If you wanna improve your life, listen up! Here are a few concrete ways to reach your goals, courtesy of several experts interviewed by Life magazine:
- First, if you want to lose weight – don’t aim for a specific number. Like, “I wanna lose 15 pounds.” Weight-loss trainer Lindsay Dunlap says that diets are more successful when you aim for something you can visualize, like learning to swing dance, or fitting into a certain pair of jeans. She also suggests scheduling 3 rock-solid exercise appointments a week to establish your routine.
- Another way to improve your life: Look for love in LESS obvious places. Singles scenes and first dates are unnatural, high-pressure situations. Instead, look for people in daytime environments where everybody’s actually doing something, whether it’s a cooking class or playing beach volleyball. Join two groups that interest you, and devote at least 4 hours a week to them – whether it’s a group of soup-kitchen volunteers, or a bike club. You’ll run smack dab into love.
- Also: Plan WAY ahead for vacations. If your vacation days always seem to go to waste, pick the dates ahead of time and let life adapt to your agenda. Instead of waiting for the perfect time. Time-management expert Debra Lund suggests blocking off the travel dates on your calendar, and “penciling in” when you need to book your flight and hotel, and ask for time off from work. Once you’ve allotted the time, it won’t seem as daunting to take it off.
- Get more sleep. Sleep shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be a priority, with the same sleep and wake-up time all week. Use this tip from the Stanford Center for Human Sleep Research to figure out your schedule: Count backward from your morning departure time, and factor in a shower, coffee, and the newspaper. 8 hours before that is bedtime. The payoff? You’ll be more alert, perform tasks better – and be less moody.