Don’t wait for an opportunity.
This article talks about some of the very basic things which each of us can do to improve our lives and achieve success. Following the advice given in this article will not only help you professionally but also personally.
By implementing these advices, you can not only save time but also lots of money along the way. These advices are simple and easy to follow which can be implemented by anyone in their lives.
A. Maintain your Health to stay ahead in life
1. Go for annual health checkups
Going for annual health check-ups will help in the detection of any early signs of health complications. This should be considered as an investment and not an expense.
Check with your employer about their Employee Wellness Programs because most of the companies reimburse their employees for their annual health check-ups.
2. Quit eating junk food
Junk food is bad for your heart and can cause obesity and diabetes. Reduce the consumption of junk food.
You must carry healthy snacks like nuts and sandwiches from home in case you feel hungry at work or at University.
3. Get active: Join a gym, run, etc
You must engage in fitness activities on a regular basis and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. This can include joining a fitness group or a gym, going for a run, playing a sport, or working out at home.
4. Meditate Daily
Meditation is highly effective to manage stress, thoughts, and calm your mind.
Meditation is a very simple activity that anyone can practice with no requirement for any equipment. All that one needs is a quiet place to sit. You can also use meditation apps for guided meditation.
You can start with 2 sets of 10 minutes of mediation: each in the early morning and before sleeping at night.
5. Wake-up early in the morning
Ideally, you must not sleep past 7 am. If you wake up early, then you have more time to get stuff done without any distractions from neighbors or from family.
6. Don’t sleep for more than 8 hours average daily
You must never sleep for more than 8 hours on a daily basis. Sleeping for long hours is a sign of depression and a lack of motivation and social life.
It also leads to anxiety, loss of memory, diabetes, headaches, and heart diseases. If you sleep for more than 8 hours on a regular basis, then you must visit a doctor.
7. Avoid using tech 1 hour before sleeping
The blue light emitted from the screen of TV, laptops, and mobile phones can impact your sleep cycle and eyesight.
You must not use tech products 1 hour before going to sleep. You can either stretch or read a book or spend time with family at that time.
8. Stretch daily
Our bodies can sometimes get stiff and can result in loss of flexibility. Therefore to maintain fitness, body flexibility, and blood flow, you must do body stretching daily. It hardly takes 10 minutes to do a full-body stretching.
You can also stretch at your workplace or college during the day to avoid any muscle fatigue.
9. Don’t follow the same workout routine daily
Variation in workouts is necessary to witness improvement in our physique and flexibility. Following the same workout for a long time can reduce the effectiveness of the workouts. One must not follow the same workout more than twice a week.
10. Drink Green Tea. Reduce coffee consumption
If you are a big fan of hot beverages, then you must prefer green tea over coffee and other types of tea.
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients and it improves brain functioning and promotes fat loss. Drinking more than 4 cups of coffee daily can cause insomnia and restlessness. You should also avoid drinking coffee and energy drinks past 6 pm.
11. Quit soda and energy drinks
Soda and energy drinks not only contain lots of sugar, but also artificial flavors which can be harmful to your body. You must avoid packaged juices as well since they contain preservatives and sugar.
One must prefer drinking fresh fruit juices and smoothies over soda and energy drinks.
12. Reduce alcohol consumption and quit smoking
To maintain good health and save lots of money, you should reduce alcohol consumption and quit smoking.
Occasional drinking is parties and events is fine, but drinking to suppress stress and emotions can be bad for your mental and emotional health.
13. Eat Fruits and vegetables daily
You must eat at least 1-2 cups of vegetables and 2 fruits daily to get ample amounts of vitamins and minerals. Eating fruits also helps in maintaining blood sugar levels.
14. Don’t sit for more than 1.5 hours in a go
You must never sit for more than 1.5 hours in a go. Try taking a 5-10 minute break after sitting for every 60 to 90 minutes. This can involve you stretching your muscles, going for a walk, or answering phone calls while standing.
If you are at home, then try reading a book and watching TV while standing.
15. Don’t isolate yourself socially
Isolating yourself socially can worsen your depression and reduce your self-esteem. A lot of people isolate themselves when they fear embarrassment. You must try to be social and be a part of a group that meets regularly to hang out.
