today is better than the day before

As I read what is written about self-improvement and becoming rich and dieting and being happy, I wonder if sometimes too much focus is placed on huge changes. Becoming frugal – staying sharply on the lookout for money – losing weight fast – all can be carried to extremes. Here are a few simple ways to make today better than the day before. Nothing more, nothing less. I know every day I should do all of these, but I take them all one by one.

  • Wake up early
  • Stretch or exercise
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Drink tea instead of coffee or soda
  • Walk slowly
  • Let someone merge in front of you in traffic
  • Drive slowly
  • Don’t listen to the radio in the car
  • Breathe deeply
  • Meditate
  • Eat less than you did yesterday
  • Don’t eat anything that had eyes at one point
  • Don’t eat or drink anything with high fructose corn syrup
  • Enjoy a piece of fruit
  • Skip reading the news
  • Take off your headphones
  • Get off the Internet
  • Don’t buy anything
  • Reuse something
  • Recycle something
  • Don’t check email first thing on arriving to work
  • Don’t watch any TV
  • Take a nap
  • Don’t curse
  • Be positive
  • Don’t worry about money
  • Take the stairs
  • Don’t say anything negative about anyone
  • Smile
  • Laugh
  • Walk outside again
  • Drink water for lunch
  • Chew your food thoroughly
  • Sit quietly for five minutes and do nothing
  • Hold a door open for someone
  • Read at least one chapter of a book
  • Say ‘hi’ to everyone you pass in the hall at work
  • Make eye contact
  • Leave work early
  • Take off your shoes before you walk in your home
  • Sit down for dinner
  • Read a children’s book to your kids, or even just read it to your yourself
  • Go outside after dark and listen
  • Take a piece of paper and write down 2 things you were grateful for today
  • Take a shower right before going to bed
  • Go to sleep early

I would like to think that none of these are particularly hard to do, but they are. It’s always hard to take the long view and the short view at the same time. But even when we’re all trying to pay down debt and fight the good frugal fight, it’s important to step back sometimes and literally smell the flowers.

11 Replies to “today is better than the day before”

  1. I consciously try to do most of these every day. Going to sleep early and waking up earlier are two things I am *very* happy I started doing. I feel better about my day, and I feel more productive during the day.

    I might add a few of these to my regular list. I really like the idea of consciously thinking of and then writing down two things I am grateful for today. I might try that one tomorrow.

    I’m not sure I’m willing to give up my coffee though.

  2. Despite being English, I can’t stand tea.

    I really like this list, I think I’ll start trying to do some things.

    Finally, what can I replace potatoes with?

  3. Great list, I wish I could live like that…
    I would also add:
    – listen to your favorite song (in the morning)
    – call someone you haven’t called for long time

  4. Your list inspired me to make some small subtle changes in my day-to-day routine. This morning I got up at 6am and discovered how productive I am with a few extra hours in the morning. It also allowed me to meditate and focus on the day’s priorities.

  5. That’s a pretty awesome list you have there. I really like the idea of not drastically changing. We see it everywhere we go telling us that the huge changes are the most necessary, but I don’t agree with that. Using a list more like your’s would definitely make more of an impact on anyone’s life. Good post!

  6. I like the list a lot too, and am surprised and pleased to see that a lot of them are incorporated into my routine. I find that getting up early to work out is great … it allows me to start the day on my terms, however my clients and bosses may try to break me the ten hours that follow. (And why on earth would anyone want to replace potatoes, which are all that is good and right in this world?!?!!)

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