What can I do in 2 months that will improve my life over time? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Alyssa Satara:
Whatever it is that you've always wanted to do; start today.
5 quick life improvement habits you should start today:
1) Working out
Working out not only improves your physical appearance and health, it also positively affects your mental and emotional state. When you workout regularly you start to build a habitual schedule. For many this helps to balance your sleep, as well as your daily routine.
When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins such as serotonin. Regularly working out is a great habit to develop that naturally promote happiness within you. It is also a great outlet for stress.
When done right it helps you build muscles that can help with back and joint problems. At the very least, working out regularly makes you stronger. It also helps to tighten up your physique, which tends to result in a positive boost of confidence.
2. Eating well
Clean eating is a great lifestyle to develop, and you will definitely notice the effects in two months--if not sooner. The average Western diet consists of 75% intake of processed foods, and a minimal intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. When this consumption is flipped, and the heart of your diet consists of fruit, veggies, and whole grains, your body is receiving the nutrients it needs.
When I decided to cut out junk and processed foods I had more mental and physical energy. Healthy eating lessens your risks for disease and improves your long-term health as much as it helps you feel better in the moment. When looking for quick and timely adjustments that will improve your life over time, healthy eating is at the top of the list.
3. Sleeping enough (but not too much)
This actually really hard for most people. Unfortunately people to tend to sleep not enough or way too much. Both tend to deplete your energy. While every person is different, the suggested amount of sleep is 8 hours a night.
When you prioritize aspects in your life over sleep--work, social life, hobbies--you neglect a natural process your body needs to fully function. Short-term side effects include a lack of focus, and constantly being tired. Long-term effects are more detrimental because the brain cells you lose from lack of sleep never regenerate.
Something you can start today that will positively affect the rest of your life is prioritizing your sleep.
While I strongly believe in living in the present, I think it's important to think about the future. Brainstorming is a great way to get ideas from your head out onto paper. This is a great habit that will ignite your creative side while complementing your productive side. In today's world a lot of us as "go go go". We forget about the importance of stopping for a second and visualizing.
You can brainstorm about your future career plans, problem solving, travel ideas, cooking suggestions, life improvement strategies ... you can brainstorm about whatever you want! It's a great way to process through your thoughts and to take a second to regroup offline.
5. Checking in with yourself
Checking in with yourself may be the most important thing you can start doing today that will improve your life over time. When this small action is compounded it leads to you getting to know yourself better. Asking yourself how things made you feel, or what you want to do, can help you understand yourself.
When you try to understand your reactions and actions you are able to more productively communicate to them other people in your life. This not only promotes better understanding to your relationships to others, it also benefits your relationship with yourself. Life can be challenging, but when you learn to check in with yourself it helps you process things. This drastically improves your self-awareness, which in itself can be life-changing.