5 Lifestyle Hacks That Have Transformed My Quality of Life
Life is busy and hectic, and it can be challenging to pay attention to the small changes in our lives..
But as we get older, our lifestyles automatically begin to change, and if we're not mindful of how they're changing, we can end up at the bottom of a pit we didn't mean to be in. When it comes to quality-of-life improvements, I understand this topic can be a bit subjective. However, all I can do is share my own experiences and hopefully open up your mind to the possibility that these changes could also help you in the same way they've helped me. Or perhaps you were already perfect at living life and have mastered all of these techniques, in which case I salute you, sir or madam. Yet I will share my experiences either way. Today, I'm going to share five lifestyle hacks that have improved my overall quality of life.
1. Early to Bed, Early to Rise
The old saying about going to bed early, "early to bed, early to rise," has never felt more true than these past few years. Being a millennial means I'm now entering an age where the decisions I make about how I spend my evenings and mornings can dictate the entire outcome of the day ahead. It's actually kind of empowering because now I understand how and why I feel the way I do, based on how I treat my early mornings and late-night routines. The first lifestyle hack that has helped improve my quality of life is to start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. In doing so, I have much more time in my day to do things. In fact, even now, writing this article, it's only 9 AM, a time when I would have once considered to be as early as sunrise itself! These days, I wake up around 5:30 AM and go to the gym before the sun even comes up. It's kind of an ethereal feeling, but it makes me feel so much more accomplished and gives me much more time in my day to do whatever I want.
2. Control Your Caffeine Intake
The second lifestyle hack that has improved my quality of life is controlling my caffeine intake. I used to be a fiend when it came to coffee and energy drinks, consuming upwards of 10 Red Bulls in a single day, as well as coffee and other caffeinated drinks. As it turns out, a lot of my anxiety and feelings of depression in the late afternoon/evening came from this overstimulation of caffeine. I discovered this to be the case not through a doctor, but by cutting out caffeine entirely for a given period of time and observing the benefits. I know there are some people who swear by caffeine, and even I, to this day, still consume caffeine on an occasional basis, but I am much more conscious and controlled in how much I consume and at what time of the day. A general rule of thumb: I don't drink caffeine after 3 PM.
3. Balance Nights Out with Healthy Days
The third lifestyle hack that improves my quality of life feels like less of a hack and more of a general guideline for getting older. That's reducing the number of nights I go out in a week. However, there is a second part of this, and that's equally weighing my nights out with a certain number of healthy days, where I double down on my exercise and dietary schedule. Again, this feels like an obvious life improvement tip, and one that most people figure out for themselves in their 30s, but I have to pin it as a hack because I feel like if I had known about this sooner and really felt the benefits of it, I could have saved myself a lot of unnecessary nights out, wasted money, ruined relationships, etc.
4. Document Your Progress Toward Goals
The fourth lifestyle hack that has improved the quality of my life is getting clear on observing the progress I am making towards my goals. I think it's normal for people to double down on their disciplines and goal-setting as they get older, once they realize that they can't do everything by ear and need to start making educated decisions to excel in their career, relationships, etc. But I have also found that focusing too much on just the actions themselves leaves out a key component of the journey, which is feeling gratitude and joy about the progress that has already been made. So what I do is take detailed notes on a daily and weekly basis about the progress I am making in my goals and relationships, and I occasionally look back at them, and they help me feel good about where I am. This is especially helpful in situations where I feel like I could be doing more.
5. Make Time for Daily Pleasure
The final lifestyle hack that has improved my quality of life, and this is one that I truly think more people could benefit from, is dedicating time each day to relax and have fun. We live in a culture where working hard is glorified, and I don't think that's a bad thing, but I do think it leaves out the necessary moments of pleasure and happiness that we can gift ourselves on a daily basis. After all, what's the point of working hard every single day if we don't get time to enjoy the fruits of our labor? So what I do is assign myself time every single day to unplug from emails, disconnect from phone calls, put down the spreadsheets and calendars, and simply enjoy the presence of my friends, my family, or even just watching a movie with some popcorn. Anything to disconnect and allow my mind to relax.
There you have it, five lifestyle hacks that have recently improved my overall quality of life. Like I mentioned at the beginning, I cannot expect this list to be mutually exhaustive or relatable to every single person who reads it, but it's something that I have recently adopted into my life and have seen powerful results. If you have other lifestyle hacks that you think I missed or want to expand on the ones I have listed here, please let me know in the comments or on social media. I'll have links to everything below. Thanks for reading, and I hope you're having a great life.
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