Being lazy isn’t necessarily a negative behavior, provided it doesn’t happen on a regular basis. But being lazy too often has some huge downsides!

Laziness is the ultimate expression of passivity. When you let laziness become the norm, you’re not engaging with your life and you’re leaving the results to chance. So learning to move beyond the urge to be lazy is a useful skill.

Use these strategies to take back the helm and re-energize:

1. Think small. The thought of taking on a big project can be overwhelming. It’s easy to trick yourself into feeling negatively about tackling the work at hand. Break big tasks into smaller bites and then keep your focus on that single task.

* Big projects are nothing more than several smaller, related tasks.

2. Use a timer. The simple act of setting a timer for a specific period of time can provide the motivation and focus needed to re-energize. The use of a timer frees your mind. After all, you know when you can stop, even before you get started. A timer turns your work into a race, and races are exciting.

3. Think long-term. Only focusing on the short-term is a common mistake. All the work comes first. The good stuff comes at the end. Look ahead and keep the long-term benefits in mind. This will motivate you to get started.

4. Visualize the results you desire. Take the time to imagine yourself enthusiastically getting your work completed. We’ve all heard about the benefits of visualization, but few of us actually do it. Try it before starting a new project. Try it again when you feel laziness creeping into the picture.

5. Avoid procrastinating. Procrastination is one manifestation of laziness. It’s true that getting started is the hardest part. Avoid thinking too much about the work at hand. Jump in and get started. You’ll find that continuing to work is much less challenging than getting started. Start quickly and you won’t have time to talk yourself out of it.

6. Stick to a single task. Multi-tasking is distracting and overwhelming. The idea of dealing with multiple tasks is enough to trigger laziness. Stick to one task. When it’s complete, you can move on to another. It’s a much more relaxing way to get things done.

7. Use self-talk to your advantage. Instead of coming up with excuses to justify being lazy, use the voice in your head to avoid laziness. It might take some time to reap the rewards, but effective self-talk and affirmations can have a positive impact Try repeating phrases like:

* I avoid laziness and get things done.

* Doing what needs to be done gets me closer to my goals.

* I can be lazy after my work is completed.

* I have control over myself. I use my time effectively.

8. Get some rest. If you’re truly tired, rest might be the best medicine. Eat a healthy meal and get the rest you need. A little fresh air and some exercise might be beneficial, too. Make your physical health a priority. It’s easier to avoid laziness when you’re not exhausted.

9. Consider the consequences. We often think about how much we don’t want to get busy, but we fail to consider the negative consequences of being lazy. Make a list of all the negative outcomes you’ll experience by being lazy. It might provide the motivation you need to become action oriented.

Overcoming laziness is a valuable skill. Having a plan for your day can help you avoid laziness. When your time isn’t planned, it’s much easier to waste time. Overcoming laziness becomes easier after each successful avoidance. You’ll soon discover the strategies that work for you. Avoid letting laziness derail your success and productivity.

Your inner world has a tremendous impact on your circumstances. Your beliefs affect your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Your actions ultimately create your life. Interestingly, many of your beliefs are unfounded, and your thoughts and emotions are largely habitual. Changing any of these internal components will affect the results you experience.

Fortunately, your inner world is under your control, though making changes can be challenging.

Change your mind and your life will follow:

1. Start and end your day by experiencing gratitude. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have. Instead, spend a few minutes in the morning and before bed to list your blessings.

* By focusing on the positive, you’ll brighten your mood and increase the number of good things that come into your life.

2. Focus on solutions. It’s a mistake to spend your time focusing on your problems. It makes you feel terrible and hopeless. It also fails to rectify the challenge you’re facing. When something is going wrong in your life, switch into solution-finding mode.

* What can you do to make a positive change? You have far more options that you realize.

3. Take care of your body. One of the common causes of depression has been found to be undiagnosed heart disease. When your body is out of sorts, it skews the way you interpret the world. We are guided by our feelings, and when your health is compromised, your emotions can be misleading.

