On my eternal quest for self-improvement as an employee, friend, wife, and person, I decided to share my top six tips to live a better life… starting today.
Tip #1: Simplify. Graham Hill says that “less stuff = more happiness” in this short presentation.
And it’s true. A wealth of research supports the idea that spending your money on experiences makes you happy, but spending your money on stuff does not (Source). Another amazing TED Talk that covers the importance of simplification can be found here. Start to simplify today! Go through your closet and donate anything you haven’t worn in the past year. Next, go through your HOUSE and donate anything you haven’t used in the past year.
Tip #2: Live Within Your Means. Tip #2 is about adjusting your needs and wants to fit the money you have to spend (Source). This means setting a budget and following it without the use of credit cards and loans. Cut costs. Change wasteful habits. Stop spending money on nonsense. Penn State University has an amazing reference guide for how to start living within your means right now. You can find the article here. Yes, Tip #1 and Tip #2 go together in many ways, and I think these two are the foundations to leading a more successful, happier life.
Tip #3: Grow. Instead of spending your free time mindlessly watching reality television or playing on Facebook for 4 hours, develop hobbies that actually contribute to your growth. You should learn every single day.
A polymath is “a person of great learning in several fields of study” (Source). A Renaissance Man is an example of a polymath, and we can learn a lot from the Renaissance Ideal. The Renaissance Man was expected to speak multiple languages, play instruments, write and create art, and study all subjects: literature, science, philosophy, etc. You’re not too busy to learn something new every day. Carve out an hour of your time to read a book, to take a new course at your local community college, to start learning to speak Spanish, or to cultivate a new hobby such as cooking, gardening, or running. On a personal scale, grow as a human being. Learn the things you can change and tweak about yourself to improve your friendships and your relationships. Grow as an employee and volunteer.
People are often unwilling to learn and grow because “learning and growing involve risk” and “change brings about unfamiliarity, and with unfamiliarity comes insecurity” (Source). Yes, it’s easier to sit back and view the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Whatever, but what are you actually getting from your hours of TV zombie brain?
Tip #4: Connect. Connecting with others is essential to living a better life because we all need human interaction. Mental Health America proposes the following:
- In one compelling study, a key difference between very happy people and less-happy people was good relationships.
- Connection happens when you get tangible, concrete help; emotional support; perspective; advice; and validation.
- Make friends and develop your support by enrolling in a class; joining a group or organization; volunteering; and reaching out – a lot.
- Strengthen the relationships you do have by finding time to connect.
How can you get involved today? Check out the following links:
Tip #6: Be thankful. Write down or think of at least one thing every single day that you are thankful for. Carving time out of your day to focus on the positive instead of the negative will allow you to live a better life.
This week, my husband and I are dealing with a plumbing issue. We’ve had to completely shut off our water due to a leak, and our home insurance company is, of course, insinuating that they won’t pay for repairs. Living without water for a week has really made us realize how lucky we are just to have running water at our fingertips! The little things that we take for granted are still things to be thankful for. What are some things you’re thankful for this week?
What are some tips you have to living a better, more fulfilling life?