self improvement http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/704/all en-US 7 Basic Ways to Become Your Own Life Coach http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-ways-to-become-your-own-life-coach <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-basic-ways-to-become-your-own-life-coach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-writing-list-173298655-small.jpg" alt="woman writing list" title="woman writing list" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life coaching is about improving the happiness and success of someone's life on their own terms. This might entail finding a meaningful career, growing fulfilling relationships, or improving health and fitness levels. Life coaches can be incredibly valuable though the help and advice isn't cheap. <a href="http://www.lifecoach.com/faq/how-much-does-life-coaching-usually-cost">Average coaching sessions cost</a> between $100 and $300 per hour. Not everyone can afford that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-spa-treatments-you-can-do-at-home?ref=seealso">10 Spa Treatments You Can Do at Home</a>)</p> <p>If that's outside your budget, here are seven ways to be your own life coach for a fraction of the price.</p> <h2>1. Write Down Your Goals</h2> <p>A good deal of life coaching comes down to setting clear and attainable goals and intentions as well as the plans to reach them. Research shows that when we have goals and write them down we are exponentially <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/85broads/2014/04/08/why-you-should-be-writing-down-your-goals/">more likely to achieve them</a>. What gets measured gets done, so write down your goals and visually chart your progress toward them. Post it in a place where you'll see it every day such as the refrigerator door or the bathroom mirror.</p> <h2>2. Consider Therapy If Your Insurance Covers It</h2> <p>Five years ago my apartment building caught fire, and I lost almost all of my belongings. I was unharmed, and that event set off a string of emotions and events that radically transformed my life. I sought professional help after it happened and my sessions with my therapist, covered by my insurance, were very much in line with the essence of life coaching. That fire was a wake-up call to pursue my professional and personal dreams and make my happiness a priority.</p> <p>Life coaching sessions are rarely covered by insurance because life coaches aren't licensed; they are certified and certification isn't a requirement. (Anyone anywhere can hang out their shingle and bill themselves as as life coach.) A high-quality therapist covered by your insurance is a wonderful, cheaper, and perhaps even more helpful alternative. Look for recommendations of therapists who specialize in the type of coaching that you need and check to see if your insurance covers the fee.</p> <h2>3. Read Self-Help and Personal Psychology Books</h2> <p>Scan the shelves of your local bookstore or look for best-selling self-help and personal psychology books on Amazon. Most, if not all, of them fall into the realm of life coaching and are helpful resources for goal setting and planning. Many of them will take you through the process step-by-step. The authors have websites as well as numerous social media accounts where they connect with readers and share even more advice. Books such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585421464/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1585421464&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YDQARQLLX3H3YQM3">The Artist's Way</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385480016/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0385480016&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=R6GLFQO7JLLYPDEL">Bird by Bird</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385480016/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0385480016&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=36J7CJKQJVNDBGMQ">The Hero's Journey</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0024CEZQM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0024CEZQM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LAO3H4ODDAIXTYHE">Escape from Cubicle Nation</a> have stuck with me for many years and were instrumental in my personal growth.</p> <h2>4. Inspirational Art, Stories, and Quotes</h2> <p>Many people go to life coaches in search of inspiration. Luckily, inspiration is everywhere. I am fascinated by art and artists so going to museums and galleries helps lift me up and give me a positive perspective on life. I also love inspiring stories so <a href="http://www.ted.com">TED Talks</a>, inspirational quotes (which I keep on <a href="http://www.pinterest.com/christanyc/inspirational-words/">a Pinterest board</a>), and autobiographies ranging from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015T6G2G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0015T6G2G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IFK67TAAPKMBDERF">Nelson Mandela</a> to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FBJFSC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000FBJFSC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5EGV4JUE2HTUE3AJ">Frank McCourt</a> to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/034580483X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=034580483X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=APOS62MWFHQQYSUU">Justice Sonia Sotomayor</a> have had an enormous and positive impact on my life.</p> <h2>5. Exercise</h2> <p>One of the other key reasons people seek life coaching is that they feel stuck, or even depressed, about an area of their lives. They need to find a way to get &quot;unstuck.&quot; I've found one of the best ways to break mental stagnation is to exercise. Move the body; move the mind. Recent research by a team in Edinburgh found that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/15/exercise-depression-symptoms_n_3902149.html">exercise reduces depression</a>.</p> <h2>6. Take an Outsider's Perspective</h2> <p>Have you ever noticed that you're great at giving advice but not so great at taking it? That was certainly true for me until my therapist said this: &quot;Christa, you spend so much of your time consulting with others to help them realize their dreams. Why don't you be your own consultant and pursue your dreams?&quot; That was a lightbulb moment for me.</p> <p>If I observed a friend or consulting client doing what I was doing (negative self-talk, half-heartedly working on projects of little value, or making excuses of why they couldn't do what they wanted to do), I would have had a very serious talk with them to change those behaviors. I needed to take my own advice. I still have to remind myself to do this every day. If I can't figure out how to remedy a situation that I know needs to be fixed I think to myself, &quot;If my best friend had this same problem, what would I say?&quot; I write the answer down and post it so I can see it every day until I've solved my problem.</p> <h2>7. Try a New Hobby on for Size</h2> <p>The ultimate goal of all life coaching is to take action to create a happier and more fulfilling life, and that means pursuing your passions. We need to bite the bullet and do something we've always wanted to do. One low-risk and fun way to do that is to take up a hobby without putting any stress on ourselves. Do you think you might want to become a chef? Take a class at your local cooking school or a restaurant that offers cooking classes. An even lower-cost way is to decide to cook more often and make more inventive dishes at home. Take tennis lessons or a dance class. Volunteer for a cause you care about. Travel to a place you've never been and have always wanted to go. Do something that matters to you without seeking any information or reward other than personal fulfillment and see where that actions leads you.</p> <p>Life coaching is a noble career and a valuable asset to those who can afford the price tag it merits. However, it's a substantial financial investment and there are many ways we can help ourselves and save money at the same time.</p> <p><em>What ways have you found to be your own life coach? Please coach the rest of us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-ways-to-become-your-own-life-coach">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/25-easy-ways-to-make-your-life-more-interesting">25 Easy Ways to Make Your Life More Interesting</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-simple-ways-to-get-your-life-together">10 Simple Ways to Get Your Life Together</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/6-self-help-mantras-that-actually-hurt">6 Self Help Mantras That Actually Hurt</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development life coach self help self improvement Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 1240623 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Easy Ways to Start Taking Better Care of Yourself Today http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-start-taking-better-care-of-yourself-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-easy-ways-to-start-taking-better-care-of-yourself-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office-worker-break-466163297-small.jpg" alt="office worker break" title="office worker break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You probably have a clear list of priorities in your life. There are people who are important to you, a job you're committed to, and other obligations that fill up your schedule. But where do <em>you</em> fall on your own list of priorities? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-habits-of-financially-happy-people?ref=seealso">10 Habits of Financially Happy People</a>)</p> <p>This isn't a matter of selfishness; it's a matter of self-care. You won't be able to care for anyone else if you're stressed, depressed, or depleted. So start a personal recharge today with these nine easy ways to take better care of yourself.</p> <h2>1. Make (and Keep!) Appointments with Yourself</h2> <p>Without formally scheduling some time to take for ourselves, life has a way of making sure every last moment gets filled up. Carve out some you time by making appointments with yourself. Be sure to treat these to-dos with the same seriousness you would any other appointments. Since you wouldn't miss a scheduled visit with your doctor, dentist, or hairdresser, you shouldn't miss one with yourself.</p> <h2>2. Take a Break</h2> <p>If you can't devote an entire day or even a full hour, reserve a few minutes to take better care of yourself throughout the day. For instance, <a href="http://tinybuddha.com/blog/5-unusual-ways-meditate-simple-daily-de-stressing/">just two minutes of meditation</a> can reduce anxiety levels and help clear your thinking. The next time you find yourself waiting for a meeting to start, sitting on the subway, or otherwise stalled on the hamster-wheel of modern life, set the timer on your phone for two minutes and just focus on your breathing.</p> <h2>3. &hellip;And Then Take a Longer Break</h2> <p>It's no secret that Americans work long, hard hours, but did you know that 41% of us <a href="http://traveleffect.com/research/overwhelmed-america">don't even plan to take all the vacation time</a> we've accumulated? Even if you don't have the time or money to take a long-distance trip, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas">plan a quick get-away</a> close to home. Or, schedule a &quot;staycation&quot; and revisit a few of those hobbies you've been putting off. Better yet, simply enjoy the wild luxury of having nothing in particular to do!</p> <h2>4. Get Moving</h2> <p>Walking is one of the most basic forms of exercise recommended by doctors for people of all ages and ability levels. Walking is also slow-paced, so it can calm your mind as well as exercise your body. Enhance the experience by taking a walk through beautiful scenery or along a new and undiscovered route. Explore creative ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-walk-more">fit walking into your day</a>, like parking farther away from your destination or walking in place during TV commercials.</p> <h2>5. Indulge in DIY Spa Therapy</h2> <p>We all have basic personal hygiene rituals, so why not make yours special? Substitute a quick shower for a soothing bath and light some candles for more ambiance. Take it to the next level with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-spa-treatments-you-can-do-at-home">at-home spa treatments</a> &mdash; your body, mind, and frazzled last nerve will thank you.</p> <h2>6. On the Rocks? Hold the Sugar and Caffeine</h2> <p>Switching your coffee for warm water with lemon will banish caffeine jitters and promote better health. Sugar is another ingredient to consider eliminating from your drinks. Skip the sweet stuff and enjoy fruit and vegetable juices instead. Cut the natural sugar levels in these drinks by diluting with water. Experiment with <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20559953,00.html">nutritious juice recipes</a> that will satisfy your taste buds and support your health goals, too.</p> <h2>7. Reap the Benefits of Sleep</h2> <p>Don't think of a good night's sleep as a luxury; think of it as an absolute necessity. Research shows that <a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-benefits-10/healing-power-sleep">lack of sleep is linked to a host of maladies</a> from the common cold to heart disease. Keep yourself refreshed and less susceptible to anxiety by staying well-rested. While naps are a great way to recharge quickly, if you're having trouble sleeping on a consistent basis, <a href="http://www.everydayhealth.com/sleep-pictures/0708/8-cheap-and-natural-insomnia-remedies.aspx#01">try inexpensive natural remedies</a> and learn how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours">sleep better in fewer hours</a>.</p> <h2>8. Eat Well</h2> <p>Besides getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet is one of the most basic things we can do to nurture our well-being. Remember, what you eat matters as much as what you don't eat. Adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet can be as simple as limiting grocery shopping to the perimeter of the store (junk food and processed food tends to pool in the middle). And since some foods are known for their stress-relieving properties; start building healthy meals around <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/466325-foods-to-calm-nerves/">foods that help calm nerves</a>. You'll be sure to notice a difference.</p> <h2>9. Floss</h2> <p>I'm not kidding. You know you should do it; your dentist tells you to do it &mdash; but is flossing a consistent part of your daily routine? If not, it's time to turn over a new leaf. Flossing isn't just a fundamental part of dental hygiene &mdash; some dentists even assert it's more important that brushing &mdash; the practice is <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/living-well/articles/2009/02/20/10-health-habits-that-will-help-you-live-to-100">linked to overall longevity</a>. Protect your health by avoiding periodontal disease and tooth loss. You'll feel better and smile brighter.</p> <p><em>How do you take care of yourself? What's the least expensive but most effective method for recharging your batteries and reclaiming part of your day? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-start-taking-better-care-of-yourself-today">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-2"> <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/10-quick-ways-to-become-more-hygienic">10 Quick Ways to Become More Hygienic</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/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</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/people-who-love-their-bodies-never-do-these-17-things-do-you">People Who Love Their Bodies Never Do These 17 Things — Do You?</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/6-simple-ways-to-get-more-exercise-without-working-out">6 Simple Ways to Get More Exercise Without Working Out</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/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat (and Have Nothing to Do With Eating)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living General Tips exercise fitness Health hygiene mood self care self improvement Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Kentin Waits 1219247 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Get Prettier, Smarter, and Healthier While You Sleep http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-sleeping-460137233-small.jpg" alt="woman sleeping" title="woman sleeping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a whole lot you can accomplish in your sleep &mdash; a battery recharge, brain power refresher, and a more youthful glow among them. Read on for our round-up of the top six ways you can maximize your slumber. Because if you're going to multi-task during the day, you might as well do so at night, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-that-can-help-you-sleep?ref=seealso">10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a>)</p> <h2>1. Lower the Thermostat</h2> <p>We can boost metabolic health and even burn a few more calories each day by sleeping in chillier bedrooms. Researchers say <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24954193">66 degrees is ideal sleeping weather</a> &mdash; it helps our bodies build up the good fats that burn off calories and fends off insulin sensitivity that can lead to diabetes. It's also good for our bank accounts during long, cold winters.</p> <h2>2. Opt for Satin or Silk</h2> <p>A pillowcase made of satin or silk is good for the hair and skin. Unlike cotton, linen, and polyester, dermatologists have found that these fibers actually soften wrinkles because they create only minimal friction between your head and the pillowcase. They're also packed with proteins that <a href="http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00767104">prevent hair from splitting and frizzing</a>.</p> <h2>3. Go to Bed With a Clean, Moisturized Face</h2> <p>It's important to wash your face thoroughly to remove all the dirt and makeup that can clog your pores and lead to unpleasant morning breakouts. It's equally important to moisturize to help improve your skin tone and texture while repairing any sun damage. The good news is there's no need to break the bank on designer night creams.