9 Ways to Live a More Authentic Life

Authenticity is to be true to one’s personality and character. It means you’re willing to show the world who you really are. You’re willing to live the life that you were meant to live. Authenticity is the ability to show your uniqueness to the world.

There are very few authentic people in the world, but you know them when you see them.

We’re naturally drawn to authentic people. We feel comfortable with those that are willing to be themselves.

Use these strategies to live a more authentic life and show the world the real you:

1. Know your values. What’s important to you? Make a list of every quality you think is important for a person to have. Now, put that list in order. What are your five top values? When you know your values, the authentic choice in any situation is more obvious than when you don’t know your values.

2. Stop doing things you don’t want to do. You still need to pay your bills and take out the trash. However, you don’t have to play on the church softball team, drive your neighbor to the airport, or take care of your cousin’s cat. If something is too disagreeable for you, just say, “No.”

3. Do what you want to do. You can spend your time how you please. You don’t need a grand excuse or proof that you’re doing something noble on a cosmic level. The fact that you want to do it is a good enough reason. It’s important not to hurt anyone, including yourself, but feel free to play the harmonica, dance in your front yard, or wear white after Labor Day.

4. Keep an open mind. When your thinking is very rigid, you limit yourself and prevent your true self from shining through. Preconceived notions are prisons that block you from being authentic. Learn how to experience the world from a variety of perspectives and an open mind.

5. Trust your intuition. When you ignore your hunches, you feel out-of-sorts. Trust your instincts. They’ll let you know when you’re not being genuine.

6. Be self-aware. You can’t be authentic if you lack self-awareness. Notice how you feel. Ask yourself, “What do I need at this moment? How can I meet that need?” If you ignore your emotions, you can’t be self-aware.

7. Practice boldness. The biggest reason for a lack of authenticity is timidity. We want to say and do certain things, but we’re uncomfortable with standing out in any way. We feel vulnerable and exposed. A little discomfort never killed anyone, and there’s so much to be gained by being bold. Give it a try.

8. Openly share your opinion. Tell others what you think or how you feel about something. Of course, you’ll want to be tactful so you remain considerate of the feelings of those around you. Are you hesitant to share your thoughts on a topic? Ask yourself why that is.

9. Avoid perfectionism. Trying to be perfect is a huge limitation on your natural personality and expression. Avoiding mistakes and imperfection at all costs is a recipe for inauthenticity.

Life is short! It doesn’t make a lot of sense to pretend to be someone else.

Authenticity requires courage and dealing with discomfort. But if you want to live your life to the fullest, authenticity is required. Show the world the unique person you are, and celebrate your newfound freedom.

9 Ways to Enhance Your Relationship With Yourself

There’s no shortage of information on how to strengthen your relationship with your family, boss, or coworkers. However, you never hear about how to have a more productive relationship with yourself.

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you have! Most of the trouble you have with yourself is that you don’t know yourself well.

You may have spent most of your life avoiding yourself. We don’t want to address our shortcomings or deal with uncomfortable thoughts. But you can’t escape yourself, so you might as well make friends.

Try these techniques to develop a stronger relationship with yourself:

1. Start your day with gratitude and positive thoughts. Instead of reaching over for your cell phone to check the weather or to see if your Clash of Clans village was raided overnight, spend the time on yourself. Mentally list a few things that make you grateful to be alive. Tell yourself something positive.

* Give yourself the intention of having a good day.

* List your positive qualities.

* Get your day off to a good start with yourself.

2. Write in a journal. Your thoughts and life are worth recording. Take time each evening to write for a few minutes. You’ll gain a lot of insight and appreciation for your life. Show yourself that your life matters.

3. Let go of your avoidance behaviors. What do you do when you’re feeling emotionally under the weather? Shop? Eat? Get online? Instead of avoiding yourself, sit with yourself.

* Just breathe and notice your feelings and body sensations. Avoiding them just prolongs the cycle.

* In time, your negative emotions will dissipate without your attempts to hide from them.

