-- Special Report --

10 Ways You Can Improve Your Life, Right NOW!

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1.) Improve Your Attitude

"Whether you think you can or you
think you can't....you are right -"

- Henery Ford -          pg.7

Find ways to become more optimistic. The subconscious mind is an amazing tool, learn how to use it. It works hard behind the scenes to make sure our perceived reality comes true. If we constantly see things in a negative or pessimistic light, the subconscious excepts that as reality and goes about making our low expectations come true. Likewise, if we always expect things to work out or to be successful, the subconscious will work just as hard controlling our actions behind the scenes, to make those positive expectations come true.

A poor attitude or low expectations is just a bad habit. Change the habit. The first step is accepting the fact that you want to make a change. Put A little determination behind it. Refuse to allow negative thought to dwell in your conscious mind. Replace negative thought with a Positive Motivational Quote. Find one that is appropriate and preferably short enough to easily memorize. Next, the instant you feel a negative thought enter you mind, recite the quote to yourself. Youíll be amazed how well this works. Finally, make an extra effort to find good and hope in ever situation. If you arenít looking for it you definitely wonít find it.


2.) Smell the Roses

"Happiness is as a butterfly which,
when pursued, is always beyond your
grasp, but which if you will sit down
quietly, may alight upon you -"

- Nathaniel Hawthorne -     pg.4

This is a time allocation issue. Itís not hard to do, in fact, itís quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, we have the tendency to consider ďsmelling the rosesĒ a luxury item and we just donít make time for it. The fact of the matter is, it will help improve our attitude, clarify our priorities and put us in touch with our inner self. (you know those warm and fuzzy things we call feelings)

Our lives get so busy sometimes, we end up in a response mode, responding to all the demands placed on us by the people around us. Busy fulfilling deadlines and expectations from our co-workers, friends and family. The problem with this is our own needs, thoughts and priorities get lost in the confusion. This isnít just about us either, it affects the quality of our work, efficiency and overall productivity. It even has bearing on the quality of our relationship with others. We must listen to that inner voice for creativity, true priorities and to lay down the load for a moment and find peace. Everything we do will benefit as a result.

One of the most effective ways to ďsmell the rosesĒ is to stop whatever we are doing, step away, just for a moment, and observe the beauty and serenity of nature. It could be as simple as a breath of fresh air, feeling the warm sun on our face, listening to the wind whisper through the trees or rustle the leaves. Smell the sweet fragrance of a flower and find the peace in your soul!


3.) Help Somebody

"It's never crowded
along the extra mile -"

- Napoleon Hill -   pg.9

Speaking of your soul, notice we are working from the inside out?  A little chicken soup for the soul compliments our attitude and ďsmelling the rosesĒ.  By this I mean make a point to help someone out even if just in the smallest way.  Open the door for someone when their arms full, help someone one with directions that looks lost and confused, maybe a co-worker needs a ride home.  There are any number of simple little things that in the past you have avoided because you were too busy or focused on your own problems. 

Making that extra effort to help out others, will come back ten fold.  It will make you feel good and people will notice your kindness and treat you with the same in return.   If you ignore or our miserable to people, they will treat you the same way.  You are the seed that can make the world a better place, donít squander the opportunity.  Plant the seed, water it, and nurture it, you are the one that will blossom.


4.) Get More Restful Sleep

"The future belongs to those
who believe in the beauty
of their dreams -"

- Eleanor Roosevelt -    pg.8

Many fears and anxieties are born out of fatigue.  Not to mention loosing your edge.  Productivity, efficiency, creativity and accuracy are all things that only come to us when we are at the top of our game and we need to be well rested to be there.  Physiological reasons can prevent some people from obtaining restful sleep, and if you suspect this is your situation, you should seek professional medical advice and assistance.   The majority of us however, fail to obtain restful sleep because of bad habits, poor planning and a lack of understanding as to what is required. 

First of all, plan on getting a good nights sleep.  Donít be telling yourself all day, I probably wonít sleep well tonight.  Make sure you eat dinner at least 4 hours before retiring for bed.  This allows your body sufficient time to metabolize the food you ate, so your body is done working and it is prepared to rest also.  Avoid bedtime snacks, particularly stimulants like caffeine, associated with coffee, tea, chocolate and soda.  If you must, only drink water the last couple of hours before bed.  Wind down with the expectation of preparing to rest.  Stop trying to accomplish things to the very end, give yourself a little time without your mind rehashing the dayís activities or pondering tomorrow.

