life changes http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16890/all en-US 10 Lifestyle Changes That Will Always Pay Off http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifestyle-changes-that-will-always-pay-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-lifestyle-changes-that-will-always-pay-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-522949013.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Change is never easy. As Garth Algar once said in <em>Wayne's World</em>, &quot;we fear change.&quot; And that's natural. The unknown can present risks. It can pose a threat. Change can also be hard, whereas maintaining the status quo is easy. But hard lifestyle changes &mdash; like the 10 that follow &mdash; will always lead to a much better life for you. And best of all, they will cost you absolutely nothing.</p> <h2>1. Decluttering and Organizing</h2> <p>Whether it's the garage, the junk drawer, the closet, the kitchen, the basement, the attic, or all of the above, it's a task most of us put off. And keep putting off. The problem with decluttering and organizing is that things always look worse before they look better. If you pull everything out of that junk drawer, you've got a real mess on your hands. It's far easier to just close it and forget about it. But whatever is a mess at home, or at work, you need to attack it with vigor. Not only will you find things you thought were lost forever, you'll also free up space and feel better. And it will stop you from buying things over and over, because you can never find them. Chapstick, anyone? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Ways a Deep Declutter Will Improve Your Live</a>)</p> <h2>2. Eating Well</h2> <p>It's hard to eat healthy, especially in this country. You can go to McDonald's right now and get two cheeseburgers, fries, and a soda for less than $5. It's filling, and it's tasty. Finding a healthy, filling, and convenient alternative for the same price &mdash; now that's a challenge. But we are what we eat, and study after study tells us that junk food and a lack of fruit and vegetables in our diet is making us all more susceptible to illness and disease. Limit fast food, eat smaller portions, and substitute unhealthy snacks for things like low-sugar granola bars, nuts, and fruits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Save on Dinner &mdash; No Meal Planning Required</a>)</p> <h2>3. Drinking More Water</h2> <p>Ricky Gervais has said that he hates drinking water &quot;because it's boring.&quot; Many people feel the same way. Water is not the delight to the taste buds that coffee, soda, or a glass of chilled white wine is. But we need water. Many of us are actually dehydrated and we don't even realize it.</p> <p>So, pledge to drink a little more water each day. Make it a habit. Add ice and a slice of lemon or lime. Have it with every meal, alongside a drink you find tastier. If it's there, you'll most likely drink some of it. It can make a huge difference to your health. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-get-you-drinking-more-water?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tricks to Get You Drinking More Water</a>)</p> <h2>4. Looking on the Bright Side</h2> <p>They say stress is one of the biggest killers in the world today. Stress can have a major negative impact on your blood pressure, your heart, your body, and your mood. It can lead to depression, and substance abuse. And many times, it can be alleviated by simply refusing to look for the worst possible outcome in every situation. It can be easy to dismiss people who are constantly cheery, but they really do have the advantage. While preparing for the worst can be a good idea, dwelling on it is not going to do you any favors. Don't worry about things out of your control. Don't focus on the negatives. Find ways to be thankful for the best things that happen to you every day.</p> <h2>5. Avoiding Gossip</h2> <p>Gossip can be toxic in any environment, either at work, at home, or in a circle of friends. Gossip can ruin people's lives, and can spread small falsehoods that grow into major incidents. But, gossip is fun. When someone calls you over to the water cooler surreptitiously, and says, &quot;Hey, did you hear about John&hellip;,&quot; you naturally move in closer and get involved. It's rare that anything positive comes from a scenario like this, and you can be hurt by it, too. Just back out of these gossip sessions, and concentrate on facts and reality.</p> <h2>6. Exercising More</h2> <p>You do not need a gym membership. You do not need fancy workout clothes. You don't even need the best sneakers, although it's wise to get a pair that support your feet well. What you do need are determination and commitment. You should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, and while that is tough for most of us to achieve, it can be done. It doesn't have to be an intense workout with weights and treadmills. Walking up and down the stairs at home for 30 minutes can get your heart rate up and make you sweat. Push-ups, situps, and a jog around the block all cost nothing. Start with a few times a week, and then add a day here, and a day there. You'll be amazed at the results.</p> <h2>7. Finding Your Purpose</h2> <p>You sometimes hear people say, &quot;I really want to find myself,&quot; and it's not easy to understand what they want, or what they mean. What is your purpose in life? What do you love doing? Why are you here, and what kind of difference are you making? This is not a call to change the world, cure cancer, or overthrow a dictator. It can be small. It can mean you focus on your family and raising your amazing children. It can be creating a wonderful garden that you tend to daily. It can be painting, or playing guitar, or working with wood. It's <em>your</em> purpose. Once you find it, you can feel really fulfilled every day.