4. Stay grounded in reality. Most of us live in a fantasyland. We’re thinking about the past or speculating on the future. However, if you concentrate on living wisely and well in the present moment, the future will bring the joy you hope for.

* Remember that life is whizzing by 24/7. The actions you take right now determine your future. You can’t act today if your mind is elsewhere.

5. Use positive affirmations. Give yourself the gift of positive thoughts and uplifting self-talk throughout the day. Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions. Positive thoughts will fill you with positive emotions. With positive thoughts, you can change your world.

6. Examine your beliefs. Make a list of the beliefs that are holding you back and then question them. Where did you get this belief? Why do you believe it’s accurate? Is there a possibility that this belief is false? How much evidence do you really have in support of this belief?

7. Track your thoughts. Set an alarm, perhaps on your smart phone, to notify you each hour. When the alarm sounds, consider how you’ve used your mind over the previous 60 minutes.

* What did you think about? Was your attention focused on your work, or did you worry about the cable bill? Did you use your mind to better your future?

* Measuring yourself each hour will help you to stay focused. It’s too easy to fall into old patterns if you only check yourself once per day.

8. Learn to meditate. Meditation has many physical and mental benefits. It can reduce stress, strengthen your health, help to strip away your erroneous beliefs, and bring you clarity and focus. Meditation is one action that can have a huge, positive effect on your life. Incorporate time for meditation into your schedule each day.

Most of us believe we’re victims of our circumstances, but we’re actually victims of our own thinking. No matter how bad your situation might be, someone has started with an even worse situation and led an incredible life. Changing your inner world is the key to changing your outer world.

If your goal is to lose weight rapidly, then it’s crucial to control your calories. The success of your weight loss journey depends on your ability to cut calories on a daily basis. Luckily, it’s not difficult to cut calories from your daily meals!

Try these easy strategies to cut calories, one meal at a time:

1. Avoid high-calorie salad dressings and toppings. Salad dressings and extra toppings can add 200 or more calories to your meal!

* Once you add dressing, croutons, bacon, and other toppings, you sabotage what could be a healthy, low-calorie, side dish or meal.

2. Watch your coffee additions. Similar to salads, your coffee can have hidden calories in it. Do you add creamer, whipped cream, or other toppings to your coffee?

* You can reduce hundreds of calories by eliminating sugar and other “extras” in your coffee. You may want to try low-calorie flavorings or stick to simple black coffee with no sugar.

3. Limit cocktails. Alcohol has a high number of calories, and juices or other additives can make it even higher. You don’t want these empty calories if you’re trying to lose weight fast!

4. Consider miniature desserts. It’s hard to avoid craving sweets when you’re on a diet. Luckily, miniature desserts can let you indulge in the sweetness without a high number of calories. Naturally, it’s important to eat them in moderation.

5. Count your servings before you eat. It’s important to read labels on products and be aware of the serving size.

* By counting the number of items in a serving, you can control your calories. This is easier with items such as crackers or other solid foods. For other foods, measure out an approximate serving size as noted on the label.

6. Beware of too much pasta. Pasta can be part of a healthy diet, but if it’s part of every meal, then the calories add up quickly.

* Did you know the typical serving size of pasta in restaurants has more than 1,000 calories? Your home-cooked version can also be high in calories. If you love pasta and can’t avoid it, then consider limiting the portion sizes.

7. Be careful with healthy snacks. Healthy treats can still be loaded with calories. It’s important to remember that even healthy foods need to be eaten in moderation.

* If you’re eating processed or packaged foods that claim to be healthy, you may have to deal with a separate issue. These foods may not be as healthy as they claim, and they may have a great deal of calories.

8. Skip the clean plate club. Your parents may have taught you that it’s healthy to be part of the clean plate club and eat everything in front of you. However, if you’re on a diet, you don’t have to eat your entire plate of food.

* It’s more important to pay attention to your body and stop eating when you feel full. As an adult, you shouldn’t feel forced to eat everything on a dish.

You can lose weight and have a healthier diet by watching your calories. Cutting calories doesn’t have to be a difficult or annoying process. Eliminate the highest-calorie culprits and enjoy most items in moderation and you’ll see the pounds start to disappear.

