12 Things Guaranteed to Improve Your Life (So Start Doing Them!)

Photo courtesy of kalyan02

We’ve talked about the top twelve things that could be making your life hell and why you should stop doing them immediately. So, now that we’re potentially doing twelve LESS things every day - it seems that our schedules should be opening up a bit.

In an effort to stay away from those nasty habits that do nothing but drag us down, let’s try replacing them with twelve things that will only have positive effects on our lives:

  1. Laugh – I’m naturally a pokerface kind of gal – most of my friends will tell you it takes a lot to really make me laugh, but, based on the fact that the Mayo Clinic says laughing a lot relieves pain among many other things, consider me a crack up from this day forward.
  2. Say nice things about others – Remember when your mother used to tell you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything?” Unless it’s constructive criticism, focus on the good things about other people, or better yet, don’t worry so much about everyone else!
  3. See the glass as half full – Even if you’re missing both legs and an arm, you’ve still got a beating heart, a working brain, and a WHOLE OTHER ARM! ‘When you focus on what you do have, you will always have plenty.’ - Gillian MacBeth
  4. Meditate – By taking the time to regularly limit the stimulation on your nervous system, you can increase your powers of awareness, which will allow you to fully engage in and enjoy your life experiences.
  5. Appreciate the joy that comes from small pleasures – After all, life’s big pleasures (vacations, birthdays, holidays) only come around once in awhile. A happy life is made up of small pleasures. Listen for and see all of the small beauties and pleasures that are all around us.
  6. Take credit for being awesome – Accept compliments and own your accomplishments. If you deserve credit, TAKE IT. You’ll become more self-assured, which will actually impress people even more.
  7. Choose friends who are positive thinkers – Because we eventually pick up the habits and attitudes of those we spend the most time with, spend the majority of your time with the people who make you feel like the best version of yourself.
  8. Show gratitude – Being thankful for all of the good in our lives only perpetuates good feelings all around.  And be sure to tell those around you how much you appreciate all that they bring to your life.
  9. Help someone else  – The happier you become, the more you feel like helping other people. Why not see if it works in reverse? Lending someone a hand gives you a feeling of satisfaction and can even make you start to see your own faults in a more positive light.
  10. Do what you enjoy - You never have to do something – you choose to.  If you’re spending a lot of time doing something you don’t enjoy, ask yourself why and start choosing differently.
  11. Project confidence – In order to get what you want, approach situations in a relaxed manner. Speak clearly, make eye contact, and smile.
  12. Say “yes” – When you’re invited to take part in something, whether it’s listening to your nephew’s fourth grade play or going to an independent film festival, get into the habit of saying YES!

If you’re working toward creating a better version of your life, remember that reactions only happen with actions. Don’t just wait for a better life – make one.


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    • Laurie

      After I read the first post, I printed it and started a conscious effort to stop what I was still doing from the list.  When I crossed off an item, I thought, ‘I need to know what to do instead’ and I am so glad you read my mind!

      I am one of those people who say ‘yes’ too much.  I would love your ideas on balancing the saying ‘yes’ with declining due to the need for self-care.  Thanks!

      • Adrienne McGuire

        I thought of that too, as I was writing this post. Some people say “yes” too much! I guess for people like you, the goal would be to say “yes” to the things that you feel will improve your life and learn to say “no” to SOME of the things that you’d rather not do but feel compelled to do. I think I will do some research and talk to my therapist about her ideas on helping people to say “no” without guilt.