Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort. – Humphry Davy
The idea of transformation can seem a little overwhelming. Making such a big change can sound like we need to have a complete overhaul of our entire personality, habits, and lifestyle; however this isn’t necessarily the case. Transformation can come from making simple changes to the way we live each and every day. We can fundamentally shift how we approach life by focusing on priorities that improve our mental and physical health, help us be more motivated, and allow us to live more fully and enthusiastically. These changes don’t have to be drastic. They just need to be the areas of our life that will help us be at our best each day. Some changes are small and simple to apply. Other changes take a little more effort and practice. Nonetheless, each of these changes can offer a chance to live with health, happiness, and productivity. Here are 12 changes to implement into your life for emotional, mental, and physical transformation.
1. Avoid time wasters
If you listed all the things you focus on that get in the way of you making progress what would be included? I imagine it would be activities like watching T.V., surfing the internet, or responding to pointless emails. These can all be mindless tasks that zap our time and energy. Making small changes in how we spend time can have huge implications on the lifestyle and productivity we see. Determine your time wasters so you can avoid them.
2. Do more, procrastinate less
We have all put off a task for too long where it kept us from doing well or accomplishing it. If you ever procrastinate remember your goals and what it is you want from life. Will hesitating and delaying help you get there? Simply take action and do something. Pick one thing you’ve been stalling on and just get started. When we over think all the reasons not to do something it will end up being too late.
3. Find a mentor
There is nothing more helpful and inspiring that learning from someone who has already accomplished what we are working towards. A major part of making significant personal change is doing something that we may not have any experience with and growing from it. Having support along the way can be a crucial factor in keeping us on track and in an encouraging state of mind. Make a list of people and professionals who could be a mentor for your personal growth.
4. Do something fresh and new
When was the last time you did something totally different and unusual? To prevent getting stuck in a rut, change up your routine or do something completely uncharacteristic. This doesn’t mean something crazy and risky, but simply something that gets you thinking more critically and creatively. Get yourself of “autopilot” and doing something engaging.
5. Think of others first
Do something kind for someone else. Give what you can to others, whether it be time, money, skills, or knowledge. Think of different kind acts you could perform for someone else to make their day. Do it anonymously and selflessly, and embrace the good feelings that follow.
6. Meditate, breathe, and relax
One of the most important habits that has altered my emotional health is meditation and mindful breathing. Meditation and breathing exercises can enhance energy levels, decrease stress, and keep us in a state of equilibrium. Add this practice on a daily basis and you’ll notice life becomes a little easier to deal with.
7. Think BIGGER
One of my favorite books is The Magic of Thinking Big by David Swartz. He explains the immense importance of our beliefs and thinking on what we’re willing to strive for, and how we can overcome the fears and excuses we have grown accustomed to. Broaden your view of what is possible. Go beyond your comfort zone and look toward bigger opportunities and challenges. What tasks or ideas have you been holding back from because they seemed too big?
8. Connect with an old friend
Reuniting with old friends can be a wonderful way to bring more joy and interest into daily life. Our relationships play a major role in our well-being as well as our success. Call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile and take interest in their life. Find ways to deepen and expand your relationships.
9. Get adequate sleep
It’s crucial for our physical and mental health to get around eight hours of sleep. Sleep gives us energy, a positive attitude, and better ability to cope with daily stress. We need adequate sleep for physical restoration, growth, adaptability and memory. If you have difficulty sleeping here are a few suggestions.
- Only going to sleep when tired
- Have some down time before sleeping
- Meditate briefly before bed
- Do something tedious and boring to help you relax before bed
- Wake up at the same time everyday
- Don’t use your bedroom for watching TV or other mentally stimulating activities
10. Be forgiving
We have all experienced some level of emotional pain and suffering. Whether from the abuse of others or from our own behavior, we begin to resent and feel guilty about what we’re doing and what we’ve done. Forgiveness is the key to finding peace and moving forward. Is there someone you have been holding a grudge against? Maybe you need to forgive yourself and let go of shame and guilt?
11. Laugh and be amused
Laughter and amusement will bring us greater joy and delight. Bring more humor into your life by engaging with people or media that can make you laugh. Learn to find the humor in situations that might typically steal your joy, and really engage and appreciate the moment.
12. Start an exercise routine
Even though this may be many peoples’ least favorite suggestion, exercise really enhances the quality of life. Getting around 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per day is adequate for mental and physical benefits. Make efforts to be more active in your life. Maybe it’s taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or going for a walk with your friends. You can go swimming, ride a bike, or take the dog for a walk. Whatever you can do to begin incorporating some physical activity into your life is the key.
I’m sad to say this post was sparked by a gradual increase in the amount of television I have been watching lately. About a year or two ago I watched almost no television (this doesn’t include movies), though recently I started getting sucked into mindless sit-coms, and consequently noticed a negative impact with my productivity and motivation. Television is one of those subtle habits we can slip into and use as a diversion or coping mechanism when we’re a little stressed. It seems innocent at first, but it can change the entire scope of how we spend time and the outcomes we have. If we’re not careful there are many unhealthy habits that come to life in the same manner. The behavior seems insignificant at first, until we notice how much our all around health, happiness, and productivity is in jeopardy. When I keep my every day habits in check, life is more enjoyable, efficient, and fulfilling. Give the ideas above a chance and see if you notice a difference.