1. Pack Your Lunch: Instead of spending $10 on a sandwich that you don’t really enjoy, bring your lunch from home—you’ll save money (which can then be spent, guilt-free, on martinis at the end of the week), you’ll hopefully eat healthier, and you can use up leftovers instead of letting them rot away in your fridge.
2. Call Your Mom For No Reason: It’s easy to go days and weeks without phoning home because of how busy we all are with work and the holidays, but make it your mission to call your mom for no other reason than just to say, “Hi, what’s new?” It will literally fill her heart with joy.
3. Volunteer: Hit up a soup kitchen, read to the elderly at a nursing home, or even just donate your old winter coat to a clothing drive…there are so many easy ways to make a big impact on someone’s life. And, of course, selfishly speaking, doing good for others will make you feel good too.
4. Tip, Even If Your Order Was Messed Up: Everyone, even the most amazingly cheerful people, have an off-day. If your Starbucks barista accidentally makes your Skim Chai Venti Latte with whole milk, tip her anyway—she didn’t do it on purpose.
5. Get Over A Grudge: Still super pissed at your EX-friend Camille for ruining your favorite skirt? Get over it, chick. There’s very little in life really worth fighting over and if you’ve got a good friendship worth saving, try and forget whatever made you mad in the first place. Make plans to get together, catch up, and finally squash whatever bitterness remains. Heck, pay for that round of martinis while you’re at it, with the money you saved packing your lunch.
6. Call Up An Old Friend: Speaking of friendships, instead of going home after work and immediately turning on “Gossip Girl,” set your DVR and pick up the phone instead—call a friend you haven’t talked to in a long while and catch up on each other’s lives. As adults we often let physical distance create emotional distance, but thanks to technology, that isn’t inevitable, so long as we don’t allow laziness to get in our way. I’m actually going to visit my childhood best friend this weekend!
7. Bake Cookies For Your Coworkers: My favorite part of baking cookies? Eating the raw dough. My second favorite part? Bringing in the finished product to share with my coworkers. I feel like effing Santa Claus.
8. Finish Your Book: We all have that one book we’ve been trying to get through for what seems like forever, but something—the “Twilight” series, new episodes of “The Hills,” Perez Hilton—keeps getting in the way. Finish it. Edward Cullen, Lauren Conrad, and the Queen of All Media will be waiting for you when you’ve finished the last chapter of “War & Peace.”
9. Get Up 30 Minutes Early & Make Breakfast: It’s the most important meal of the day and something tells me 90% of us skip it! Set your alarm for a half hour earlier, force yourself out of bed, and make breakfast. Eat it, drink coffee, and read a smidgeon of the paper before heading into the office. I am pretty sure this combination makes you a smarter person as well.
10. Learn Something New: Instead of only reading the sections of the newspaper that always interest you, crack open a section you usually dump into the recycling bin and read about something unfamiliar; DVR “The Rachel Maddow Show” for once and see what all the hype is about; ask your friend with the job that’s the most opposite of yours to explain exactly what he or she does. In other words—get OUT of your own little bubble.
Original by Amelia McDonell-Parry