Here are 10 little life changing ideas that will make a big difference for the year ahead.
For all of us, the past year has been filled with so much pain and heart ache that many of us have re-evaluated our lives and are ready to make some big (or small) changes.
So here are 10 new day to day life changing ideas which will help to change your life, no matter who or where you are.
10 Quick and Easy Life Changing Ideas
Have you noticed the news has changed?
In the hopelessly misguided belief that we are all getting more stupid and suffering with increasingly short attention spans, news media is steadily but surely becoming more sensationalist and unnerving. Rather than drowning in endlessly sensationalised hysteria, listen to the headlines, understand what’s going on in the world, and then turn it off and move on. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the weird 24 hour world of new style news.
With the imminent arrival of another Fox News style channel lined up to hit us some time soon, things will only get more deranged, biased and unsettling.
Turning off the news is just the first of many small but important life changing ideas that will have an immediate and positive impact.
One of my current favourite life changing ideas is Nightwalking.
Before the arrival of social distancing and the dreadful pandemic, nightwalking was the preserve of bat enthusiasts, owl spotters and weirdos. But now, nightwalking has become a real thing and everyone is doing it and realising the joys of being out at night and simply walking around enjoying the night air.
Walking at night is quite different from walking during the daylight hours. The darkness adds a different dimension to everything, you’re out when most people are inside sitting comfortably around the telly. The sounds are different, the temperature is colder and things often seem more still.
Venturing outside at night, on a regular basis, will change your life, and who knows, you could even develop an interest in bats, or owls or on the other hand you could simply become a weirdo.
Food For Thought
The French gastronaught, politician, writer and all round odd bod, Jean Brillat Savarin wrote the immortal words, “show me what he eats and I will show you the man.”
There is undeniably truth in this simple idea. We are what we eat, and changing the food which we eat will affect how we feel, and according to Mr Savarin, who we actually are.
I’m not going to blather on about eating more broccoli and less doughnuts, as many other life changing ideas articles have already done, but just flag up that one of the quickest ways to start to feeling better and to change your life is to change what you eat, and the best way to start this process is to keep a food diary.
A good way to start your food diary is to keep it simple. Just record, on a daily basis, what you are eating and I’m sure you will be able to work it out from there.
After a few days read your diary back and ask yourself if you are filling up on any old junk, or actually taking some pride in what you eat and consequently who you are? It’s a big question which also relates to our self esteem and the way we think about ourselves. Eating rubbish makes us feel rubbish, so let’s stop treating our bodies like dustbins. It’s as simple as that.
Declutter From Social Media
Unplug yourself from the relentless backdrop of social media and start to de-clutter your brain.
Facebook and social media are all okay in their place. The problem is that we haven’t yet quite worked out what that place is.
I’m no social media expert but I’m fairly sure that having our lives revolve around an endless barrage of inconsequential junk is not the right way to be going.
Sherlock Holmes famously referred to his “mind palace” where he stores all the essential information which he needs to solve every criminal case on the planet. We seem to be doing the opposite by using our mind like a massive spare room to fill up with any old junk.
Improve your life by unplugging from social media for at least a major potion of your day.
Wake Up Run Out
I hate running and jogging and all that self conscious fitness malarkey, but I can’t deny the instant benefit of getting your heart pounding at least once every day, especially early in the morning before the day has begun.
The trick is to do it regularly, ideally everyday, or at least a few times a week. The good news is that you don’t have to do it for long. Run for as long as you can, until your heart is pumping away like a diesel train piston, and then go home and have a nice cup of tea.
If you wake up early, and quickly, you can be out pounding through the streets before you’re properly awake and know what’s going on. After a little while it becomes a comfortable part of the morning and need only take up 10 or 15 minutes.
As well as feeling stronger and more healthy you can also gloat over your new regime and let everyone know in a smug, self satisfied, “I’m better than you” kind of way. This will improve your self esteem no end.
So in one massive double whammy of change you can get fit and increase self esteem. Where do I sign up. Get that alarm clock at the ready.