16. Don’t wash your face for more than 3-4 times per day
Washing your face more than 3-4 times daily can lead to a reduction in essential oils present in your skin and cause dryness in the skin. Also, you must moisturize your face after washing it to prevent germs from entering the skin.
17. Drink ample water
You should ideally drink around 3 liters of water daily (even more if you live in a hot and dry area) to ensure that your body remains hydrated for the entire day.
If you are someone who forgets to drink water occasionally, then you must set alarms to remind you to drink water.
18. Take the stairs
Climbing stairs occasionally can burn up extra calories and can improve your fitness and stamina. You must take stairs on a regular basis if you don’t participate in any fitness activities.
19. Exercise/stretch at workplace
Several organizations organize workplace Yoga and workouts for their employees as part of wellness programs. You must participate in such programs since they are meant to improve your health and wellness.
In case your organization does not have such programs then you should do a full-body stretching at least once at the workplace on a daily basis. This will help you in improving your posture and reducing body stiffness.
20. Drink Warm water with lemon and honey in the morning
You must drink warm water with lemon and honey, first thing in the morning after waking up. This drink helps in flushing out the toxins from the body and helps in promoting gut health.
21. Follow a fixed sleep and wake-up routine
Following a fixed sleep and wake-up routine will reduce your decision fatigue.
When you have a fixed sleep and wake-up time, then you are in a better position to plan activities for the day. Ideally, you must sleep before 12 at night and wake up before 7 in the morning.
22. Prefer fresh foods over canned ones
Always prefer fresh food over canned ones, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
Fresh fruits and vegetables have more nutrients than those in the cans. The canned food also contains preservatives and flavors which might be harmful to the body, not to mention that they are more expensive.
23. Avoid dieting
Dieting is not the best way to lose weight. Working out regularly and being in a calorie deficit is a better option to get a good physique without starving yourself.
You should not maintain a calorie deficit of more than 200-300 calories per day.
24. Don’t drink chilled water
Drinking cold water can contract your blood vessels and reduce the effectiveness of your digestive system. Coldwater is also ineffective in satiating thirst.
Drinking normal water is fine. However, drinking warm water daily will be great for your health.
25. Cut down sugar and salt consumption
Excessive sugar consumption can lead to diabetes and obesity.
Excessive salt consumption can lead to bloating, excessive water retention, and high blood pressure.
B. Manage your Finances properly to stay ahead in life
27. Save before you spend
You must save before you spend your earnings. Ideally, you must save at least 20% of your income in the month’s beginning.
A lot of us make the mistake of spending first and then saving whatever is left of the earnings.
28. Stick to a budget
One of the most important financial advice which most people give and receive is to stick to a budget. Sticking to a budget is not only a sign of self-control but also a sign of financial wellness.
One must carefully design a budget and review it monthly to check for unnecessary expenses.
28. Record all your expenses
Along with having a monthly budget, you should have a record of all the expenses: whether big or small, allocated under pre-specified heads to ensure that you don’t spend on unnecessary things.
29. Have more than 1 income streams
Everyone must have a core working engagement (like running a business or working in an organization), and an extra stream of earnings like running a blog or working on weekends.
Having extra money hurts no one and it can be helpful in case you were to lose your main income stream. Ideally, everyone under 35 should have at least 2 income streams.
30. Have an emergency fund
Everyone must have a rainy day fund worth at least 4-6 month’s salary. This can come in handy during mass layoffs and recessions.
31. Don’t listen to money-making stock ideas
Never listen to some self-proclaimed “Stock Guru” about their stock recommendations. Always do your own research before investing anywhere: be it a company stock, a bond, or real estate.
You should rather go to a certified financial advisor for consultation regarding your investments.
32. Reduce credit card usage
It is a well-known fact that credit cards promote unnecessary spending and attract high interest rates. A lot of people in their 20s and 30s rely on credit cards to cover up their expenses only to encounter later the large amount of piled-up debt with a high interest rate.
Using credit cards just to accumulate points and rewards is a silly idea since in that process you end up spending a lot of money on buying non-essential services and products.
33. Don’t go shopping frequently since we tend to buy unnecessary things
Going shopping frequently can lead to unnecessary spending. When we go shopping, we not only spend money on buying items but also on traveling and eating.