</p> <p>Experts say even the most basic moisturizers are packed with peptides and vitamin C, and those are precisely the ingredients you need to make your skin firmer and prevent new wrinkles from forming. Creams containing retinol can be a bit more costly, but the bang for your buck is big: Retinol is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/21/fashion/21skin.html?pagewanted=all">one of few ingredients available without a prescription that treats the wrinkles you already have</a>.</p> <h2>4. Sleep on Your Back</h2> <p>Over time, those crease lines you wake up with after a night spent on your stomach or your side will become full-blown wrinkles, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists. But you can avoid smooshing your skin against the sheets by slumbering on your back. Experts say <a href="http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/health-and-beauty/every-stage-of-life/adult-skin/what-causes-aging-skin">it's the best sleeping position</a>, and not just because it minimizes wrinkling. Sleeping on your back also prevents neck and back pain, reduces acid reflux and helps women retain perky breasts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-sleeping-position-may-be-hurting-you">Your Sleeping Position May Be Hurting You</a>)</p> <h2>5. Listen to Classical Music</h2> <p>Playing soft classical music 45 minutes before bed or while you slumber has been linked to <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18426457">decreased anxiety, lower blood pressure, and curing insomnia</a>. It also makes you smarter. Studies show that children who listen to Mozart become more intelligent. It's called &quot;<a href="http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130107-can-mozart-boost-brainpower">The Mozart Effect</a>,&quot; and if it works for kids, it's apt to work for adults, right?</p> <h2>6. Get a Solid 7 Hours of Shut-Eye &mdash; At Least</h2> <p>Sleep experts recommend we all get seven to eight hours of sleep a night if you want to be fresh, sharp, and good-natured in the morning. Those who skimp on their slumber risk more than sluggishness and a grumpy demeanor. Studies show that people who average less than seven hours of sleep at night are nearly three times <a href="http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/169/1/62">more likely to catch the common cold</a> than those who sleep for eight hours or more. Those who sleep less than six hours a night are <a href="http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=410832">more likely to have excess body fat</a>. And people who report sleeping less than five hours a night are more <a href="http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=410883">at risk for having or developing Type 2 Diabetes</a>.</p> <p><em>Are you getting enough sleep?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep">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-3"> <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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</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/8-hours-9-hours-this-is-how-much-sleep-you-really-need">8 Hours? 9 Hours? This Is How Much Sleep You REALLY Need</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/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</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/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development beauty secrets posture self improvement sleep Mon, 08 Sep 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1205244 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Self Help Mantras That Actually Hurt http://www.wisebread.com/6-self-help-mantras-that-actually-hurt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-self-help-mantras-that-actually-hurt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bored-reading-479704303-small.jpg" alt="bored reading" title="bored reading" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes, self-help isn't.</p> <p>While there are loads of excellent strategies out there for improving yourself and your life in all kinds of different areas, there are a few fairly common self-help mandates that may not work as well as they should. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-mantras-that-will-transform-your-life">10 Mantras That Will Transform Your Life</a>)</p> <p>Take caution before blindly throwing yourself at new goals like these.</p> <h2>&quot;Get Up Earlier&quot;</h2> <p>It's common to tell people that if they want to improve themselves, they should wake up earlier. This is supposed to give you time to get things done before you have to officially start your day.</p> <p>However, many Americans don't get enough sleep. And not getting enough sleep causes all sorts of problems. Lack of sleep makes you fat; it can cause illness, and lower test scores and grades.</p> <p>The obvious answer to getting enough sleep and still waking up earlier is to also go to bed earlier. However, some people have <a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/early-bird-night-owl">longer circadian rhythms</a> and, therefore, find it almost impossible to sleep early.</p> <p>Thus, if getting up earlier is going to cost you sleep and going to bed earlier isn't really an option, then rising early could hurt your life more than it improves it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-benefits-of-being-a-night-owl?ref=seealso">13 Benefits of Being a Night Owl</a>)</p> <h2>&quot;Focus on Your Strengths&quot;</h2> <p>It's been said that successful people focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. While I think it is absolutely necessary to know your strengths and to work to develop them, putting all of your energy there can leave you vulnerable.</p> <p>There's good research that shows how <a href="http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/559/are-you-afraid-of-your-weaknesses.aspx">we tend to over-focus on weaknesses</a>, and the push towards refocusing on strength makes sense in light of that. However, while we may not need to focus on these weaknesses, we do need to address them, because some weaknesses can lead us to failure.</p> <p>Simple awareness can take you far. When you know where you are weak, then it is less likely to sneak up on you. From there, determine whether your weakness is essential, and if you can outsource it. If it's not essential, you don't need to worry about it. If it is essential and can be outsourced, that's a great way to address it. If it's essential and cannot be outsourced, then you will need to take the time to make sure that it is not a liability.</p> <h2>&quot;Meet New People&quot;</h2> <p>Is meeting new people or expanding your network essential for self-improvement? Not necessarily.</p> <p>Research shows that <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?pagewanted=all">solitude enhances creativity</a>. People who work alone when generating ideas or making new things tend to be more innovative than those who work in groups. Thus, if enhancing your creativity is part of your self-improvement plan, you might want to pass on forcing yourself to meet new people.</p> <h2>&quot;Improve Your Self-Esteem&quot;</h2> <p>Developing a greater sense of self-worth, or self-esteem, is another common idea when it comes to self improvement. The idea is that, if you take the time to feel better about who you are, you will be happier and more successful.</p> <p>While this sounds like it should work, it actually tends to feed our egos and make us hungry for more and more esteem. Instead, it seems that <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/self-esteem-overrated/">focusing on others' needs</a> actually makes us happier and does more good in the world.</p> <p>In fact, there is <a href="http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/05/24/is-self-esteem-over-rated/852.html">no causation</a> between higher self-esteem and being happier, or being a better person. This means that thinking highly of ourselves doesn't improve us or our lives. People with high self-esteem can be as happy (or as unhappy) as those with low self-esteem.</p> <p>All of this seems to point to the idea that it isn't <em>how we</em> think of ourselves that is important, but <em>how much</em> we think of ourselves. When we think of ourselves a lot, we tend to be less happy than we are when we think about other people first. So the true way to invest in ourselves might be to find people or causes that we care about and invest our time and our hearts there.</p> <h2>&quot;Read More Books&quot;</h2> <p>Another popular method of self-investment involves reading more books. Some people will tell you to focus on self-help books, and others will tell you to read whatever you can get your hands on.</p> <p>Now, I will be the first person to tell you that I love books. And there's good evidence that reading is good for your health and happiness. However, I know other people who don't like reading. While I don't understand this, there are at least a few of these people who I respect deeply and whose lives have influenced my own, all with very little time spent flipping pages. This seems to indicate that, at the very least, reading is not essential to self-improvement.</p> <p>If you just start picking up books for the sake of picking them up, then, you won't necessarily improve yourself. So, if reading isn't your thing, why not invest your time doing something <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/29-scientifically-proven-ways-to-be-happier-this-year">scientifically proven to make you happier, instead</a> &mdash; like helping others, or working with your hands..</p> <h2>&quot;Embrace Change&quot;</h2> <p>So often those who want to improve themselves are encouraged to welcome change. After all, things WILL change in life, so why make it harder than it has to be?</p> <p>However, experts are coming to understand that <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2012/09/04/what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting-change-the-social-change-adoption-path/">resisting change is part of the overall change process</a>. The path toward eventually accepting change seems to be rejecting it at first. Thus, working to embrace change without first resisting it (and accepting your own resistance) can actually circumvent the entire process, leading you farther from your goal.</p> <p>In addition, not all change is good. Some change is just bad, like the loss of people who are close to you. Even if good things eventually come out of these situations, that doesn't make the change itself good. To ask yourself to embrace this negative kind of change seems, at least, counterintuitive and, at most, potentially <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fearless-you/201310/6-damaging-beliefs-about-grief-and-what-you-can-do">psychologically damaging</a>.</p> <p>Instead of moving toward embracing change, try managing change instead. This approach accepts that change is almost always painful, at least on some level, and that we need to accept and deal with that pain.</p> <p><em>Any other common self-help goals that haven't worked out so well for you or someone you know? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-self-help-mantras-that-actually-hurt">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-4"> <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/25-easy-ways-to-make-your-life-more-interesting">25 Easy Ways to Make Your Life More Interesting</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/7-basic-ways-to-become-your-own-life-coach">7 Basic Ways to Become Your Own Life Coach</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-simple-ways-to-get-your-life-together">10 Simple Ways to Get Your Life Together</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development mantras personal growth self help self improvement Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1178257 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-drinking-water-185640317-small.jpg" alt="woman drinking water" title="woman drinking water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;I'm gonna make a change, it's gonna feel real good!&quot;</p> <p>No song gets me in as good a mood as Michael Jackson's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEQAie8ABLE#t=68">Man in the Mirror</a>. This tune not only packs a motivational punch, but also drives home the point that true change in this world starts with you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person?ref=seealso">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now to Be a Better Person</a>)</p> <p>So, crank up this MJ classic, start practicing these 20 habits and make that change.</p> <h2>Health</h2> <h3>1. Drink 8 Glasses of Water Every Day</h3> <p>You lose plenty of water every day, so to stay on top shape you need to take enough fluids. The eight glasses of water could actually be more or fewer, as long as you reach your daily two-liter goal. If you need some motivation, here is some &quot;water&quot; for thought. (See also: <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/8-reasons-to-drink-more-water?ref=seealso">8 Reasons to Drink More Water</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Adequate hydration prevents risks of chronic kidney disease.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The more water in your belly, the fewer snacks you will crave.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://khsaa.org/sportsmedicine/heat/exerciseandfluidreplacement.pdf">Drinking about 17 ounces of water</a> about two hours before exercise improves your performance.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Water helps you <a href="http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/water-a-fluid-way-to-manage-constipation">manage constipation</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>2. Walk 10,000 Steps Every Day</h3> <p>Several health organizations, including the <a href="http://startwalkingnow.org/">American Heart Association</a>, recommend walking 10,000 steps a day. Walking is one of the simplest ways to keep your weight in check. Buy a simple pedometer for less than $10 on Amazon or score a free one from most health insurance carriers and start accumulating steps by:</p> <ul> <li>Skipping lunch at your work desk and leaving the office to eat outside.</li> <li>Having more <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/nilofer_merchant_got_a_meeting_take_a_walk/">walking meetings</a>.</li> <li>Taking the stairs.</li> </ul> <h3>3. Pick Up a TV Fitness Game</h3> <p>Instead of doing shots every time that your favorite TV character says his catchphrase, start doing squats, pushups, or planks. By turning your favorite TV shows into mini workout sessions you increase the chances of sticking to the &quot;program&quot; (get it?). On top of your favorite shows, you can also watch some high adrenaline shows, such as <a href="http://tv.esquire.com/shows/american-ninja-warrior">American Ninja Warrior</a> and <a href="http://tv.esquire.com/shows/boundless">Boundless</a>, for inspiration.</p> <h3>4. Make Light of Your Problems</h3> <p>Got anger issues? Use these effective techniques that even a two-year-old can do them.</p> <ul> <li>The next time you get frustrated, burst out into singing a silly song, such as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2TbrRz8pLo">Shakes Your Sillies Out</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__An65QQPvc">how to take a deep breath with Dr. Oz</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Create a scream-free zone: If you yell, others will join you in the yelling, so stop it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use humor to roll with the punches and brush off troubles.</li> </ul> <h3>5. Chase Your Cup of Coffee With a Nap</h3> <p>Here is a hack to make the most out of your next coffee cup.</p> <p>It takes approximately 15 to 45 minutes for caffeine to reach its peak levels in your bloodstream. Researchers point out that 20 minutes is the sweet spot, so maximize your caffeine rush by taking a 20 minute nap after finishing your cup. You will awaken fresh from both the nap and be ready for action with peak caffeine levels.</p> <h3>6. Take a Hot Bath or Shower At Night</h3> <p>Just like when you were a kid, winding down before bedtime helps your body relax better. Given that your body temperature <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9322266">decreases about two hours before bedtime</a>, taking a <a href="http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/healthy-sleep-tips-women">hot bath or shower</a> is a great way to maximize this relaxing &quot;cool down&quot; effect and enjoy a better night's sleep.</p> <h3>7. Eat Low Glycemic Snacks Before Working Out</h3> <p>Continuing with the topic of maximizing benefits, here is one for the next time you go for a run or hit the gym. British researches claim that eating low glycemic snacks before working out helps you burn more fat. Skip the candy bar and choose low glycemic snacks such as hummus, nuts, and hard boiled eggs. If you don't have time to grab the right snack, then use this <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm">list of portion size for 100+ foods</a>.</p> <h3>8. Wait 30 Minutes Before Brushing Teeth</h3> <p>Most people follow the rule of thumb of brushing their teeth at least twice a day. However, according to the American Dental Association, the timing is also important. Brushing your teeth right before or after eating or drinking something acidic (e.g. orange juice, coffee) or sugary does not only give you a yucky feeling but also weakens your teeth enamel (a protective coat for your chompers). The ADA recommends to wait 30 minutes before or after a meal to brush your teeth so that your mouth's pH has time to balance out.</p> <h3>9. Go Dancing</h3> <p>Getting your groove on has several benefits:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm">Boosts memory and prevents dementia</a>;</li> <li>Helps with with <a href="http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/dancing-shown-help-boost-happiness-and-mental-health">anxiety and stress problems</a>;</li> <li>Has comparable health benefits as walking and biking, according to an Italian study;</li> <li>Is a low-impact and <a href="http://circheartfailure.ahajournals.org/content/1/2/107.full">safe form of exercise</a>.</li> </ul> <p>So, pick up a class to learn a new dance, or join a group to show off your moves.