How can you improve your life? The first things that might drop into your head could be significant (and expensive) goals: get a better job, move into a bigger house, travel to a foreign country each year.
But there are many things to do every day to be happy. In fact, many of the most meaningful steps in making life changes involve the smallest, simplest, most ordinary ideas.
Let’s take a look at how to improve the quality of life you have. As this is a financial blog, we’ll be focusing on financial tips on how to improve lifestyle.
If you are trying hard to stay on budget every month, the last thing that is going to help is a new car or a bigger house. You might want to think about downsizing to something less expensive. Just getting rid of some of that stress and worry each month can be a huge psychological weight off. You may be surprised by how much happier you are.
2. Put Money Into Savings Each Month
Even just saving a little bit each month, overtime is going to add up. The more financial security you give yourself, the less stressed and anxious you will be.
3. Create a “Fun Fund”
Once you have the basics taken care of (including savings), consider creating a “fun fund”. With a such a fund you set aside a pile of money to spend on “frivolous” things. You can do this according to a rule like “X dollars a month,” or you can take it out of overtime that you work.
By doing this, you permit yourself to enjoy some of life’s indulgences without breaking your budget or feeling irresponsible in any way. This can help to replenish your self-discipline while also adding to your general enjoyment of life.
4. Tie Rewards to Challenges
The idea of putting money into your fun fund from overtime work is mentioned above. Another smart idea is to put money into this fund when you complete a challenging goal. This goal does not necessarily have to be work-related. It could involve anything you find daunting, but really want to achieve.
By rewarding yourself for a challenge in this way, you give yourself the potential to increase your happiness in several respects:
- Firstly, a reward is satisfying in itself.
- Secondly, providing yourself with motivation in this form makes it easier and more fun to challenge yourself to achieve the goal.
- Thirdly, the system may help you to achieve more of your goals, which may greatly enhance your happiness in other ways.
5. Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
As an example, imagine that you work as a freelancer. You want to test a new service offering, but the idea daunts you. So you make an agreement with yourself: if you go through with it and get a new client, you will put the money from the first gig in your fun fund.
The reward makes it easier to go through with pushing outside your comfort zone. Once you get that first client, you have the money to spend on anything you want. Even better, you have the pride and relief of knowing you successfully introduced a new service.
Once you taste that success, you may find it easier to tackle your next challenge. You can tie that to a reward to stay motivated.
6. Create Small Goals and Work Toward Them
Something else which can hamper our happiness in everyday life is setting huge goals which are difficult or impossible to achieve. When we fail to get results, we get down on ourselves and burn out.
Both financially and in general, try creating S.M.A.R.T. goals. These are goals which are:
Try breaking down large goals into smaller ones. When you set small S.M.A.R.T. goals, you get positive feedback every single time you achieve one of your milestones. You feel encouraged by your success to feel better about yourself and keep pursuing your projects.
7. Buy a Gift to a Friend
While spending money on ourselves can feel fantastic, spending money on someone else can do a great deal to enhance our happiness.
When you have some extra funds, consider purchasing a gift for a family member or friend. It does not need to be their birthday or a holiday. In fact, a random, unexpected gift can be the most delightful. Your friend’s reaction is something you will always remember with joy, and you may end up enhancing your connection over the long term with one small act of kindness.
8. Donate to Something You Believe In
Speaking of acts of kindness, one more way you can improve your life is by improving someone else’s. If you have some extra funds, think about donating. You could give to a charity, a political candidate, a non-profit organization, or an artist struggling to get by. Even if you only have a few dollars to spare, it is something you can feel good about.
Practice These Ideas Regularly
You now have some ideas for how you can improve your life in terms of happiness through some simple changes to how you manage money, work, challenges, goals, and giving.
Put these ideas into practice on a regular basis, and you should see some great results. Who knows? You might even discover that you do not need a larger house or a luxury car to be happy. And even if you do still want those things, you will have a much more enjoyable and rewarding time working toward them!