You must fix the time when you are supposed to shop like every 4th Saturday of the month or the first week of each month.
34. Never window shop. Buy only when necessary
Window shopping can lead to spending on items that we don’t necessarily need.
35. Don’t drink coffee at cafes
One of the biggest ways to save money is to avoid drinking coffee in cafes. You can save around $2000-$3000 annually just by preferring homemade coffee.
“Not visiting cafes for drinking coffee + Reducing alcohol consumption + Quit smoking = $$$ Saved”
36. Prefer homemade food over outside food
You must give priority to homemade food over the outside food, not just because of health issues, but also because of money issues.
You can save lots of money if you avoid spending on outside food and rather cook for yourself and carry a lunch box to work/ college/ school.
37. Don’t buy products at full price. Wait for the sale to come
Always buy products during the sale and offer period. Most of the countries witness Discounts on fashion products at least thrice a year.
38. Rent expensive clothes instead of buying them
If you feel like wearing an expensive dress for a party or an event, then prefer renting instead of buying. It is better to rent several clothes and never repeat them than to buy one dress and repeat them for a long time.
39. Try not to buy a car. Use public transport or rely on sharing economy
With the rise of the sharing economy and improvements in the public transport system in several countries, it is better not to buy a car.
Not buying a car gives you the privilege of not worrying about parking, safety, maintenance, and insurance.
40. Avoid trying to be Instagram perfect
Instagram is full of influencers showing off their fancy lifestyles. However, rarely do people get a chance to lead such a life. Don’t be depressed about your life and never compare your life with an Instagram celebrity.
41. Invest your money wisely
Research before you invest your money somewhere. If you don’t know about various investment instruments, then consult a certified financial advisor.
42. Avoid impulsive purchasing. For this follow the 30 day rule
Follow the 30-day rule before buying anything. Have a look at the product which you wish to buy and then re-evaluate your decision in the course of 30 days. If you still feel like buying the product, then buy it.
This rule is highly beneficial for people evaluating their purchases that are above $1000.
43. Avoid living in a big house in your 20s and 30s to save money
Everyone below 40 should avoid living in a big house. You must save up for your future and early retirement.
Prefer renting over buying since renting is not only cheap, but it also offers you the flexibility of moving out whenever you feel like without much overheads.
44. Use Income Share Agreemens for University education
Income Share Agreements are getting very popular these days since they sponsor a student’s education and charge only when a student starts earning a minimum predetermined salary.
Under this agreement, the parents don’t have to worry about large education loan payments. The payments only start when the student starts earning a certain minimum salary.
45. Have a financial goal
All of us have different goals in life: be it related to fitness, or career, or even relationships.
Then why not have financial goals? Having financial goals promote financial wellness and puts us in a better financial position compared to others.
46. Follow the tips in the health section to reduce healthcare costs
One of the biggest ways you can save a lot of money is to follow the tips mentioned in the Health section of this article.
Having perfect health and wellness will lead to reduced healthcare costs.
47. Backpack instead of going for a fancy vacation
Backpacking is more fun and affordable compared to normal vacations. If you are traveling solo or with friends, then prefer cheaper options for accommodation, travel, and food (cook your own food).
48. Avoid several OTT subscriptions
There are several OTT subscription services in the market and you must not subscribe to many services since it not only serves as a source of distraction but also leads to unnecessary spending.
49. Use price-comparison sites while buying flight tickets, hotels stays, and products
Use price comparison websites to check the pricing of travel-related services from various websites. In this process, you end up making a wiser decision than just booking tickets from your fixed travel website.
50. Unsubscribe from E-commerce Deal Emails
If you are someone who wastes a lot of time browsing deals on various e-commerce websites then you must unsubscribe from the deal emails.
These emails try to create a FOMO (Fear of Missing out) amongst impulsive shoppers and lead to unnecessary spending.
C. Focus on your Career to stay ahead in life
51. Have an Elevator Pitch ready
Always be ready with a 15 second, 30 second, and 1-minute elevator pitch relating to yourself and/ or your business.
This usually comes in handy while attending networking events or icebreaker sessions, or while encountering someone famous in front of you. Make this pitch non-technical and easy to understand.