</p> <h2>Financial</h2> <h3>10. Raise Contributions to Retirement Accounts</h3> <p>The clock is ticking. If you haven't started saving for retirement or are saving too little, you need to ramp up. Given that people are living longer and debt levels are on the rise, people need to raise their target retirement savings goals. For example, members of Gen Y are starting to use $2 million as the new goal instead of just $1 million. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-didnt-know-about-retirement?ref=seealso">12 Things You Didn't Know About Retirement</a>)</p> <p>Increase your contributions to your retirement account by:</p> <ul> <li>Adjusting your paycheck withholdings for your 401(k) or IRA;</li> <li>Making catch-up contributions of $5,500 per year if you are age 50 or older;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-know-what-annuities-are-you-might-be-missing-out">Evaluating if annuities would make sense</a> for your retirement goals;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-dumb-habits-that-are-keeping-you-in-debt">Keeping your debt levels in check</a> so you have more money left for savings.</li> </ul> <h3>11. Save for Holiday Spending</h3> <p>Consumer counseling agencies see a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=88539">25% increase in people seeking help</a> in the first two of months of every year due to out of control Christmas spending. One of the easiest ways to keep your annual budget in check is to set a spending goal at the beginning of every year, and make a weekly contribution towards that goal throughout the year. This way you will not only prevent credit card debt, but also have less financial stress at the beginning of the next year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-for-christmas-7-things-you-should-do-today?ref=seealso">Get Ready for Christmas: 7 Things You Should Do Today</a>)</p> <h3>12. Get More Freebies</h3> <p>Whoever said that there is no such as a free lunch, surely did not check out our calendar of annual free stuff days. Create a reminder in your agenda or smartphone so that you never miss these freebies year after year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days?ref=seealso">Never Miss Free Ice Cream Again: Complete Calendar of Annual Free Stuff Days</a>)</p> <h3>13. Shop Groceries Smartly</h3> <p>Don't let groceries be an afterthought. The average American family spends about <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/average-american-grocery-bill.htm">$6,443 per year on food</a>, which makes the average grocery run about $60. Are you getting the most out of your buck? Make it a habit to:</p> <ul> <li>Skip boxed mixes of anything: you save more by buying items individually;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check the clearance shelves for items;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search for alternatives to expensive items (e.g. Pecori Romano and SarVecchio instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Find out what times your favorite stores mark down products, especially the meat department.</li> </ul> <h2>Productivity</h2> <h3>14. Give More Speeches</h3> <p>The ability to communicate verbally with people is among the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/10/11/the-10-skills-employers-most-want-in-20-something-employees/">top 10 skill employers seek.</a> Public speaking is a skill that is useful, no matter what job you pick up. So, start volunteering more often to give a toast, talk on behalf of your company, present a report to a client, or say grace before a family dinner.</p> <h3>15. Spend Less Time on Your Phone</h3> <p>The more time that you spend on your phone, the <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/12/college_students_who_spend_hou.html">more anxious and less happy</a> you feel. Both sensations make you less productive. While going an entire day without your cell make not make feel any better, using it less than usual will help you feel less anxious and more happy.</p> <ul> <li>Turn your phone to silent or completely off during meetings so that you can focus better.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Leave the phone in your car when heading to a lunch or dinner with clients that you have not seen in a long time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Create an out of office email notice during weekends to reduce the need to check your inbox.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Engage in more face-to-face conversations.</li> </ul> <h3>16. Listen to Music the Right Way</h3> <ul> <li>Take advantage of the Mozart effect: <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15296685">lower your blood pressure</a> and calm down by listening to classical music.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Boost your workout through power playlists cured by experts on <a href="http://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/6iJ9O8TnK67NKl3W6BWLT4">Spotify</a> and <a href="http://www.pandora.com/music/workout">Pandora</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have a sharper focus with &quot;chillout music,&quot; such as most of <a href="http://open.spotify.com/artist/7MSUfLeTdDEoZiJPDSBXgi">Brian Eno's work</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>17. Use the Two-Minute Rule</h3> <p>Multitasking can be detrimental to your productivity, except for a single exception. If a brand new task arrives to your desk and you're able to fully finish it in two minutes, then go ahead and do it. The rush of completing an action item so fast gives you a boost to get back on your to-do list for the day.</p> <h3>18. Exploit Your &quot;Golden Hour&quot;</h3> <p>Just like you have a &quot;witching hour,&quot; you also have a &quot;golden hour.&quot; This is the time that you are at your peak of concentration and are able to tackle the most difficult tasks with the greatest of ease. The great news are that most people have more than just one golden hour. Learn to identify your golden hours and protect them at all costs so that you can get the most done every day.</p> <h3>19. Delegate More</h3> <p>The easiest way to protect your golden hours is to delegate. You don't have to do everything by yourself. Learn to trust others because it makes everybody more productive and builds trust among members of any team.</p> <h3>20. Get Up Early</h3> <p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3013856/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/why-productive-people-get-up-insanely-early">Productive people get up insanely early</a>. Get a DVR recorder and catch your shows during the weekend. By going early to bed and waking up before the competition, you will be on top of everything and find out that a day has more hours than you think. Join the early bird (and successful!) crowd, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.</p> <p><em>What are some other good habits that need to be in this list? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">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-5"> <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/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/how-to-break-bad-habits">How to Break Bad Habits</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/13-bad-habits-that-are-actually-good-for-you">13 &quot;Bad&quot; Habits That Are Actually Good for You</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/the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-change-your-habits-and-your-life">The Surprisingly Easy Way to Change Your Habits and Your Life</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/9-dumb-little-things-you-need-to-stop-saying-today">9 Dumb Little Things You Need to Stop Saying Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development bad habits good habits habits self improvement Thu, 07 Aug 2014 11:00:13 +0000 Damian Davila 1177365 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Invest in Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-invest-in-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-invest-in-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-flexing-494364267-small.jpg" alt="woman flexing" title="woman flexing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You are your own greatest asset.</p> <p>Think about it. Who you are, how you feel about yourself, how you present yourself, what you know, your overall physical and mental health&hellip; it all contributes to how you perform at work, at home, and in the things you do for fun.</p> <p>Of course, you're also a lot more than an asset &mdash; a machine that either performs its function well or does not. You are also a person, someone who feels better, lives better, and loves better from a place of all-over health. You are worth investment simply because you are alive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/52-great-weekend-projects-to-improve-your-life?ref=seealso">52 Great Weekend Projects to Improve Your Life</a>)</p> <p>In fact, you are worth investing in no matter which of these views of the self resonates more deeply with you. It is always worth putting a bit more time and energy into yourself, whether it is so you can improve your performance, or so you can just live from a healthy, whole, centered place.</p> <h2>1. Meditate on Your Needs and Desires</h2> <p>Before you start finding ways to invest in yourself, it's worth taking the time to sit down and decide what you need and what way to invest in yourself is best for you. Your needs will be different from those of the people around you, and that's as it should be. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams?ref=seealso">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a>)</p> <p>Sometimes, you will instinctively know what you need. Other times, you may need to spend some time journaling or talking with someone close to you to figure out where to start.</p> <h2>2. Heal From Your Hurts</h2> <p>One of the best ways to invest in yourself is to take some time to heal from the things that have hurt you. There are <a href="http://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/2013/03/40-losses-qualify-as-grief/">so many things to grieve in life</a>; job loss, lost relationships, and the death of those close to you are only a few of the more common experiences that can cause grief. Because <a href="http://www.eddiereece.com/StuckInGriefOrLoss.en.html">our culture doesn't grieve well</a>, sometimes we can't get beyond those things that have hurt us.</p> <p>Being intentional about grieving well can take many forms. Maybe you just need time, or maybe you need a couple of hours with a cup of tea and a journal. If that doesn't help you, consider talking to a professional. This can be a long process, but you will only be able to live fully if you can move past your losses.</p> <h2>3. Create in a New Way</h2> <p>Most of us have some creative outlet, whether it is obvious, like painting or writing poetry, or less obvious, like computer programming or solving old problems in new ways. Sometimes, when we get used to functioning creatively in a certain way, we find that our creativity actually stagnates, or that we burn out.</p> <p>Instead of trying the same old things creatively, <a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/3-valuable-ways-to-invest-in-yourself.html">try something new</a>. If you usually write, draw a picture or listen to music instead. Focus on those things you've always wanted to do, or on things that are less usual outlets for creative thought.</p> <p>For example, you could consider:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-own-furniture-9-helpful-tips-for-non-carpenters">Woodworking</a></li> <li>Pottery</li> <li>Calligraphy</li> <li>Cooking classes</li> </ul> <h2>4. Learn to Network</h2> <p>For some people, meeting others comes as naturally as eating. For others, it's a difficult process. Most people think of networking as something that specifically takes place in a work capacity, but the truth is that learning how to meet other people can help you in all areas of your life. Knowing people can help you learn new things, get help when you need it, and learn about the opportunities around you.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/networking-basics-for-regular-people">Beginning to network</a> can be as easy as inviting some friends over. Have them each bring a couple of friends, provide some low-key edibles, and there you have it!</p> <h2>5. Move Your Body</h2> <p>We hear so much about exercise that it's easy to tune it out. Sure it's good for you, but who has time for that? However, taking time to exercise doesn't only help you get more physically fit, but it also helps you <a href="http://denisejacobs.com/talks/white-space-creativity/">get some white space</a> in your day. Even if you blast your music, you generally can't multi-task while you're working out, so your brain gets a break.</p> <p>&quot;Exercise&quot; can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. You can walk, jog, run, lift weights, Jazzercise, CrossFit, jump rope, kick box, Zumba, use cardio machines, and so much more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-make-exercise-more-fun?ref=seealso">50 Ways to Make Exercise More Fun</a>)</p> <h2>6. Save Money</h2> <p>Before you splurge on those shoes or a computer game, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-100-this-week">put money in your savings account</a>. When you pay yourself first, you say to yourself that you are important and that you are more than the things you let yourself buy.</p> <p>If you aren't good at saving, set up a separate savings account for this money. Put in a certain amount after each paycheck, and leave it there. You will probably be surprised at how much you have after several months or a year. This can be your travel fund, your new car fund, or your to-be-determined fund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-make-yourself-save-more-money?ref=seealso">12 Ways to Make Yourself Save More</a>)</p> <h2>7. Spend Time Where It Matters</h2> <p>Figure out what the things are in your life &mdash; or your work &mdash; that are most important, and <a href="http://hbr.org/2013/09/make-time-for-the-work-that-matters/ar/1">make sure they get your best time</a>. If there are tasks that you can delegate, do it. If you feel like you need to delegate something but you don't know what, take some time to determine which parts of your day feel the most fulfilling. Then figure out if someone else can take on some of the rest.</p> <p>There are seasons in life where delegation is hard, not because you don't want to do it, but because it isn't a good option, for whatever reason. In these cases, try to do as many of the important and rewarding tasks first, and then do the essential &quot;other&quot; tasks as your energy allows.</p> <h2>8. Educate Yourself</h2> <p>Education is an obvious but important investment that you can make in yourself. Most people equate education with school, but the truth is that there are a million ways to learn. Sure, you could go back to school, but you could also work alongside someone doing what you want to do, or invest in (and read!) books that focus on topics you want to know more about.</p> <p>Even if you don't have a lot of time or money, you can learn more. Talk to the people around you and find out what they know and if they'd be willing to teach you. Or run a Google search on an interesting subject and read the top five articles.</p> <h2>9. Sleep More, Sleep Better</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/04/sleep.stress.economy/index.html">We're sleeping less</a> than ever before. We are busy and our phones/tablets/computers/email keep us going constantly. And sometimes, even when we try to sleep, we can't because of stress or worries that keep us awake. If you really want to be at your best, though, you need to get enough sleep.</p> <p>Is sleep a struggle for you? Be sure to give yourself some non-screen time before you go to bed. You can also try focusing on your breathing until you drift off to dreamland. Find what works for you and do it. Sleeping feels like doing nothing, but it is one of the most rejuvenating things you can do for your waking hours.</p> <p><em>How do you take care of yourself? What works for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-invest-in-yourself">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-6"> <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/11-things-you-can-do-on-your-lunch-break-to-change-your-life">11 Things You Can Do on Your Lunch Break to Change Your Life</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/do-these-26-things-to-make-this-year-the-best-year-ever">Do These 26 Things to Make This Year the Best Year Ever</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/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development dreams goals self improvement Fri, 27 Jun 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1149837 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways Immaturity Can Make You Happier and More Successful http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-immaturity-can-make-you-happier-and-more-successful <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-immaturity-can-make-you-happier-and-more-successful" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father-son-playing-103577116-small.jpg" alt="father son playing" title="father son playing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Imagine what it would be like if life was a grand adventure and you were an intrepid explorer. For children, this is life every day. By their very nature, kids approach the world with genuine curiosity and are able to delight in the possibilities of what's waiting just over the horizon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-a-more-positive-person?ref=seealso">How to Be a More Positive Person</a>)</p> <p>Sometimes, though, the older we get, the easier it becomes to lose some of that untamed spirit. The horizon can seems further and further away. If it's time for you to break free of the monotony of adulthood and rekindle some of the magic of youth, start with these essential lessons from childhood.</p> <h2>Embrace Endless, Wild Optimism</h2> <p>Children see only the possibilities, not the probabilities. Kids daydream about the most fantastic ways the impossible might come true. Their imaginations joyfully pursue the next good idea even before they know what to do with it. Adults can take lesson from this: Learn to stop dwelling on the reasons something can't happen. Instead, change your focus and explore the possibilities of what <em>can</em> happen.