4. Meditate. Think of meditation as spending quality time with yourself. Begin with just a few minutes and extend the time as you feel more comfortable. You’ll learn how your mind works by meditating.

5. Spend time on your personal development. What do you feel the need to learn?

* Social skills?

* Relaxation skills?

* Networking?

* Spiritual development?

* You spend so much time doing things for your boss, home, and family. Take a break and spend some time dealing with your own needs.

6. Have some fun. Plan some fun in your life. Get a monthly massage or meet a friend for ballroom dance lessons. It’s your life. Enjoy it.

7. Forgive yourself. You’ve made a few mistakes and missed out on a few sure-fire opportunities. That’s no reason to beat yourself up for the rest of your life. It’s time to let go of your past and forge ahead.

8. Groom yourself to a high standard. Take the time to shower each day and pay a regular visit to the barber or salon. Keep your grooming at a higher standard than others in your environment.

* Take good care of yourself and show the world how much you mean to yourself.

9. Get help if you need it. No one can handle everything all of the time. Sooner or later, we all need help. That help may come in the form of a trusted friend or professional help. Get the help you need. Remember, you’re worth it.

How well do you know yourself? How well do you manage yourself? Both could always use a little enhancement. It’s not always easy to live with yourself, but remember that you have a lot to offer yourself!

Spend some time each day being good to yourself. Have some fun and spend some time on your personal development. Strengthen the most important relationship of all – the one with yourself.

9 Techniques to Help You Manage Anger

There are many disadvantages to feeling anger. It’s a quick way to damage relationships. It also disengages the part of your brain that’s used to make rational decisions. We often do and say detrimental things when we’re angry.

How many times do you wish you could take back something you said? It only takes a few seconds to cause a lot of damage and pain. Avoiding this type of situation is a good enough reason to work on your anger management skills.

The ability to manage your emotional states is a valuable skill that will serve you well throughout your lifetime.

Practice these strategies to become a master of your anger:

1. Monitor your mental state. Notice when you’re starting to feel agitated. Anger is much easier to control if caught early. Once you’re in the middle of an episode of full-blown rage, it becomes more challenging.

* Monitor all your negative emotions. They’re all easier to manage when they first appear. As they gain strength, the tools available to manage them become less likely to work.

2. Learn to let go and avoid holding a grudge. Grudges are a great way to keep yourself primed to feel angry with little provocation. Let go of your anger and forgive. You’ll feel better and life will be more enjoyable. You’re only hurting yourself when you hold a grudge.

3. Take a deep breath. In fact, try taking 10 deep breaths. A slow, deep breath while thinking the word “relax” can make a difference.

* The quicker you can catch your anger, the better this technique will work. As soon as you feel yourself becoming angry, take a few deep breaths. This requires practice.

4. Give yourself a timeout. You don’t have to be a child to take a timeout. You have the luxury of giving yourself a timeout regardless of your age. A few minutes of alone time can be just the ticket to managing your anger successfully.

5. Think. Consider the long-term ramifications of what you’re about to say. This is incredibly challenging. Anger makes it much more difficult to think and be rational. Again, the quicker you catch yourself becoming angry, the more likely you’ll be able to use the technique.

6. Be more flexible in your views. What causes anger? It’s caused by others failing to do what you think they should do. They’ve said or done something that fails to meet your expectations. The more open minded you are, the less likely you are to get angry.

7. Be a good listener. It’s hard to become angry if you’re doing a good job of listening. It’s only when you take your attention off the other person that you have the opportunity to think and generate anger. You’re also less likely to jump to the wrong conclusion if you’re listening intently. Work on your listening skills.

8. Learn to share your thoughts and feelings in a calm manner. Assert yourself and let people know what you’re thinking without becoming more emotional than necessary. Start by being more assertive in common matters of your daily life.

9. Get professional help. If you’ve tried everything you can think of and you’re still struggling to manage your anger, get help from an expert. You hire experts to fix your car and manage your legal issues. There’s no reason not to hire someone to help with your anger issues.

