It’s tough to make lasting changes in your life for the better—it usually takes a lot of effort and the results aren’t always as dramatic as you’d expect. There just aren’t that many shortcuts you can take to make an outsized impact. But still, some people have found some.
Redditor u/Henna recently asked:
“What improved your quality of life so much, you wish you did it sooner?”
And people offered up examples of tough choices, subtle tweaks, attitude changes, and even products that drastically improved their lives.
1. Getting glasses
I put it off for way too long and only got around to seeing an optometrist when I failed the vision test at the DMV as I was trying to get my driver’s license renewed a while back.
I really didn’t appreciate how much my vision had deteriorated or how much I was straining to focus on things until I got them. It was like going from an old CRT TV from the 90’s directly to a top of the line UHD display. I must have spent about an hour just walking around outside and staring at shit on that first day. –Prank_Owl
2. Letting go
Realizing that not everyone is judging me. –posifour11
3. Rethinking cleaning
I started thinking of cleaning as “resetting” an area. After I cook I have to “reset” the kitchen. The little shift in perspective made me a much more neat person. –bubblebobble_of
4. Learning to cook
Cooking for myself, rather than relying on microwave meals. Eating better, healthier and cheaper at the same time. –SYLOH
5. One of these is easier than the other
Buying a lot of underwear and socks.
Also, quitting drugs. –howwouldiknow–
6. Saving money
Saving up money. Once I had 6 months expenses saved, the pressure goes down so much. I can make good decisions instead of desperate ones. I don’t get stressed about losing my job. I can schedule my bills every month without worrying about balances. A car repair bill doesn’t faze me anymore like a wrench in the monthly cash flow. Life’s just easier with money behind. –Arctic_Snowfox
7. Ditching toxic friends
Cutting off a toxic friend. After having cut off said friend I felt that I could finally breathe without the stress of setting them off or getting into fights with them. I don’t regret my decision at all. –UnknownL_13
8. Lifting weights
I wish I had started weightlifting so much earlier. I look better, feel better and it’s done wonders for my mental health. –Abominationally
9. Confronting abusive parents
This will sound a bit dark, but it’s ultimately not: confronting my abusive parent. I’m 50 and I finally did it a few months ago. I no longer have a relationship with that parent, and doing it was very hard, very scary, and very rough. But as soon as I did it, I felt like an immense weight had been lifted from me.
I had spent most of my adult life pretending to have a normal relationship with someone who physically and emotionally abused me throughout my childhood. It took years of therapy for me to even grasp how deeply that affected me or how much it cost me to keep it up. I just feel so free. I wish I had done this the second I was out the door of their house, but this will do. –Terpsichorean_Wombat
10. Ditching social media
Deleting Facebook. –BraveCat45
Deleting Instagram for me. I’d say if you’re using your phone more than a couple of hours a day see if you can delete any of the stuff you’re spending that time on, absolutely game-changing! –Less-Ad-2912
11. Getting Lasik
Lasik. My life is 10 times better without glasses. The surgery itself scared the shit out of me, but I am so glad I did it. –Drugs_Are_Bad_
12. Losing weight
Went from about 225 down to 165 over the course of 2020 (took the opportunity to work on myself) and I feel better than I have in years. It was hard work, but I’ve managed to keep off for the past year, so I’m hoping I can keep this going!
Edit: Since the question was asked, I typed up a long winded explanation of my diet. Figured it would be easiest to link it back here in case anyone else was interested.
13. Thinking of others
Always assuming people are doing things for a a good reason. It sounds stupid but it helps.
Someone cut you off in traffic? That’s fine, they might be rushing to a hospital.
Someone rushing around the store in a fit? They might be trying to rush to get supplies for their sick kids.
Any day might be someone’s best day or very worst day so framing it this way avoid road rage and generally being an upset person. –2nd_officer
14. Thinking of yourself
I stopped putting other people and their needs before my own well-being and sanity. Pouring from an empty pitcher is exhausting and when I finally put myself first I felt free. –No-Dragonfruit-6970-
Luckily I did start reading early on — mostly in my early 20s — I’m 27 now. I’ve read so many books which have given me much more insight to the world and my own views, especially my place in the universe. I mostly read biology books, but enjoy any realm of evidence-based science and some fiction here and there. Even the entire Bible 2 years ago. If anyone reads this, read! It’s wonderful to know our minds can see lines and dots on paper and be able decipher it! Just that concept alone makes me want to read. –No-Tumbleweed4775
16. Working less
Working 4 days per week (a 32 hour work week). Seriously, we should all be doing it. Quality of life is 1000x better. –keliez
17. Getting a mattress upgrade
A good quality, king-sized mattress. –oedipa17
18. Playing stupid
I used to (was raised to) think that I had to have all the answers, all the time. When I started working my reviews frequently mentioned “time management” as an area I needed to improve in because I was so busy giving other people the answers they needed (sometimes to simple questions) that I neglected my own work. A senior coworker told me one day, “it’s not your job to have all the answers. You only need to have the answers you need to get your work done. It’s okay to play stupid, don’t do their work for them.” –Princess_Parabellum
19. Fixing your smile
Having my teeth fixed. –the_man_with_none
20. Upgrading your toilet
Bidet and squatty potty. Pooping away from home makes me feel like a barbarian now though. –blinkanboxcar182