Recognize the importance of sleep and take it seriously.  Make sure you are allowing sufficient time for the recommended amount of sleep.  Typically an adult should obtain 6-8 hours of sleep with the emphasis on the larger amount.  When you are ready, lay down, take a moment to get comfortable, take a few cleansing breaths and allow the feeling of contentment to enter your whole body.  Visualize yourself in a hammock under a shade tree or lying on a desolate beach or whatever brings you peace and natural sleep will follow.


5.) Improve Your Health

"Everyone is a house with four rooms,
physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Unless we go into every room, every day,
if only to keep it aired, we are not a 
complete person -"

- Rumer Godden -              pg. 11

Iím not talking surgery, therapy or a personal trainer here.  You know what you need to do.  Maybe quit or reduce your smoking, lose a couple of pounds, get more exercise, reduce your caffeine intake or eat better.  Donít try to take it all on at once either, just take a small step in the right direction.  We know these things are bad for our health but we tend to justify it by saying to ourselves, we worked hard or put up with a lot, we deserve these little indiscretions as rewards.  Unfortunately, the physical toll on our bodies and the baggage, carried by our subconscious mind that we are not taking care of ourselves, holds us back from our potential top performance. 

Pick one thing to work on and start slowly.  Donít set an objective so high that you will become frustrated or discouraged.  Set many small goals over a period of time so you have frequent gratification from achieving those goals.  Bask in the knowledge that you are doing something good for your health, itís good for the soul too.  Make it a regular part of your regiment, to always be working on something to improve your health.


6.) Get Your Finances Under Control

"The strongest oak of the forest is not
the one that is protected from the
storm and hidden from the sun.
It's the one that stands in the open
where it is compelled to struggle for
existence against the winds and rains
and scorching sun -"

- Napoleon Hill -           pg.12

This probably eats at us more than most things and the burden on our minds prevents us from giving our full attention to our work and the enjoyment of our lives.  The concept is simple though, we only earn so much, so we can only spend so much.  Why is it so hard to keep the two on the same track?  Of course this is an over simplification, there are circumstances beyond our control that impact our finances.  The key is to make sure we are not doing anything to contribute adversely to our finances and develop a plan to correct the problems we have. 

Make sure you are living within your means, develop a budget, a financial plan.  If your income is fixed all the easier, if your income varies from tips, commissions or hours, then figure your income on the conservative side.  Donít bet on what might happen, plan on what you know for sure.  If you get a little extra, always save some and reward yourself a little.

Figure your fixed expenses that occur every month.  Then add all your estimated expenses for the year like, insurance renewals, car maintenance, vacations, Christmas, health care deductibles, etc., you get the idea.  Take the total of all these expenses, divide by twelve and add that amount to your fixed expenses.  Subtract the resulting total from your estimated monthly income.  No, the difference is not you party money!  The remainder needs to be proportioned into thirds.  One third gets saved for getting ahead and as a buffer for unforeseen emergencies.  One third goes to paying down debt. The final third is to enjoy and have a little something in your pocket. 

You be the judge, the three proportions donít have to be equal, but make sure something goes into each area.  If there is nothing left to divide into thirds, you need to seriously consider making adjustments to your lifestyle or find additional work.  The mere knowledge of having a plan, knowing what you need to do and getting it done will make you feel so much better.  You wonít have to hash everything out in your mind every night when you are supposed to be sleeping.


7.) Set Goals for Yourself

"The choice is yours. You hold the
tiller. You can steer the course
you choose, in the direction  of where
you want to be -- Today, Tomorrow,
or in the distant time to come -"

-W. Clement Stone -     pg.7

If you keep doing what youíre doing, youíll keep getting what youíre getting!  All progress starts with change. If we donít change our course or speed we will stay right where we are now. Spend some quality time thinking about where you would like to be in a month from now, in six months, in a year, in 5 or 10 years, or by retirement.  If you havenít thought about where or what you want to be, chances are real good you probably wonít be happy when you get there.  ďI wanted to be somebody when I grew up, I probably should have been more specificĒ, Lilly Thomlin.  Greater words were never spoken. 

When setting goals for yourself, you need to be very specific. You need something by which to measure.  You need to know when you are getting closer to your goals, so you can do more of whatever it is that youíre doing. And you need to know when you are moving away from your goals so you can change your course immediately. The basic problem here, is that most people, even if given the world on a silver platter, have a great deal of difficulty determining in very specific terms, what they want out of their life. You must answer this question for yourself in as much detail as possible.

