There comes a time in everyone's life when enough is enough. We're stuck in a rut, and don't like the way things are going. Change is needed. And fast.
But how do we go about changing things that are so set in stone? Well, it's not an overnight job, and you can't expect to implement changes to your day to day life and see results straight away. But by slightly adjusting your lifestyle, your life can go in a new direction.
Here are 10 lifestyle changes that will change your outlook on life.
1. Get up an hour earlier
Benjamin Franklin famously wake up at 5 am every day before asking himself, "What good can I do today?" It was a morning routine that no doubt influenced various tech and Fortune 500 CEOs keen to imitate and surpass such regimented self-discipline, and that's understandable.
It's almost the ultimate test in a way because getting out of a nice, warm bed requires a lot of discipline. But once we're up we feel much better, and the earlier we rise, the more productive we feel.
Of course, for those with anxiety and depression, mornings can be worse, but by rising early, the body feels better and less sluggish. So make sure you set your alarm an hour earlier every morning and place it in the far corner of the room. That way you won't be able to reach for the snooze button.
2. Limit the amount of time spent on your smartphone
There's a great video online that sums up how people are missing out on a host of sights, sounds, and opportunities because their smartphones consume them. And yes, smartphones make our lives easier. We can swipe for a date on Tinder. Or find our friends in a sequestered part of town thanks to Google Maps. But are we happier for having them in our lives?
Ed Sheeran doesn't think so. In fact, the pop star has expressed his delight in recent interviews about his decision to do away with his iPhone and revert to a simple Nokia handset.
Thus, if a multimillionaire can rid himself of his smartphone, we recommend you at least limit your time on it.
3. Aim to read at least one book a month
There's a reason why great minds like Bill Gates read at least 50 books a year. Reading isn't only enjoyable, but it also acts as a perfect stimulus to the brain, with each word forcing you to think things you wouldn't otherwise do.
Classics like The Great Gatsby are great books to start with if you haven't read in a while. Not only are books like these written in gorgeous prose, but they also have a meaningful story to them that isn't full of superfluous language, while anything by The Alchemist author Paulo Cohelo is great should you lack motivation.
4. Don't watch too much television
Don't get us wrong: We at Lifehack Lane enjoy television as much as anyone else. But, and this is a big BUT, too much of it can distract you from the more important things in hand. For instance, instead of watching endless talent shows, why don't you work on a talent yourself? You could even go on YouTube and teach yourself to learn piano. Or go outside and play a game of basketball with old friends?
TV certainly has its perks, but if you find yourself eating your meals and spending most of your free time around a big box projecting images, then you might realize when it's too late that you've spent so much time watching others live their lives that you've neglected yours.
5. Get into a habit of daily exercise
Exercise can spawn a marked improvement in not only your physical health but also your mental well-being thanks to the endorphins sent to your brain. You don't have to go the gym every day, either. You could run 15 minutes around your block after work or before. Or do situps for 15 minutes on your lunch break. Or swim. Whatever it is, it's important you're doing something.
Of course going to the gym and partaking in a wide range of exercises is also good, and it can be an excellent way to meet new people with similar goals as yours. So get yourself in shape and not only will you start to look better; you'll also feel it too.
6. Spend more on travel
We've written before on this site about the importance of prioritizing travel over other things because we are only on this Earth once, and with travel being more accessible than ever before, it seems like a waste of a life to not see as much of this amazing world as possible.
Better still, traveling forces you to be social. You have to ask for directions and talk to people you wouldn't otherwise engage with at home. But by doing this you're more likely to meet more people, and again, that's another thing about life that we seem to be forgetting; that of human interaction.
7. Don't look for love, let love find you
Love can find you anywhere, and so long as you're not hiding away like a hermit, there's a good chance you'll meet someone naturally as opposed to swiping your way through online profiles.
Sure, that can work, but in most cases, apps tend to suit a particular person should they be photogenic enough. So go out and talk to people face-to-face. And who knows? You might just find the conversation more attractive than their face.
8. Ditch soda and drink more water
It's common knowledge that soda rots your teeth yet we still like to consume it with alarming regularity. Without going all morbid, it takes just one night for a tooth to dissolve in a glass of coke, which gives you an idea of a what a lifetime drinking coke can do.
So make sure you limit your consumption of Coca-Cola, Sprite, and the various other teeth-killers and drink water instead. Not only does it purify your skin, but it also helps cleanse your body's internal workings and does no harm to your teeth whatsoever.
9. Limit your alcohol intake
It can be hard to say no to alcohol when all we want to do after a long day's work is put our feet up and indulge in an icy, alcoholic beverage. Or you could be going out every weekend and drinking to the point of being paralytic.
These are all choices that are legal, but by doing this on a daily basis, we are wasting money and escaping from things that could be helped by drinking less alcohol. Sure, a couple of beers after work once or twice a week isn't the worst thing in the world. But if we rely on alcohol for stress-relief and having fun, we are only setting ourselves up to be even more miserable without it.
10. Learn to say no
Unless we have zero qualms with being honest with friends, family and work colleagues, most of us struggle to decline party invitations or trips to the local bar because we don't want to disappoint others.
Sometimes it becomes so bad that we exhaust ourselves by saying yes to everyone just because we fear we will offend them when all we're really doing is prioritizing their needs over ours. If you do this, you can run the risk of burning yourself out. So say no if you don't feel like spending time with someone or doing them a favor. They will understand. It doesn't make you a bad person. It just means you value your free time.