Most of us rarely venture from our comfort zones. We perform the same actions and create situations that are comfortable and familiar to us. Unfortunately, life doesn’t change until our actions change.

New actions often fall outside of your current comfort zone. Since humans naturally seek comfort, this is quite the conundrum. It seems that one has to choose between comfort and growth.

Personal growth is for the brave.

Try these tips to take new actions and see positive changes in your life:

1. Make a change from your common media. Read a different type of book than you normally read. Listen to a new type of music. Watch a movie or TV show that you would’ve never considered before. Shake things up a little bit by watching and listening to something new.

2. Try new foods. Have you ever had Vietnamese or Korean food? Pick up the yellow pages and find a new restaurant. It’s uncomfortable to try new foods. That’s precisely the point. Learn to deal with a little discomfort.

3. Shake up your other routines. Try being a vegan for a week or get up two hours earlier. Take the bus downtown instead of driving. Meditate each evening for a month. Avoid procrastination for a week. Take on some new activities.

4. Take a comfort zone challenge. This has become a popular idea. The only purpose of a comfort zone challenge is to increase your resistance to social judgement. You build your courage and confidence, but never put yourself in any real danger.
A few examples include:

* Lie down on the sidewalk for 30 seconds in a busy city.

* Sing your favorite song aloud in the grocery store.

* Walk through the mall with your shirt on backwards.

* Start a conversation with a very attractive man or woman.

* Draw a smiley face on your forehead and walk around town.

5. Make small changes. Big changes are scary. Make a small change in your life and take things a little further each week. If you’re afraid of heights, look out a second story window. Next week, try the third floor. Several small changes are as effective as a single, larger one. This is easier than a comfort zone challenge, but much slower.

6. Understand the benefits of getting outside your comfort zone. Studies have shown that maximum productivity and performance happen during times of low to moderate stress. Stress helps us focus and perform. Being too comfortable actually creates challenges.

* You’ll learn to deal with stress and uncertainty. By stressing yourself a bit on purpose, you’ll be better able to manage stress when it naturally arises.

7. Visit somewhere new. Spend the night in a new town. Try camping in the mountains. Rent an RV for a week. Or just try the mom and pop grocery store on the other side of town instead of the big box store down the street.

8. Learn to deal with being uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable isn’t always a good reason not to do something. Learn yoga, meditation, or another stress reducing technique. Apply it whenever you’re feeling stressed. It won’t be long before you can confidently do and experience new things.

Bust out of your comfort zone and live your life from a new perspective. Your comfort zone will trap you if you let it. It’s possible to live beyond your current habits. A little bravery can completely change your life. Try some new activities and see what happens. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. You’ll expand your comfort zone in ways you never thought you could.

Between hotel rooms, fast food stops, and unfamiliar restaurants, how do you continue to eat healthy while you’re traveling on the road? It’s not always easy, but sticking to a healthy diet is very possible. Discover how you can maintain your diet and your travel plans at the same time with these healthy eating tips.

Try these strategies:

1. Plan ahead. The sooner you can start planning, the easier it will be to stay on your diet. Where are you going? How will you get there? What will your schedule be like while you’re there? Once you’ve narrowed down the schedule for your trip, you can begin to plan for healthy food options.

* Do some online research for the locale you’ll be visiting. Where are the nearest grocery stores? Do you see healthy cafes or restaurants? What about nearby farmer’s markets?

* By finding safe and healthy locations that offer food that fits your lifestyle, you can maintain your diet.

2. Select grocery stores over fast food chains. Instead of stopping at a fast food chain and trying to decide how many calories are in the fries or burger, you can stop at a grocery store. Grocery stores are more likely to have delis that offer healthier options.

* Grocery stores offer packaged salads, bags of nuts, trail mix, healthy dips, and other choices. You can usually find cut up fruit and vegetables in plastic containers for sale at grocery stores.