</p> <h2>Cultivate Curiosity</h2> <p>It's easy for adults to lose patience with a youngster's endless line of questioning. But instead of being annoyed, try emulating that strategy and staying curious yourself.</p> <p>Eleanor Roosevelt said, &quot;I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.&quot; I wholeheartedly agree. Being more curious means opening up to the possibility that there's more to life than meets the eye.</p> <p>Cultivate curiosity by learning a new skill, traveling, or getting to know people on a deeper level by asking more questions &mdash; it can only expand your world.</p> <h2>Get Creative</h2> <p>Children don't care if they color between the lines or make the sky plaid and the grass pink. They use arts and crafts as a ready outlet for their wild creative impulses. You don't have to be a trained artist to doodle on paper or paint with your fingers. Get the whole family involved in simple <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-kids-diy-projects-in-your-pantry">at-home DIY craft projects</a>. And if you feel like you need an art lesson, ask your children to <a href="http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2014/02/easy-finger-paint-recipe.html">mix up some finger paint</a> with you and then show you how it's done!</p> <h2>Be Fearless</h2> <p>Have you ever noticed that kids are willing to try out their ideas without hesitation (even if it results in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich crammed into a place it clearly doesn't belong)?</p> <p>Adults tend to travel in less fanciful circles because we're less willing to risk failure. Fortunately, most grown-ups also have better planning skills than children. We can prepare for risk-taking in ways that reduce the possibility of unpleasant (or sticky) outcomes. So, consider new ways to step out of your comfort zone and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">do the things that scare you</a>. Put your adult planning skills to good use and start taking some risks on the things that matter to you most.</p> <h2>Play With Abandon</h2> <p>For kids, fun is still synonymous with fitness. They don't bother to count reps when they're engaged in endless rounds of kickball. They don't need to stare at the clock on an exercise bike when their real bike takes them to faraway places. They don't need the gym because every day is a calorie-burning, strength-building, circuit training challenge! Kids know what fitness experts having been trying to tell adults for years. The best way to get in shape is to make physical activity a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-make-exercise-more-fun">fun part</a> of your everyday experience.</p> <h2>Say What You Mean</h2> <p>Kids really do say the darnedest things, don't they? That's because they're telling us what they really think. Adults, on the other hand, have well-crafted filters and we feel virtuous for &quot;holding our tongue.&quot;</p> <p>Sometimes having a filter can help diffuse a situation, but at other times, filters holds us back from having conversations that really count. Wouldn't it be great to tell your significant other just how much you love and appreciate them? Or set some more reasonable limits on what is expected of you at work? One of the most empowering lessons we adults can learn is the art of gracefully saying what we mean.</p> <h2>Laugh &mdash; and Cry &mdash; Out Loud</h2> <p>Children proudly wear their hearts on their sleeves. When something strikes them as funny, they light up the room with their laughter. If things get too monotonous, they'll spice things up with their own brand of slapstick. And if they're hurting, kids don't hesitate to ask for a kiss to make it better. But somewhere on the winding road from childhood to adulthood, we stop sharing our feelings and put on thick masks to hide how really feel. Adults can benefit from shedding those masks when the occasion calls for it and being willing to share more laughter, as well as tears.</p> <p>Every lesson adults can learn from kids boils down to this: Let go of some of your fear. Kids don't have the same quality or quantity of fear that adults do &mdash; and that intrepid nature keeps them learning, growing, and discovering something new every day. As adults, if you want to be healthier, happier, and have better relationships, all you really have to fear is fear itself. So go ahead, channel that bold little explorer you used to be, the one who looked under rocks, played with worms, climbed trees, wore cowboy boots with sweatpants, and imagined new worlds.</p> <p><em>What lessons have you learned or relearned from the children in your life? What's the most important childhood quality you've been able to preserve in yourself or own kids?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-immaturity-can-make-you-happier-and-more-successful">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-7"> <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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</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/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</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/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep">6 Ways to Get Prettier, Smarter, and Healthier While You Sleep</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/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Personal Development children kid lessons learning self improvement Mon, 23 Jun 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Kentin Waits 1145814 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Weird Brain Hacks That Make You a Better Person With Almost No Effort http://www.wisebread.com/4-weird-brain-hacks-that-make-you-a-better-person-with-almost-no-effort <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-weird-brain-hacks-that-make-you-a-better-person-with-almost-no-effort" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garden-474212989-small.jpg" alt="garden" title="garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We tend to think of our personalities as pretty set in stone. If you have always been short-tempered or shy or change-averse, you may think that it's simply who you are. Yes, you might be able to work hard over years to chip away at the aspects of your personality that you'd like to change, but overall, what you see it what you get. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-easy-ways-to-improve-your-brain?ref=seealso">13 Easy Ways to Improve Your Brain</a>)</p> <p>But it turns out that your mind is much more like clay than marble. With the right brain hacks, you can make real and lasting changes to just about any aspect of yourself &mdash; without feeling like you are fighting a war with your true nature.</p> <p>Here are four brain hacks that can help you to become the best version of yourself.</p> <h2>1. Become More Generous by Spending Time in a Beautiful Garden</h2> <p>It has been well established that spending time in nature is both calming and mentally restorative. However, recent studies out of the University of California and the University of Southern California have determined that subjects who spend time in natural places that they find beautiful increase what's known as &quot;<a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-neighborhood/201312/generous-nature">prosocial tendencies</a>.&quot; Basically, after spending time in a beautiful spot, subjects show more agreeableness, empathy, generosity, trust, and helping behavior.</p> <p>What is interesting about these studies is that they show how important it is for the subject to perceive their surroundings as <em>beautiful</em> in order to experience the generosity increase. It's not enough to be outside in nature &mdash; you must also appreciate the beauty of the nature you see.</p> <h3>How to Use This Hack</h3> <p>If you have a garden, now is the time to spend some time in it. Not only will working in your garden give you a sense of satisfaction (and a <a href="http://health.yahoo.net/experts/allinyourmind/4-mental-health-benefits-gardening">reduction of the stress hormone cortisol</a>), but making your own little patch of nature look more beautiful will also help to improve your relationships and increase your empathetic and generous behavior.</p> <p>If you don't have a garden to tend, regularly make plans to head outside for a walk through a beautiful spot. Bring a grumpy friend and help hack his brain, too.</p> <h2>2. Prime Your Brain for Improvement With the Right Words</h2> <p>The language that you use to talk to yourself actually has an effect on your brain. That's because your brain retains the memory of the words you say, even if you don't think that you recall them. Adam Dachis of Lifehacker explains it this way:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">If you were to say the word <em>mustard</em> out loud, and then you were to see a portion of the word later, <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5747213/how-to-hack-your-brain">you'd be reminded of mustard</a>. For example, if you were to say, 'I must have this,' you might be reminded of mustard because of the word must. If you were hungry and liked mustard, you may even want some.</p> <p>This is because your mind has been primed to think about mustard. Your brain retains the memory of you saying the word out loud, and so it gives you a kind of a neural shortcut to get back to the word that clearly must be important because you said it out loud.</p> <p>Advertisers have been using <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priming_(psychology)">priming</a> for years, but you can also use it to hack your brain to be happier, more ambitious, or more outgoing. All you have to do is create the right list of words to say out loud.</p> <h3>How to Use This Hack</h3> <p>Create a list of words that you associate with whatever feeling you are trying to evoke in yourself. For instance, if you are trying to encourage yourself to become more outgoing, you might come up with this list of words:</p> <ul> <li>friendly</li> <li>eager</li> <li>talk</li> <li>enthusiasm</li> <li>go</li> <li>yes</li> <li>smile</li> <li>people</li> <li>fun</li> <li>interest</li> </ul> <p>After reading this list aloud, you will find yourself in a more outgoing mindset. Reading the list will help to focus your thoughts and prime your brain to react in an outgoing manner throughout your day.</p> <p>While reading this priming list aloud every day is not going to magically transform a wallflower into a social butterfly, it does provide you with the mindset that encourages the behavior you're aiming for.</p> <h2>3. Improve Your Willpower by Becoming a Lefty (or a Righty)</h2> <p>Whether you have trouble passing up the office donut box or you find yourself consistently blowing your top over minor issues, the root cause is the same: a lack of self-control.</p> <p>But before you start beating yourself up, it's important to remember that studies have shown that <a href="https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower.aspx">self-control is a limited resource that can be depleted</a>. Basically, willpower is like a muscle &mdash; and it can be exhausted. But it can also be strengthened, just like a muscle.</p> <p>Specifically, allowing yourself to be regularly frustrated can help you to improve your willpower muscle because you become more immune to feelings of frustration. And according to a study from the University of New South Wales, an excellent way to do this is to <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120308120028.htm">use your non-dominant hand</a> for two weeks. Aggressive individuals who practiced being a lefty (or a righty, if they were left-handed) for two weeks were able to respond to annoyances more calmly after the experiment.</p> <h3>How to Use This Hack</h3> <p>If you are concerned about your ability to practice self-control, plan on using your non-dominant hand for everything (within reason and safety concerns) for two weeks. This means that you will be fighting your habitual tendencies for two weeks straight. While it will be difficult to remember to butter your toast with your left hand for two weeks, your capacity for self-control will grow stronger over that time. Afterwards, you will find it easier to pass up that cruller or keep your cool when you get cut off in traffic.</p> <h2>4. Rearrange Your Refrigerator to Eat Healthier</h2> <p>You have every intention of eating better. But it seems like all the fruit you buy just rots in the bottom of the fridge, and you end up snacking on potato chips and onion dip <em>yet again</em>.</p> <p>While it might be simplest to just not buy the junk food that tempts you away from eating right, that's not always feasible. A junk food loving family member or roommate can easily thwart those plans. Instead, make eating healthy easier by rearranging the food in your kitchen.</p> <h3>How to Use This Hack</h3> <p>Specifically, put your carrot sticks and apple slices front and center in your refrigerator so that they are easier to see and grab. If you put the onion dip in a far corner, you'll make it even easier to avoid, since you're less likely to see it and be tempted by it.</p> <p>This hack comes from Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, the authors of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014311526X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=014311526X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=L76N3HHV4AEWFCBP">Nudge</a>. They refer to such a change as &quot;<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2014/02/04/5-tricks-to-hack-your-way-to-better-life-habits/">choice architecture</a>.&quot; Basically, if you make it harder to do the unhealthy thing, you're more likely to make the healthy choice.</p> <p>In addition to putting your healthy snacks in a prominent position in the refrigerator, it's also a good idea to prep those healthy foods ahead of time so all you have to do is grab a bag of pre-cut fruit slices when you're hungry. Add that to placing all of the unhealthy foods in as remote a spot as possible in the refrigerator, and it will be easier to eat healthy without thinking about it.</p> <h2>You Can Train Your Brain</h2> <p>Our brains are wired to respond to all kinds of stimuli. If you know how to hack that wiring, you can improve your life without any of that overwhelming, soul-sucking, hard work that's usually required.</p> <p><em>Have you been able to trick yourself into becoming a better person? Do the right thing and share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-weird-brain-hacks-that-make-you-a-better-person-with-almost-no-effort">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-8"> <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/8-powerful-brain-hacks-you-can-do-in-under-2-minutes">8 Powerful Brain Hacks You Can Do in Under 2 Minutes</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/5-tips-for-remembering-names">5 Tips for Remembering Names</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/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/10-must-do-mid-year-resolutions-to-get-you-back-on-track">10 Must-Do Mid-Year Resolutions to Get You Back on Track</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development brain hacks psychology self improvement Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1145232 at http://www.wisebread.com Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/volunteer-168794646.jpg" alt="volunteer" title="volunteer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With so many outlets for entertainment, you'd think that we'd never, ever get bored. Yet, there are still times that I find myself wandering around the house, simply looking for something to do and my usual go-to activities just aren't doing it for me. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter?ref=seealso">50 Fun Things to do When You're Stuck Inside</a>)</p> <p>If you suffer from the same lack of enthusiasm, then this post is for you. Here are 34 tried and true ways to kill your boredom&hellip; or at least occupy your time until something better comes along.</p> <h2>1. Tackle Your To-Do List</h2> <p>You know you've got one&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;that mental list of little things that you plan to get around to someday. Well, today's that day. Call your Aunt Martha, take the comforter to the dry cleaners, and check the oil in your car and the air in your bicycle tires.</span></p> <h2>2. Clean Out the Garage</h2> <p>Okay, yes, I realize this is probably more than a one-day project, but imagine how great you'll feel when it's all done. Use plastic tubs to store your things and mark each tub or box prominently for easy identification. Then next time you need to dig out holiday decorations or find your old school yearbooks, you'll know exactly where to look.</p> <h2>3. Take a Nap</h2> <p>If you're already napping quite a bit, then skip this suggestion&hellip; it's time to do something else. But otherwise, feel free to snooze for a bit. The world would be a much better place if we all had a mid-afternoon nap and snack every day.</p> <h2>4. Cook Something New</h2> <p>No, I don't mean a different kind of Hamburger Helper. I mean find a recipe that requires some effort, preferably something that's authentically <em>not</em> in your wheelhouse and could be called &quot;art&quot; with the right garnish. Stretch your taste buds. You might find you like it.</p> <h2>5. Write a Letter to Your Congressperson</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/writing-158433328.jpg" /></p> <p>According to all the political pundits, Congress bases its actions on what they hear from the People. I don't know if that's true, but if the statistics are to be believed, some 92% of us are unhappy with their performance. That's a lot of feedback that Congress apparently hasn't heard yet. So, maybe it's time to speak your mind.</p> <h2>6. Take Up a Cause</h2> <p>Back in the 80's, before Internet and cell phones and emails, I had the privilege of working with a wonderful non-profit group devoted to fighting pound seizure. We passed out flyers, we marched at City Hall&hellip; it was liberating. If you're suffering from boredom, maybe you just need something to feel passionate about.</p> <h2>7. Volunteer</h2> <p>I've mentioned this one before, but if you find that you're frequently bored, you may need a solution that's more long-term, and volunteering is a great way to spend your free time. Check out <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org/">VolunteerMatch.org</a> to find an opportunity that's right for you.