• Anita Chastain

23 Simple Ways to Improve Your Life

Updated: Oct 25

Learn 23 simple strategies to feel happier, more accomplished, and more in control of your life.

Do you ever feel that some days your life isn’t where you want it to be? Maybe it feels like it’s flying by too fast.


Or you have a vague sense of unhappiness.


Or maybe you just feel overwhelmed going through the motions of day-to-day life.


If so, there are things you can do to help you slow down and get more out of life. Small things. Simple things that make life easier and more rewarding.

Not every problem in life requires a big, complicated solution.

Not every problem in life requires a big, complicated solution.


Sometimes small changes are all it takes to help bring happiness, a sense of accomplishment, and a feeling of being in control back into our lives.


23 Simple Ways to Improve Your Life

Here are 23 simple actions you can take to slow down, declutter, and enjoy your life more:


1. Stop hoarding all those little clutter magnets you don’t need. Clutter attracts clutter, especially in drawers and on tabletops. No one really needs that many pens, paper clips, rubber bands, condiment packets, and paper napkins from take out. Don’t bring in more of these items than you need right now and in the immediate future.


2. Complete one nagging task that you’ve been putting off. Tasks we put off linger in our minds till they’re done That’s why procrastination is never as rewarding as we think it will be. So, instead of procrastinating, choose one of those nagging tasks and just get it done. The feeling of accomplishment will be much more rewarding than the delay created by procrastinating.

If you don’t need it, use it, or want it, send it out the door. Or, better yet, don’t bring it in the door to begin with.

3. Take out what you don’t need, use, or want. A door serves two purposes: It allows you to bring stuff in, and it allows you to take stuff out.


If you don’t need it, use it, or want it, send it out the door. Or, better yet, don’t bring it in the door to begin with.


4. Choose contentment over comparison. It’s better to be content with what you have instead of disappointed by what you’re missing. Also, keep in mind that everything looks better when you’re on the outside looking in.


What looks appealing from the outside may not seem as appealing when you’re walking in that person’s shoes.

Being thankful forces us to see the positive things in our lives and shifts our attention away from the negative things.

5. Start every day by identifying three things you’re thankful for. Our brains are wired to focus more on negative things than positive things. This negativity bias is why we’re more likely to remember—and feel worse about — a negative statement than a positive one.


Being thankful forces us to see the positive things in our lives and shifts our attention away from the negative things.


6. Clear surfaces of unnecessary clutter. Clutter-free surfaces appeal to us because they’re calming to look at.


If a surface looks messy or isn’t functional because there’s too much stuff, remove the clutter and you’ll bring a sense of calm back into that space.


7. Grow houseplants to clean the air and add beauty to your home. To keep houseplants alive, find plants that can live in low light areas in your home and avoid overwatering.


If you match the plant’s light needs to the location you choose and water sparingly (for most houseplants), the plants will thrive without much effort on your part.


8. Start the day slowly. Create a morning routine that allows you to take 20 minutes each morning to reflect on the day ahead.


Think about what you want to accomplish that day and how you’ll meet those goals without losing sight of healthy boundaries and limits.


9. Take blankets and comforters outside to air them out. It only takes is a few minutes to gather up blankets and comforters and put them outside to air out.


For best results, choose a day when the pollen count and humidity are low.


10. Crack a window to let fresh air in. Indoor air gets stale. Letting stale air out and bringing fresh air in will help your house smell better.


Crack a window for 20 minutes and the house will smell fresher with no need to spray chemical air fresheners.


Again, choose a day when the pollen count and humidity are low.


11. Watch less tv. According to a recent Nielson study, the average adult spends more than 4 hours a day watching tv.


Instead of spending your time watching a series or movie you’ll forget soon, spend that time with friends and family or doing something that will have a bigger impact on your life, such as a hobby.

Instead of cramming more and more into an already tight schedule, cross off anything that doesn't have to be done today.

12. Streamline your to do list. Time is limited. No matter how productive you are, there are only so many hours in the day.


