This week I took a break to visit a nearby lake with my mom, just to sit on a bench and enjoy the view. She’s visiting New England from central Pennsylvania so our local sites are very different than what she sees day to day. Spending the quality time with her got me thinking about a few key things that really make a difference when we choose to do them each week. If you want to increase your happiness and have a greater positive impact on those around you, consider doing these 5 things each week.

5 Things You Need to Do This Week

1. Speak life. 

Every day our words speak life or death to those around us. Although we may not consider the weight of our words when we blurt out what’s on our mind or quickly respond to a post online, our words have an impact. How are your words impacting those around you? And, how are your opinions affecting others? The way we say what we think matters. Do our words and social media posts speak life, or do they divide and tear down? Intentionally use your words to encourage others. Nudge them in the right direction and help them see the good in every day. Your words matter!

2. Make connections.

Make connections between your actions and your goals and your time and people who matter. Connections matter. If we don’t choose to take the next step in the direction of our goals, they remain just dreams. And, if we don’t take steps to connect to the people in our lives, we remain isolated or relationships wither. Choose to make connections this week.

3. Let go.

Stop holding onto things you should have already let go of. It’s like walking around with a 10 pound cinder block in your backpack, it wears you out and provides no value. Whether it’s a bad habit you continue to entertain, allowing it to consume your time and resources or a bad relationship that’s robbing your joy, let it go. Sometimes “known” is disguised as “comfortable.” We stick to the habits we know because it feels easier that taking a risk on the unknown. But is it really comfortable or is it just complacent? Give yourself permission to step away from the bad habits and pursue a healthier, happier you this week. And, if it’s a step that it too difficult to make on your own, find a resource to help you – a friend, a counselor, or support group to provide you with encouragement you need to finally make the change.

4. Do what you already know.

We often know what we should be doing in areas of our lives. For example if we struggle with our weight or our health, we likely already know we should eat right, exercise, and drink enough water. Choose to do it. Start with a small step like packing your lunch this week, or deciding you’ll work on your step goals this week. Or if you know you need to declutter, open your closet door and spend a half hour doing what you know you need to do. Just because we know what we should do doesn’t mean it’s easy to start. But, as soon as we do, we can build momentum that will make continuing easier. Pick a small step you can take in an area you know you need to make progress, make an appointment with yourself and start. You’ll be glad you did.

5. Be grateful. 

From the time we were all two, we’ve been told to say please and thank you. How has that translated into your everyday life? Consciously being grateful everyday improves your outlook, feeds your faith and gives you a reason to smile. Each day, even the toughest days, scan the day and find three things to be grateful for before your head hits the pillow at night. Begin each day knowing that at night you’ll need your list of at least three things. By getting in this habit, you’ll find it easier to find the silver lining even on the cloudiest of days.

It’s your turn.

What do you need to consciously do this week? I’m currently working on #4. There are a few things I know I need to do, that I need to get busy doing. Which one of these hits home for you? I’d love to hear from you. And, if you were encouraged, why not click to share and encourage your friends too?

As for me, my mom will be staying with us for two more weeks. I’m looking forward to enjoying the time we have together. It’s priceless!