52. Always be ready for the behavioral interview questions like “Tell me something about yourself”, “Strengths and Weaknesses”
If you are a job seeker or are looking for a job, then you must always be ready with responses to questions like: “Tell me something about yourself”, “What are your strengths and weaknesses”, “why do you want to change your job”, etc.
You never know when you might encounter a recruiter from your dream company or someone who works there.
53. Know your superpower
Everyone has a superpower. You should be aware of yours too. You could be a multi-tasker or an action-oriented person.
54. Learn additional skills which will make you a more desirable candidate for jobs
If you are looking to get a promotion or survive the firing spree at your company, then you must have multiple skills that differentiate you from your peers.
You could be an economist with coding skills or a techie with digital marketing skills.
Just have some skills which will put you above your peers. Having certain skills could even help you in running a side business.
55. Attend networking sessions
Networking is good for you and for your career. Networking events can lead to prospective lead generation, job offers and can even help you in building lifelong professional relationships.
56. Have an up-to-date Linkedin profile
Having an up-to-date Linkedin profile will put you above others in terms of visibility and will get you an advantage over others while applying for jobs.
57. Be active at workplace
Make sure that your boss and your co-workers recognize you. You must actively participate in the discussions, company events, and wellness programs to get people to know you.
58. Practic Stress Management Techniques
Stress can severely impact your work productivity. The worst part about stress is that most of the time it occurs due to non-work-related sources but impacts the person’s performance at work.
To avoid getting stressed out and to maintain proper productivity you must practice stress management techniques.
59. Learn new skills every quarter
Spending 30 minutes daily means you have 45 hours every quarter which is enough to learn a new skill.
Continuous skill development is one of the best ways to get a promotion, fight a recession, and get recognition at work. Devoting 30 to 60 minutes daily can help you in learning a new skill every quarter and you can master it in a year.
While devoting 300 hours can seem to be a tough job, but dividing that time throughout the year makes it easy..
60. Never look at the short term benefits of a decision. Have a long term view
All of our major decisions must be oriented towards achieving long-term goals. You should focus on the big picture before making any decision.
For e.g., if your long-term goal is to save money, you must save on a daily basis. Cut down on drinking coffee at cafes, reduce alcohol consumption, quit smoking, and surrender OTT memberships.
61. Master public speaking and presentation skills
If you wish to excel in your career, then you must be comfortable with public speaking and delivering presentations.
Most top management roles require attending and presenting at conferences and leading meetings. So, it is naturally very clear that one of the criteria to get promoted to higher levels is to be a good communicator and presenter.
62. Read books and business magazines to keep yourself updated about new trends and technology.
You must keep yourself updated about the developments in various industries happening on a weekly basis. For this, you can subscribe to newsletters or read newspapers.
You should avoid watching news debates since most of them are irrelevant and always drift off from the core topic.
63. Ask and offer constructive criticism to co-workers
One of the best ways to improve yourself is to ask for constructive criticisms from your co-workers. This will help you in evaluating and overcoming your shortcomings.
64. Say “no” to unnecessary responsibilities
You must evaluate a particular responsibility before accepting it. If your goal is to get promoted, then you must check whether extra responsibility will lead to any progress towards your role.
You must be comfortable saying no to any additional responsibilities which you might feel are irrelevant.
65. Have a portfolio on your cloud which you can access anytime and anywhere
You must always have a portfolio ready which you can show to prospective recruiters and other leads.
You should post this portfolio on your Linkedin profile as well so that people in your connection can know about your skills and work.
66. Ask your superiors about their expectations from you so that you can get promoted
Whenever a new year starts, ask your superiors about their expectations from you and what you should do to get a raise and a promotion.
67. Have a firm handshake
You should have a good handshake to make a good first impression.
Disclaimer: Several viruses can be exchanged through human contact. So be careful with the handshake.
68. Organize your computer desktop and documents
Every minute spent in organizing can lead to saving several minutes which are otherwise spent in looking for stuff.
You should at least keep your computer desktop and work table organized.
69. Have a daily, weekly and monthly To-do list
Having a daily, weekly, and monthly to-do list can help you in setting out your professional priorities and can help you in keeping you focused on the important things only.
Having a not-to-do list can also be helpful since it will remind you of all the things which you are not supposed to do.
70. Be a good negotiator
Everything in our life is based on negotiation. Our grades, relationships, careers, etc.
