It’s too common to want to improve our lives so that we live the best ones. You may think of making huge changes as the beginning of a new year. But the truth is that smaller, more sustainable actions and hacks actually help you improve your day-to-day life when they add up over time.
These simple little tricks and habits can help you be more productive, feel happier, work more efficiently, and generally live the best life.
But the hard part comes in figuring out what and how to improve your life. And, I’m here listing out 8 small changes you can improve in your life.
1. Put Your Alarm at the End of Your Bedroom
If you’re not a morning person or you just want to get up early to give yourself more time to get things done, but you just couldn’t stop yourself from pressing the “snooze” button, you may try this trick by putting your alarm at the end of your bedroom.
I did this trick when I first started to wake up early in the morning, 3 hours earlier before getting to work. If I keep my alarm which is my phone, next to my bed, I’ll unconsciously hit the “snooze” button every time it rings.
Keeping the alarm far away, especially at the end of your bedroom force you to actually wake up, walk to the phone and pick it up. These small little actions can actually wake you up when you finally get to your alarm.
2. Add 1 Personal Goal to Your Daily To-Do List
Our to-do list mostly consists of what we have to do at work for that day. Very few of us actually add our personal goals to this list. If you haven’t already, you may want to consider doing so.
Adding your personal goal to your to-do list help you to stay focus not only on your career but also on your personal life. This can be something simple like cooking dinner for you and your partner, making the bed first thing when you get up, doing 20 minutes of exercise, or just anything that isn’t related to your work.
Work is an important aspect of life, but we also need a work-life balance. Try to keep your working to-do list short and add 1 personal goal daily.
3. Carry Your Water Bottle Wherever You Go
We all know the average water an adult should drink is about 8 glasses water, which equals 2 litres or half a gallon a day. Our body is basically 60% water. The body constantly loses water throughout the day, mostly through urine and sweat but also regular body functions like breathing. To prevent dehydration, we have to keep feeding water to our bodies.
We usually forget to drink water when we get too busy or carried away by our work. So, keep your water bottle next to you everywhere you go, and by doing that, you definitely won’t forget to drink it.
I suggest buying a water bottle that you can see through, so you always be reminded of how much you’ve consumed.
4. Do Your Own Meal Prep
The modern life we’re living in now is very convenient. Just one click and well-cooked delicious food will be sent right in front of your house. I mean… Who doesn’t love eating, right? We all love delicious food. But, how well do you know about the food you ordered from those online food ordering apps? I’m not saying they’re bad choices. They’re delicious, in fact, way more delicious than any food we’ve ever made in our lives.
We often focus on the taste of the food instead of the nutrition inside of the food we eat. For example, fast-food chain – the unspeakable crispy fried chicken, perfectly seasoned burger patty and freshly fried fries. These are delicious, but they’re calorie-dense food, which means high in calories and low in nutrients.
My advice is to prepare your own meal. If you have no time to cook every single night, you can do weekly meal prep. Doing your own meal is very easy. You get to save money and eat healthier because you know how much salt and other seasonings you put in. That’s way better than ordering from an online food ordering app.
5. Add a Cup of Green to Your Meal
Now comes the real game-changer, the ultimate nutrient-dense food; that is high in nutritional value and low in calories, the greens a.k.a vegetables. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. Adding greens to your meal not only offer numerous health benefits but also reduced the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and other major health diseases.
The easiest and healthiest way to cook vegetables is to boil or steam. I love steamed broccoli. This is the easiest way to cook without taking much time and is delicious to eat. Instead of cooking in a big batch and keeping them in the freezer or fridge, cook them before you eat to keep the freshness level to the max.
6. Limit the Amount of Junk Food Consumption
Snacking is good for our bodies. Snacking halfway between meals keep our energy levels consistent, so we can prevent overeating during mealtimes. But this doesn’t mean you can just snack on anything you want. When we talk about snacks, we’ll surely think of potato chips, chocolate, pretzels and all those junk food. If you snack on this junk food often, then you may want to consider swapping to healthier choices. For example, swap to seaweed crisps instead of potato chips, unsalted popcorn instead of pretzels, and dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that you have to eliminate the junk food you want. Just limit the amount of junk food you consumed to once or twice a month and swap the rest of your days to healthier choices.
7. Write out Your To-Do List the Night Before and Keep It next To Your Alarm
Another thing I found that really changed my life is by writing out my to-do list for the next day before sleep. If I have my to-do list listed out already, I can get started my day knowing what to do instead of wondering and wasting my time and energy thinking about it in the morning. Doing this can reduce anxiety as we already know what to expect for the next day and decision fatigue as well. So, write out your to-do list for the next day the night before. Also, keep your to-do list next to your alarm or phone so you can grab it together when you head out.
You may as well want to read this article about decision fatigue:
8. Take At Least 10 Minutes to Sit Still and Do Nothing
The world we’re living in now is a very fast pace world. Everything moves very fast before you even know. Moving from a place to another place, making 20 phone calls a day, grabbing a sandwich while working during lunchtime, and hitting the drive-thru on the way back home. Do these sound familiar to you? We just never stop doing “something” every second moment of our lives.
This is extremely bad for our mental and physical health because we never get a chance to really sit down and rest. Our minds continue racing throughout the entire night and this can lead us to insomnia. So, take a moment, at least 10 minutes to sit still, close your eyes and do nothing. Focus on your breathing and how your body moves when you breathe in and out. This is what we called “meditation”. Meditation can calm our racing minds and help us focus on living in the present by slowing down.
I understand that not everyone has all the time to focus on themselves when there’s a real job and family to pay attention to, so let’s start small. You can slowly make changes by trying one of these changes on the first day. Then, add another one the next day and so on. Building a new habit takes effort and time. So, be patient and take it slowly.