It’s been said the small things are what ultimately drive us crazy – those little irritations and frustrations of daily life that just wear on us. But I think the opposite is true, too. Small good things can make our daily lives richer and more rewarding.
The folks at Quartz.com recently asked their readers about the little things that make a big difference in their lives. I love this list.
Wake up without an alarm. The jangle of the buzzer or blast of clock-radio music sets a jarring tone for your day. Teach yourself to wake up without an alarm and ease into the day to the sound of the world waking up around you.
Drink good coffee. Or tea. Or chai. Whatever your preference, brew a quality cup and savor it. You’re worth it.
Limit your commute. Many of my financial planning clients decide to retire largely because of a grinding commute. If you can’t live closer to work, see if you can get a flextime schedule that allows you to miss rush hour.
Wear comfortable shoes. No piece of clothing has so much power over us. Uncomfortable shoes can ruin your day. Yes, this is a tough one for women, but try to strike a good balance between fashion and comfort when buying work shoes.
Be comfortable at your desk. Make sure your chair offers the right support, and that your computer monitor is placed and optimized to reduce eyestrain. Consider a stand-up desk.
Move around. The benefits of even limited daily physical activity are nearly endless. Walk to your lunch appointment. Take the dogs for a walk tonight. Go for a swim every Saturday. Some motion is better than none, and it will make you feel better.
Keep your home tidy and organized. This is a guaranteed stress reducer, as it makes every little task – from finding a book to getting ready for work — just a bit easier.
Eat good food. It doesn’t have to be fancy, locally sourced or organic. But the simpler and fresher, the better.
Sleep on good sheets. Sleep is central to our health and happiness. Don’t let cheap, scratchy linens keep you awake at night.
Understand your influence. You – and only you — have the power to improve anything and everything in your life. Don’t complain. Fix it. Don’t like your job? Work to make it better, or get a new one. Don’t like how the sales clerk spoke to you? Address it. Unhappy with your local government? Get involved. Want to be better at golf? Take lessons.
Be grateful. We live in an amazing time, and you likely live better than 99% of the humans who have walked this Earth, including kings and emperors. Remember that when you are about to get all worked up over what is, in reality, a small inconvenience.