Significantly changing your life can be a daunting task. We all have bad habits we wish we could break and good ones we wish we could cultivate, but it’s never as easy as simply flipping the switch from “have 4 beers after work” to “run 2 miles after work.”
Every good habit has to start somewhere, and with that mentality it can be easier to do small things each day to build upon until we begin to see tangible progress. Crawl, walk, run.
Here are a few easy things you can do today that will plant a seed for future self-improvement.
1 | Shave
Even if you’re working on a facial mop that would make Chewbacca jealous, it’s important to have a daily grooming routine of some kind. Not only will you feel cleaner and more put together, but women notice the little details that go into keeping up your appearance. Trim up!
2 | Floss
Flossing sucks. It’s time consuming, uncomfortable, tedious and who the fuck really cares if our teeth fall out when we’re 70 years old? The truth is, I know from personal experience that forgetting to floss daily leads to chronic bad breath. Bad breath leads to a future of lonely nights, and before long, even your dog won’t lick your face anymore.
3 | Cook One Meal
Learn how to cook. I can’t stress this enough. Long gone are the days where a beautiful woman will magically fall into your lap and all she wants to do is bake you pies and have a three course meal waiting for you when you get home from your 9-5 at Generic Insurance Selling Company, Inc. Start with one meal a day, even if it’s frying an egg in the morning. Your survival depends on it.
4 | Move
A daily work-out practice is a cornerstone for anyone trying to live healthy, happy and confident. However, for most of us who don’t consider ourselves to be ‘gym rats’ or any other type of gym rodent, exercising daily is a monumental hill to climb (literally). The good news? It’s actually pretty easy if you set small, achievable goals at the start of each day. Something as simple as doing 20 push-ups while you wait for the shower to get hot goes a long way towards setting up long-term habits.
5 | Be Still
I’m not going to suggest diving headfirst into a full-blown meditation practice (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea), but I am going to ask you to simply sit still for 5 minutes. Take in some breaths, enjoy the silence, and let those fucked up thoughts go in and out of your mind rather than hiding from them behind the deafening sound of modern life. In time, slowing down for just a few minutes a day can lead to deeper, more meaningful meditations.
6 | Talk to a Stranger
Being charismatic doesn’t come from being blessed at birth with the power of bullshit, it comes from finding value in everyone you come into contact with. If you can strike up a 20 second conversation with the hipster girl in the Trader Joe’s checkout line you’re already way ahead of the game. If you can find value in every Tom, Dick and Jane, you won’t subconsciously limit yourself to engaging people only when you think you can get something from them.
7 | Make Your Bed
If you always make your bed when you wake up then you can start your day – however shitty it may look on paper – knowing that you accomplished at least one productive thing. It’s a slight mental boost that will give you a shot of confidence when tackling life’s more serious and stressful tasks.
8 | Unplug
Shut off your TV. Put away your phone. Power everything off and do something that doesn’t require any electricity. I find the best time to do this is about 30 min before going to bed, allowing the brain to ease into shutting off for the night. That 3-hour House of Cards binge can wait till tomorrow. Read a book, take a walk, doodle, or…
9 | Journal
I might lose a few of you here, but it’s a new day and age in which keeping a journal no longer has to be reserved for 12 year old girls and Hello Kitty snap-shut notebooks. Writing down a few thoughts when you start your day or before you go to bed helps clear your head of some of the unnecessary clutter. It’s also good for setting goals, whether they be for today, tomorrow or years from now.
10 | Light a Candle
As guys, we have a tendency to allow our personal space to fester to the point of requiring a hazmat suit to perform basic cleaning and disinfecting tasks. This fact might never change, but at least try to mask the smell of lazy with a few scented candles or incense. You’ll thank me when a girl can stand to use your toilet without fear of fungal infection.
11 | Take Your Hands Out of Your Pockets
The worst boss I ever had gave me a lot of shitty advice while mercilessly stomping out my soul for a year, but one thing he said I’ll never forget: “no one will respect you if you don’t get your fucking hands out of your pockets.” It’s easy for me to admit now that he’s right. You’re better off walking around waving your hands over your like a lunatic than bashfully hiding them in your corduroys.