Taken to the extreme, anger can be dangerous to those around you and yourself. Even mild anger can be harmful to relationships and your career.

Avoid allowing anger to make your life more challenging. There are many tricks and tips you can use to manage anger yourself, but seek professional assistance if you’re failing to make sufficient progress.

6 Ways to Boost Your Mood in an Instant

Do you ever feel like you just got up on the wrong side of the bed? Or maybe you started out the day great, but then something happened that spoiled it for you. You might be thinking that the day is shot. But you don’t have to let that ruin your whole day!

Luckily, you can uplift your mood – without drugs or other substances – just as quickly as it went downhill.

Try these methods to turn that frown upside down:

1. Find something to fix. Do you have some household chores that can be done? Is a faucet leaking in the kitchen or bathroom? Physical activity combined with fixing something around you can be a powerful way to lift your spirits.

* Whether you fix a broken door handle, leaking faucet, or sew on a button, these simple fixes matter. They’re distracting, easy, and fulfilling at the same time.

* Even changing a lightbulb can make you feel accomplished and boost your mood quickly.

2. Reach out to an old friend. Talking with an old friend can bring back positive memories. Get in touch with a friend online or over the phone.

* Catch up with them and talk about your past. Relive some of the memories you had together.

3. Cross something off your to-do list. A long to-do list can feel intimidating and weigh you down. Try to cross off at least one thing on the list and be proud of what you’ve done.

* Start by picking the easiest and fastest task on the list. Finish it quickly.

* Then, cross off the task with a bold marker or pen. This physical act can help boost your mood.

4. Watch a comedy. Do you have a favorite funny movie that always makes you feel better? Consider having a comedy night at home. Turn on your favorite movie or TV show and relax. Turn it into a real movie night with fresh popcorn and dimmed lights.

5. Spend time with pets. Research studies have shown that simply petting a cat can calm you down and make you feel better.

* Take your dog for a walk at a local park or around the neighborhood.

* Spend time cuddling with your cat and rubbing its stomach.

* Talk to your pets and forget your troubles.

* Get out your pet’s’ favorite toys and play together.

6. Change your diet. Sometimes small changes in the diet can have a big impact on your mood.

* Talk to your doctor and get tested for nutritional deficiencies. Find out if you need to take supplements such as calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, folate, chromium, or vitamin D. They can all influence your mood.

* Eat some carbohydrates or chocolate (in moderation, of course).

* Whole foods such as vegetables and fruit can also help your brain.

* Eat more fish. Salmon, sardines, tuna and other types of fish can improve your mood. Research studies show that they have omega-3s that affect the brain. They increase the levels of chemicals that make you feel happy.

* Drinking more tea is also linked to a better mood. Black, green, and other varieties of tea have been connected to happier moods. They can also help you focus and feel more alert.

You can boost your mood quickly with these tips. Try them and find your favorite method. You can make this your go-to strategy for whenever you want to uplift your mood.

6 Tasty Ways to Add Healthy Chia Seeds to Your Diet

Are you aware of the health benefits of chia seeds? These small white or black seeds are packed with nutrients. Eating chia seeds is an easy way to get more protein, fiber, and nutrients. They also have omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus – all essential for optimum health.

Since they don’t have a strong flavor, it’s easy to incorporate them into many recipes.

Try these tips to add more chia seeds to your meals:

1. Bake with chia seeds. Chia seeds are versatile. Experiment with them in cakes, muffins, and cookies. Mix them in the original batters or sprinkle them on top of the finished products. Try different versions to find the one you prefer.

* Consider making a chia seed bread loaf in the oven. You can crush the seeds in a blender or mixer and add them to the dough. Chia seeds add protein and fiber to bread and other baked goods.

* Try using chia seeds instead of poppy seeds in your recipes. They still taste delicious and add a fun crunch.

