Tiny things you can do to make your life significantly better

There is a fascinating thread on Reddit entitled:

What lifestyle tweaks have you made that have made a real difference?

Looking through it, you can find a number of small, simple tweaks that can have a surprisingly positive effect on your life.

The most popular suggestion is eliminating soda from your life and replacing it with water. The benefits include weight loss, elimination of caffeine, drastic reduction in daily sugar intake and saving money. I gave up soda and caffeine when I had my appendix removed. For me, it got rid of cluster headaches I had been having for many years.

Quitting smoking would go into the same category, if you smoke. Huge health benefits and huge money saved.

Number 2 is, “Drink more water, stretching daily”.

Number 3 is to get rid of your old socks and replace with new, identical socks.

Number 4 is “cut out sugar, vastly increased vegetable intake.” There have been whole books written about the benefits of eliminating sugar and white flour from your diet. And the benefit of vegetables is well known. See also this video on the huge benefits of the Mediterranean diet: Mediterranean diet. Into that same category could go: eliminate fast food. It is suggested several times.

Number 5 is go to bed early and get up early. The benefit is time alone in the morning to get things done.

Number 6 is eliminating WoW (World of Warcraft). The same could be said for other video games, and Facebook. The comment made is, “The days are so long now I have no idea what to do with them.” Another comment: “I don’t have to settle arguments or deal with factions or make schedules for others!” Use the time for productive things and make your life better. In this blog post Jim Rohn makes the point that you could change your life by reading books and taking classes to upgrade your skills and knowledge.

Number 7 is working out and eating a better diet. The comment: “girls notice me way more now.”

Number 8 is this: “When I see people I know, even acquaintances, I act like I am genuinely really happy to see them and give them a big smile. Someone else did this for me once. I was hooked.” This comment is made in the thread: “You need to actually realize that you are happy to see them. If you’re not, learn to remind yourself of reasons that you should be while ignoring the reasons you shouldn’t be.”

Number 9 is flossing. Why? See: Floss Daily for a Longer Life Expectancy. The article puts it this way: “There is some debate about how many years you can gain with heart disease. Dr. Perls says 1.5 years, while Dr. Roizen says 6 years.”

Number 10 is this short list:

Stop drinking soda (toughest by far)

Regular sleep schedule. (best results)

Track what i eat.

Track what I spend. (you have NO idea what you are spending when you don’t track it.)

Read :30 per day (not internet or magazines)

Next is dressing better. A little further down is wearing a suit. This point is made: “You can go anywhere if you wear a suit and walk quickly.” People look at you differently when you dress nicely. Is that fair? Not really – it should not matter. But it is a fact that people do, so you can take advantage of the effect. I have a whole chapter on this in The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World.

Another is: “I was in the worst place I’ve been in years (mentally) in January. Came up with a plan to do something “different” every day in February. I followed through and by the end of the month felt awesome, like I could do anything.” He kept a blog of his experience at http://28thingstodo.blogspot.com/. Day 1: Free Boxing Lesson, Day 2: Bake an Apple Pie (from scratch), Day 8: Shoot Guns, Day 19: Trapeze Lessons and so on. This idea of “if your life stinks, do something different” is a powerful one. And this note on what to do if you are considering suicide is laced with profanity but is worth thinking about if you ever get that low in your life: Feeling suicidal? Good, the world is now your oyster. The essence is that, if you are at that point in your life, you have nothing to lose – so you can do absolutely anything. You could abandon your entire life and everything you own and simply leave. Move to anywhere in the world, do anything you want. Since you were going to kill yourself, you can try absolutely anything. Walk across the country living off the kindness of strangers. You can do anything. The author closes with: “When I’m done, maybe I wouldn’t want to kill myself because I’ve seen how beautiful this world is.”

Next is eliminating debt and living debt free. It takes out a huge amount of stress. The book Simplify your life suggests living on half of what you make and saving the rest. Another post puts it this way: “Putting money away as soon as I got my paycheck. Put away what you want to save for each and every paycheck and then spend the rest guilt free. It is really easy to monitor the money you give yourself every week. I buy less crap and I feel great about what I do buy because I know I have cash tucked away.”

Next is exercise more: Biking, running, walking, working out, etc. Daily exercise has huge health and emotional benefits, and can help with weight loss. Exercise is known to help with depression – see Thirty Minutes of Exercise Helps Relieve Major Depressive Symptoms.

Next is this: f.lux to modify the color of your computer screen.

Next is meditation. He says: “regular meditation has amplified my living experience substantially. I am more engaged in the richness of life as a result. I can glide through tasks with pleasant ease, and never feel like I’m flustered or frustrated. It’s hard to explain the subtitles of how practicing meditation has improved my overall well being, its as if people, places, goals, tasks and basically everything else has changed around me plus I have a more confident outlook.” He suggests this guide for beginners.

Another: “Sticking a to-do list on my bedroom door. Also, sticking up pictures of who or whatever is inspiring me at that time. Seeing it first thing in the morning serves to ‘remind me of myself’.” Into this same category would go: making a list of goals and reminding yourself of it 2 or 3 times a day. Write down your goals and post them on your bathroom mirror.

This is a nice list:

1) Remind yourself where you want to be, what you want to be doing, and envision yourself getting there throughout the day. If you have a solid vision, you can make it reality.

2) Start the day with some change in the pocket you normally don’t keep change in & every time you say something nice to someone move a coin to your other pocket. It is a powerful thing to know at the end of the day that, if nothing else, you made a few people feel good about something.

3) Cook dinner for your friends once a week if you can. There is no better bonding than regular dinner as a family.

4) Introduce yourself to everyone you come into contact with at social events, when appropriate. Everyone has a story to share and most have the desire to collaborate. You’ll never know who you might have met and what you could have accomplished together if you don’t say hi and they don’t know your name.

Another is to switch from a “results” orientation to an “effort” orientation. The book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck is recommended. This example is given:

Well for me when I was practicing for soccer, I started out result oriented. My goals were “Be able to juggle 135 times” or “Run 2 miles in under X time.” I would get discouraged every time I couldn’t do it.

But then I made my goals “Practice juggling for 1/2 an hour each day” or “Run 4 times a week.” I would still record my times and juggles, but they weren’t the end goal. I could control if I went out and ran or just juggled. Even if I didn’t get 135 juggles, I still felt good that I got out and practiced.

Another: “Using the computer less. Spending more time outside and around people instead.” This example is offered:

I have gone on serious Internet diets in the past and I think it’s about time for another one. For me, it’s key to realize that you’re not missing anything. It only takes about two days for me and the urge to go back online and catch up on everything I’ve missed just completely passes. If I do go back to whatever sites have been consuming me — I don’t always go back — I feel completely detached from it. It’s really refreshing.

I’ve done this long-term from email (I dumped all my old email addresses and now only check one that just my family and my workplace knows — I get only a couple of emails per day) and from Facebook (I deleted my account over a year ago.)

I can’t explain it, and maybe it’s related to having ADD/inattentive, but there’s a level of chaos and stress that comes along with those stimulI, like having a radio on in another room that you can just barely hear but can’t distinguish the voices clearly. It adds a subconscious level of stress that I am much happier and more peaceful without having in my life.

In the same category is eliminating TV. Get rid of cable – it saves time and money.

Getting rid of clutter/junk/unused stuff. This is one of the key points made in Simplify your life.

All of these tips are pretty easy and straightforward, and all of them would have a positive effect on life.

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