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To live a good life means you make time for reflecting and improving yourself. It’s important to make time for it and it doesn’t have to involve mystery green smoothies or putting yourself in an upside down yoga pose.
Everyone wants to improve something about their lives. Maybe they want to declutter their possessions, eat healthier, be more outgoing, or learning a new skill. Whatever it is, working on your mindset and small habits helps tremendously.
I used to think doing things like journaling or meditating wasn’t worth my time. I mean, meditating seemed hard at first glance. Sitting, being silent, and focusing on your thoughts for 5 or 10 minutes? My attention span couldn’t handle that at first.
Once I started putting these small daily habits into my routine, things took off. The most notable thing being that I was able to pay off my $21,000 of student loans in 18 months. While making more money was one way I paid off the debt, the greatest thing that helped me become debt-free was shifting my mindset and believing that I could (and would) do it.
So if you want to live a good life, try practicing some of the things below.
Do a no-spend challenge
No spend challenge are one of the best things you can do to shift your mindset about your spending habits. You can do a no-spend challenge for many things including: shopping, grocery shopping, eating out, or entertainment budget. The challenge can last for one weekend, one month, or even one year.
The benefits of a no-spend challenge go beyond just saving money. They’re a good way to build discipline and help you discover a new outlook on your spending.
Alas, I guess I could’ve put something like eat an avocado every morning, but this is a personal finance and development blog, so I know how awesome no-spend challenges can be (although avocados are amazing as well! Eat avocados!) Okay, moving on…
Drink water when you wake up in the morning
There is that recommended daily water amount you see a lot. It’s advised to drink 6-8 (8 oz.) glasses of water daily. I used to laugh at this amount thinking I could never do that. But now I actually do!
After several hours of sleep, your body is dehydrated when you wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps you become more alert and energized.
Be more productive about how you watch TV
I don’t think television is evil. It’s okay when done in moderation. I mean, come on, it’s not like I’m going to tell you to give up watching Game of Thrones or Bates Motel, those shows are literary masterpieces.
However, you can approach TV viewing in a better way. Take stock of how many shows you watch at any given time. Write down the total amount of time you watch each week. Then try to shift your TV-watching to one or two days per week.
I’ve been doing this for a while. I put all of my TV watching on one day. When I first started doing it, I was shocked at how much time I was spending watching TV. From there I made adjustments and decreased the amount of TV I watched.
Write down three things you’re grateful for every day. These could be simple things like how you got to eat your favorite food or something big like getting a promotion or new job.
Put your fears in writing
We all have fears that can sometimes keep us from being able to live a good life. Combat them by putting them in writing. After writing down your fears, write down two or three pieces of evidence about why they are not true.
A person has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day and 90% of those are repetitive. Many of them being negative thoughts. Write down these recurring thoughts and counteract them with positive messages and evidence about why they can be defeated.
Every morning, open up your journal or grab some pieces of paper and write one or two pages of pure stream of consciousness writing. Don’t stop and try to over analyze each part or edit things. Just write and let it flow.
Understand that obstacles are part of life
Life throws everyone curve balls. It’s bound to happen but you shouldn’t let it ruin your motivation and self-confidence. In The Obstacle Is The Way, author Ryan Holiday talks about the ways to move forward in spite of obstacles and how to avoid a “why me” mindset when things happen.
The book is a good read on persistence and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Understand the Baador-Meinhof Phenomenon
Let’s say you want to buy a new car. A shiny new BMW in particular. You’ve never put much attention to new cars before because you’ve been driving your old car for a while. Now that you’re on the market for a new BMW, you start seeing them everywhere. You see a BMW at the grocery store, in the parking lot of the dentist office, at the gas station. You may even start dreaming about it.
Enter the Baador-Meinhof Phenomenon.
This phenomenon occurs when you something you begin thinking about, starts to pop up everywhere. It doesn’t have to be about a car, it doesn’t even have to be about a physical object, it can be about anything including your fears and negative thoughts.
If you’re constantly feeling tempted about buying things and negative thoughts, try some of the tips mentioned above like doing stream-of-consciousness pages every morning or writing down your fears and ways you’ve overcome them in the past.
Meditation is a great exercise for your brain. Doing it can help you clear your thoughts and focus in on things. All it takes is learning the basics of it and getting started. Spend 5-10 minutes a day meditating.
Headspace is a great free app for learning the art of meditation and the app’s level one course has simple, 10-minute session for each day so you can build a meditation habit.
Try new hobbies and classes
Expand your knowledge by taking online classes in things you’re interested in. Skillshare offers lots of bite-sized classes with short lessons to help learn more.
Click here to learn more about bullet journaling
Take this class to learn more about hand-lettering
Understand Microsoft Excel better with this resource
Obviously, this isn’t a complete list of ways to live a good life, but they are some starter or additional things you can do.
What things do you do to live a good life?