2. Add chia seeds to puddings. Chia seeds work well in dairy and nondairy versions of puddings. Try blending almond milk with fruit, nuts, and chia seeds in a blender. Then, freeze the concoction until it is solid, or refrigerate it for a more fluid blend.

* If you prefer to use chia seeds as a garnish, sprinkle them on top of puddings. A couple of teaspoons is usually enough.

3. Make chia seed water. Chia seed water is an easy and fast way to add more nutrition to your diet.

* It is easy to make chia seed water in your kitchen. Soak about half a cup of chia seeds in six cups of water. Wait 20 to 30 minutes. Then, strain out the chia seeds and drink the water.

4. Try chia seed cereal. If you’re interested in trying something new for breakfast, make chia seed cereal.

* First, soak the chia seeds in dairy, almond, soy, or other milk overnight.

* Add the chia seeds to a bowl in the morning. They should be softer and plumper. Fill the bowl with more milk. Then, add berries or bananas. Sprinkle with additional nuts or cinnamon and enjoy.

5. Add chia seeds to a stir fry. Whether you’re making a vegetarian stir fry or one with seafood and meat, chia seeds are a good addition.

* Simply sprinkle chia seeds into the pan along with other ingredients. They should get darker and crunchier in the pan as you stir fry your meal.

* Chia seeds can replace sesame seeds in some recipes.

6. Use chia seeds as a coating or thickener. Instead of breadcrumbs, consider using chia seeds to coat fish, meat, or other food.

* Grind up chia seeds in a blender, so they are smaller and easier to use. Try to turn them into a powder.

* Spread the powder on top of fish or other meat instead of breadcrumbs. Cook them the same way as you would other breaded products. Just ensure they’re not overcooked and turn black.

* Some recipes require breadcrumbs or other things as thickeners. However, you can use chia seeds to thicken meatballs and burgers. Simply add powdered or ground chia seeds to the uncooked meat. This can also help save money by reducing the amount of meat you need.

Chia seeds are delicious and healthy. Try these tips and add more chia seeds to your meals at home for easy, tasty additional nutrients.

14 Quick Actions That Will Enrich Your Life

Do you feel like you’re busy all the time, but you’re still stuck in a rut? It’s a mistake to assume that your lack of free time means you’re doomed to stay in your current situation.

You can make a positive difference in your life with just a few minutes each day!

If you make a habit of using your free moments constructively, you can make great strides.

Give these actions a try and discover a new level of enjoyment in your life.

Enhance your life each day with just a few minutes:

1. Learn a valuable skill from a friend. You might have a friend that’s great with people or has fantastic persistence. Maybe one of your friends is overflowing with self-confidence. Find out how they do it.

2. Create a mission statement. What do you stand for? What is your life about? Think about it and create a mission statement for yourself. Your statement will evolve over time as you change and grow.

3. Describe your ideal existence five years from now. What do you want to see, have, do, and experience in your future? Make a decision now. Envision the details of your desired daily life.

4. Acquire new knowledge. There’s no reason to be the same person you’ve been for the last five years. Learn something new and expand your skillset. What would be useful for you to learn? How could you enhance your ability to be successful at work?

5. Eliminate one time-waster from your life. Just for a day, avoid one of the ways you waste time when you’re bored or stressed. You might decide to continue your new pattern.

6. Wake up early and put the time to good use. The morning hours can be especially productive. Take advantage of them.

7. Read something worthwhile for 20 minutes. Turn off the TV for 20 minutes and read something with the potential to change your life for the better. Just 20 minutes each day can have a great impact.

8. Start a journal. Record your life and learn from it. You might even want to allow your children to read it some day.

9. Work your brain with something fun. Play a game of chess or solve a few brain-teasers. Put away the calculator and use the old noggin for a change. Exercise your brain as you would your body.

10. List the positive traits of someone you don’t like. You can easily list the negative traits of those you don’t like. List the positive traits and see how your perspective changes.

11. Read one personal development article each day. Spend a little time learning more about personal development. Eventually, you’ll find an idea that really resonates with you. It only takes one good idea to change your life.