* You may also want to reach for the yogurts, cheese, and smaller containers of milk. Dairy has protein in it, so you’ll feel fuller for a longer period of time. You can find a variety of dairy products in small or travel sizes.

3. Bring your own snacks. If you’re going on a road trip, you can pack a cooler with ice and bring healthy meats, vegetables, fruits, breads, and other snacks.

* If a cooler is not an option, then consider shelf-stable foods that can fit in a bag or purse. Can you find healthy nuts, crackers, or trail mix to fit your diet? What about dried fruits and vegetables?

4. Stay hydrated. It’s important to stay hydrated as you travel on the road. Dehydration can sometimes lead to overeating because your body becomes confused. Bring several water bottles with you or purchase them along the way. This will help you avoid dehydration and cravings for other foods.

5. Avoid simple carbohydrates. You may crave comfort food as you travel, but it’s not always a healthy option. Simple carbohydrates can raise your blood sugar and cause it to later crash dramatically. This can leave you irritated and tired.

* Instead of simple carbohydrates, reach for multi-grain, complex carbohydrates. Add protein such as peanut butter and nuts. You can purchase travel size containers of peanut butter.

* Also, eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day can help you avoid cravings. Try to schedule your stops and get food at the same time. You can avoid cravings by planning ahead.

Being on the road doesn’t mean you have to give up eating healthy. You can still maintain your healthy diet by planning ahead and following these guidelines.

Medicine isn’t the only way to fight inflammation. Your diet plays an important role too. Learn more about the health consequences of chronic inflammation, and what you can do to stay healthy.

Basic Facts about Inflammation

1. Understand healthy inflammation. Acute inflammation is natural and beneficial. Short-term swelling or fever are visible signs that your body is repairing itself after you break a bone or catch a cold.

2. Reduce chronic inflammation. On the other hand, ongoing inflammation causes tissue damage. Experts believe it’s an underlying factor associated with many health issues including Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and diabetes.

3. See your doctor. While there’s no single test to diagnose chronic inflammation, your health care team can address your individual concerns and recommend medical treatments and lifestyle changes that may help. Ask your doctor about how chronic conditions or food sensitivities may affect your risks.

Eat to Avoid or Lessen Chronic Inflammation

1. Think Mediterranean. Any balanced diet tends to reduce swollen tissues. Follow a program with specific anti-inflammation claims or just stick to a high-fiber Mediterranean diet.

2. Consume more produce. Plant products contain phytochemicals that promote tissue repair. Aim for at least 5 servings a day of vegetables and fruits.

3. Minimize processed foods. Refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and saturated fats have the opposite effect. Drink water instead of soda. Trade in white rice and pasta for brown rice and whole wheat versions.

4. Go fish. Fatty fish is loaded with heart-friendly Omega-3 fatty acids. Good choices include salmon, mackerel, and trout.

5. Spice it up. Give your salt shaker a rest. Experiment with a wide range of spices famous for their anti-inflammatory properties. Browse your grocer’s spice section for turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. Grow your own garlic.

6. Consider supplements. While it’s preferable to acquire most of your vitamins and minerals from food, supplements can fill in certain deficiencies. For example, fish oil can provide Omega-3’s if you’re a vegan or just don’t like the taste of sardines.

More Anti-Inflammation Practices

1. Watch your weight. Experts debate whether obesity causes inflammation or if it’s the other way around. Whatever the case, the two conditions are closely linked. Shedding excess pounds often relieves arthritis pain and other symptoms.

2. Measure your waist. The way your weight is distributed counts too, because abdominal fat triggers tissue damage. The general guidelines for waist measurements are 35 inches or less for women and 40 for men.

3. Move more. Physical activity promotes weight loss and inhibits inflammation. Even gentle exercise like walking is effective.

4. Floss regularly. Your teeth and gums affect your whole body because the bacteria in your mouth can travel through your blood. Brushing and flossing each day gives you much more than a pretty smile. Dental hygiene protects your heart and other organs.

5. Manage stress. Maybe there’s a connection between your smart phone that makes you available 24/7 and chronic inflammation that doesn’t know when to shut itself off. Make relaxation a priority. Use your vacation days and unwind with daily meditation or a warm bath.