</p> <h2>8. Educate Yourself</h2> <p>Go back to school or try one of the many online or self-study options. Many are even free, so there's no excuse for not broadening your horizons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learning-without-the-high-cost-of-higher-education?ref=seealso">Learning Without the High cost of Higher Ed</a>)</p> <h2>9. Paint a Room</h2> <p>Forget the neutral colors, and think blues and greens with splashes of yellow or go bold with black, white, and red. Or, if you're feeling really adventurous, try some of these fun painting ideas from <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/2013/07/25-interior-painting-ideas/">Remodelaholic</a>.</p> <h2>10. Change Your Hair Color</h2> <p>This may be more of a girl thing, but when I was in highschool, I sported every hair color that Revlon sold at least twice. And while I'm not quite as quick to do those drastic changes now, it's still fun to try something new every now and then. And it's amazing how different you feel when you change the shade of your mane.</p> <h2>11. Replace Your Shelf Paper</h2> <p>Shelf paper is one of those things that no one thinks about until they open the cabinet door and see the shabby remnants of what was installed 10 years ago. So, rip out that old stuff and get something new. It's relatively cheap, and it will definitely get you focused on something other than being bored.</p> <h2>12. Clean Out Your Closet</h2> <p>When I was a kid, my go-to move for cleaning my room was to shove anything that didn't have a designated &quot;place&quot; into the closet or under the bed. And I'm sad to say, not much has changed over the years. My closet is a catch-all for a variety of things, including linens, mementos from the kids, my cheerleading megaphone, and my Barbie collection. Yes, there are clothes and shoes in there as well. On the bright side however, cleaning it out almost always results in finding things I had forgotten about, so if your closet resembles mine, you might find a few forgotten treasures too!</p> <h2>13. Organize Your Junk Drawer</h2> <p>Speaking of catch-all's, we all have at least one drawer in the house that doesn't have a purpose other than to store all the little &quot;stuff&quot; we don't know what to do with. You don't have to get rid of the junk drawer altogether, but organizing it will at least make it easier to find the thumbtacks and the nail file the next time you need them.</p> <h2>14. Rearrange Your Furniture</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/home-462880981.jpg" /></p> <p>Want a change in your decor, but can't really afford the expense right now? Switch it up. Move your couch there, the recliner over here and viola! It's like a whole new room.</p> <h2>15. Connect With Someone From Your Past</h2> <p>I'm one of those people who has all my old friends on Facebook, but beyond the friendly &quot;Like&quot; now and then, we rarely ever connect. And that's a shame. So, let's not be &quot;those people.&quot; Make an effort to reconnect with old friends from the past and see if that friendship can be rekindled. Worst case scenario, you'll find you have nothing in common. But who knows? You might find someone new to help you kill your boredom.</p> <h2>16. Research Your Family Tree</h2> <p>I've mentioned before about my love affair with genealogy, but I'm going to mention it again here because it's a fantastic way to kill time. You know how you start surfing the web with one topic in mind and end up &mdash; some 20 sites later &mdash; on something completely different? Genealogy is just like that, only instead of websites, you're finding your ancestors.</p> <h2>17. Clean Out Your Inbox</h2> <p>I've had the same email address for more than 10 years now, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I get at least 100 emails a day, most of which are junk. Needless to say, it's easy for my inbox to get out of hand. If you can say the same, maybe now is a good time to regain control. Weed out the junk, and then move the rest &mdash; either into folders or the trash &mdash; until your inbox is empty. You'll be amazed at how freeing an empty inbox can be.</p> <h2>18. Host Your Own Movie Marathon</h2> <p>Pick some of your favs &mdash; the &quot;Stars Wars&quot; and &quot;Star Trek&quot; sagas are obvious choices, but you could also choose a theme, as in all chick-flicks, all sci-fi films, or all Tom Hanks movies (&quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005Y71F/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005Y71F&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UN4KU5UIRV2VMJWV">Joe Versus the Volcano</a>&quot; anyone?). Invite your friends, buy some snacks (popcorn is a must!), and settle in.</p> <p><span style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: georgia; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.4em;">19. Get a Massage</span></p> <p>If you've had one, then this needs no explanation. If you haven't, then get one and you'll understand why.</p> <h2>20. Meditate</h2> <p>I know, I know. You're just not sold on the whole &quot;Mind-Body-Spirit&quot; thing. But it's not like you're doing anything right now anyway, so what have you got to lose?</p> <h2>21. Exercise</h2> <p>For the past two weeks, I've been doing yoga faithfully every morning and I have to say, I can seriously feel a difference. But if yoga isn't your thing and you're not jumping up and down at the thought of lifting weights, then try something else. Go for a walk, learn how to tango, or wash your car. As long as you're moving and your heart rate is up, it counts.</p> <h2>22. Have Sex</h2> <p>Well, we were talking about moving and elevated heart rate, so it seems only fitting that we include this suggestion here. And really, can you think of a better way to occupy your free time?</p> <h2>23. Plant a Garden</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/food-178373458.jpg" /></p> <p>You'd be amazed at how much better your food tastes when it's fresh. And it's good for your wallet, too.</p> <h2>24. Start Your Own Blog</h2> <p>Are you an expert on something? Do you know how to sew or paint or fish? Maybe you're an avid reader or you homeschool your kids or you're just the #1 Fan of insert-your-favorite-celebrity-or-TV-show here. Whatever your passion, whatever your hobby, you can blog about it &mdash; and connect with like-minded others in the process.</p> <h2>25. Research a New Career</h2> <p>Have you always dreamed of being a doctor? Going to law school or becoming a master chef? Or maybe you'd just like to work in retail instead of insurance, or start your own business for that matter. Boredom means you have time to spare and you can use that time to chart a path to a rewarding new career.</p> <h2>26. Update Your Resume</h2> <p>If it's been a while since you've dusted off your resume, use this opportunity of &quot;nothing to do&quot; to get it updated. You'll be one step closer to applying for that great new job you're researching.</p> <h2>27. Revamp Your Budget</h2> <p>Ever wonder where all your money goes? Now's a good time to find out.</p> <h2>28. Update Your Financial Profile</h2> <p>Are you on track for retirement? Will you have enough to pay for your children's college or that vacation you want to take next year? Do you know your net worth? Getting answers to these questions makes it much easier to plan for your future.</p> <h2>29. Organize Your Important Papers</h2> <p>If something were to happen to you, would your family know how to handle everything that needs handling? Getting all your important documents organized &mdash; life insurance policies, pensions, passwords, etc &mdash; is one of the first steps to building a solid estate plan. Use this down time to start building yours.</p> <h2>30. Scan All Your Photos</h2> <p>One of the great things about the &quot;cloud&quot; is that you can access it anywhere. And that means you can use it to store more than documents. Scan all your pictures and back them up to the cloud for safe keeping.</p> <h2>31. Create a Life Plan</h2> <p>Businesses have a plan, why not you? Think about where you want to go, how you want to get there, and then formulate a plan for making it happen. Once you have a clear path, maybe you won't have time to feel bored.</p> <h2>32. Scrub Your Baseboards</h2> <p>Your closets are cleaned out, your garage is organized, and your cabinets have spiffy new shelf paper. But don't forget those baseboards. They can make even the cleanest house look not-so-clean. And trust me when I tell you, you'll be too tired to care about being bored when you're done.</p> <h2>33. Try a New Hobby</h2> <p>You've always wanted to sign up for co-ed softball or try your hand at painting or learn how to play tennis. There's no time like the present, especially since you have plenty of free time.</p> <h2>34. Bake</h2> <p>There's something therapeutic about baking something from scratch. Learn how to use fondant or make the perfect pie crust.</p> <p><em>Now, it's your turn&hellip; how do you cure boredom?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">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-9"> <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/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/9-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-now">9 Ways to Stop Procrastinating — NOW!</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/the-single-greatest-key-to-managing-your-time">The Single Greatest Key to Managing Your Time</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/10-must-do-mid-year-resolutions-to-get-you-back-on-track">10 Must-Do Mid-Year Resolutions to Get You Back on Track</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/7-ways-to-get-your-life-back-into-balance">7 Ways to Get Your Life Back Into Balance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity entertainment pastimes productivity self improvement Wed, 28 May 2014 08:48:26 +0000 Kate Luther 1140741 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tv-179267581.jpg" alt="tv" title="tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Better, faster, stronger.</p> <p>This is not only the mantra of fans from Daft Punk and &quot;The Six Million Dollar Man,&quot; but also from life hackers around the world who are looking for ways to make their lives better. The first step on your way to self-improvement is to level the playing field by getting rid of bad habits that are slowing you down. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-habits-you-must-break-to-become-more-self-confident">5 Habits You Must Break to Become More Self Confident</a>)</p> <p>By eliminating these 20 bad habits, you set up yourself to tackle any challenge.</p> <h2>Social</h2> <p>People are, by nature, social. When we put our heads together, we are able to achieve great things, such as the Pyramids or the Powerpoint presentations due Monday.</p> <h3>1. Being Late</h3> <p>&quot;80% of life is showing up,&quot; recommends Woody Allen. If your personal clock keeps on running 15 to 30 minutes behind everybody else's, then people are going to stop relying on you and find a replacement. Make it a habit to show up to meetings and appointments 15 minutes early. This buys you time for any last-minute surprises and shows people that you are taking them seriously. Being on time is the easiest way to show respect.</p> <h3>2. Texting During Conversations</h3> <p>A major turn-off for co-workers, friends, and relatives is your obsession with your smartphone or tablet during conversations. Trying to answer an email and posting a tweet while your spouse is asking you what would you like for dinner is just plain rude. Not to mention that it's making you dumber. Studies show that <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/04/22/text.iq/">multitasking lowers your IQ</a> as much as missing a whole night's sleep &mdash; and more than smoking pot.</p> <h3>3. Making the World Circle Around You</h3> <p>Complaining too much, constantly fishing for compliments, de-emphasizing actual compliments, and cutting people off mid-sentence are red flags that you are too self-centered. You are not the center of the universe, and your problems are not bigger than everybody else's. Start using &quot;you&quot; more often than &quot;I&quot; and make an effort to let others speak more than you do. Remember that &quot;being a good listener&quot; is a compliment, and one that shows others that you care for others.</p> <h3>4. Telling &quot;Little White Lies&quot;</h3> <p>No one likes being lied to. Yet, we still keep telling ourselves that is okay to do tell white lies. Even those lies that supposedly hurt nobody cast a shadow of doubt on your integrity. Tell enough of them, and people won't listen to you anymore. To start limiting the number of lies you dish out every day, try the &quot;Little Jimmy Test.&quot; Little Jimmy is your five-year-old kid &mdash; would you be okay with him saying what you are about to say?</p> <h3>5. Oversharing in Social Media</h3> <p>If you Instagram, Vine, or Facebook every aspect of your life, you may be alienating yourself from friends and family. Not everybody wants to be tagged in every picture or be included in every check-in. Respect the privacy of others and ask before you share any information about somebody else.</p> <h2>Health</h2> <p>Remember your New Year's resolution to lose weight this year? It is going to take more than wishful thinking to get it done.</p> <h3>6. Drinking Soda</h3> <p>Studies have shown that people that consume soda have an <a href="http://clinicnews.dom.wustl.edu/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=114:disturbing-facts-about-soda&amp;catid=6:articles&amp;Itemid=13">11% increase in cholesterol</a>&nbsp;compared with people that drink other beverages. And drinking diet soda is no good either. In a 10-year study, people who drank two diet sodas a day had a <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaynejung/2012/02/29/dont-drink-the-carmalized-sugar-water-please/">500% increase in waist circumference</a>. Switch soda for water and you will keep both your cholesterol and waistline in check. On top of that, drinking water when we are thirsty boosts our brain's <a href="http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263648.php">performance in mental tests</a>.</p> <h3>7. Binge Drinking</h3> <p>While <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551">light to moderate drinking</a> has been shown to have health benefits, pounding three or more drinks in a row, raises your blood pressure and lowers your vitamin B1. This vitamin is necessary for a healthy nervous system. Stop binge drinking and, if you must drink, limit yourself to two drinks.</p> <h3>8. Late Night Snacking in Front of TV</h3> <p>Not watching what you're eating is going to increase the amount of food you gobble. By eating while distracted not only do you eat 10% more, but also <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2295303/Why-eating-TV-makes-fat-You-consume-25-LATER-day-realising.html">25% more at a later meal</a>. There are three ways to attack this bad habit. First, hide snacks from yourself so that you are less likely to reach for them. Second, use a very small plate to limit the size of your snack. Third, choose lighter snacks, such as fruits and veggies.</p> <h3>9. Skipping Breakfast</h3> <p>Mom was right, again. Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. Men that frequently skip breakfast have a <a href="http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/surprising-dangers-skipping-breakfast">27% higher risk</a> of suffering a heart attack or fatal coronary disease, compared to those that eat breakfast daily. In the case of women, skipping breakfast increases their <a href="http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/06/12/ajcn.112.057521.abstract">risk of type 2 diabetes</a>. Make your momma proud and take the time to fix yourself a healthy breakfast every day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-make-ahead-freezable-hot-breakfast-recipes?ref=seealso">9 Make Ahead, Freezable Hot Breakfasts</a>)</p> <h3>10. Wearing Headphones All the Time</h3> <p>If you are using your headphones at <a href="http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/headphone-safety.aspx">60% of their maximum volume for a total of 60 minutes</a> a day, then you are already a victim of irreversible hearing loss. Start observing the 60/60 rule regarding volume and duration, buy larger headphones that rest over the ear instead of inside the ear, and preserve your hearing.</p> <h3>11. Getting Sunburned Too Often</h3> <p>Your risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, doubles if you have five<a href="http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sunburn/facts-about-sunburn-and-skin-cancer">&nbsp;or more sunburns</a>. Don't test your luck. Make it a daily habit to use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Hats, sunglasses, and UV-blocking clothing are also good ideas. Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and keep completely away from tanning booths.</p> <h2>Financial</h2> <p>&quot;Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver,&quot; said Ayn Rand. It is time to reclaim your seat at the driving wheel and kick these financial bad habits to the curb. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-dumb-habits-that-are-keeping-you-in-debt">25 Dumb Habits That Are Keeping You in Debt</a>)</p> <h3>12. Paying Credit Cards Late</h3> <p>One of the top reasons that your credit card balances never seem to go down is that you keep paying past the due date. Every time you do that, you're slammed with a fine of up to $35. On top of that, your creditor is likely to increase your interest rate after too many late payments. To fix this, set up an automatic payment plan or contact your credit card company to move your due date.</p> <h3>13. Buying &quot;Deals&quot; for Premium Goods</h3> <p>Have you ever had to buy something because it was a once in a lifetime deal? Turns out you may have been better off without such deal in the first place. Research suggests that &quot;<a href="http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~gmenon/Coupons.pdf">coupons for premium-priced products</a> can actually make consumers spend more money than they would have spent in the absence of coupons.