30 simple ways to improve your life this month

Are you feeling the urge to upgrade, refresh, or improve your life? The beginning of a month is a great time to start something new or approach something you’d like to change in a different way. Studies on change have taught us that one of the best ways to create lasting habits and routines is to keep things manageable and resist the urge to overwhelm yourself with massive plans or changes. Integrate do-able practices or changes into your life so that they become automatic and then expand as you go.

30 simple ways to improve your life this monthHere are 30 easy ways to improve your life this month.

  1. Start journaling on a daily basis. Carve out 5-10 minutes to write about whatever is on your mind, how you are feeling, or what you need. No editing and no judging. Research shows us that writing by hand may have more impact than using a keyboard, but do what works for you.
  2. Schedule your free time. Put time for you – whether it’s a daily walk or time for a project – in your calendar. Don’t expect yourself to “fit it in” on the fly.
  3. Plan your meals. Take an hour this weekend to sketch out four weeks of meal plans and rough grocery lists. Collect any recipes you will need. Consider saving these plans and lists to reuse in the future.
  4. Assess how much sleep you are getting. If you aren’t getting 7 ½ hours or more, set a goal of getting more sleep over the next 30 days.
  5. Get outside every day. Rain or shine, time spent outdoors has been shown to improve your mood.
  6. Plan to play. Schedule and plan for at least one thing each week that feels purely like play.
  7. Partner up. Plan some real dates with your partner. If you are single plan some dates. If you feel lonely, tell at least three people that you trust about the kind of person you’d love to connect with.
  8. Do something creative. Draw, doodle, paint, or write.
  9. Start a list of things that you would absolutely love. Practicality is not allowed. Add to it every day.
  10. Try meditating. Sit quietly for 5-20 minutes. Focus on your breathing or on a word or an intention. Notice when your mind drifts (without judging) and simply bring it back.
  11. Buy or pick yourself fresh flowers.
  12. Ask for help. Where in your life could someone help you? Think about this question on all levels. Are there tasks your kids could be doing? Ways you and your spouse could be partnering? Are there places in your life where it would be really helpful to invest in a professional?
  13. Be proactive. Take a look at the month ahead. Where will your biggest challenges show up? What are a few things you could do, think about, or change right now to make these rough spots a bit smoother?
  14. Before you dive into your tasks each day, decide what your three most important tasks are. Do these first if you can.
  15. Book any and all appointments you know you need this month (doctor, manicure, accountant, vet, etc.) in one fell swoop.
  16. List three things that went well – every single day. It’s a practice that’s been found to increase happiness and wellbeing.
  17. Have a goal for movement. This may be a number of steps, a number of times you’ll go to the gym, or a number of minutes you’ll dance in your living room each week.
  18. Drink water. Every day. If this is a challenge for you, think about what you can try to make this routine more automatic in your life.
  19. Set aside electronic and screen-free time (this includes cell phones) every single day.
  20. Sit down when you eat. Set a place and make eating an experience to savor.
  21. Go to a farmer’s market and buy fresh food. Consider doing this weekly if you can.
  22. Forgive yourself. Whatever you are holding on to, it’s draining you. Guilt, shame, and anger with yourself are only holding you back. Use this energy to decide how you want to move forward and who you want to be
  23. Pick one manageable area to sort, purge, or reorganize.
  24. Notice what you are grateful for. Share your gratitude freely.
  25. Be curious. When things don’t go the way you had planned or hoped, be open to what you might learn. Ask yourself why plans failed, what you know about why you overate, or what might work better next time.
  26. Pay attention to your feelings. Experiment with new ways to take care of yourself when you feel stressed or anxious or uncomfortable.
  27. Schedule more space between activities. Give yourself time to transition. Experiment with adding an extra five-ten minutes between tasks and see how it feels.
  28. Multitask less. You’ll feel more focused and grounded and studies show you’ll actually produce better work.
  29. Make socializing routine. Set up weekly or monthly recurring plans – weekend walks or runs, movie nights, or girls nights out – so that your social time is simply an automatic part of your schedule.
  30. Spend high quality downtime. Everyone needs time and space to refuel. Plan for time this month to do just that instead of running yourself to a point of exhaustion and then spending your free time zoning out or in ways that don’t replenish you.
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