Designing a better lifestyle doesn’t have to mean focusing on your long-term ideal situation. There are plenty of opportunities to change things for the better right now.
Here are 5 bulletproof ways to improve your lifestyle right now:
- Ditch your commute
- Move to a city or small town
- Take lots of time off, and then take some more
- Develop a life outside of work
- Judge yourself and erase limitations
Commuting to work by car is bad for your health and the environment. It’s a waste of time and resources. Why not ditch your commute and reclaim those lost hours? You’ll be happier, healthier and you’ll have more free time to do something meaningful.
There are a few ways to eliminate your commute. You can either move yourself close to where your job is, or get a new job close to where you live. You can negotiate a work at home agreement with your boss. You can quit your job and work for yourself. If all else fails, you can at least take public transportation and use the time to catch up on some reading or to meet fellow commuters.
I’m a big fan of both cities and small towns. The benefits of living in either are simple: urban density allows you to walk everywhere, thus leading to better health, more interaction with people, less time spent isolated in a car, and a stronger connection with your community. Suburbs are great for owning a big inexpensive house, but does that big house really fulfill you in the way a community can?
It always surprises me when people don’t use all of their alloted vacation time. What are you saving it for? I know that some workplaces give out 3 or 4 weeks, but silently pressure people not to use it all. That’s a shame. Use your vacation time to rejuvenate yourself.
In fact, why not use all of your time off, and then take a little additional unpaid time? You’ll be better at your job if you step away frequently. You may even learn something about yourself if you allow for some time to think about things other than work.
It’s easy to get sucked into the competitive nothing-else-but-work-matters attitude at some companies. I’ve fallen into that mindset before, and I have plenty of friends who are victim of it today. The sad thing is, giving up your self for a job benefits the company much more than it will ever benefit you.
Try developing a life outside of work. It will help you put some perspective on what really matters in life. Take up a hobby or two. Meet some new friends. Get some exercise. Join a club. Being a real person on the better side of 9 to 5 will make you more interesting and engaged in everything you pursue.
How would someone who cares about you and knows your true potential judge how fully you’re living your life? You should be asking yourself that question every day.
Judge yourself from an outsider’s perspective. Is your current life worthy of spending your precious time in it? What’s holding you back from doing what you really want to do? What would you do if you couldn’t fail? Erase your perceived limitations and start living life without regrets.
photo by eliot.