overcome the temptation of unlocking it, use a time lock. With time lock, you cannot use your social media until the set time elapses. Now, you can get creative with the time you spend on your social media accounts. One way to do that is to block or mute accounts that are most distracting and less educational. Then replace such accounts with more educational and inspirational accounts that will encourage you through the process of life improvement.
9. Create a clean environment
The same way you have gotten rid of distractions on your social media accounts, you should do the same in your house and at your workplace. Do you know that a work desk is on averagely 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat? That is true. But when you have a clean environment, it lowers stress. Hence, you can actively pursue life improvement. Cleaning your environment includes arranging your environment to remove clusters. An arranged environment reduces distraction and improves concentration. Therefore, get rid of distractions at home and your workplace.
10. Improve your diet
What goes into your stomach should match the quality of knowledge that your mind thinks on. Firstly, you have to rethink the idea that healthy food is costly. Think of how much more will be spent to foot hospital bills if you have health complications because of malnutrition. Now, you have to fix your mealtimes. By doing so, you can avoid eating on the go. After that, you must take balance nutrition seriously. Make sure it contains carbs, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and water. Now, remove extra fat from your diet. For instance, remove the skin of your chicken or turkey before cooking them. Above all, always stay hydrated. Also, track your food intake by penning it down in your plan note. Fasting is also a good practice. It boosts brain function and promotes blood sugar control, among many other benefits.
11. Engage in physical exercise
Exercise is essential to life improvement. Improving the quality of your health also improves the quality of your life and its all-round productivity. It serves as a complement to your balanced diet. Another common importance is that it strengthens the muscle and boosts endurance. At least you must walk for 20 minutes daily. Now, to make your life improvement more productive, walking outside the house is advised. It allows you to enjoy the fresh air and embrace nature. Other forms of indoor and outdoor exercises can take place. All these must be well included in your plan note. If your goal during this life improvement journey is losing weight, participating in more physical exercise is the key.
12. Practice financial frugality
Financial frugality will improve the quality of your financial life. Life improvement and financial improvement go hand in hand. And frugality is what helps you to avoid wasting your resources. Instead, it helps you multiply your resources. Frugality is neither being cheap nor being a miser. What it means is being financially smart with making and spending money. For instance, you can get more products of value for a lesser amount of money. However, such a product must still be of high value. Frugality includes budgeting your money. You can start with the 60/30/10 budget rule. The breaking down process is that 60% will be used for all your fixed monthly expenses, 30% will serve as your investment fund, while 10% will be your saved funds for unforeseen expenses. For effectiveness, include this in your plans daily.
13. Have quality family or relationship time
Human satisfaction is the key to life improvement. And the quality of your relationships is one way to attain such satisfaction. Relationships communicate love and value, which is the fundamental craving of every man. In this journey of life improvement, emotional stability is vital for an effective mind. Family, friends, and work relationships are the social grounds for displaying emotional intelligence. Therefore, you must relate to your folks. You can pick a funny movie for night time with your family, attend dinner with your friends, and business milestones with your coworkers. These relationships are expected to offer encouragement to you in the long run. Hence, encourage them at every given opportunity. Appreciate them by saying good things about them behind them and to their face. It is vital to learn that talking about other people, friends, and foes alike is a bad habit. As an alternative, you can share ideas. Keeping to this path is very important to improve your life significantly.
14. Connect with new people
Meeting new people can be exciting, frightening, as well as life-improving. It can open up various lines of thought, ideas, and career network for you. Helping new people gives a sense of fulfilment. The new connection can be with the new employee at the workplace you have never talked with. It can also be a neighbor a few blocks away from yours that you have never spoken to before. In this life improvement journey, you must make sure you make at least one new connection every day. Say hello to them, find a common topic to discuss, and, if possible, share contact. Other than these, do a kind deed every day for random people. Make coffee for a coworker you were not friending. Tip your Uber driver. Include such expenses in your budget and note it every day before day’s activities and at night before going to bed.
15. Reward yourself every day
Rewarding yourself should be more compelling than be rewarded by someone else. One important way to reward yourself is by acknowledging your growth. Daily, list all your accomplishments on this path of self-improvement. Now, find something you like to reward yourself. For instance, you can have a stay-at-home movie night. You can buy something nice for yourself while making sure it is still within your budget. You can go hiking for a change, visit a spa or take a trip to another town. You can even take a day off work. Do not be limited by my list of suggestions on how to reward yourself. Just make sure the reward does not come at the detriment of your life improvement goals for these 90 days.
Life improvement is achievable. If you have faithfully followed these steps, you have significantly improved the quality of your life. To continue on this path, practice mindfulness. Be careful and conscious of your thoughts and action. Repeat the good ones and remove the bad thoughts from your mind. Such good thought is repeating this step for another 90 days. You should know this: each day of the 365 that makes up a year is an opportunity for you to establish life improvement.
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