&quot; Our minds are tricked to focus on the coupon rather than total price, so we end up spending more than we originally intended. By focusing on saving $200, you end up spending over $1,000 and&hellip;</p> <h3>14. Busting Your Budget</h3> <p>The king of all financial bad habits. You need to kick this one as soon as possible.</p> <p>When making your budget be sure you're capturing all your spending. By making a very thorough list, you will plan ahead better and increase your chances of keeping within your means.</p> <h3>15. Overspending on Media Consumption</h3> <p>Your iTunes habit may be killing your hearing and your wallet. The price of $1.29 per song may not seem that much, but if you buy 100 songs throughout the year, then you are spending $129. If you have your iTunes account connected to your credit card, yes that credit card that you always pay late, you need to re-evaluate your media consumption. Analyze your options and check out whether paying per song or buying a subscription is the better deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-or-subscribe-how-to-pay-the-least-for-the-media-you-love-the-most?ref=seealso">Buy or Subscribe: How to Pay the Least for the Media You Love the Most</a>)</p> <h3>16. Not Saving for Retirement</h3> <p>Make your golden years truly golden by starting a retirement account. It is never too late and there are options available, no matter how close you may be to your retirement age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-basic-intro-to-having-a-retirement-fund-that-everyone-needs-to-read?ref=seealso">This Is the Basic Intro to Having a Retirement Fund That Everyone Needs to Read</a>)</p> <h2>Productivity</h2> <p>Becoming more productive is at the top of almost everybody's to-do list.</p> <h3>17. Taking Mental Notes</h3> <p>Talking about lists, your main productive challenge may be that you're not committing tasks to paper. Start using the notes app from your smartphone to jot down your objectives for the day. Include important information, such as what is the deadline, what you need to complete it, and who you need to contact. Check your list several times during the day so that you can clearly see what you need to do.</p> <h3>18. Not Committing to Deadlines</h3> <p>Deadlines force us to take action. Here is a quick lifehack from psychology and behavioral professor, Dan Ariely: &quot;P<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/jobs/deadline-pressure-the-great-motivator.html">ublicly committing to a deadline</a> is a powerful motivator because it puts your reputation on the line.&quot; Nobody likes to disappoint friends and colleagues, so this gives you that second wind and adrenaline rush to meet your deadline on time.</p> <h3>19. Being Too Available</h3> <p>If you have Skype, Twitter, Whatsapp, email, and a smartphone on at all times, your work output is going to suffer. While it is a good idea to be accessible, it has to be within specified hours. When you need to get work done, you need to limit your access. This means turning off the phone, shutting down messaging apps, and finding a private space. If you committed publicly to a deadline, your friends and coworkers understand that you are trying to meet that deadline.</p> <h3>20. Overfocusing on Email</h3> <p>Email is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-thing-you-use-every-day-is-ruining-your-productivity-and-its-not-facebook">productivity trap</a>.</p> <ul> <ul> <li>If an email chain goes beyond two replies, pick up the phone.</li> <li>If a co-worker two cubicles down emails you too much, walk over to her.</li> </ul> <li>Your <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140515114346-69244073-if-you-do-this-your-emails-might-be-rude?trk=tod-home-art-list-large_0">incorrect use of email</a> might make you look rude.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are some other bad habits that need to be in this list? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">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-10"> <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/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/how-to-break-bad-habits">How to Break Bad Habits</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/9-dumb-little-things-you-need-to-stop-saying-today">9 Dumb Little Things You Need to Stop Saying Today</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/4-things-most-people-dont-realize-are-holding-them-back">4 Things Most People Don&#039;t Realize Are Holding Them Back</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development bad habits habits productivity self improvement Tue, 27 May 2014 08:48:38 +0000 Damian Davila 1140442 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Be a Better, Happier Person http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-happier-person <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-be-a-better-happier-person" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hands-183992871.jpg" alt="hands" title="hands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="197" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're already well into the New Year, and maybe your diets have already slipped. Your dinner plates are going from green to progressively more light brown. Your crispers are emptying as the pantries are filling. You don't need to slip back into the same old routine as the last year, though. There are endless ways to bring you fulfillment that don't cost money or make you feel defeated if you're not perfect. Here are 25 ways to be a better person. Many of these you may already do, and others you might not have considered as ways that could greatly shape you and your daily experience with others. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-must-do-mid-year-resolutions-to-get-you-back-on-track?ref=seealso">Get Back on Track With Mid-Year Resolutions</a>)</p> <h2>1. Be a Role Model</h2> <p>How do you want to be viewed? What would you want others to model from you? Be the person that inspires others, even if it's just having good table manners or opening the door for people.</p> <h2>2. Be a Better Child to Your Parents</h2> <p>As if the guilt could ever wear off! How would you want your children to appreciate you? Remember all those things you said you'd do differently as you were growing up? Now's the time to start realizing them.</p> <h2>3. Be Accepting</h2> <p>This doesn't mean you have to agree or understand. But if you're accepting, people will be more open and honest with you.</p> <h2>4. Be Adaptable</h2> <p>Life throws curveballs, and your busiest days rarely turn out exactly how you would like. If you let go of your expectations, being adaptable is incredibly freeing and gives you great perspective.</p> <h2>5. Assume Good Intentions</h2> <p>This is key. If you can assume the best intention in people's words and actions, you will get hurt less, be let down less, and become less defensive.</p> <h2>6. Volunteer</h2> <p>Obvious, of course, but it doesn't have to be some huge commitment. Volunteer to drive your kids home from the bus stop on a rainy day (or other neighborhood kids). You've taken something off of someone's shoulders, and hey, they just might be there for you when you need one less thing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-benefits-of-volunteering?ref=seealso">Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering</a>)</p> <h2>7. Be Attentive</h2> <p>It feels so nice to be on the receiving end of someone's attention. When it's your turn to receive, you'll be glad. Karma&hellip;what goes around really does come around.</p> <h2>8. Be Coachable</h2> <p>Every single adult you come across knows something you do not, guaranteed. Be coachable and learn, and in return you are paying respect to someone else and making them feel valued. Both sides win.</p> <h2>9. Be Cooperative</h2> <p>Learn to get along with others, or no one will want to work with you. You should be open to new ideas and should not snarl at the word compromise.</p> <h2>10. Be Curious</h2> <p>Not only could you discover something you love, but looking at the world with such wonder again&hellip;oh, what a feeling.</p> <h2>11. Be on Time</h2> <p>Show respect for someone else's time. It will make them think highly of you, and by organizing your day you'll be less stressed yourself. Start by setting your clocks and watches 10 minutes fast. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-always-be-on-time?ref=seealso">How to Always Be on Time</a>)</p> <h2>12. Be Empathetic</h2> <p>Empathy can validate someone else's experience and establish a connection that sympathy may not. Learn to empathize, even if you have completely different opinions. The paradigm shift will do you good.</p> <h2>13. Be Enthusiastic</h2> <p>Enthusiasm can raise your mood and anyone around you within a 10-foot radius. Wouldn't you rather accomplish goals with enthusiastic people? You don't have to be keen as mustard, but don't be a too-cool-for-school curmudgeon either.</p> <h2>14. Put Your Past Behind You</h2> <p>Stop reading the chapters of your past. Whatever you did &mdash; or whatever was done to you &mdash; is done. It's not you today, and it's not who you want to be tomorrow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/letting-go-8-steps-to-forgiveness?ref=seealso">8 Steps to Forgiveness</a>)</p> <h2>15. Be Present</h2> <p>Don't only play for the future with grand ideas of &quot;One day I will&hellip;&quot; This is it; the moment is now, and there's no better time to take it.</p> <h2>16. Compliment Others (and Yourself)</h2> <p>It looks good on you. If others feel good around you, you reap rewards, too. Even the simplest things, like a nice comment on a shirt or blouse, can help. It starts with you. Be good to yourself so you can give to others. After all, you deserve it as much as anyone else. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-doing-it-wrong-moron-5-tips-for-giving-better-compliments?ref=seealso">How to Give Better Compliments</a>)</p> <h2>17. Be Gentle</h2> <p>To sugarcoat doesn't mean lie; it means being honest without being harsh or causing defensiveness, which will only shut people down. Being gentle assures that people are more able to receive your advice.</p> <h2>18. Look Up</h2> <p>You are missing out on connections and the way it feels to hold your head up high. Looking up also raises your mood. Looking down makes you feel down. Try it; it really works.</p> <h2>19. Be Quiet</h2> <p>Listen. See what happens. Hear what you might otherwise miss.</p> <h2>20. Sing Out Loud</h2> <p>Because it feels good, and it's a release, and whether you're a good singer or not, someone will be amused in some way, even if it's just you.</p> <h2>21. Be Purposeful</h2> <p>Pursue a cause that's higher than yourself. Broadening your scope will make you so much more grateful about your life as it is.</p> <h2>22. Be Resilient</h2> <p>It is not normal to be good at something as soon as you start. So don't give up, be resilient, and be impressed with how far you can come in a short amount of time.</p> <h2>23. Take Responsibility</h2> <p>What a different place the world would be if we each took more responsibility.</p> <h2>24. Don't Victimize</h2> <p>Observe yourself and see what you can learn and how you can be better. The buck stops with you.</p> <h2>25. Be Self-Reflective</h2> <p>Be gentle with yourself. Observe your behavior and thoughts objectively. In this way, so much is possible to change our experience.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to become a better person? Tell us about it in comments!</em></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/25-ways-to-be-a-better-happier-person">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-11"> <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/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</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/4-weird-brain-hacks-that-make-you-a-better-person-with-almost-no-effort">4 Weird Brain Hacks That Make You a Better Person With Almost No Effort</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/10-must-do-mid-year-resolutions-to-get-you-back-on-track">10 Must-Do Mid-Year Resolutions to Get You Back on Track</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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development being nice ethics self improvement Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:18:50 +0000 Paul Michael 1131540 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Things You Can Do on Your Lunch Break to Change Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-you-can-do-on-your-lunch-break-to-change-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-things-you-can-do-on-your-lunch-break-to-change-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-2144531-small.jpg" alt="woman eating lunch" title="woman eating lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Depending on where you work and what your role actually is, the time you have to eat lunch could vary. The standard break is an hour, but these days people are so busy they take 30 minutes or even less. Let&#39;s say that you have around 30 minutes to spare, after you&#39;ve eaten. Depending on what your life is lacking, here are a few ways to make positive changes in very small, simple ways.</p> <h2>1. Drink One Glass of Water</h2> <p>We all know the benefits of drinking water, and many of us have told ourselves for years that we need to drink more. But, so often we forget or grab a coffee or can of soda instead. Take just a few minutes before eating lunch to hydrate and also fill your stomach a little bit before eating. You&#39;ll eat less, you&#39;ll feel better, and if you drink tap water, it costs you nothing at all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-eco-friendly-water-bottles?ref=seealso">Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles</a>)</p> <h2>2. Train Your Brain</h2> <p>Many people (myself included) like to think of lunchtime as down time. We eat, we chat, we laugh, and we complain, but we let our brains go on autopilot for a while. Why not use this time to keep your brain sharp? There are free apps you can download that really put your brain through the ringer, with tests challenging your speed, accuracy, and lateral thinking. Or you can take up a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. These tests and activities can also help to prevent, or delay, <a href="http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/preventing-alzheimers-disease/search-alzheimers-prevention-strategies">Alzheimer&#39;s Disease.</a></p> <h2>3. Try a New Food</h2> <p>We are creatures of habit, and we&#39;re also afraid of wasting our money. Trying something new means risking your money on a food you won&#39;t like. Or worse still, something you&#39;ll hate. But you never know if you&#39;re missing out on a new favorite. It&#39;s also a wonderful way to connect with others. It&#39;s such a small, easy way to really broaden your scope and experience, and as eating is a major part of our lives, isn&#39;t it worth taking the chance to discover something delicious?</p> <h2>4. Connect With Someone</h2> <p>One of the greatest ways to make yourself feel better if you&#39;re feeling bummed out is to make someone else feel great. You know the old saying,&nbsp; &quot;it&#39;s better to give than to receive.&quot; Well, while it may not ring true for an eight-year-old on Christmas day, it becomes more and more applicable as we get older. Just paying someone a compliment when you&#39;re interacting with them, be it a checkout attendant or a bank clerk, can completely transform their day. If someone at the office is looking a little lonely and stressed, give them your attention. Have coffee in the kitchen. Maybe see if they&#39;d like a companion for lunch. Give the best of yourself to the world, and the world will give it back to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-nice-people-can-get-ahead?ref=seealso">How Nice People Can Get Ahead</a>)</p> <h2>5. Try One-Minute Meditation</h2> <p>We&#39;ve all heard of the benefits of meditation, but it can seem like a daunting task. However, there are lots of very simple, step-by-step videos on YouTube that can help you <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fcdv0kFVMs">learn to meditate</a>. You can also find soothing music there for free. Once you get in the habit, taking the time to center yourself daily could reap rewards in your career and your personal life.</p> <h2>6. Keep a Journal</h2> <p>It doesn&#39;t have to be anything impressively long and grandiose. Just write 50&ndash;60 words every day about what you&#39;re feeling or what you have planned. Maybe you have an idea for a movie or TV show. Write it down. Perhaps it&#39;s poetry or a song. You will soon find yourself looking for inspiration everywhere and looking for things to be grateful for. And you may be surprised where this can lead you. Who knows, maybe you&#39;re the next JK Rowling.</p> <h2>7. Do Five-Minute Organizations</h2> <p>Is the desk drawer in your office just crammed and disorganized? Is the junk drawer at home a complete wreck? Well, most of the time we ignore it, but that just makes the problem worse, and we waste time every time we try to find something in that abyss. Using just five minutes of your lunch hour to organize little things like that will make your days and weeks run more smoothly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">25 Easy Organizing Changes</a>)</p> <h2>8. Practice a Musical Instrument</h2> <p>Ask every music teacher out there about practicing, they&#39;ll tell you the same thing; even five minutes of practice every day can reap many benefits. And it&#39;s way better than binge-practicing, doing one hour once a week. Whether it&#39;s a guitar, a flute, or even a keyboard you download on your iPad or PC, those five minutes a day are valuable. They establish connections in the brain that make the next five-minute practice easier and more productive.</p> <h2>9. Exercise</h2> <p>You don&#39;t have to lift weights or run track. There are plenty of exercises that you can do at your desk or around the place of business. A simple, brisk walk around the building can burn calories and make you feel better. A few pushups in your office is perfectly acceptable, easy enough to do, and is a great way to work out. Of course, don&#39;t go mad; you don&#39;t want to be dripping with sweat in your work clothes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly?ref=seealso">10 Exercises to Do at Work</a>)</p> <h2>10. Learn a Language</h2> <p>You can get books and audio CDs for free from your local library. Spend just 30 minutes a day practicing this, and within a year you could have a few languages under your belt. In today&#39;s much smaller world, those skills will come in very handy, and could open up a world of opportunities for you and your career.