12. Evaluate your day. Never allow a day to go to waste. Take a few minutes to list the good points and not-so-good points of each day. See what you can learn.

13. Embarrass yourself. One of the challenges we all share is caring too much about what others think. Intentionally embarrass yourself. Wear mismatched shoes to the store. Walk down the street with a shower cap on your head. Make a fool out of yourself and notice that no one cares.

14. Join a community. Humans need to be part of a community. It might be a group in your neighborhood, the local bridge club, or a softball team. Find a group of people you enjoy and spend time with them.

Make self-improvement a regular part of your life. A few minutes each day can put you on the road to greater success and happiness. Make the most of your free time and avoid time-wasters.

You can live the life you’ve only dreamed about so far. And you can get there one step at a time.

13 Ways to Recharge Without Taking a Vacation

If you’re like most working adults, chances are you’re shortchanging yourself on vacation days. In today’s growing gig economy, many professionals have no vacation benefits.

Even if you have a traditional staff position, you may feel like your boss discourages you from using your leave time. Plus, you may be concerned about being replaced if you spend too many hours away from the office.

Yet, vacations have been proven to be beneficial to both employers and employees. Taking a break from work increases productivity and prevents burnout.

While there’s no substitute for an adequate vacation policy, you can make the time in between your getaways more pleasant and satisfying. Try these ideas for taking mini breaks at work and away from the office.

Taking Mini Breaks at Work:

1. Vary your tasks. Take a fresh look at your job description. Find ways to spend more time on the responsibilities that help you to achieve a sense of flow. Maybe you can delegate the rest or at least alternate between them to break up any monotony.

2. Redecorate your cubicle. A change of scenery can brighten your mood. Bring in a flowering plant that will be easy to care for. Set out pictures of your family and pets. Start a collection of miniature toys or unusual desk accessories.

3. Stretch out. Stand up, and do some simple exercises about every half hour. Bend forward and reach for your toes. Raise your arms over your head and lower them down slowly to each side with your palms facing forward.

4. Walk around. Ask your colleagues if they’d be interested in scheduling a walking meeting. They may like the idea of going outside for a little fresh air and exercise while you discuss business matters.

5. Develop your career. Taking control of your future could help you to access more vacation time and reach other work-related goals. Assess your skills and target areas where you want to grow.

Taking Mini Breaks Away From Work:

1. Shift your focus. Do you find yourself thinking about the office even when you’re at home? Make a deliberate effort to disengage. Create rituals that help you to put work behind you, like going to the gym or taking your dog for a walk when you arrive home.

2. Turn off your phone. If possible, avoid taking calls or checking emails related to work. Talk with your boss about how to balance after-hour emergencies with your need for personal space.

3. Work on your hobby. Studies show that active leisure is more refreshing than watching TV. Pursue your interests in wine collecting or building furniture. Visit museums and public gardens. Play sports and board games.

4. Connect with others. Honor your own needs for solitude and social time. When you’re hanging out with your friends and family, use your time together to validate and support each other.

5. Explore future destinations. Research shows that planning a vacation can be almost as beneficial as the actual trip. Give yourself something to look forward to by sending away for brochures or talking with others about their ideas. Build anticipation by sampling local dishes or watching foreign movies.

Additional Tips:

1. Plan your day. Schedule breaks each day instead of waiting for things to slow down. Your mind and body need ongoing rest.

2. Give generously. Thinking about others makes us feel less burdened. Do something to make your spouse or a stranger smile.

3. Consider your purpose. Any task is more bearable when you remember the reasons behind it. Ask yourself what you like about your work.

Protect your career and take care of your health by giving yourself enough downtime to refresh and recharge. When a vacation is out of the question, treat yourself to some rest and relaxation wherever you find yourself.

11 Ways to Stimulate Personal Growth

The mere thought of personal growth is enough to make many of us feel discouraged. It’s challenging to make meaningful changes. But if you want to make a difference in the world, or even just your own life, you’ll have to try something new.

