Are you ready to improve your life? Often times, we get sucked into thinking that we need to add things to our lives in order to improve them when the opposite is true; sometimes, you need to get rid of things to have a better life. The seven things listed below are things that many people tend to tolerate or simply ignore in their own lives, but by getting rid of them rather than tolerating them, you can make huge improvements to your life.
1. An Unhealthy Lifestyle
You don’t need to run a mile a day or follow the latest fad diet to live a healthy lifestyle, but if you’re struggling with obesity, smoking, or other unhealthy lifestyle indicators, it’s time to kick your unhealthy lifestyle to the curb. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control notes some scary statistics about Americans, such as the fact that in 2007, 25% of deaths were caused by heart disease, which can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle! If you’re ready to stop tolerating your unhealthy lifestyle, here are a some easy steps to take:
- Focus on getting eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet each day. Just meeting that goal means you’re leaving less room for junk in your diet!
- Carry a water bottle and start drinking nothing but water or unsweetened tea during the day. You’ll be amazed at how much this one simple step helps.
- Invest in a pedometer, and aim to get 10,000 steps a day in. Steps you take during your everyday routine can really add up, and tracking them lets you know how many extra steps you need to take to have a healthier life.
2. Relationships That Drain You
Too many people live in draining relationships because they feel they have to, but you can let go of these relationships. Even if the people who drain you the most by being abusive, hurtful, unsupportive, or just plain ridiculous are your family members, there’s no moral or ethical law that says you have to remain in a close relationship with these people. Here’s how you can cut out relationships that are draining to you:
- First, you need to identify these relationships. It may not always be obvious which people drain you the most. Take inventory of how you feel after interactions with certain people, and if you feel angry or upset, consider cutting back on those interactions.
- One possible solution is to try to fix the problem. This may mean creating new boundaries for a person who is continuously in your space, or it may mean learning to communicate with someone better.
- If you can’t possibly fix the relationship (as is almost always true with an abusive relationship), get out of it. Even if your abuser is your own mother, you are not obligated to live in relationship with this person. If the draining relationship is with a family member, consider cutting out contact with that family member altogether, or only seeing him at essential family functions.
3. Too Much Drive Time
According to ABC News, the average American adult spends an hour and a half every day in the car. What else could you be doing with that hour and a half? Driving too much, especially in heavy traffic, can lead to road rage, lack of time at home, and even obesity, if you’re in the car so much that you’re constantly eating fast food. You don’t have to tolerate too much time in the car in your everyday life. Here are ways you can cut it out or at least make the most of it:
- If possible, cut your commute. Is it really worth living in the suburbs when you’re spending thousands of dollars on gas and hours in the car every day to get to your job in the city? Probably not. Move closer to your job, or find a job closer to where you live!
- If you do find yourself eating in the car often, then plan better. Pack meals that are easy to grab on your way out the door, and skip the drive through in favor of healthier homemade meals.
- Find ways to use your drive time to better yourself. Listen to books on your MP3 player, or get some relaxation CDs to help you unwind on your way home from work.
4. Clutter in Your Home and Office
A cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind, and it can make it awfully hard to find your car keys in the morning. If your home and office are overflowing with stuff, it’s time to cut back. Clutter is usually a case of too much stuff rather than not enough space. Choose to live simply and to free yourself from the extra junk you don’t need, and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it will make in your life. Follow these steps to de-clutter your stuff:
- Take a weekend and sort through all your things – your office, your kitchen, your closet, even your living room decorations. Make a pile of things you’ll definitely keep, things you might keep, and things you want to get rid of.
- After you’ve gotten rid of the last pile, put the “things you might keep” pile in boxes in a closet for two months. If you need to, you can go pull things out of the boxes as you need them. At the end of the two months, take everything left in the boxes to charity, since you obviously don’t need those things often, if at all.
- Once you’ve decluttered, work on organization, finding a place for everything you own.
5. Financial Issues
You can’t avoid all financial problems in your life, but if you have financial issues, you need to work to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Stressing over money is just not worth it. Here are some steps to take to cut out financial worries:
- Look at the best credit card deals. Not worrying about your finances starts by making good spending choices. You should be wary of using credit at all, but when you do use it, make sure you’re using a card that has low fees and that fits your lifestyle. You can also use credit card balance transfers to make paying down debt easier, if you can move high interest debt to lower-interest cards.
- Make a spending plan. Call it a spending plan or a budget or whatever you like, but whatever you call it, find a way to spend what you earn or less every month. Use credit only for big ticket items, and have a plan for paying them off as soon as possible. Taking control of where your money goes every month is incredibly empowering and can immediately lessen some of your financial stress.
- Have long-term goals. Long-term financial goals like saving for college or retirement are essential. Meet with a financial planner to set up some reasonable goals for yourself and your family as soon as possible.
6. A Job You Hate
It may seem like you have no other option but to continue working in a job you hate, but there are very few things more draining than spending forty hours a week or more doing something you don’t like or being around people you don’t like. Here are steps you can take to get rid of your hateful job:
- Figure out what you want to do. Find out where your talents and interests can fill a need in the world, and you’ll find your dream job. You may not land your dream job right away, but at least knowing what you want to do can get you started in that direction.
- Talk to someone who has your dream job to figure out how you need to get there. Whether you read a book or talk to an individual in the field you hope to go into, you’ll be able to get valuable information on education plans and more that will help you get into a job you’ll love.
- Make your current job more tolerable in the meantime. What would make your current job more tolerable right now? Maybe you need to be more challenged at work, or maybe you need to make different work friends. Maybe you just need to move closer to where you work, or cut back on your hours. Figure out what you can possibly do to make your job less hateful to you, and then take steps to make it happen.
7. Too Much Stress
Many of these other factors – broken relationships, financial woes, an awful job – can bring more stress into your life. Sometimes, though, stress comes from too much of a good thing. If you’re constantly on the go because you’re the life of the party or have a busy family to care for, you need to learn to unwind and kick some stress out of your life. Here are some suggestions to help you do that:
- Figure out where your stress comes from most of the time. If it’s one of the above listed things you shouldn’t be tolerating, get the problem fixed. If it’s simply because you’re too busy, then simply learn how to say no so that you can guard some alone time or some family time, whichever you need.
- Learn to relax when you can. Sometimes life just doesn’t slow down, no matter what you say no to. If this is the case with your life at the moment, then take the moments you have and learn to let go of your stress. Eat a chocolate. Take a bubble bath. Go for a run. Do what it takes to feel more relaxed and comfortable at the end of every day.
These seven things are unfortunately a huge part of many people’s lives, but you don’t have to live like this.
About Daniela Baker
Daniela Baker is a blogger at CreditDonkey, where she helps families compare credit card deals. She is a mother of two trying to live life to its fullest. If you’re tolerating, ignoring, stepping around, or failing to acknowledge stress, an overly long commute, a terrible job situation, broken relationships, clutter, financial issues, or an unhealthy lifestyle, just stop. You don’t need to tolerate these things. Find out where your problems lie, and fix them by cutting these seven unnecessary things out of your life.