6. Be patient. While anti-inflammatory medications often relieve symptoms immediately, lifestyle changes take longer to yield results. It may take a few days to see the first results, and several weeks or months to achieve dramatic progress. The bonus is that there will be no adverse side effects.

Fight disease while you enjoy a healthy diet. Anti-inflammation eating is a lifestyle choice that can help you lead a longer and more active life, especially when you combine good nutrition with other positive habits like regular exercise and good quality sleep.

Moving can be tough on children. A recent study found that kids who move frequently have fewer close friendships and lower life satisfaction as adults. Fortunately, parents can help ease the transition.

That’s important because census data shows that more families are moving again. Migration is up after a few years when the recession kept Americans on hold waiting to see what would happen to home prices and employment prospects.

If you’re planning to relocate, consider these tips. See how to turn moving day into less of a trial and more of an adventure for all ages.

Things to Do Before Moving Day

1. Radiate positive energy. Be upbeat about the changes you’re making. Your children will be reassured by your cheerful attitude, especially if you’re in the midst of difficult circumstances like a divorce.

2. Consider your timing. If the decision on when to move is in your hands, think about how to minimize the impact. Generally, kids under 6 will experience the least disruption while teens have a lot invested in being around for prom and graduation.

3. Talk it over. In any case, discuss your plans. Hold a family meeting and spend one-on-one time with each child. Listen to their concerns and answer questions candidly.

4. Hand out assignments. Invite each family member to participate in the process. Small kids can sort their toys or stick labels on boxes, while the older ones can work on room plans and mapping out routes.

5. Arrange babysitting. On the other hand, you can wrap up dishes and glasses faster without toddlers running around. Hire a baby sitter or ask a friend to watch them.

6. Research the neighborhood. Preview your new hangouts. Browse online together to check out libraries, parks, and ice cream parlors.

7. Visit your new home. If possible, take a walk through your next residence. If that’s not feasible, take photos that you can share with your kids to start generating excitement about that big backyard or extra bathrooms.

Things to Do on Moving Day and Beyond

1. Enjoy playtime. Some markers or crayons can turn a cardboard box into a puppet theater or play oven. Take a break to walk around the block or toss a Frisbee.

2. Bring personal boxes. Ask each family member to prepare a box with items they’ll want right away like their teddy bear or toothbrush. Keep them close by along with a cooler full of snacks.

3. Set up kids’ rooms first. Kids will feel more relaxed if they have a spot they can call their own. Install their bed and curtains before you tackle the other rooms.

4. Eat a fun dinner. Order your family’s favorite takeout meal or throw together something easy like sandwiches or chili that you made ahead of time. Spread out a picnic blanket, and take a picture.

5. Regulate your schedule. Give your kids a sense of consistency by sticking to your usual bedtimes. Observe your shared rituals like Sunday morning bagels and Monday night movies.

6. Talk with your child’s teacher. Meet your child’s teacher as soon as possible so you can collaborate on getting oriented to a new school. Check in after a month or two to ask for feedback on how your child is adapting.

7. Connect with friends. Staying in touch with old classmates and forming new relationships will help your child to thrive. Brainstorm different approaches while letting them proceed at their own pace.

Moving is hard work, but it can draw your family closer together as you team up to hunt for cardboard boxes and fill out change of address cards. Think positive and help your children to love their new home.

Caffeine addiction is common. There’s something unsettling about knowing you’re addicted to a substance. It’s also challenging to quit. The detoxification symptoms are far less severe than quitting an opiate, but the elimination of caffeine has a unique set of withdrawal symptoms. Always remember that the symptoms are temporary.

In a few short weeks, you’ll feel amazing.

Discover how caffeine can be hazardous to your health:

1. Caffeine can raise blood pressure. Blood pressure is elevated for 2-3 hours after caffeine consumption. Hypertension causes damage to internal organs and the interior of blood vessels.

2. Caffeine can affect your bones. Caffeine has been shown to limit the metabolism and absorption of calcium. Excessive caffeine intake can increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis.

