For most of us, our work lives are pretty good. Our jobs are OK, we get along with most of the people we work with, and our careers are moving along at a reasonable clip. And outside of work, our lives are pretty good, too. We have friends and family and significant others, and we’re generally happy with the way things are going.
But who hasn’t thought that maybe, with just a slight change in some aspect of what we do each day, our lives—both in and out of work—could be significantly better? It’s true: Sometimes it takes just a slight change in the way we live our lives to make a huge difference in the outcomes we experience.
Try these 11 simple habits for radically improving your life right now and see if the outcomes you experience aren’t significantly better.
1. Do What You Say You’re Going to Do
Long ago I learned the importance of following through on your promises. Always do what you say you are going to do—even if you’ve changed your mind. You’ll build bridges of trust that will continue to improve your life over time.
2. Start Moving
The deeper we get into our careers, the more time we spend at our desks and the less exercise we get. Researchers have found that exercise doesn’t just improve your physical health, it improves the way your brain works, giving us more focused concentration, sharper memory, lower stress, and more.
3. Change Your Scenery
Sometimes it just takes a change of scenery to shake things up for the better. Travel to a different part of town—or a different part of the world—and break out of your old routines.
4. Give of Yourself
We all want to feel like we’re making a difference in the world. Guess what? We can. Volunteer with a nonprofit organization that is devoted to a cause you’re interested in, whether it’s finding a cure for cancer, helping veterans find work opportunities, or teaching entrepreneurship skills to high schoolers.
5. Get a New Set of Friends
While your old set of friends may be just fine, you can shift your life into a higher gear by constantly adding new friends and acquaintances—and the new perspectives and experiences they bring with them—to the mix.
6. Change Your Career
Are you happy in your current career? If not, then get serious about doing what you really want to do for a living. What are you waiting for?
7. Take a Nap
We all work hard and have lots of responsibilities, both in and out of the office. Sometimes the best way to improve your life is to take a break—even if it’s just a quick nap.
8. Be Real
Quit trying to be someone you’re not. Just be yourself. There’s only one of you, and you’re perfect just the way you are.
9. Go Back to School
There’s nothing quite like going back to school to keep your mind sharp and the opportunities to progress in your career flowing.
10. Forgive Someone
We all have someone in our lives who has mistreated us, cheated us, or otherwise done us wrong. Instead of letting that person hold you back, forgive him or her, and then move on, once and for all.
11. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and the best way to get unstuck is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something each day that you normally wouldn’t. Start small, and work up to more daring experiences that really push you.
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