13 Small, But Meaningful Things You Can Do To Improve Your Life

Shutterstock / Dirima
Shutterstock / Dirima

I love getting my nails done. It’s a relatively inexpensive indulgence that makes me feel more put-together. I always choose a neutral all-over tone and paint my ring fingers a brighter hue. The accent nail adds a pop of color; it livens up the otherwise mundane. I’ve decided to incorporate this simple idea into other areas of my life – to energize my daily routine by making small but meaningful changes. I’m going to accent my life.

Here are a few things I’m considering trying:

1. Eat dessert first

Pretty self-explanatory, but eat dessert before your meal, while you’re still hungry enough to enjoy it in all its rich deliciousness.

2. Switch up your workout

If you normally work out in the morning, try an afternoon workout one day a week and vice versa. Take a group class instead of running solo. Add more weight training if you usually focus on cardio. You get the idea.

3. Try a new lunch place

You’ve been staring at your computer screen for 4 hours. Get out of the office and grab lunch from that place you always pass.

4. Slightly alter your work schedule

I realize this may not be possible for people who are required to keep strict hours, but try it if you’re afforded the flexibility. Get to work and leave an hour earlier. Or come in and stay a bit later. You might find that you like having more time for yourself in the morning or the afternoon.

5. Plan a weeknight outing

I’m not advising you to throw it back to college and stay out until 2 AM downing dollar beers on Thirsty Thursday. But if you usually have date night or get together with friends on Friday, go after work on a Tuesday. Perks: it won’t be as crowded and you’ll likely spend less money because you won’t stay as long.

6. Replace your mindless TV habit

Resist the urge to plop down in front of the TV as soon as you get home. Read, take a walk, or make your favorite dish for dinner instead.

7. Delete THAT Facebook friend

The one who feels the need to post 20 photos documenting their every Crossfit workout. Or the person who makes it very clear they believe President Obama is a Communist, Socialist Kenyan terrorist controlling the country through telepathy. Deleting these people doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it means you can scroll through your news feed without fearing for the future of humanity.

8. Ditch the plain coffee

When you wander into the break room to make your 7th cup of the day, opt for flavored coffee or tea instead. Southern Pecan is as close to coffee shop decadence as you’re going to get from a Keurig. And as for tea, ordinary Earl Grey if you must, but I recommend chai or spiced.

9. Wear bright lipstick

There’s no easier way to achieve an instant confidence boost than swiping on some brightly-colored lipstick. Classic red or hot pink for spring will add a little something different to your normal makeup routine.

10. Order something new at your favorite restaurant

I was having lunch with a couple co-workers the other day at one of my favorite spots. As we sat down, the waitress approached the table, told me she knew I’d like a Diet Coke and asked the others what they wanted. She was just as sure about my food order. I knew I needed to shake it up. I still got a Diet Coke (come on, it’s a classic), but ordered a dish I’d never before selected from the menu. It delicious and different.

11. Wear something different to work

Put on the dress that’s been hanging in your closet for 6 months or jazz up your neutral sweater with a statement necklace. You’ll look great and feel more confident. Business casual doesn’t have to be boring.

12. Download music from a new genre or artist

I tend to listen to the same types of songs on repeat, but recently I’ve started downloading songs that top the iTunes charts in other genres. I’ve found some great songs I wouldn’t have previously considered. Pandora and Spotify are also great ways to discover new music. And nothing brightens your day like being able to sing along to a great new song.

13. Call a family member or friend unexpectedly

Call your mom, or your grandparents, or your old college roommate. It’s a small gesture that will be much appreciated, and catching up with the people who care most about you will make you feel great. TC mark

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