3. Caffeine can cause indigestion. Those that regularly consume caffeinated beverages are more likely to complain of an upset stomach.

4. Caffeine can affect the quality of sleep. Excessive caffeine consumption can lower the quality of sleep and cause insomnia.

5. Caffeine consumption can lead to adrenal fatigue. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands and increases alertness. Your adrenal glands can only take so much stimulation. Over stimulation can lead to exhaustion, a decreased ability to handle stress, and memory loss.

This is just the short list. Further research will show even more health hazards of caffeine. You’ll be surprised by how many of your body’s systems are impacted by caffeine.

Beat caffeine addiction one step at a time with these strategies:

1. Make a list of reasons for quitting. List the damage to your health and the financial impact. How much are you spending each month on caffeinated drinks? Give yourself a list of good reasons to remove caffeine from your life. Maximize your motivation for quitting.

2. Find a suitable substitute. It’s not just the caffeine that you enjoy. Whether it’s reading the paper at the local coffee shop with a latte or drinking soda with your chips at lunch, there’s a secondary benefit. Perhaps you can have green tea with your morning paper or try decaffeinated soda at lunch. Find a beverage that you enjoy that preserves the social benefits.

3. Decide if you want to change quickly or slowly. You can go cold turkey or decrease your caffeine consumption slowly over time. Taking the slow route has a better track record. Few are able to drop all caffeine in a single day and remain compliant.

* Cut down your caffeine consumption by 20% for the first week. If you’re drinking five cups of coffee each day, limit yourself to four. Add in one cup of your substitute drink.

* Continue reducing your consumption until you’re free of caffeine. In five short weeks, caffeine will become a thing of the past.

4. Take a nap. Studies have shown that a 20-minute nap can increase alertness more than a cup of coffee. If you can get away with it, close your office door and take a short nap. Remember to set an alarm! Consider taking a nap in your car during lunch and eating your lunch at another time.

5. Expect some discomfort. It’s likely that you’ll experience a small amount of discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any headaches or other aches and pains. See your physician if you’re having serious issues.

Caffeine addiction is common, and while it probably won’t ruin your life, there are consequences to both your health and sense of well-being. Beating caffeine addiction is best accomplished in steps. The discomfort will be lessened and the likelihood of a positive outcome is increased. Cut back on your caffeine intake by 20% today.

Medical tourism refers to the trend of going to another country to receive medical treatments. Many treatments and cosmetic procedures are available at a much lower cost than in the USA. However, this is a risky practice that can carry heavy consequences, including death.

Be safe! If you’re considering medical tourism, be fully aware of these dangers and take action to do what you can to minimize them:

1. Infection. One of the biggest risks of medical tourism is infections. Other parts of the world have different standards for sanitation, and medical facilities can be unsanitary.

* Infections can occur for a variety of reasons, including unsanitary practices and facilities. The equipment used during surgery may not be sterile.

* Bacterial and viral infections are a major risk. In addition, you may end up with a serious disease such as HIV from dirty needles and surgical equipment. These infections can be permanent issues and may cost you your life.

* Inspect the facilities ahead of time.

2. Medication dangers. You may require medications before, during, or after your treatment in another country.

* The medications you receive may be low quality or have incorrect ingredients.

* It’s common to find counterfeit medications during medical tourism journeys. These medications can hurt you.

* Research your doctor and the pharmacy that will be providing your medications.

3. Communication issues. If you don’t know the language of the other country, the risks are higher. You may not be able to communicate your health issues or ask for help if something goes wrong.

* Communication can be a serious issue in a foreign land. How will you be able to tell others about your needs and get the care you require?

* Misunderstandings can lead to serious complications after treatments.

4. Blood supply issues. You may require blood during or after your treatment, so it’s crucial that it’s safe. Does the foreign medical facility have high standards for blood donations?

* Standards for donations can vary greatly and put you at risk of getting a serious infection. You won’t be able to see the issue until it’s too late.