Live your life to the fullest and make the most of your time and energy with these personal growth strategies.

Stimulate your personal growth and attain a new level of success:

1. Spend time with a new group of people. When you spend time with the same group of people all of the time, you aren’t exposed to new thoughts, ideas, or conversations. Get a fresh perspective by interacting with a new group.

2. Read. There’s more information available than you’re likely to ever need. Why reinvent the wheel when someone else has probably already walked the path that interests you. Investigate what’s available to you and learn from those that have already been successful.

3. Learn to take action quickly. You’ve had the experience of being excited for a moment about a new idea, only to talk yourself out of it within the first 15 seconds. The key is to take action before you give yourself a chance to think about it. Make a list, a phone call, or sketch out a quick plan.

4. Learn to embrace discomfort. One of the characteristics of successful people is they don’t allow discomfort to derail their efforts. On the other hand, underachievers are easily discouraged by discomfort.

5. Avoid changing too much at once. Your brain cringes at the mere thought of change. You’ll have better luck if you go slowly and strive for consistent progress. Think how much progress you would have made over the last three years if you had just spent 20 minutes each day on a single project.

6. Write. You experience a different perspective when you write your thoughts. It also makes a greater impression on your brain. If you want to do something, think it, say it, write it, and read it.

7. Eat nutritiously. Garbage in – garbage out. Give yourself effective fuel for your efforts. Your body and mind run better when you eat healthy foods.

8. Learn from your experience. The truth is that we are all our worst enemies. We commit the same mistakes over and over. Learn from your past.

9. Evaluate each day. At the end of the day, take a few minutes and write down what you did well and what you could have done better. Over time, you’ll find yourself taking more effective actions and fewer actions that don’t support you.

10. Set a few goals and review them each day. Write down your goals and read them a couple of times each day. Ask yourself at the end of the day what you’ve done to move yourself closer to your goals.

11. Exercise. Your brain functions better if you get some exercise each day. Without exercise, your brain falls into a rut. Use your muscles and get your heart beating for at least 20 minutes each day.

Life is easier if you learn something new each day and avoid repeating your mistakes. If your life hasn’t changed for the better over the last few years, that might be a sign that you could use some more effective strategies.

Personal growth is challenging. In fact, any change is challenging. But you can overcome the challenge and step onto a path that takes you where you want to go.

A new level of personal growth is around the corner. Use these tips as a way to get started on your quest to grow yourself and enrich your life.

10 Smart Strategies to Strengthen Your Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is a common challenge, regardless of your age, background, or socioeconomic status.

We all know that high self-esteem is a good thing, but how does one go about developing it?

There are a plethora of programs and books designed to raise your self-esteem, but it’s still a challenge. Try these top 10 tips to give your self-esteem the boost you seek.

Increase your self-esteem and feel great about yourself with these strategies:

1. Get support from your greatest fan. You probably have a friend or family member that always finds a way to lift you up when you’re feeling down. Pay them a visit and let them know you’re struggling.

2. Remember that self-esteem is a symptom of detrimental thinking habits. Anything that was said or happened in the past is over. You can only keep those things alive with your thoughts. Uplift your thinking and your self-esteem will begin to rise as well.

3. Learn how to take a compliment. Compliments are hard to take when your self-esteem is low. Ironically, that’s when you need them the most. Smile and thank the other person for the compliment. Resist the urge to dismiss compliments you receive.

4. You’re much more interesting than the person you pretend to be. We develop the urge to conform in elementary school.But you’re not like everyone else. You’re unique. You’ll make more friends and have more influence if you’re willing to be yourself.

5. You’ve already accomplished amazing things. Two of the most challenging things anyone has ever accomplished are learning to walk and learning to talk. Think about how long each takes to do well. They both require years of constant practice. Anything else you want to do with your life pales by comparison.