Having good negotiation skills will help you in negotiations with clients, HR for a better salary, and with businesses to forge better partnerships.
D. Travelling can keep you ahead in life
71. Have a to-do list while planning for a vacation
Maintain a to-do list while planning a vacation since most of the time we tend to forget something or the other when going for a vacation.
The list must be handy so that you can add items to the list whenever they cross your mind.
72. Travel light. Carry dark-colored clothes since they can be repeated again
If you wish to have a hassle-free and convenient traveling experience then you must travel light. Traveling light means keeping the luggage to a minimum.
If you are going on a backpacking trip, then you must carry dark-colored clothes since they can be repeated during the trip.
73. If you are a budget traveler, then go for Couchsurfing or student hostels
If you are traveling on a budget or want to spend a minimum amount on accommodation, then you must couch surf or stay at student/traveler hostels.
These accommodations have all the necessary facilities and are light on the pocket.
74. Always ask for special discounts while buying entry tickets or travel passes
There is no harm in asking for freebies and discounts while visiting any tourist spots or making travel bookings.
Usually, there are discounts available for students and senior citizens.
75. Have a digital copy and photocopies of your important documents like Passport, visa documents, etc
Have a digital copy of all your important documents on your phone and email. These documents can come in handy in case you lose the original ones.
You can also keep the original ones safely at your accommodation and carry the photocopies around.
76. Always have an emergency contact number in your pocket
If you are traveling with kids and old people, then make sure that you keep an emergency contact number and your address in their pockets.
This information will come in handy in case they get lost.
77. Know the do’s and don’ts before visiting a place
Educate yourself and fellow travelers on the do’s and don’ts while traveling to a foreign country.
78. Try the local food
Avoid eating common foods like Pizza, burgers, and other fast foods while traveling. Instead, try out the local cuisine.
79. If you are traveling for a long time, then prepare your own food. This will save you a lot of money
If you are backpacking or traveling on a budget, then you must prepare your own food. Most of the BnBs and Hostels have kitchens that you can use.
You can buy groceries from the local market/ supermarkets and prepare food at a minimum cost.
E. Focus on your Personal Development to stay ahead in life
80. Read books. Start by reading 10 pages daily
You must read good books daily. Reading books will not only help you in gaining knowledge from several fields but will also improve your critical thinking skills.
If you find it difficult to read a book, then you must start off by reading 10-15 pages per day. This way, you can complete a 300-page book in 20-30 days.
81. Engage in productive conversations
Save yourself from the gossips and unnecessary conversations. Participating in productive conversations will help you in expanding your knowledge and reasoning ability.
82. Follow the 5 AM routine
The 5 AM routine has been introduced by Robin Sharma. Many successful people wake up early on a regular basis to achieve higher productivity levels.
Waking up at 5 AM is not a defining characteristic of successful people, but it just gives you a headstart compared to other people who wake up late. By waking up earlier than most people, you can focus on completing important things without getting distracted.
83. Be strong mentally and emotionally
A lot of organizations these days hire people who are emotionally and mentally strong and have a high Emotional Quotient (EQ).
84. Don’t just be a planner. Be an executor as well
Instead of just planning out things, you must be able to execute them as well.
You should not just know how to draft a business plan, but you should also be able to execute it well.
85. Cut down on Television and social media time. Instead, read or spend time with family
Instead of spending time watching TV shows and browsing social media, you must spend time with family, follow a hobby, read or run a side hustle. TV and social media will not do any good for you.
86. Have a hobby
You should follow a hobby on a regular basis. This will help you in managing your stress and making connections.
87. Find a mentor. If you specialize in something, then mentor someone
If you are trying out something new, then find a mentor who can guide you along the way.
If you are good at something: like designing, sports or business- then mentor someone.
Getting mentored and mentoring someone will help you in improving your knowledge.
88. Be motivated and confident
You should try and feel motivated and confident at all times. In the case of job interviews, you should present yourself as a motivated and confident candidate.
If you have your own business, then you must be motivated and confident so that other team members also feel the same.
The 88 things mentioned in the above list are very easy to implement in real life.
If you even adopt half of the things mentioned under each subhead (Health, Finance, Career, Travel, and Personality development), you’ll end up saving a lot of money, and experience an amazing improvement in your life and attitude.