5. Travel concerns. Taking an airplane flight increases your risk of blood clots. Plus, the combination of surgery and airplane flights can make the risk even higher.

* Traveling can increase your risk of infection and complications after surgery.

6. Follow-up care. Foreign medical facilities have different rules for follow-up care.

* Will you receive adequate follow-up care in the foreign facility? It’s important to understand that your hospital or clinic stay may be cut short, and you might not get the follow-up care you need.

* What will you do if you have a serious infection or complication and can’t get the medical facility to treat you?

7. Legal issues. If there are issues with your surgery or treatment, what are your legal recourses?

* Foreign medical facilities may make it difficult for you to pursue a case. You may not have legal rights and may not be able to receive compensation for a mishandled surgery.

8. Credential issues. Foreign medical facilities may have different credential standards.

* Will you receive treatment from a licensed professional, or a person who isn’t capable of handling a procedure or surgery? How will you check the credentials and licenses in a foreign land with possible language barriers?

9. Hidden costs. Medical tourism may seem like a less expensive alternative, but it has hidden costs.

* Will you be able to afford all of the treatments and medications in a foreign medical facility? What if you require an extra-long hospital stay or extra care? It’s important to consider these additional costs.

Medical tourism can be a dangerous way to seek surgeries and other treatments. Understand the risks before you travel to get medical care.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Many of us live the same day repeatedly. We get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, and go to bed. The next day is a re-run. We all have other things we’d like to accomplish, but it seems that we run out of day before we have time to work on the more meaningful parts of life.

How much time do you spend on the most important aspects of your life – those activities that fulfill your life purpose? Has your life changed considerably in the last year? The last 10 years? At your current rate of progress, where will you end up 10 years from today?

Try these timesaving activities to free up part of your day for more important matters:

1. Create a to-do list each day. Spend a few minutes each evening and make a list for the following day. Decide how you’re going to spend your time each day. Include tasks that address both short-term needs and long-term objectives.

2. List your focus for the next year. It might be to get a promotion, increase your skill on the piano, or become a more effective parent. It’s not possible to reliably create a fantastic life or accomplish amazing things without being aware of them beforehand.

* Knowing your purpose for the next 12 months will prevent you from wasting your time on less important tasks.

3. Focus on progress and forget perfection. Perfection takes too long. It’s also not much better than doing the job well. Perfection is often used as an excuse to spend too much time on a task. Do the task at the appropriate level and move on.

4. Take a moment several times each day to evaluate your progress and activity. Are you spending your time wisely? Is there a better action you could be taking? It’s easy to be caught up in meaningless tasks. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing anything meaningful.

5. Monotask. It’s time for everyone to give up the notion that multitasking is efficient. Studies repeatedly show that multitasking is less efficient. Just because you’re better at multitasking than everyone else doesn’t mean it’s the optimal solution. Do one thing and then move on.

6. Notice how you waste time. When you’re bored, how do you amuse yourself? What do you do when you procrastinate? Social media, television, web surfing, and texting are the more common activities. Notice how you waste time and recognize when it happens.

* The sooner you’re able to stop yourself, the better the odds of success.

7. Just say “no.” That simple word can be challenging to utter. We don’t like to disappoint others. Once you have a reputation for saying “yes,” the requests never stop. You’ll be driving your neighbor to the airport and get stuck baking the cake for every office celebration.

* Refusing requests is a way of respecting your time and goals. Avoid biting off more than you can chew. Be helpful, but not at the expense of your own life.

8. Schedule time for yourself. Outside of work, meals, and sleep, most of us fail to schedule adequately. If your dream is to author a novel, build time into your daily schedule to sit down and write.

9. Declutter your life. Sure, get rid of the extra junk on the shelves, but there’s more to a full decluttering. Drop the activities, people, thoughts, and ideas that take up time or energy without providing an acceptable level of return. Let go of the things that prevent you from focusing on your life purpose.

It’s easy to squander away your time. With much of our days filled with work and sleep, it can be challenging to find the time for other activities. Define your purpose and make it a priority. Your life will be enhanced immeasurably.