</p> <h2>11. Make Those 30 Minutes <em>Yours</em></h2> <p>If everything else on this list seems too much to handle, try doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Turn off your cell phone. Leave the office. Don&#39;t watch TV or listen to the radio. Don&#39;t read a book. Just take some time to go off the grid, even if it&#39;s just for 10 minutes. That complete freedom is exhilarating and can even get addictive.</p> <p><em>How do you spend your lunch hour?</em></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/11-things-you-can-do-on-your-lunch-break-to-change-your-life">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-12"> <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/9-ways-to-invest-in-yourself">9 Ways to Invest in Yourself</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/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</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/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep">6 Ways to Get Prettier, Smarter, and Healthier While You Sleep</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development goals quick fixes self improvement Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:24:13 +0000 Paul Michael 1116897 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Worst Resolutions Most of Us Will Make for 2014 http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-worst-resolutions-most-of-us-will-make-for-2014 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-worst-resolutions-most-of-us-will-make-for-2014" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/worstres-177030868.jpg" alt="diet" title="diet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Well, here we are again... &#39;Tis the season, right?</p> <p>Time for gift giving and celebration, time to eat, drink and be merry, and yes, time to start sketching out those New Year&#39;s resolutions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today?ref=seealso">Small New Year&rsquo;s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a>)</p> <p>But before you pen your list for 2014, you might think twice about the goals you choose to set.</p> <p>After all, it&#39;s no secret that we&#39;re notoriously bad at keeping our resolutions. Oh, we start out with the best intentions but inevitably, we just can&#39;t seem to make those new habits stick. Even more discouraging is that most of those resolutions are carry-overs from years past, meaning that we&#39;ve tried not one, not two, but several years &mdash; sometimes decades &mdash; to make our resolutions a reality.</p> <p>And here we are again.</p> <p>So, rather than simply going through the motions, let&#39;s look at some ways to improve that list and thus, our chances for success. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-for-making-resolutions-stick-in-the-new-year?ref=seealso">Tips for Making Resolutions Stick</a>)</p> <h2>The Worst Resolutions <em>Ever</em></h2> <p>First and foremost, there are some resolutions that you should never make. As in, ever, because they&#39;re the hardest to keep and hence, the most commonly broken. Unfortunately, they&#39;re also the resolutions we most frequently make, so let&#39;s start by scratching these off your list.</p> <h3>Workout More</h3> <p>I think we can all agree on the appeal of having six-pack abs and a backside that looks good in everything. Ditto on the benefits of being more flexible and strengthening your heart.</p> <p>But if you think listing this as a resolution will transform you from a couch potato to a lean, mean exercising machine, you need to think again. Yes, in the beginning, we&#39;re all fired up and excited about the prospect of that svelte new physique, so we happily commit to gym memberships and personal trainers.</p> <p>The problem is that when we don&#39;t stick to this commitment (and we typically don&#39;t), we&#39;re left with a gym membership we don&#39;t use in addition to that nasty feeling of failure. This is bad for both our wallet as well as our self-esteem and in the end, we&#39;ll give up on the resolution altogether. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-revive-your-resolution-to-exercise?ref=seealso">How to Revive Your Resolution to Exercise</a>)</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/worstres-exercise-5097646-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>So, let&#39;s instead try to face the real reasons we aren&#39;t already working out.</p> <p>For example, are you just so busy that you barely have time to think? If your schedule is already hectic, you&#39;re not likely to suddenly find time for a regular workout without first adjusting said schedule.</p> <p>Have you tried working out before but find yourself frustrated because you&#39;re not seeing results? Then you may want to try setting more realistic goals, adjusting your diet and/or talking to a trainer about your technique or regimen.</p> <p>The point is, if you&#39;re not already committed to creating that fabulous body, simply writing it down as a resolution won&#39;t be enough to change your disposition. Figure out why you&#39;ve been putting it off and that will help you decide how to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes?ref=seealso">10+ Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</a>)</p> <h3>Eat Healthier</h3> <p>I&#39;m a big proponent of eating healthy. I love salads, for example, and I try to serve grilled or baked fish to my family at least twice a week. I even spent three years as a vegetarian and I can honestly say that I felt noticeably and amazingly better while I was doing it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-things-to-eat-and-drink-in-the-new-year?ref=seealso">10 Healthy Things to Eat in the New Year</a>)</p> <p>But that doesn&#39;t mean that I don&#39;t still enjoy a cheeseburger with extra onions now and then, and I&#39;m a self-proclaimed chocoholic, so although I&#39;ve cut down on sweets, they&#39;re not gone completely.</p> <p>And I&#39;ve found that this allowance for indulgence works well for me. Diets, unfortunately, do not.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/worstres-food-5244407-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Telling yourself that you <em>can&#39;t</em> eat something is the quickest way to trigger a craving for it, and if there&#39;s one thing TV vampires have taught us, it&#39;s that the &quot;thirst&quot; always wins. Besides, you can only eat so much cottage cheese and grapefruit before you&#39;ll start to get bored and once you lose interest, the diet is all but over.</p> <p>The result is that you give into a craving, fall off your diet, and then feel guilty for the small pleasure.</p> <p>Drastic diet changes also often require you to change more than just your calorie intake and that can make this goal even harder to achieve. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed?ref=seealso">Goal Setting, Defined</a>)</p> <p>Some diets insist that you eat only their products, for example, or that you buy and cook expensive and hard-to-find produce, making your resolution to eat healthier more difficult and costly than you had expected. And what happens when we run into too many obstacles? Yep, we find reasons to quit and do something else instead.</p> <h3>Be Happier</h3> <p>To make a conscious effort to be happier is a wonderful idea in theory, but you first need to figure out why you&#39;re not already gloriously cheerful and then decide how to address those obstacles to contentment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-be-happier-today?ref=seealso">Things You Can Do to Be Happier Today</a>)</p> <p>Simply making the vague &quot;I&#39;m going to be happier&quot; statement doesn&#39;t deal with whatever it is that has been consistently tanking your mood; that requires some soul-searching and self-improvement work, two things we often shy away from.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/worstres-stress-bored-4255476-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>After all, soul-searching can be painful. It requires us to be honest about our shortcomings, and given the choice between owning our circumstances or investing in a quick-fix, we&#39;ll opt for the quick-fix almost every time. And although the &quot;change your life&quot; programs and practices may deliver some initial bliss, it&#39;s superficial and thus, typically short-lived.</p> <p>That doesn&#39;t mean that you can&#39;t benefit from some &quot;get happier&quot; mantras, but you&#39;ll have to dig deeper if you want the happiness to last.</p> <p>And before you trade this resolution for an equally vague &quot;eliminate stress,&quot; consider this: An ongoing study at the <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/secrets-longevity/201201/the-worst-new-years-resolutions-you-can-make">Longevity Project</a> suggests that those who are happiest are those who&#39;s lives have purpose, which means responsibility, accountability and yes, the stress of working toward a goal.</p> <h3>Get Organized</h3> <p>I&#39;ll fess up &mdash; this one has been on my list for as long as I can remember. And I&#39;ve made many valiant attempts to see it to completion. The reason I keep falling short is that I&#39;m not quite sure where to start. Do I organize my closet, my desk, my kitchen cabinets, or all of the above?</p> <p>My solution to this anxiety was to invest in things I thought would enhance the process. The problem was, I just ended up with a bunch of file folders and storage containers but still no real concept of where to begin. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/worstres-91500652-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>I finally had to admit that I&#39;m simply not an organized person.</p> <p>Once I admitted that to myself, it was easier to get realistic about how much organization I could actually manage and then not feel guilty because I don&#39;t match my socks before putting them in a drawer. I put them in the drawer &mdash; organization accomplished.</p> <p>Which brings me to the second reason this particular resolution is so hard to achieve.</p> <p>Are you having trouble functioning because of all the clutter or are you just trying to stop the looks of disappointment from your more organized friends and family members?</p> <p>Determining your reasons can help you decide exactly how much organization you really need, so I strongly suggest you consider both why you&#39;re unorganized as well as why you feel you need to become organized. Would compiling all your important papers into a filing cabinet suffice, for example, or are you a serious candidate for the next season of &quot;Hoarders&quot;?</p> <h3>Fall in Love/Get Married</h3> <p>Who doesn&#39;t want to find that special someone that you&#39;ll spend the rest of your life with? The problem is, love doesn&#39;t work that way and making this kind of resolution is just setting yourself up for failure.</p> <p>It&#39;s one thing to decide you&#39;ll &quot;put yourself out there more&quot; so that you can meet new people, but the rest is unpredictable, and if you try to put a new relationship on a clock, you&#39;ll just wind up being disappointed or, worse, settling for someone just to complete your goal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-online-dating-first-date-get-a-drink?ref=seealso">Get a Drink on Your First Date</a>)</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/worstres-faces-3236782-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>A better option would be to look at why you feel this resolution is worth listing in the first place. Are you just tired of not having a &quot;plus one&quot; or is there something deeper going on?</p> <p>It&#39;s easy to believe that life will somehow become better and more magical with a soul mate at our side but the truth is, that soul mate isn&#39;t responsible for your happiness nor can they fix your problems. Only you can do that, and your energy is better spent creating a magical life that doesn&#39;t require a better half to make it work.</p> <p>Plus, cliche or not, it&#39;s true: you&#39;re much more likely to meet &quot;The One&quot; when you&#39;re not looking and what better way to shift your focus than to start working on yourself?</p> <h3>Save More Money</h3> <p>The idea of saving is certainly a sound one and in theory, this resolution is worth your time. But unless you have a specific plan for saving, you&#39;re probably not going to reach this goal and may in fact, end up frustrated and even further in debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-money-is-easy-if-you-set-the-right-goals?ref=seealso">Set the Right Goals to Save More</a>)</p> <p>The reason? There are two actually.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/worstres-empty-piggy-bank-4367596-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>First, if you&#39;ve made any of the other resolutions listed above, you&#39;ve probably added some new expenses to your budget, making it even more difficult to squeeze some savings out of your paycheck and that leaves you feeling torn between doing the things you really want to do versus stowing money away in an emergency fund.</p> <p>Secondly, we&#39;re an all or nothing society. When we do something, we tend to do it big, expecting to implement a complete 180 turnaround in our behavior and habits. But of course, life doesn&#39;t work that way and as soon as you declare &quot;absolutely NO frivolous spending whatsoever,&quot; that Kindle you&#39;ve been wanting goes on sale or oh, look! Payless just texted you a coupon for 20% off everything in the store.</p> <p>You&#39;ll refrain of course, because you&#39;re committed to making this very important change in your life, but sooner or later, you&#39;re going to start feeling deprived. After all, you work hard for your money and if you can&#39;t even afford to buy yourself something nice once in a while, then what&#39;s the point?</p> <p>That frustration will soon lead to an inner rebellion, and you&#39;ll find yourself binge-spending to make up for all the suffering you had to endure in the past.</p> <h2>Making a Better Resolution</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/worstres-167625444-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>But what if you really do want to get in shape, organize your life, save more money, etc?</p> <p>The trick is in your approach, and as I&#39;ve already mentioned, the more vague the resolution, the harder it will be to accomplish. If your goal is simply to do something &quot;more,&quot; for example, then how do you know when you&#39;ve done it? Exactly what constitutes more? 10%? 20%?</p> <p>Goals need to be measurable, as in &quot;I did exactly that,&quot; so that you can check it off your list. You don&#39;t just want to lose weight for instance, you want to lose 10 pounds. And you&#39;re not just trying to save money &mdash; you want to stash $3000 to put toward a new car. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals?ref=seealso">How to Measure Your Goals</a>)</p> <p>The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to track your progress and reach your goal.</p> <p>The second thing to remember is that you are who you are. Just as I had to come to terms with my tendency to be disorganized, we also have to acknowledge our tendencies to eat fast foods, skip the gym, veg on the couch, and spend instead of save.</p> <p>That doesn&#39;t mean we can&#39;t instill some new and healthier habits, but it does mean we have to be realistic about our expectations. If you&#39;ve never run a day in your life for example, setting a goal to run a marathon is just a tad over-ambitious.</p> <p>Better to start with something much smaller, such as walking around the block every evening or taking the stairs at work. Want to write the Great American Novel? Start with writing for 10 minutes, three times a week.</p> <p>To save money, take a $20 out of each paycheck. Eat healthier? Commit to a salad two or three times a week and at least two full glasses of water a day. Every one of these goals is completely doable and still guaranteed to give you that &quot;look at me&quot; feeling when you succeed.</p> <p>Yes, I realize these smaller goals may not be as impressive as your original list, but you&#39;re much more likely to achieve them and how awesome would it be to actually not have any carry-over resolutions when you make your list again for 2015?</p> <p><em>What terrible resolutions are you planning to make for 2014?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-worst-resolutions-most-of-us-will-make-for-2014">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-13"> <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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year 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/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</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-everyday-words-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">5 Everyday Words That Are Making You Look Stupid</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/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep">6 Ways to Get Prettier, Smarter, and Healthier While You Sleep</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development resolutions self improvement Thu, 26 Dec 2013 11:25:20 +0000 Kate Luther 1102578 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Easy Ways to Make Your Life More Interesting http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-make-your-life-more-interesting <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-easy-ways-to-make-your-life-more-interesting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bicycling-1851891-small.jpg" alt="bicycling" title="bicycling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Variety is more than just the spice of life; it expands our experience and makes our lives more fulfilling. Unfortunately, many of us are bound to tight, overwhelming schedules that leave little room for novelty or adventure. The good news is that making your life more interesting is easy if you are willing to make small departures from the norm. Here are 25 simple ways you can make your life more interesting &mdash; starting today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-changing-your-routine">Reasons to Change Your Routine</a>)</p> <h2>1. Greet the Dawn</h2> <p>Even if you&#39;re not a morning person, plan to watch the sun rise. Prepare for this moment by picking out a view point and determining when the weather in your area will be clear enough to usher in a beautiful day. Brew some strong coffee and bring a friend along. As the sun rises, remind yourself of all the possibilities that a new day holds.