No matter what month of the year you read this in, chances are there's something that you'd like to change to make your life move that little bit more smoothly. In general change takes the form of these steps:
Awareness of what needs to be changed
Inspiration to change
Commitment to change
And let's emphasise the importance of #2 and #3. If it's a "should change" then drop the idea altogether and stop giving yourself a hard time. You're not ready. If it's a "want to change/so fed up with current behaviour" then proceed.
Most people's desire to change falls into one of the following categories. Within each, I'll list ideas and if anything speaks to you, consider adopting it. Any of these will massively improve your world. Also, notice ones you really resist or roll your eyes at. That can be quite insightful to note or to journal about. Another thing to note before reading on is are you better at abstaining from trouble areas or are you able to moderate them? Can you stop at one drink? Can you eat just one piece of dark chocolate and put the rest away and not think longingly about it in the cupboard? If you answer yes, you're a moderator. Most of us aren't though. We say we're moderators but then we waste mental energy thinking about when we'll next have our treat or if we earned our treat today. If that sounds like you, abstinence is better. By becoming someone who, eg, doesn't eat chocolate, you simplify the process and the mental angst altogether. Should you have a chocolate mousse at the restaurant when you're dining out with friends? If you're an abstainer, it's simple: "you're not someone who eats chocolate."
What you eat
1. Add more vegetables to your meals
2. Drink less or no alcohol
3. Hydrate more
4. Make more meals at home
5. Reduce or sugar
How you move
6. Take up an exercise that you LOVE (yoga, zumba, swimming, walking with a friend)
How you spend and save
7. Automate a weekly amount from your bank account to your savings or retirement funds
8. Ditto for debt payments
9. Automate a small amount to go to an account for gifts and donations to causes you admire. Christmas and birthdays are now accounted for because you've budgeted for them.
Enjoy your free time more
10. Take up or rekindle a hobby
11. Look at how many hours you spend on your smartphone each week (It's found under "screen time" on the iPhone) and decide how many hours of that you're rather be reading/calling a loved one on the phone/sleeping more
12. Set aside two hours daily for uninterrupted work, learn a language, maintain a blog, keep a gratitude journal
13. Declutter your wardrobe
14. File your papers properly (and frequently)
15. Have an in person catch up with a friend every week
16. Connect to yourself more: journaling first thing each day, meditation, sitting quietly with a cup of tea and breathing mindfully, therapy sessions, yoga
17. Spend time alone in nature. You'll be amazed how rewarding this one is. If you're in a city, look for trees that you love, flowers, visit a park or botanical garden, or take a trip to the beach.
Here you'll find essays and musings on applied mindfulness. What does this look like on a daily basis? How can you infuse it in your day to enjoy yourself more? Join hundreds of others on the the mailing list (link in footer) to get these straight to your inbox.