By Marelisa Fabrega
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to make drastic changes in order to notice an improvement in the quality of your life. At the same time, you don’t need to wait a long time in order to see the measurable results that come from taking positive action. All you have to do is take small steps, and take them consistently, for a period of 100 days.
Below you’ll find 60 small ways to improve all areas of your life in the next 100 days.
1. Create a “100 Days to Conquer Clutter Calendar” by penciling in one group of items you plan to declutter every day, for the next 100 days. Here’s an example:
- Day 1: Declutter Magazines
- Day 2: Declutter DVD’s
- Day 3: Declutter books
- Day 4: Declutter kitchen appliances
2. Live by the mantra: a place for everything and everything in its place. For the next 100 days follow these four rules to keep your house in order:
- If you take it out, put it back.
- If you open it, close it.
- If you throw it down, pick it up.
- If you take it off, hang it up.
3. Walk around your home and identify 100 things you’ve been tolerating; fix one each day. Here are some examples:
- A burnt light bulb that needs to be changed.
- A button that’s missing on your favorite shirt.
- The fact that every time you open your top kitchen cabinet all of the plastic food containers fall out.
4. Follow the advice proffered by positive psychologists and write down 5 to 10 things that you’re grateful for, every day.
5. Make a list of 20 small things that you enjoy doing, and make sure that you do at least one of these things every day for the next 100 days. Your list can include things such as the following:
- Eating your lunch outside.
- Calling your best friend to chat.
- Taking the time to sit down and read a novel by your favorite author for a few minutes.
6. Keep a log of your mental chatter, both positive and negative, for ten days. Be as specific as possible:
- How many times do you beat yourself up during the day?
- Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
- Are you constantly thinking critical thoughts of others?
- How many positive thoughts do you have during the day?
Also, make a note of the emotions that accompany these thoughts. Then, for the next 90 days, begin changing your emotions for the better by modifying your mental chatter.
7. For the next 100 days, have a good laugh at least once a day: get one of those calendars that has a different joke for every day of the year, or stop by a web site that features your favorite cartoons.
8. Choose a book that requires effort and concentration and read a little of it every day, so that you read it from cover to cover in 100 days.
9. Make it a point to learn at least one new thing each day: the name of a flower that grows in your garden, the capital of a far-off country, or the name of a piece of classical music you hear playing in your favorite clothing boutique as you shop. If it’s time for bed and you can’t identify anything you’ve learned that day, take out your dictionary and learn a new word.
10. Stop complaining for the next 100 days. A couple of years back, Will Bowen gave a purple rubber bracelet to each person in his congregation to remind them to stop complaining. “Negative talk produces negative thoughts; negative thoughts produce negative results”, says Bowen. For the next 100 days, whenever you catch yourself complaining about anything, stop yourself.
11. Set your alarm a minute earlier every day for the next 100 days. Then make sure that you get out of bed as soon as your alarm rings, open the windows to let in some sunlight, and do some light stretching. In 100 days you’ll be waking up an hour and forty minutes earlier than you’re waking up now.
12. For the next 100 days, keep Morning Pages, which is a tool suggested by Julia Cameron. Morning Pages are simply three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.
13. For the next 100 days make it a point to feed your mind with the thoughts, words, and images that are most consistent with who you want to be, what you want to have, and what you want to achieve.
14. Create a spending plan (also known as a budget). Track every cent that you spend for the next 100 days to make sure that you’re sticking to your spending plan.
15. Scour the internet for frugality tips, choose ten of the tips that you find, and apply them for the next 100 days. Here are some possibilities:
- Go to the grocery store with cash and a calculator instead of using your debit card.
- Take inventory before going to the grocery store to avoid buying repeat items.
- Scale back the cable.
- Ask yourself if you really need a landline telephone.
- Consolidate errands into one trip to save on gas.
Keep track of how much money you save over the next 100 days by applying these tips.
16. For the next 100 days, pay for everything with paper money and keep any change that you receive. Then, put all of your change in a jar and see how much money you can accumulate in 100 days.
17. Don’t buy anything that you don’t absolutely need for 100 days. Use any money you save by doing this to do one of the following:
- Pay down your debt, if you have any.
- Put it toward your six month emergency fund.
- Start setting aside money to invest.
18. Set an hour aside every day for the next 100 days to devote to creating one source of passive income.