One of the best, and immediate life changing ideas is to cut loose people who get you down and hold you back. It will make the world of difference to you. Free yourself now from the shackles of all the negative friendships and relationships which you have built up over a life time. You are not obliged to be friends with anyone, so look at your life, make a list of people who make you feel down and cut them loose.
Life changes, and so do people, and sometimes it’s important to re-evaluate your friendships, to move on and not to be afraid to change friendship groups. It’s not a crime, and will make you feel fresher and freer.
Coping With Anxiety
Perhaps, unsurprisingly ,anxiety is one of the most common problems in the modern world.
More people seek help from their local doctor for anxiety and depression than all the other mental health problems put together. So what’s the answer?
One of the best ways to reduce anxiety is to keep a Worry Diary. It’s simple but effective, and forms a main element of many therapies designed to reduce depression and anxiety.
A Worry Diary works like this:
During the day we will experience all kinds of worries and anxieties and rather than spend time and energy worrying about them as we go along, write them down and review them later on, usually around 5pm or 6pm, or the end of the working day. The idea is that by writing them down and storing them away, we are able to carry on with our day, and when we return to them later, often they have diminished in intensity, and because we have given ourselves a little space, we can think a little more clearly about them, rather than panicking and adding to the anxiety.
Many people keep Worry Diaries. It’s a surprisingly common and affective way to cope with anxiety. A simple little life change idea, but it works.
These are useful sites for coping with anxiety:
The Power of the Natural World
There is overwhelming evidence that being near the sea or countryside is beneficial for our general wellbeing. Somehow the gentle lapping of the ozone waves and the gentle breeze through the trees soothes our frayed and tattered nerves. I always think that just thinking about it makes you feel slightly better.
Wherever you live and whatever you do, try to engineer time, as much as you can spare, either by the sea or in the countryside.
If the roaring ocean or the wide rolling countryside is not on your back doorstep seek out the nearest park, garden or common. Anywhere that offers a little relief from the hurly burly of post industrial modern life.
Life Changing Ideas in a Book
Books do change peoples lives. How often have you heard someone talking enthusiastically about a book they have read? It happens fairly often, and always reminds me of the power of reading. When I think back, I can, with hand on heart, recall a number of books that have changed my life.
Reading great books is one of many simple life changing ideas which is accessible to all of us. The books that come to mind as I write this are, in no particular order:
The Old Man and The Sea (Which we read at school and subsequently knocked my socks off.)
Great Expectations (Which we also read at school, and I have re-read several times since)
Arial by Sylvia Plath (the most important poetry book ever)
Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes masterpiece)
Jude The Obscure (The opening section must be the most profound of any book)
I should stop there as I feel I could go on for some time.
Reading exposes us to new ideas, foreign lands and different ways of thinking of things. It also teaches empathy which in turn increases emotional intelligence, which in turn will make you a better person which in turn will change your life. There is a reason why English, along with Maths continues to dominate school curriculums the world over.
So, if you do nothing else from this list of little life changing ideas, make sure you read a great book.
Fast and Furious: Don’t Eat Breakfast
Another one of many great life changing ideas is to fast at least once a week. There is now a massive body of evidence to suggest that not eating for at least a full 16 hour period is extremely beneficial and linked to all kinds of wonderful life changing benefits, such as longevity and weight loss.
Many people from many different cultures consciously fast on a regular basis, but increasingly, fasting is becoming popular purely for health benefits.
There is also a well established diet which revolves around not eating from 8pm through to 12 midday the following day, even avoiding milk in tea or anything with any calorific value. A friend of mine did this for 2 weeks every day and ate and drank whatever he liked during the time he wasn’t fasting and and miraculously managed to lose a significant amount of weight. Give it a try and see what you think.
So, one day a week don’t eat after 8 in the evening and nothing before midday the following day and see how you feel. Basically, don’t eat breakfast.
If it doesn’t feel good don’t do it, but if it makes you feel better and improves your life and helps you lose weight and stay healthy build it into your new years life changing regime.
If you feel you need more help to make the changes in your life you want to make do get in touch with us or have a look at our online counselling programmes:
You can also read more about our life changing holidays on the Responsible Travel web site:
Many thanks for reading.
I hope these ideas have been helpful in changing your life.
Alex and Chrissy