Once you have determined the specific goals and objectives you have for both the short and long term, write them down.  Your subconscious will make an incredible effort to assist you once your objectives are crystallized and it has a specific goal to work towards.  Break down the steps necessary to achieve your goals into baby steps. Small little steps or subgoals that you can easily see achieving in your mind. Write them down! Record on a calendar, the date you want to achieve the main goal and subgoals by. Review this often and monitor your progress. If you are falling short of you goal, the sooner you can detect it, the sooner you can make an adjustment to stay on track. 

Itís not Rocket Science, but it works and works well. ďPeople donít plan to fail, they fail to planĒ. This method is very effective for both short term and long term goals. It also works great for things like loosing weight, quitting smoking and a host of other life adjustments.


8.) Learn Something New

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever -"

- Gandhi -                  pg.5

When you stop learning and growing you start to wither and die. I donít mean to be the Grim Reaper here, but it is imperative that we never stop expanding our knowledge and improving our lifeís experience. Remember, Itís  the journey not the destination! Make the journey a good one. You donít necessarily have to go back to school to brush up on your Algebra, thatís what we have kids for. Find a subject that peaks your curiosity, and if possible something that will improve the quality and/or enjoyment of your life.  This should be a fun thing or something that is going to make your life more productive or efficient. 

You can find great tutorial videos that you can buy, rent or borrow. Maybe take a trip to the library and check out a couple of books on a subject that interest you. (When is the last time you did something like that?) Browse the magazine rack at the grocery store, youíll find some great self-improvement articles or interesting how to stories.  Donít be afraid to learn and grow. Who knows, you may even enjoy the experience.  Every time we learn something new, we see our lives from a slightly different perspective. This new perspective often reveals doors of opportunity that we never knew existed, and many times, they are right within our grasp.


9.) Get Organized

"Our goals can only be reached
through a vehicle of a plan,
in which we must fervently
believe, and upon which we
must vigorously act. There is
no other route to success -"

   - Stephen A. Brennar -   pg.10

Have you ever heard the expression, ďone step forward, two steps backĒ? Does that describe you? Most people can significantly improve there productivity just by getting a little more organized. Again, Much like goal setting, we can function so much better if we know what is expected of us. One of the best tools for this sort of thing is a ďTo DoĒ list. At the end of the day or first thing in the morning, make a list of the tasks that need to be accomplished. Organize them in order of priority. As you progress through your list, strike out the items you have completed. This aids in giving you a deserved sense of accomplishment and simultaneously lets you know exactly where you stand, so you can budget your time accordingly. 

Another advantage of getting organized is becoming more time efficient, thus more productive. When you make out your ďTo DoĒ list, group tasks that compliment each other. Organize things that need to be done on the phone together, in the office, at the meeting, at home, in town and so on. Whatever you donít get done today, roll in to tomorrows list. Make it a daily challenge to get everything crossed off your list, but donít fret if you donít make it. Some days you will get redirected, and some days you will get lucky The important thing is to start each day with an organized plan, so you know what it is you need to get done.


10.) Eliminate A Bad Habit

"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act,
but a habit -"

- Aristotle -         pg.12

How many little counter productive things do we do each day as a matter of course just because of little bad habits we have developed that have gone uncorrected? Bad habits are like parasites, they subtly eat away at us and we tolerate it because it is easier than making a change. They become part of our routine, always present, almost like a familiar friend. 

Correcting or eliminating a bad habit is easy. Itís just like all other self-change, you have to start with wanting to change. The first step is acknowledgement. Identify the fact that you have a bad habit and recognize all the subtle little ways it holds you back or interferes with your life. The next step is commitment. Commit yourself to eliminating the counterproductive habit that you have identified. Donít be wishy washy about it either, develop some determination about your task.

The easiest way to eliminate a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit. Replace smoking with deep breathing exercises, replace always being late with always being early, replace procrastination with a ďDo it NOWĒ attitude, replace fretting with peaceful meditation. You get the idea. At first it takes a conscientious effort to make the substitution, in a short time the substituted activity becomes the habit.

The bottom line is, identify the bad habit, accept that it does exist and commit to making a change. You have to want to make a change, take stock in yourself, work to your betterment Youíre worth it!


Well, there you have it. Certainly not a cure-all or end-all but a great place to start. Don't try to do everything at once. Prioritize the things you want to work on first. Take it slow. Don't dread what you're doing, embrace it, knowing that each little step is one step closer to a better YOU!


"Even if you're on the right track,
you'll get run over if you just sit there -"

- Will Rogers -        pg.3

Best of Luck

Robert (Bob) Van Riper


~Positive Things Happen To Positive People~