75 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life

Reader’s Digest editors share their best no-effort tips to make the most of every day

RD Editors Published Feb 15, 2024 12:23:16 IST
2024-02-15T12:23:16+05:30
1970-01-01T05:30:00+05:30
75 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life illustrations by Heidi Berton

1. Put a glass of water by your bed when you turn in. In the morning, drink what’s left for a good start to hydration for the day.

2. Each day, spend at least 10 minutes of dedicated one-on-one time with loved ones you live with.

3. Make your to-do list specific. It’s easier to get started when the item says ‘Make outline for report’ than when it says ‘Write report’.

4. Print photos that you have on your phone as birthday gifts. Printed photos are a rare treat these days.

5. Call your parents; they want to hear from you. One day you won’t be able to.

6. Life is too short for uncomfortable shoes.

7. Keep cut-up fruit and vegetables in the fridge so there’s an easy, healthy snack when you’re hungry.

8. Make sure to do the things that bring you the most joy at least once a week.

9. Pay your bills as soon as they come in.

 

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10. After answering your friend’s question about yourself, always follow up with a question about them.

11. Do a few rounds of ‘square breathing’ at the start or end of the day and whenever you’re stressed: Breathe in for four counts, hold for four, exhale for four and hold for four.

12. Set up automatic transfers to your rainy-day savings account on your payday. Any amount will do.

13. Work in an office? At 3 p.m., an informal stand-around chat with your colleagues is a good energy boost.

14. Any exercise is good. A five-minute walk is better than no walk at all.

15. Smell the lilacs.

16. Always strike up a conversation with the grocery-store clerk.

17. Buy a sunscreen you will use; it’s money well spent.

18. Seize the weekday: Don’t save your best china for weekends or special occasions.

19. Exercise first thing in the morning, because even if you achieve nothing else for the rest of the day, you’ve accomplished that.

20. Keep a pot of rosemary on your windowsill. It’s delicious in potato dishes.

21. Don’t go shopping when you’re bored or hungry.

22. Find a community outside of work and family.

23. Wear that Speedo or bikini if you want to. Who cares?

24. The next time you’re tempted by an amazing bargain, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”

25. Smile at people you pass on the street.

 26. Not sleeping great? Cut out caffeine after noon.

27. Spend an afternoon at a sidewalk café and watch the world go by.

28. Travelling? Take only carry-on luggage. You can do it!

29. Spend a little time outside every day, no matter what the weather.

30. Make your bed as soon as you get up.

31. Choose your battles. They’re not all worth fighting.

32. Follow social media? Take a day off.

33. For an afternoon pick-me-up, tea with a little sugar can’t be beat.

34. Call a friend you haven’t spoken with lately.

 

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35. Learn to say hello in at least three other languages.

36. Take the time to relax and enjoy your meals.

37. Take your kids to museums, art exhibitions and concerts, even if they’re adults.

38. Don’t let bad weather stop you from enjoying the outdoors; just wear the right clothing.

39. Pick up some books from your local library to read over the holidays.

40. Try cold-water swimming, or a cold shower, for a natural high.

41. Cook something from another culture.

42. Write a letter. With a pen. On paper.

43. Turn off your phone at around 9 p.m. for a better night’s sleep.

44. Got a large box of mixed leafy greens? Use the red leaves first. They deteriorate fastest.

45. For just a few minutes each day, try learning a new skill, like juggling, drawing, doing Sudoku or playing the guitar.

46. If you like to cook, try a new recipe once a week. If you don’t cook, try a new restaurant.

47. If you have the outdoor space, dry your laundry in the sun.

48. Doing something repetitive, like sweeping the floor, can be therapeutic, taking your mind off of stressful thoughts.

49. Don’t forget about your old boxes of photos; drag them out, dig in and relive the memories.

50. Fuel your car when you are not in a hurry to get somewhere. You’ll avoid having to do it on a day when you’re in a rush.

51. If worries are keeping you awake at night, try slowly counting backward from 100.

52. For a healthy start to the day, do 10 minutes of simple yoga exercises, such as downward dog or cat-cow stretches.

53. Celebrate and encourage other people’s talent, even if they’re better at something than you are.

54. Have a nap after lunch. You’ll be more alert all afternoon.

55. Read poetry. And when you find a poem you love, send it to a friend.

56. In a political discussion with friends or family, don’t try to be right at all costs; listen and learn from other points of view.

57. Hug your children every time you see them.

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58. Visiting another country? Don’t be afraid to step off the tourist path. Most people in the world are good, like you.

59. Honesty is the best policy (and be true to yourself, too).

60. Don’t just read the news headlines; take the time to read the whole article.

61. Get to know your neighbour by inviting them over for a drink.

62. Feeling blue in summer? Treat yourself to an ice-cream cone. And in winter? A bowl of noodles will do the trick.

63. If you have a choice, take your bicycle rather than your car.

64. When faced with a hard decision, don’t overthink it; the right choice is often what’s in your heart.

65. When you’re wrong, admit it.

66. Cook a good meal for someone.

67. Even after an argument, try to part with a smile.

68. Give your partner a massage.

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69. Always buy quality cookware (and wait for the sales).

70. Explore a street, a square or a hill you’ve never been to before.

71. Don’t hesitate to decline an invitation if you just don’t feel like going. It’s okay to say no.

72. Always keep reusable shopping bags and an umbrella in the car.

73. Pamper yourself: Get a manicure, spa treatment or luxury shave.

74. When in an argument, ask yourself if you’re hungry, tired, hot or cold. Resolve that first, then your disagreement might not seem so bad.

75. Take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the surf.

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