Ten Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Life

1.  Unplug your TV, stop watching it… Absolutely do NOT watch ANY “News” programs or programmed television.

“Even the most independent minded people vastly underestimate how mentally conditioned we all are. In 1929, in response to the growing propaganda system John Dewey said, “We live exposed to the greatest flood of mass suggestion humanity has ever experienced.” Since then, the flood of mass suggestion has grown exponentially.

“For two obvious examples, let’s look at television consumption and advertising. The average American watches more than five hours of TV a day, every single day of their life. American children view more than 40,000 ads per year, every single year of their life. Think about that. That’s intensive mental domination administered on a daily basis, from the cradle to the grave.” – David Degraw

2.  Get more sleep at night and take a nap during the day.

“Sleep science is complex, but sleep guidance doesn’t have to be. Good sleep is extraordinarily important for your health and daily performance.

“The primary signal that sets our 24-hour body rhythms, including the timing of our wake rhythm, is light entering the eye.

“To set the timing of your wake rhythm, your brain wants to coordinate the timing of your wake signal to daytime. It does this by measuring the intensity and hue of light entering the eye. Indoor light is far less intense than outdoor light and, more than ever in human history, we spend much of our day indoors. So, bright daylight anchors your wake rhythm, and when you don’t get enough daylight, your wake rhythm shifts forward. This effect is compounded by getting too much artificial light at night. Essentially, by having light enter the eye at night when the brain should be getting exposure to darkness, we are again telling the brain that it should shift the timing of the wake rhythm forward. So, living in the modern world causes a double-whammy—too little light during the day and too much light at night—shifting our wake rhythm forward. 

“The big lesson you should learn here is to anchor your wake rhythm by maintaining smart light habits throughout the day, evening, and night. To do this, get at least 30 minutes of outdoor light exposure during the day. In the evening, dim all lights and reduce blue or full-spectrum light in your environment. At night, while you sleep, maintain a very dark room.” – Daniel Pardi from “Dan’s Planpost at ChrisKresser.com

The reason for the nap is most people are operating in “sleep debt”, or deficit, and tend to start feeling poorly in the afternoon.  Taking a 20-45 minute nap somewhere between 1 and 4 p.m. does wonders to recharge you for the evening, but it also cuts down on snacking to make yourself “feel” better in two ways.  First, you’re asleep so you can’t get the snacks.  Second, when you awake, you feel refreshed and will likely not snack before meal time.

3.  Stop eating half way through your meal and ask: “Am I still hungry?”

Need help with portion control?  If you load up your plate, before you start tell yourself that 1/2 of that meal is going into a storage container for tomorrow’s lunch.  Then eat 1/2 of the meal and actually store the other half.  Most of us will simply continue to eat even though our hunger has been removed because food is still in front of us.  Alternatively, use a salad plate and fill it up, but don’t get seconds.  Also, drinking water with meals helps give you the full sensation.

Snack Note: Water and a few carrots go a long way if you are actually hungry in the afternoon.  Don’t forget, if you do get a snack, ask yourself out loud, “Am I hungry?”, or before you get the snack tell yourself out loud, “I’m not hungry.”

4.  Go outside and walk, jog or ride for 30 minutes in the sun.  Experience this thing called “nature” if possible.

See #2 above for some of the sunlight recommendations.  Also, by being exposed to sunlight, your skin will create vitamin D, which is key for immune system support.  Unless you are an athlete in training, doing moderate exercise for 30 minutes is good, but if you do hard exercise, where you are breathing heavily and sweating profusely, you should limit it to 15-20 minutes.  MOTO: Avoid getting sunburned.

5.  Take a daily vitamin.

Our food supply in the U.S. is woefully inadequate at providing all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that our bodies need to thrive.  Supplemental support is mandatory.

6.  Read a chapter in a book.

Some Book Recommendations: “Four Hour Work Week” – Tim Ferriss, “Lights Out” – T.S. Wiley, “The Paleo Solution” – Robb Wolf.  Maybe I should make a page and put reviews on it?  I have shelves of books worth reading that I could share my thoughts on.

7.  Talk to your spouse & kids, siblings, parents, friends about the future.

Your most important, longest lasting relationships will always be with your family.  Get to know them, let them get to know you.  Share your dreams, learn to appreciate and support theirs.  We try to do Family Movie Night every Friday.

8.  Drink water at a minimum when you wake up, before bed and before every meal.

Two large glasses of water every morning helps get things moving.  Water before meals helps you feel full when you are eating.  Staying hydrated is crucial for your body to remove toxins.  Use Reverse Osmosis (RO) or a Big Berkeley water filter to remove toxins and the dreaded fluoride from your drinking water.  If you use RO water, remember to add in a vitamin pack to it since it will be devoid of minerals.

9.  Throw something useless away, or donate it if it’s just useless to you.

This shouldn’t be hard.  Identifying something you no longer use or need should be easy, but actually getting rid of it?  You will be torn.  Americans tend to hoard things.  Break that habit.  Get rid of some stuff you haven’t looked at in over a year (unless it’s a family heirloom or very personal stuff).  No, that old stereo doesn’t count… it should go.  Doing this once a month makes for a much happier home.  Alternatively, selling valuable stuff you don’t use anymore can be just as satisfying.

10.  Cook a meal at home and have everyone eat it together.

There are so many things that could be on this list of things to “Improve Your Life”, but I think relationships with your family is an area where most of us can stand to improve.  You’ll be amazed at what you find out around the dinner table when the whole family is eating a home cooked meal together.

Top 10 “Top 10” Improve Your Life Lists:

#2 Time | What 10 Things You Should Do Everyday To Improve Your Life

#3 Readers Digest | 10 Ways to Improve Your Life

#4 AskMen | Improve Your Life – 10 Things You Should Do Every Week To Improve Your Life

#5 Lifehack | 10 Simple Things You Can Do Every Day to Improve Your Life 

#6 Tynan | 10 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW to Improve Your Life

#7 MotivationGrid | Improve Your Life By Doing These 10 Simple Things Everyday

#8 Oprah | 10 Easy Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life by Next Week

#9 WebMD | 10 Ways to Improve Your Day in Just 5 Minutes

#10 Psychcentral.com | 10 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Life

What do all these lists seem to have in common?  What should we be focused on in our day?

Sleep, Exercise, Good Food, Nature & Outdoors, Family, Friends, Stimulating body and mind, and Laughter.

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