</p> <h2>2. Take a Different Path</h2> <p>Give yourself some extra time to take the scenic route to work. Try side streets instead of the freeway. Make a conscious effort to change your routine travels once-in-a-while and discover new places and new people.</p> <h2>3. Plan a Mini Roadtrip</h2> <p>Explore new vistas right around the corner. Search the web for nearby points of interest or comb the countryside for vegetable stands and garage sales. You don&#39;t have to travel far or spend a lot of time (or money) to make the most of the miles you roam. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a>)</p> <h2>4. Move to the Beat of a Different Drummer</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/inting-4040854-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Tired of listening to the same old song? Applications like <a href="https://www.spotify.com/us/">Spotify</a> allow users to preview different artists and listen to entire albums for free. Spotify can also make suggestions for other music based on the genres you enjoy most. Who knows, your quest for variety might reveal a whole new musical interest!</p> <h2>5. Turn Off Your TV</h2> <p>Watching TV is a passive activity at best. Why not turn it off for a day and actively search out your news and entertainment elsewhere? Read a newspaper, enjoy a play at a community theater, or simply revel in some rare silence.</p> <h2>6. Make Something Interesting</h2> <p>Try your hand at crafting. Explore <a href="http://spoonful.com/create/recyclable-crafts-gallery">making simple recyclable crafts for kids</a> or try reconnecting with a skill you already have. <a href="http://www.pintrest.com">Pintrest</a> is a great place to search for quick and simple projects.</p> <h2>7. Find a Poem</h2> <p>Awaken your inner Shakespeare by penning a sonnet from words you find in newspapers, owners&#39; manuals, magazines, or even this blog post. For example, choose every third word from your found material and place them into a word bank. Next, choose words from your bank that fit into a Haiku format (5 syllables for the first line, 7 for the next, and 5 for the last).</p> <h2>8. Wander Down Memory Lane</h2> <p>Remember all those pictures you took at your last family reunion or vacation? What about that old diary tucked away in the shoebox? Find those memories and spend some time with them. As you wander down memory lane, reflect on what was interesting to you back then. Sparking a new interest can start by rekindling forgotten embers.</p> <h2>9. Visit With Children</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/inting-kid-dad-5118053-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Kids aren&#39;t afraid to color outside the lines or paint the sky orange instead of blue. Spending time in their company will open you up to the wild musings of your inner child. The young folks in your life will revel in the attention and sometimes, as the old saying goes, kids say the darnedest things! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-entertain-kids-for-an-afternoon">15 Free Ways to Entertain Kids</a>)</p> <h2>10. Make Your Own Value Meal</h2> <p>If you had only $2.00 to make a meal, what would be on the menu? Scrounge around your pantry first and complement your culinary findings with a $2.00 purchase (or less) at your local grocery store or farmer&#39;s market.</p> <h2>11. Play Anthropologist</h2> <p>Grab a small notebook and a pen and situate yourself in a park, at a cafe, or in the mall. Write down your observations of the people you see and make notes of the tidbits of conversation you can&#39;t help overhearing. This exercise takes you out of your own head and tunes you into the world around you.</p> <h2>12. Perform Random Acts of Kindness</h2> <p>Make your day more interesting by bolstering your positive outlook and giving someone else&#39;s mood a little lift. <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200607/pay-it-forward">Research in positive psychology</a> shows that doing something unexpected and kind has benefits for you, as well as others. Try holding the door for someone, send a thank you e-mail, or try composing a &quot;<a href="http://www.moreloveletters.com/">love letter&quot; to a stranger</a>.</p> <h2>13. Eat Outside the Box</h2> <p>Introduce your taste buds to a new experience. Maybe you&#39;ve noticed a new restaurant or heard about an ethnic cuisine you&#39;ve never eaten. Go ahead and give it a try &mdash; even if you only have an appetizer at first. For maximum effect, search out a recipe on your cuisine of choice and make it at home.</p> <h2>14. Have a Simple Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>Have you ever noticed how focusing on one thing makes other things nearly impossible to see? Challenge your awareness patterns by going on a quick scavenger hunt in your home or office. Choose a simple trait to look for, like words spelled containing the letter &quot;Q&quot; or anything with the color green in it. Try to amass a collection of ten things that meet your chosen criteria. You might even find those long lost keys in the process.</p> <h2>15. Flip a Coin</h2> <p>Can&#39;t decide between two items on a menu or what to do on a random Sunday afternoon? Call one heads and the other tails and leave the decision to random whims of chance. You might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.</p> <h2>16. Discover Treasure at the Library</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/inting-3061123-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Visit your local library and wander among the shelves. Scan the titles for something that grabs your attention and then look at the books on the shelves above and below. Because of libraries&#39; organization system, there&#39;s a good chance you&#39;ll find something related, but just slightly different from what you originally found interesting.</p> <h2>17. Volunteer</h2> <p>What better way to make your day more interesting than to be the change you want to see in the world? Consider the local groups who do good work in your community. Reach out to them and offer your time and talent. If you are unsure where to start, an online resource like <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org">VolunteerMatch.org</a> can help connect you to the causes near and dear to your heart. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-benefits-of-volunteering">Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering</a>)</p> <h2>18. Spend Time With Pets</h2> <p>Animals can be an endless source of interest and entertainment for the people in their lives. Treat your dog or cat to a new toy and spend a little time helping them enjoy it. Don&#39;t have a pet? Consider adopting one from a shelter or pet sit for a friend.</p> <h2>19. Revisit Your Childhood Dreams</h2> <p>What do you want to do when you grow up? Try to recall how you answered that question as a child. Did you want to be a nurse, an artist, or used car salesperson? If you&#39;re not already living that five-year-old&#39;s dream, take some time to read about the career you would have picked for yourself.</p> <h2>20. Stop and Smell the Roses</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/inting-garden-5271047-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>When did you last spend time enjoying a rose bush, bed of hydrangeas, or a beautiful bouquet at the grocery store? Flowers have been evolving for over 100 million years to bring you their enchanting looks and inviting fragrances.</p> <h2>21. Don&#39;t Surf &mdash; Stumble</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stumbleupon.com">StumbleUpon</a> is a free web-based tool that helps you discover new sites, photos, and blogs. Just select what interests you, and StumbleUpon will suggest random related websites.</p> <h2>22. Repurpose Something</h2> <p>Add interest to your day, save money, and help the environment at the same time. Find an everyday object and envision another use for it. Brainstorm reuse ideas for typical throwaways like paper plates, coffee cups, and plastic bags. What new and useful creations can you make? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <h2>23. Say &quot;Bonjour! Ciao! Hallo!&quot;</h2> <p>Learn how to greet someone in a new language. It&#39;s quick and easy to acquire a few simple phrases like &quot;How are you?&quot; and &quot;Thank you&quot; in another tongue. Once you&#39;ve mastered some pleasantries, find someone to practice them with. You might make a new friend in a faraway place!</p> <h2>24. Switch Hands</h2> <p>Most people tend to prefer one hand over the other for writing and other manual tasks. If it&#39;s safe and practical, try writing a short note or doodling a simple picture with your other hand. See if you can master simple tasks using your non-dominant hand.</p> <h2>25. Realize That Today Really Is Interesting</h2> <p>Maybe today is &quot;National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day&quot; or &quot;Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day.&quot; <a href="http://www.checkiday.com/">Find out what&#39;s special about today</a> or learn about <a href="http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history">what happened today</a> in history.</p> <p>You don&#39;t have to do anything extravagant to experience a little variety in your life. Let go of the reins a bit and see where the ride takes you. Meeting new people, finding a poem, or a reviving a dormant talent carry benefits that extend far beyond breaking out of the mundane.</p> <p><em>What will you do to make your life more interesting today?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-make-your-life-more-interesting">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-14"> <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/7-basic-ways-to-become-your-own-life-coach">7 Basic Ways to Become Your Own Life Coach</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-self-help-mantras-that-actually-hurt">6 Self Help Mantras That Actually Hurt</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-simple-ways-to-get-your-life-together">10 Simple Ways to Get Your Life Together</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/the-35-best-ways-to-spend-your-free-time-frugally">The 35 Best Ways to Spend Your Free Time (Frugally)</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development activities crafts hobbies self help self improvement Thu, 31 Oct 2013 10:36:03 +0000 Kentin Waits 1062403 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Simple Ways to Get Your Life Together http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-ways-to-get-your-life-together <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-simple-ways-to-get-your-life-together" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-4794183-small.jpg" alt="happy woman" title="happy woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A wise and dear friend of mine once said, &quot;You can't think yourself into living right; you have to live yourself into thinking right.&quot; It was a revelation to me at the time, though it went against nearly every pop-psychology cliche I'd heard or self-help advice I'd read in books. But it makes perfect sense; change doesn't have to be overwhelming to matter. Often the best thing we can do to change the course of our lives is to change the course of our days &mdash; to stop analyzing, stop trying to find just the right answer, stop trying to muster the perfect motivating moment &mdash; and simply <em>begin</em>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-things-to-do-today">25 New Things to Do Today</a>)</p> <p>And when it comes to making a change in our lives, size doesn't matter. What matters is action &mdash; no matter how small &mdash; that leads to the next action. Over time, one small success builds on another, motivation grows, and greater things follow.</p> <p>With that simple recipe in mind, here are 10 ways you can make your life feel more together right now. Start with one or two; see how they make you feel and where they take you.</p> <h2>1. Make Your Bed</h2> <p>I've always thought that the tone of a day is set early. Admittedly, making the bed is a small gesture, but it can inspire bigger things. Maybe once the bed is made, you'll feel like brewing your own coffee instead of swinging by the coffee shop, you'll pick up donuts for the office, or you'll remember to get gas before your long commute home. No matter what, when you walk in the door at the end of the day, there'll be a pristine bed waiting for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-essential-life-hacks-that-will-save-you-time-in-the-morning">15 Life Hacks That Will Save You Time in the Morning</a>)</p> <h2>2. Get a Haircut</h2> <p>A fresh haircut helps us feel better about how we look, and that's a powerful thing. Maybe that new cut will be complemented by a crisp ironed shirt, polished shoes, or an extra-close shave. Maybe it will give you the confidence to start a conversation with someone new, speak up at a meeting, or grab dinner with the boss after work.</p> <h2>3. Make a Savings Deposit</h2> <p>Even a small deposit in a savings account is movement in the right direction. Don't get hung up on numbers to the extent that you discourage yourself from saving and planning for the future. Watching that balance gradually grow is a huge motivator and one that builds its own momentum. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you">Which Type of Savings Account Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Wash Your Car</h2> <p>Most of us spend so much time in our cars that they become nearly an extension of our homes. Cleaning and organizing our cars can help organize our days and avoid the mental clutter that physical clutter can lead to. Give your car a good wash, vacuum the interior, wash the windows, and toss out any accumulated trash. You'll be surprised just how well the old buggy cleans up and how good it can make you feel.</p> <h2>5. Balance Your Checkbook</h2> <p>Whether you do it the old-fashioned way or online, balancing your accounts and knowing how much money is at your disposal is empowering. And though it may often seem like a chore, understanding the status of your checking and savings accounts (whether that status is good or bad) can have a reassuring effect. If there's work to be done, you know exactly where your energies should be directed. If things are humming along smoothly, you may find that you have much more cash available to save.</p> <h2>6. Remember a Birthday</h2> <p>Few acts demonstrate being on top your game like remembering a birthday. Don't depend on a reminder and don't simply wish someone well on Facebook. Buy a card and send it the mail, bake a few muffins, or pick up the tab at lunch. Small gestures of remembering leave big impressions.</p> <h2>7. Go for a Walk</h2> <p>Thoreau said, &quot;Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.&quot; Especially in our hyper-connected and world, unplugging and going for a walk is the ultimate form of free therapy. Walking can help clear your head, process the events of the day, plan for tomorrow, and provide the exertion and relaxation that lead to a good night's rest. Work to make walking part of your day and consciously gauge the before-and-after difference it makes in your perspective. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-reasons-why-you-should-take-a-walk">25 Reasons to Take a Walk</a>)</p> <h2>8. Read a Good Book</h2> <p>Your imagination is a muscle and nothing exercises it quite as well as reading. In a way that watching TV never can be, reading is active. When we immerse ourselves in a good book, we forget the troubles of the day, we learn something new, and we travel outside our own world for a while. It's a painless and inexpensive way to positively bookend our days.</p> <h2>9. Clean Out Your Wallet or Purse</h2> <p>Tired of rummaging through the chaos of your disorganized purse or trying to find some cash in a wallet the size of a burrito? Park yourself next to the paper shredder; it's time for some light filing. Cleaning out the detritus from our wallets and purses honors our time and our energy. Decide what's essential to carry with you and create an easy filing system to organize the rest. Choose a smaller purse or slimmer wallet to discourage future titanic totes and whale wallets.</p> <h2>10. Floss</h2> <p>My dentist always tells me that if a person has to make a choice every day between brushing and flossing, he recommends the latter. Thankfully, we're usually not presented with an either/or scenario for our dental hygiene. If you haven't already, embrace flossing as an important part of your daily routine; you'll keep your teeth and gums happy and make denture makers sad.</p> <p>Feeling like our lives are together begins with small gestures we do for ourselves and some we do for others. After all, doesn't attending to the details of our own lives leave us a bit freer to more broadly help others? Or maybe the true marker of being a &quot;together&quot; person is knowing that there really are no details &mdash; that the smallest things matter and the subtlest achievements can build the biggest change.</p> <p><em>What little things do you do each day to feel more together or organized? How do they change your mood or motivate bigger achievements?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-ways-to-get-your-life-together">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-15"> <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/25-easy-ways-to-make-your-life-more-interesting">25 Easy Ways to Make Your Life More Interesting</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/7-basic-ways-to-become-your-own-life-coach">7 Basic Ways to Become Your Own Life Coach</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/6-self-help-mantras-that-actually-hurt">6 Self Help Mantras That Actually Hurt</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development self help self improvement Thu, 26 Sep 2013 10:36:14 +0000 Kentin Waits 991206 at http://www.wisebread.com