Instead of cramming more and more into an already tight schedule, cross off anything that doesn't have to be done today. Put it on your list for tomorrow.


While you’re at it, check your list for things that don’t have to be done at all, and cross them off too.

But we really don't need all that stuff to be happy.

13. Don’t buy into the hype that you need more and more stuff to be happy. Corporations spend billions of dollars every year convincing us that we need more products and services to live a fulfilled and happy life.


But we really don't need all that stuff to be happy.


In reality, there are a lot of great benefits of owning less, including less debt and a greater appreciation for what you do own.


14. Declutter first, then organize what’s left. If you have too much stuff for the space you’re in, no amount of organizing will get all that stuff into a space that’s too small.


Instead of organizing all that stuff, clear out what you don’t need, want, or use.


Once the excess is out, organize what’s left.

15. Spend 15 minutes outside. Sit and enjoy the beauty of being outside. Sitting outside in a chair on your patio or deck or on a bench at the park will help you relax and enjoy the present moment.


Or go for a walk. Walking and other forms of exercise have been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.


16. Spend 10-minutes tidying up your home at the end of the day. This keeps messiness under control and spaces stay cleaner and more organized.


With the house already in order, you’ll spend less time picking up when it’s time to clean, so the whole process can be completed faster and with less physical effort.


17. Throw away the expired food in your fridge. What goes into the fridge doesn’t always come out when it needs to. Take a quick sweep through the fridge, throwing away old takeout and leftovers and any expired food.


Here’s a handy diagram showing when to throw leftovers out.

There’s a reason hotels have staff make the beds every day.

18. Make your bed every day. There’s a reason hotels have staff make the beds every day. A bed that’s made looks inviting and adds a feeling of calm to the room.


If you dread making the bed because it takes too long to make, simplify the process. Remove any decorative pillows and blankets that don’t serve a functional purpose.


19. Make a meal plan for the week. Knowing what you’re going to cook each day makes it easier to buy groceries — and you might spend less money too (I do).


Plus, you’re not stuck at the end of a long day wondering what to cook.


20. Ask a friend to join you for coffee or lunch, and then talk to each other. It’s time to get off the phone and talk to each other again. We spend way too much time on our phones and way too little time maintaining our friendships in real life.


Enjoy a conversation in real life.


21. Eat simple, healthy food that fills you up and that you enjoy eating. Make healthier choices that you also want to eat. It’s counter-productive to eat foods you don’t like because you think that’s what you should eat to be healthy.


Instead, find healthy options that you actually enjoy eating, and you’ll be more likely to make peace with your eating habits and enjoy food again.

Be kind. Hold the door, say thank you or excuse me, and let the car in front of you can get in your lane.

22. Be kind to a stranger. Most of us aren’t unkind by nature. Wrapped up in the busyness of our lives, we forget to show strangers the kindness we wish they would show us.


So, be kind. Hold the door, say thank you or excuse me, and let the car in front of you can get in your lane.


That kindness might not mean much to you, but it could mean a great deal to the person on the receiving end.


23. Gather 3 things you don’t need or use and donate them to charity. How many blankets, towels, coats, cups, sheets, etc., do you really need? According to industry estimates, there are around 50,000 storage facilities in the U.S. They provide us with 1.7 billion square feet of storage space, which works out to 5.4 square feet per person.


Given our willingness to spend, most of us probably have unused, but useful, stuff we can declutter and donate to others in need.


Conclusion

Not every problem requires a grand solution. Sometimes it’s the small, simple steps done over and over that make the biggest impact in our lives.


I hope these 23 simple changes will help you live a happier and more fulfilling life.


What small changes can you make in your life to be happier and more fulfilled right now? Email me at anita (at) simplelife365.com and let me know.

NEXT: You might enjoy reading 5 Things to Do Tonight to Have a Better Day Tomorrow.


© 2020 by SIMPLE LIFE 365 Chattanooga, TN