</p> <h2>8. Reading More</h2> <p>There are so many distractions in everyday life: exciting, visual, interactive, and engaging distractions. In comparison, picking up a book can be hard work. It's not as much fun as watching a movie in 4K, or playing an immersive video game. However, reading is important. It stimulates your brain in ways that those other distractions cannot. Your imagination can build worlds from those words you read that blow any special effects visual out of the water. And remember, your local library has thousands of books, fiction and nonfiction, that are there for you for free.</p> <h2>9. Meditating</h2> <p>Meditation is not just for new-age hippies and yoga addicts. Meditation is something many people do, including celebrities like Katy Perry, Madonna, Hugh Jackman, Clint Eastwood, Eva Mendes, and Nicole Kidman. Our busy lives make it hard to find time to sit in silence and &quot;get into ourselves,&quot; but it can have an incredible, transformational effect on your life. In the beginning, it can be difficult to train your mind, but over time, it can really pay off.</p> <h2>10. Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone</h2> <p>Routines are very comforting to us. They are also ruts that are very easy to get stuck in, and we may not even recognize them as such. If you spend every Friday evening at home with a movie and a bottle of wine, that becomes habit. A routine. It's nice. But when people ask you to go to a comedy club, or take dance classes, or even go hiking, it's way easier to say no than yes. But &quot;yes&quot; can lead to some incredible life experiences.</p> <p>If you're too afraid to approach someone in a bar, get over it. Move out of your comfort zone of smiling and looking coy, and actually say hi. Who knows where it may lead. Sure, it's not as comfortable. But it can also be exciting, maybe even scary, and that really gets your heart pumping. Who knows&hellip; you may even have fun!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifestyle-changes-that-will-always-pay-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-smartphone-apps-that-make-self-care-a-snap">14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-age-well-for-0">10 Ways to Age Well for $0</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-easy-ways-to-fix-your-whole-life-this-summer">11 Easy Ways to Fix Your Whole Life This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-make-exercise-more-fun">50 Ways to Make Exercise More Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle exercise goals hard changes healthy eating healthy lifestyle life changes meditation Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:00:24 +0000 Paul Michael 1909971 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Ways to Make a Big Financial Change http://www.wisebread.com/21-ways-to-make-a-big-financial-change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-ways-to-make-a-big-financial-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6187257947_a431419537_z.jpg" alt="jumping man" title="jumping man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Making a big financial change in your life is similar to making any big change &mdash; it can often be overwhelming to the point of derailing you entirely. Here are 21 ways to help you stay on course and make big financial changes in your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Frugal Changes You&nbsp;Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start Small</h2> <p>Going whole hog right from the start is a recipe for relapse. Instead, start small. As a parallel example, if you want to start exercising but can't fathom committing to a gym routine, then start with five minutes a day. (I started that way and progressed to an hour &mdash; which I now love).</p> <p>Even if you don't think it will make a big difference, the small and manageable start creates habits you can build on.</p> <h2>2. Change Jobs</h2> <p>It might be to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dream-career-a-reality-for-less-than-100">inject some passion</a> into your work, to earn more money, or for another soul-satisfying reason, but changing jobs might be the change of scenery you need<strong> </strong>to inspire other big financial changes.</p> <h2>3. Eliminate Negativity</h2> <p>Negative people and influences do you no good. In order to stay on track with big changes,&nbsp;surround yourself with positive, supportive people.</p> <h2>4. Understand Want vs Need</h2> <p>The things you &ldquo;want&rdquo; will probably detract you from your big financial changes, whereas the things you &ldquo;need&rdquo; must be incorporated into the plan.</p> <h2>5. Track Your Expenses</h2> <p>You can't make big financial changes unless you know your starting point and end goal. Your initial <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-step-to-budgeting">expense tracking is your starting point</a>, and continuing the process will help you stay on track.</p> <h2>6. Share Your Plans</h2> <p>Telling your family and friends about your planned financial changes will create a support network and keep you accountable to your goals.</p> <h2>7. Track Your Progress</h2> <p>Big changes can be slow going, so you need to see that you're getting somewhere otherwise you'll give up. To track your progress, you can use a journal, a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/vision-boards-dream-big-play-with-pictures-and-watch-your-life-change">vision board</a>, or a giant poster-board designed to track your progress.