6. You can learn social skills. Many people with low self-esteem struggle with relationships or social situations. You’re not flawed; you’re just not aware of how to do it. Many children learn these skills while others do not. It’s never too late.

7. Other people aren’t thinking about you. It’s hard to believe, but people aren’t talking behind your back or thinking negative thoughts about you. Everyone else is wondering what you’re thinking and saying.

8. Be willing to say “No.” It’s natural to feel bad about yourself when you agree to do things you don’t want to do. It’s disrespectful to yourself. Give yourself the respect you deserve and refuse requests when you genuinely don’t want to do them.

9. Beware of social media. While social media can make it easy to stay in touch with others, understand that most of what you see is misleading. Few people are presenting their lives honestly. It’s a place to showcase the high points of your life. Everyone has challenges, but you’ll rarely see them on social media.

10. Develop your strengths. Are you a great dancer? Take a few dance classes. Are you a good writer? Take a writing course and develop your writing skills further. Run with your strengths and find ways to leverage them.

Imagine what your life would look like if you consistently enjoyed high self-esteem. Imagine how much more enjoyable life would be and how much more you could accomplish. The change in your life would be stunning.

Begin the journey of enhancing your opinion of yourself today. No one else will do it for you. You’ll be glad you did!

10 Intriguing Ways to Challenge Yourself for 30 Days

Most likely, you won’t change the world in a month, but you can create new habits that put you on the road to making a difference in your world.

Most people can drop or create a habit within 30 days. The only item you need is commitment. Do you have what it takes?

This list will provide you with a few ideas. Put your creative thinking cap on, and you’ll develop a few of your own ideas for challenges that will make a positive difference in your life.

Challenge yourself and change your life:

1. Try a new recipe. Let’s face it. You have the same thing for breakfast every day. Only a couple of different things for lunch. And maybe 10 different things for dinner. You’ve been eating the same stuff for years! Try something new. You’re bound to find something you love. Eat something new each day for a month.

2. Drink only water for a month. How much do you rely on your morning cafe latte? You’re about to find out. Just go one month without drinking anything other than what your adult body was designed to drink – water.

3. Give up your news habit. See how many days you can go without watching or reading any news. Think you’ll miss out on something important? Your friends will tell you. Besides, the news hasn’t changed much for the last 100 years. Look at an old newspaper for proof.

4. Take a cold shower. There are lots of health benefits to be found from taking cold showers. They’re great for your mood and immune system. See how tough you really are. One tip: Rather than starting with a cold shower, start with a hot shower and gradually keep turning the temperature down. It’s refreshing!

5. Wake up 30 minutes earlier. Get out of bed 30 minutes earlier and do something productive. You might try learning Italian or reading. It might be a good time for a walk. Maybe you’ll meditate, pray, or write. See how special the morning can be before everyone else gets up!

6. Avoid complaining. Thirty days without complaining? Can you do it? You might struggle at first if you have a habit of complaining. But you’ll feel great by the end of the month!

7. Avoid negative thoughts. How about skipping all negative thoughts for a month? It’s important to catch yourself early in the process, and there will be plenty of times you’ll have to catch yourself. Breaking this one negative habit can make a huge positive difference in your life.

8. Do something nice for someone each day. You can do 30 things for the same person or for a variety of people. The choice is yours. Try to accomplish this anonymously. You’ll learn how good it feels to do something for someone else without getting anything in return.

9. Study something for a month. Pull the old guitar out of the attic. Learn how to paint. Study web marketing. This is a great challenge to combine with waking up earlier. What will you learn this month?

10. Exercise daily for a month. It doesn’t have to be challenging, but do something physical each day for 30 days. Think of ways you can enjoy this time. You might shoot baskets in the driveway one day and meet a friend for tennis the next. Take the family for a hike. Play with your dog. Just do something active.

What ideas do you have for a 30-day challenge? Visualize how great you’ll feel if you can make just a couple of worthwhile changes over the next month. Your life will be moving toward new possibilities. You can change your habits in 30 days. Let’s get started!