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I forget how I first heard of Tim Ferriss, but after I picked up his book Four Hour Workweek, I was hooked. Tim Ferriss blog, podcast – I had to consume it all! One of the things I like the most about Tim is his unwavering commitment to improving himself, in almost any aspect you can imagine (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.) But who has time to dedicate hours, days, weeks, or even years to self-improvement like Tim Ferris?
In January, I made the “resolution” that I wouldn’t set any resolutions until I was ready. In the upcoming months, I’m going to focus on one goal to accomplish – and I’ll track them here! If you’re looking to accomplish goals this year, why not start small? Last year, I started focusing on small ways to improve my life, be happier, and focus on the things that mattered most. I didn’t realize it, but these small increments of time helped me overall get better. In 2018, I’d like to really concentrate on improving my life consciously – which led me to the question “how can I improve my life in a short amount of focused time, daily?”
Here, I cover 8 ways you can improve your life in 5-15 minutes a day (overall 10 minutes a day). You can try to do all of these recommendations in a day, although that would be over an hour everyday. A better, probably more sustainable plan? Try one of these 8 ways to improve your life every day!
8 Ways to Improve Your Life in 10 Minutes a Day
Plan Your Day
Almost none of the things on this list can be accomplished unless you take 10-15 minutes to plan your day. Hands down, the best thing I taught myself last year was using and sticking to a planner. It doesn’t exactly matter what you use, although I’m partial to the Erin Condren planners, as long as you can find your planner and you remember to use it.
Make a list of things you have to accomplish (appointments, work, etc.) and then a few things (I’ve found fewer than 4 things is the most achievable) you want to accomplish. Then work your plan! I feel extra motivated when I’m able to check off my plans, while others feel good if they can highlight or cross out the things they accomplish. Keep reading to see what types of things you might want to add to your list to improve your life!
Talk to People
Whenever you’re out and about, strike up a conversation with someone around you. Be genuinely interested and curious about the people you meet! You never know what it could lead to. I personally like striking up questions with people, and it can be as simple as “oh, I love that top you’re wearing, where did you get it?” or even commenting on the weather. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but it’s a good chance to learn something and go outside your comfort zone.
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Get Outside and Walk
We all know how dangerous it is to lead a sedentary lifestyle (even shaving years off your life!) but how many of us try to do much about it? If you’re looking to improve your life in 10 minutes a day, walking around can be one of the best things you can do. Whether it’s walking around in your house, in the corridors of your work, or getting outside and taking a walk around your neighborhood, getting some exercise every day if possible is an excellent way to easily improve your life!
Take 10 Minutes for Yourself / Journal
I had heard for a while that taking time “for yourself” was important and that you should journal your feelings, so you could look back on your progress or your feelings years later. It wasn’t until life got really hectic with getting married, moving, and starting my own business that I realized I needed to take some time to re-charge – otherwise I was getting really grumpy!
I loved the idea of journaling, but couldn’t keep up with it. However, I do take around 5-10 minutes, especially if it’s been a busy day, to reflect on what I’m grateful for. I don’t do it every day, and you don’t necessarily need to either. Also, a gratitude or reflection journal might work really well for you – just know yourself and be fair to yourself. If you know you won’t stick with a journal, like me, then concentrate on the relaxation and less on what you’re not doing.
Stretch and Breathe
The older we get, the more important it is that we stretch. Unless you regularly go to gym classes that make you stretch, or make an effort to stretch at the gym, many of us let stretching and breathing fall to the wayside as soon as we get busy with life. Luckily, there are a ton of easy and quick stretches you can do when you remember. These ones from the Mayo Clinic are easy, and you’ll probably remember them from PE class! Add in some deep breathing as you stretch and, 10 minutes later, you’ve just improved your life and body!
I love reading, and I thought sticking to this for 10 minutes most days would be easy. In fact, I was worried I would read too much! Unfortunately, guess what happened? Life!
As much as I wanted to prioritize reading, by the end of the day, all I wanted to do was sleep, not read. As with most of the tips in this list, I had to prioritize reading – full stop. Instead of saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” I sat down or went to bed and started reading. It actually was a little hard to get back into, so I recommend starting with a fun fiction book (or nonfiction if that’s your thing!) – something that makes you want to start reading.
Save Some Money
Saving when you have too little money and too many expenses can be tough – trust me, with a huge (to me) student loan bill due every month, plus a mortgage, I know it can be hard to save! However, having a small savings, even if it’s just for emergencies, will do so much to improve your life. You may not recognize it right away, but having a savings and watching it grow will make you feel better and more secure. Even if you don’t know what you’re saving for yet, start and start small.
Reach Out to a Loved One
It can be as simple as a text, Facebook message, or Instagram tag. It can take 5 minutes to 15 minutes, depending on how you want to contact your loved one, but just try to do it as you can. As loved ones get married, move, change jobs, etc. it’s easy to lose touch with them. You may love them from afar and they love you as well, but there’s nothing better than reaching out to them, catching up, and letting them know you’re thinking of them.
We may not be able to spend an hour a week catching up with loved ones, but quick, heartfelt communication is one way to let them know how much you love them even if you don’t talk as much as you used to. You’ll never regret reaching out and touching based with your loved ones, be them family or friends!
What do you think of these recommendations – have you tried them or do you have additional recommendations for people to improve their lives in 10 minutes a day?