1. Assume you’re good enough. Always.
Whenever you’re in a situation where you’re feeling a little vulnerable (like a job interview or a first date), always go into it with the mentality that you’re good enough and that the judging party would be lucky to have you. Even if you don’t get the job or get asked on a second date, it’s better to go into the situation with confidence rather than wasting your time worrying about what they will or won’t like about you.
2. Learn to read nutrition labels.
It’s important for your health that you understand what you’re putting into your body on a regular basis. And being able to read these is a lot more complicated than just knowing how many calories are in a serving size. Here’s a helpful guide from the FDA that can help you figure out what you’re looking at here.
3. Spend more time walking.
Walking at least 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers, according to the American Heart Association. Plus it can improve your mood and make you feel like a functioning human. So go for walks — even if it’s just for 10 minutes at a time.
4. Keep your snacks, cereals, and candies in a cabinet instead of out in the open.
Research shows that environmental factors (like leaving snacks out in the open) can actually make you eat more. If you don’t have the visual reminder that the food is there, you probably won’t seek it out and eat it until you’re actually hungry for it. Here are 29 easy ways to get your kitchen organized.
5. And serve yourself from the stove top rather than family-style on the table.
Similar research showed that people who served themselves from the stove ate less food than people who sat at the dinner table and ate family style. Just the fact that the food is slightly less accessible at the stove gives people time to consider whether they’re actually hungry for seconds or not.
6. Make your bed every morning.
It’s a simple habit that can actually be life-changing. Here’s why.
7. Spend less time complaining and more time laughing.
Guy Winch, Ph.D., author of The Squeaky Wheel, tells Fast Company that most of our complaining is unproductive because we usually whine to people who can’t actually resolve our issue. Plus, when complaining becomes a habit, it reduces our ability to resolve issues.
8. When you really can’t motivate yourself to be productive, just aim for 20 minutes.
After a long day at work or school it’s so easy to sit around and veg out to Netflix, scroll through social media, or immediately take a nap. Instead, force yourself to be productive for at least 20 minutes, whether it’s catching up on emails, reading a book, getting in a quick workout, doing the dishes, calling back someone you’ve been meaning to talk to, whatever.
The trick here is that doing one task usually makes you want to accomplish another. After the 20 minutes are done, you may not even be craving that nap anymore. Here are more genius ways to be productive.
9. Take the time to do something nice for others.
It’s self-explanatory, but no time is ever wasted when you’re using it to do something kind for someone else. Not only does it improve the well-being of others, but it’ll make you feel pretty damn good, too.
Here are 21 incredible pictures that will inspire you to be more giving.
10. Sleep more, and go to sleep on time.
Getting enough sleep is obviously super important for your emotional and physical health, not to mention your overall productivity and safety. On average, most people need between 7–9 hours of sleep per night. If you’re having trouble, here are 31 cool products that will help you get more shut-eye.
11. Drop negative people from your life.
Emotions are contagious, and being surrounded by negativity can cause you unnecessary sadness, anxiety, fear, and stress. If you notice that you have a co-worker, friend, or classmate whose negative outlook is constantly having a horrible impact on your mood, you may want to consider keeping your distance or spacing out the time you spend together. Your mental health will thank you for it. Here are 10 types of friends you shouldn’t feel bad about dropping.
12. Eat something before you go grocery shopping.
Because you’re more likely to buy ALL THE THINGS when you shop on an empty stomach, according to research.
Here are some healthy packaged snacks you can munch on before heading to the store, so you can make more rational grocery decisions.
15. Don’t dwell on past mistakes.
Mistakes can be crippling if you let them be. But what’s done is done and dwelling on them is only going to make you feel worse. Understand that absolutely no one is perfect and that making mistakes is actually essential to learning more about life and about yourself. If it makes you feel any better, here are 21 mistakes pretty much everyone makes at least once in their life.
16. Stop replying with “K.” Seriously.
It is such an EASY thing to do, people! Just one or three more letters and you can completely change the emotional response you give the person on the receiving end. It’s much more respectful and will save you A LOT of unnecessary arguments. Here are 19 other texting habits you want to get rid of ASAP.
17. Keep a journal.
Teenage girls got it right. Regularly writing down your thoughts and feelings is great for your mental health. The process of jotting down your emotions not only gives you an outlet for them, but it also helps you to understand them and sort through them.
19. Teach yourself how to cook.
Eating frozen dinners and prepackaged meals every day may seem convenient, but most of them are extremely high in sodium and hold pretty much no nutritional value. So learn some basic cooking skills for your health and your budget. To get you started, here are 21 easy and healthy meals you can make for one.
20. Spend more time outside.
Getting outdoors can increase your activity, your vitamin D levels, and your mood. Here are 27 insanely fun games you can play outside.
21. Cut down on the amount of salt you’re using.
A little salt isn’t horrible for you, but most people go WAY over the recommended daily intake, which is between 1,500–2,300 mg. And consuming too much can lead to hypertension (long-term high blood pressure), which can increase your risk of heart disease.
Instead of loading up on salt, try using other spices, like garlic, basil, onion, or curry powder. Your food will have just as much flavor without the risky health factors. Here’s how to actually eat less sodium.
22. Drink a glass of water when you wake up and before you go to sleep.
And obviously make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day, too. Drinking enough water is crucial for your joints, your body temperature, your bowel movements, and lots of other important body stuff. So drink up.
23. Take some time to think about a situation before you react to it.
When you’re really worked up over something it’s easy to react with your emotions before taking the time to think the situation through. So make a habit of taking a break before you actually react. Just a few minutes can help you make a more informed (and probably less emotional) decision.
24. Start keeping track of the things that you’re buying.
Even if you’re not ready to make a formal budget, it’s a good idea to keep track of all your little everyday purchases since those can add up quickly. Not only will it make you feel more organized and responsible, but it’ll also help you manage your savings and eventually figure out a real budget in the future. If you need some help, try the app Mint, which can help you pay bills, teach you about your credit, and keep track of where all your money is going.
25. And enforce a 30-day waiting period for all impulse buys.
Keep a 30-Day Impulse Buy List, where you write down all the things you really want to buy that are definitely not necessities (and the date). When 30 days have passed, you can buy it if you still want it! This way you’re not left with a million T-shirts or shoes or random housewares that you totally didn’t need but seemed super important at the time.
26. Stop worrying so much about what others think and start doing you.
You’re never going to please everyone, and things aren’t always going to go how you want them to. Spending all your time and energy trying to make everyone happy is just going to stress you out and lead to your own unhappiness. Enjoy being yourself, start valuing your own judgment, and don’t be afraid to say no every now and then. It will make your life SO much easier.
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