</p> <p>I have a friend who wanted to get in shape on their treadmill. So they decided to walk across Canada &mdash; on the treadmill. They recorded their distance walked each day, and watched their proverbial progress across the country as they logged it on a large map. This kept them motivated to walk every day; the treadmill experience alone was too boring.</p> <h2>8. Revise as Necessary</h2> <p>Be willing to revise the changes you're making. If it's a long-term goal, your life might change along the way such that your initial goal is no longer paramount or relevant. Part of the process of tracking your progress is being willing and able to adjust your goals with your life.</p> <h2>9. Replace Habits</h2> <p>Instead of trying to cut bad habits right out, find a positive or constructive (or at least less counter-productive) way to replace them. For example every time you want to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-retirement-latte">buy a latte</a>, do something else that helps you achieve a similar satisfaction &mdash; perhaps buying a pack of gum or eating a chocolate-covered coffee bean. Under the principles of behavior modification, you can change unwanted habits by replacing them.</p> <h2>10. Practice Projection: If This, Then...</h2> <p>Create a projection forward in time from where you are now given your current course. This is what your life will look like in &ldquo;x&rdquo; years if you don't make any changes.</p> <p>Then project what your situation will look like in the same time frame if you make your proposed changes. Compare the two outcomes. Are you inspired by the difference in projections?</p> <h2>11. Simplify</h2> <p>Simplify your life. The less &ldquo;little stuff&rdquo; you have to worry about, the more focused on your big changes you can be.</p> <h2>12. Visualize</h2> <p>You have to see it, smell it, and taste it in order to achieve it. Fear of the unknown will keep you firmly rooted without change. If you can see the end result, it will be easier to achieve.</p> <h2>13. Stop Criticizing</h2> <p>Stop unnecessarily criticizing yourself and indulging in negativity. If you don't feel you deserve what it is you're aiming for, you'll never get there.</p> <h2>14. Run Towards Change, Not Away From Something</h2> <p>If you focus on running away from something, that something will likely follow you around like a lost puppy dog. We respond better to positive goals, not negative ones. Don't allow yourself to be a victim; instead make sure you're focused on the positive outcome instead of the current problems.</p> <h2>15. Stop Thinking!</h2> <p>Analysis paralysis is very real.</p> <h2>16. Start Today</h2> <p>There will always be a reason to wait until tomorrow. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today">Don't do it</a>.</p> <h2>17. Break It Down</h2> <p>Big changes usually involve a series of small steps. Break down your overall goal into small achievable steps. This makes it infinitely more manageable (and satisfying).</p> <h2>18. Ask for Help</h2> <p>There's no shame in asking for help, and you can strengthen relationships while you're at it.</p> <h2>19. Change Your Identity</h2> <p>You want to take control of your finances, but if you continue to see yourself as somebody who knows nothing about money, then you'll forever remain so. Instead, do something to empower yourself to be somebody different (maybe take a class or start mingling with different people who don't know the &ldquo;old you&rdquo;), effectively changing your identity and self-image towards the person you want to be in the lifestyle you want to live.</p> <h2>20. Slow and Steady</h2> <p>Don't do everything overnight. If you try to make lots of changes too quickly, it all tends to fall apart at the seams, and you'll feel you've replaced one set of problems with a whole new set. Change one element, get used to it, then proceed to the next step. If you want to ingrain new habits and paradigms, it will take time. Give yourself permission.</p> <h2>21. Strategize</h2> <p>Incorporating the elements and suggestions above, create &mdash; <em>and write down</em>! &mdash; a specific (and revisable) strategy to get you from here to there. This also ties into the points above about tracking your progress, projecting, and visualizing.</p> <p><em>How do you make </em><em>&mdash; and stick to </em><em>&mdash; big financial changes in your life?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F21-ways-to-make-a-big-financial-change&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F21%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520a%2520Big%2520Financial%2520Change.jpg&amp;description=21%20Ways%20to%20Make%20a%20Big%20Financial%20Change"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/21%20Ways%20to%20Make%20a%20Big%20Financial%20Change.jpg" alt="21 Ways to Make a Big Financial Change" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-ways-to-make-a-big-financial-change">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-resolutions-you-should-skip-this-year">4 Money Resolutions You Should Skip This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-i-still-dont-have-a-cellphone-plan-yet">6 Reasons I Still Don&#039;t Have a Cell Phone Plan (yet)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-line-between-frugal-and-crazy">The line between frugal and crazy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Personal Development acheiving goals frugal changes life changes Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:24:33 +0000 Nora Dunn 959567 at http://www.wisebread.com