“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein
Every day seems so full, doesn’t it? If you’re at all like me, you wake up, get ready for work, drive or use some form of public transportation to get to work, spend all day at work (which is full of doing things for your employer), drive or otherwise get home, make dinner, eat, clean up afterward and, by then you just want to relax – right? Then, you get up the next day to do it all again.
Have you ever felt like you’re spinning your wheels? Not making any progress? It’s easy to let a bunch of little (and sometimes minor) activities consume you. The key is to spend time on activities that help you get where you want to be.
Click Here to read how I finally made progress and took control of my life.
Sure, prioritization is important – you first need to decide what it is that you’d like to improve. What would you like to learn about? Would you like to be more fit or lose some weight? Do you want to improve your relationships, make friends, get a different job?
Don’t over-think it though …. just pick something. You might even pick something just because it fits into your schedule. No excuses – everyone has 24 hours a day. Improvement occurs when you make better choices.
Here are three things to do to improve yourself every day (even when your days are already so full).
1. Use Your Commute Time
If you want to learn something new, your commute time is the perfect time to do that! Whether you have a short or a long commute, spend that time reading or listening to a book. Click here to learn about some great training.
Libraries are a great resource for books – either on audio or actually printed on paper (I know those aren’t as popular nowadays) – whatever you prefer! New or second-hand book stores are in just about every town. Of course, you can find just about any book you like on line too.
If you drive to work, get an audio book or download one to your phone or tablet so you can listen as you go. Listening on a bus or a train works too – but there are also many of the old-fashioned kinds of books too.
If you are trying to learn something about yourself, take time during your commute to reflect and write in a journal (as long as you’re not driving – HaHa).
The idea is to spend some of your otherwise ‘wasted’ time to do something you enjoy.
Some people that ride my bus every day can be seen working on their laptops or reviewing some work papers. Unless it’s for your own company, I would not recommend using YOUR time to do work for your employer. You are paid to spend all day doing that, but no matter how much pressure you might be under, draw the line and spend your time doing you.
Throw out the excuses and use your commute time doing something that will help you improve.
2. Smile Every Chance You Get
Did you know that smiling improves your mood? Even if you don’t feel like it, smile every chance you get. It’s been proven – even when a smile is forced, the body responds by feeling better and improving your outlook on the day. Smiles are contagious. Those around you will feel better too!
Conversely, frowning depresses your mood. Your body will react by feeling worse and causing your view of the day to be lessened.
This doesn’t take any time out of your day. It just takes a conscious effort. The benefits will be obvious and after a bit of time, it will become a habit.
Improvements will happen in every area of your life with this little effort.
3. Stop Watching The News
It seems to me that news stories are very often full of distressing things… natural disasters, politics, families pulled apart, horrible accidents, purposeful violence – you name it. Why would you subject the space in your precious mind to such things – especially when there is nothing you can do about it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “You are what you think all day long.”
No matter what channel you like, the depressing things on the news cause you to think depressing thoughts. Do you want to have those thoughts coming in and out of your mind all day?
The other shows on the TV are more for enjoyment. Record your favorite shows and watch them when they fit into your schedule. Reducing your TV time a little every day can add some more available time which you could use in a more productive way.
My husband says he feels better when he knows what’s going on the world. I understand and respect that. Perhaps current events just isn’t my thing. I just choose not to fill my mind with negative things over which I have no control. I believe I’m happier for it. Rarely do I feel disconnected from the rest of the world. I may on occasion choose to listen to the radio – I’m sure I’ll hear the highlights. Then, I can ask others what their opinions are – that usually leads to an interesting conversation.
When I reduce the frequency of my TV watching, I can spend that time more productively. It’s a choice you could make too. Click here to learn about another activity that can improve your life instead.
Perhaps you’d like to get more fit or lose a little weight. Replace some TV time with exercise. I often try to make excuses to avoid exercise, but I know that it’s the best way to get more fit. Sometimes I have to give my self a talk, if you know what I mean.
If you truly want to improve in that area, just take a few minutes a day and you will see results in time. You won’t miss anything – believe me! The trick to exercise is being consistent. Make the decision to take a fast walk and enjoy the outdoors instead of sitting in front of the TV. Just move.
There is no valid excuse to be complacent – even if everything is going well in your life, there are always more things to learn about and improvements to make. If you’re having any challenges in any area of your life, there is something you can do about it.
Not to be overly harsh, but you know you can think about it until you die and nothing will change. Just start now!
All the Best,
Hello Betsy! I found your post helpful. And there are quite a few ideas I have gathered from it.
I love to smile. It’s good for us, and it’s good for everybody around us.
But what has surprised me a bit, and I still agree with you, is your suggestion to stop watching the news. News can be quite depressing. And we really don’t need all of them so we should be able to select specifically what type of news we’re interested in.
Hi Henry, Thanks for your comment. Of course, everyone has the choice to do whatever they’re interested in! I think every news channel has negative information that none of us can do much about and we would all be better off keeping all of it out of our minds. All the Best! Betsy
Oh wow, I had never heard that Albert Einstein quote before. Yet, it is one that I will always remember now. It make a lot of sense. I also like the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. Lately, I find myself being more negative than I have ever been before.
I try to minimize the amount of time that I spend watching the news to 30 minutes each day or less because of the negativity. The news leaves me feeling like everything is hopeless. So, to end on a positive note:
I have already used one of your suggestions. I am making myself smile as I type this comment. You are correct, even a forced smile feels good.
Thanks, Sondra! I’m glad you will remember those quotes. Quotes help remind me to smile and be grateful for what I have whenever I’m feeling more negative than normal. I realize it’s a suggestion that many have a hard time with, but even 30 minutes of news lets that negativity get in to your brain. The best way to prevent that is to not watch it at all. All the Best! Betsy