How I Enhanced My Life | Small Ways to Improve Your Life 2019

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

I feel like it's safe to say that the majority of us want to live a positive and happy life. But really, how many of us go out of our way to put habits into place to try and do this? I definitely used my early twenties as a time to party and live a very chaotic life. Reflecting now, as fun as some of the times were (some really were not), I used it as an escape from what was happening in my home life (my little brother being in an accident). I also got into a toxic relationship which went on for a large portion of my early twenties, again, not having a great impact on my life or my choices. 

When I compare then, to what my life is like now or even to who I am, the change is massive. There are many things I did to make me and my life more positive. Here are 5 (of many) things that I did to do this. [video version available at the bottom of this post]


1. Being more conscious 

I mean, drinking less definitely meant being unconscious less, but that isn't what I'm referring to here. By this I mean, I started being more aware of things that perhaps I took for granted. I looked into where my food was coming from. I lived off meat and dairy. I realised that this just didn't align with my values and who I really was. I stopped eating it. I as a person feel so much lighter and happier now I am not living off of meat feast pizzas. (I'm not telling you to go vegan, just saying that I changed something as huge as my diet, to align with my true beliefs, rather than just going with what everyone else was doing.) 

I also started considering other peoples view points. I've always been aware of this, but I definitely assumed if someone was being an arsehole to me, then they were an arsehole in general and I would therefore be an arsehole back. I'd be irritated for weeks, even years. I'd be mouthy and make it known I did not like them. But honestly, most people are reflecting something else on to you when they treat you like rubbish. That took me a long time to accept. When I've got annoyed with someone, most of the time I am probably reflecting something on to them as well (maybe even something like just being tired and grouchy). Now, if someone is rude to me at work, or maybe someone cuts in front of me at the shop, I just think 'well if that's how they choose to live their day today, then that's their choice'. I don't let it impact my day in anyway, I just move on. Sometimes if it was really bad, I'll have a 30 second rant in my head or to my friend or mother but then I'm over it. Honestly, not getting irritated by little things makes such a big difference. 

Finally I've tried to make more of a conscious effort with my friendships. I'm pretty rubbish with communication via text etc and if I ring someone, they usually think something terrible has happened as I never call people (unless something terrible has happened... or it's my mum). All my friends accept this about me but I still have been trying to arrange to see people more or send a quick text (or even just remember to reply to theirs) as a way of appreciating the excellent pals I have.

2. Having more plants and growing herbs

This seems daft, and admittedly it is the smallest point out of these 5, but buying more plants and doing things like growing my own herbs just makes me a little happier. Now, I can't be doing with high maintenance things, I chose the plants and herbs that are robust and can survive my poor memory. But coming back to a home with greenery in just makes it so much more inviting and a happier place to be! My daughter also helps me look after them so it's something small we can do together.

3. Practicing gratitude

This is one I felt so awkward in doing at first. It seems so cheesy. However, it is pretty sad that in today's society, being grateful what you have and being open about it... is seen as cheesy or 'lame'. Over the last couple of months, I have tried to be generally more grateful for what I have. I've also taken short moments in my week to sit down and concentrate on everything I have that brings me joy. This makes you feel so much more positive and have such respect for your life. I honestly don't feel that anything bad can come out of being grateful. I am trying to work this into my life more and more, with the aim of doing a gratitude journal/daily gratitude practices.

I have a post ready to go live in a couple of weeks all about different ways to practice gratitude - so keep an eye out for that!

4. Books and podcasts on motivation/positive living/personal development

Okay, this is also another area I previously deemed as cheesy. However, this has hands down made the biggest impact on my life. I've definitely always suffered from imposter syndrome. I've always thought there is no way I past that test or there is no way I'm qualified for that job. Often I haven't even bothered trying things because I've been convinced I'll fail (and I hate failing). I decided to start a Masters in Science last year. I was/am a single mum and I had a decent job but I felt like I really needed to do something to push myself and prove that actually, I am smart and I can do it. I also think having my daughter pushed me to try and be a good role model for her as a female. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm the first to joke that I am a queen or a genius etc, but it's all satire. I took a complete leap of faith and I am so proud of myself that I did. I'm predicted (not set in stone) a distinction, which is the highest mark I've had throughout all my education and I did it whilst working and having a child. The difference this time is that I put my all into it and actually believed I could do it (with some fleeting moments of doubt right after exams... but still).

Reading books in this genre and listening to podcasts really gave me the kick up the butt to carry on doing things that are perhaps out of my comfort zone, but things I really did want to do. They definitely made me feel more confident in myself over the past few months when I lost that for a while. I'd definitely recommend diving into this world if you haven't already. 

5. Waking up early

The one that everyone mentions, that is super annoying to the night owls. Getting up early. I was the queen of waking up at midday, however, I now get up between 5am-6am. I get so much more done. I'm able to keep up with everything with much less stress and overall my life is just more calm. There's also something nice sitting and having a cuppa tea when everyone else is still asleep (or already working - sorry night shift workers). This doesn't work for everyone. But, I would say it's worth trying if you are thinking about it. I have a whole post on how to wake up early you can read for tips on where to start.

I hope you liked this post. Quite a personal one for me, but I'm trying to work that into my content more and be more open and authentic. 

There is also a video version of this post over on my YouTube

Feel free to follow me on Instagram and Twitter too.

Best wishes and positive vibes.

J x

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