Stuck in a rut? If you feel it's time to make a fresh start then take a look at our top 25 tips to help you change things for the better and get more out of life.

1. Travel the world

If it's possible, then you should make sure you fit some travelling in. Okay, so you might not have the time or the funds to go on a round-the-world trip, but it certainly is a truism that ‘travel broadens the mind’. If you can’t manage that backpacking trip around the globe, then consider going to some far away location where the experience will be totally different — perhaps even life-changing — rather than settling for the usual two weeks in the same destination.  


2. Change your job

If your job is getting you down, then change it. The only thing preventing you finding something that you’ll enjoy more is you. If only people could put as much energy into finding a new job as they do into moaning about it, then they could make a major change to their lives. Your workplace is where you spend a large proportion of your time, so it’s important to try and be as happy there as you can be.  


3. Sell your house

Your home and affording it might be one of your greatest sources of worry, so a simple solution would be to remove that worry from the equation. Do you really need that spare bedroom when you could quite easily cope in a smaller house? Downsizing and moving to a smaller (and likely cheaper) property will make it a lot easier to manage, will remove one of your major worries, and may free up some funds for you to actually start enjoying yourself a bit!  


4. Do volunteer work

Volunteering makes us feel good about ourselves while we do something practical to help others. Volunteering also inevitably means having greater opportunities to meet other people. You could think about volunteering for an overseas project in a Third World country — which is bound to have an impact on your outlook — or you could simply give up a few hours a week to help an elderly person do their shopping. In any case, realising you are more fortunate than others while you do your charity work will have a profound and lasting effect on you.  


5. Change your routine

Having a regular routine can be a safe option, but can make your life a little more exciting as well. Try changing something in your routine, such as taking a different route or method of commuting into work. If you’re one of those people who usually says ‘I can’t do that on Tuesday because I normally do …’, then break that cycle and try to do things in a more spontaneous manner. Just because it’s Friday doesn’t mean you always have to eat fish!  


6. Have a goal

Always have a goal in mind — whether it is saving up for that new car or that trip around the world, or alternatively realising some career ambition. If you don’t have anything to look forward to, then you can quickly become bogged down and will be effectively just living to work rather than the other way round. Having a target to work towards keeps you motivated and helps prevent you from just drifting along and falling into a rut — so make sure you always have a particular goal in mind.  


7. Do something that scares you

There’s nothing that quite makes you feel as good about yourself as overcoming a fear by completing a challenge . If there’s something that you’ve perhaps always fancied doing but have been too scared to do it, then just go for it! There are many people out there who have been skydiving, for example, and described leaping out of a plane as a ‘life-changing experience’ — and then have gone on to complete challenge after challenge because of the buzz they get from it.  


8. Write your autobiography

Putting down in writing your own life will inevitably make you think about it — including those things that have gone right so far and those that haven’t. Although you’ll not necessarily intend to let other people read it (although it might let others understand you better if you do!), it will help you to reassess your life and think about the direction in which you want it to go. It may also be a good way of exorcising some of your demons and reinforcing your beliefs.  


9. Get more active

If your lifestyle has consisted of coming home from work and slumping in front of the TV every evening, then it might be time for a change of tack. We’re not necessarily talking about becoming an Olympic athlete, of course — but we are suggesting you get more active. You could introduce some exercise into your day simply by walking — for example by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. And if you take some more rigorous exercise, then it’s likely you’ll start feeling a lot healthier in a short space of time.


10. Get a new image

Your image might be the one thing you feel is holding you back and making you lack confidence. If you’ve had the same old tired look for ages, then it may be time to change your appearance in some way. Spend some money on yourself and get a new hairstyle, buy a new wardrobe of clothes, and just do things to make you feel as though you are special. It amazing how you can feel more comfortable and confident in certain clothes when you make the effort — so make an effort more often!  


11. Sleep more/less

Some people just don’t get enough sleep, while others have far too much — the end result of which will be a feeling of constant tiredness. Getting the right amount of sleep will leave you more alert and able to relish doing things and get more out of experiences during your waking hours. Plus, one added bonus of sleeping less is that it enables you to fit more things into your day. After all, as they say, ‘you can sleep when you’re dead’  


12. Change your diet

‘You are what you eat’ is a much-used phrase, and it may be that your diet is making you feel pretty rotten. Just changing a few things can have positive health benefits as well as give you more energy and make you feel better all round. Of course, there’s a lot of advice out there (some of it contradictory!) — but generally, eating everything in moderation is the best way to go. Also, making sure you drink enough water and get your five portions of fruit and veg are two of the golden rules to follow.  


13. Change your outlook

If you think negative thoughts all the time then that’s exactly how you’ll feel! Smiling a lot and being positive will transform you into a more optimistic person. It has been said that people are only as happy as they allow themselves to be — and if you can put aside negative thoughts and be more optimistic, then that will transfer itself to how you feel about life in general. There is even evidence to suggest that people who smile a lot actually live longer!  


14. Change your friends

There are some people who can just drag you down or use you as an emotional crutch for their negativity. While we may want to be there for people when they need us, there is no need to be constantly brought down to their level. Some people can be just plain bad for you and surround you with so many negative vibes that you just don’t want to listen to them anymore. If that’s the case, then don’t put yourself through it and get some new friends instead!  


15. Read more

Books are often a great source of inspiration , and new ideas and can often have a major impact on you. There are people who will swear by certain ideas put forward in a book and actually live their life by them. Autobiographies of people who have overcome insurmountable odds or had that certain stroke of luck that we’re all looking for can often act as a great inspiration — and may even lead you to consider making some life-changing decisions.  


16. Buy a pet

Owning a pet is thought to have health benefits such as helping lower blood pressure and being good for your general mood. Having a pet — in particular a dog — will lead to increased activity levels because they need to be taken for regular exercise. Pets can also help to relieve your stress and anxiety by promoting laughter and affectionate behaviour.


17. Have a baby

Many people consider this to be perhaps the most life-changing experience of them all! The birth itself can be such a significant moment in people’s lives — including the mother, father and other relations. Of course, parents often spend much of the rest of their lifetime caring for their children, even when they’ve fled the nest — so you need to recognize the impact it will have on you (emotionally, physically, and financially) before you decide to have a baby. However, the positives of having children far outweigh any negatives.  


18. Say ‘yes’ more often

Don’t be the sort of person that is always turning an invitation down. If you say ‘no’ that often, then people will eventually stop asking! So, stop looking for excuses not to go out, and make a promise to yourself never to turn an invite down (within reason, of course!). You never really know what is going to happen — and it’s quite often the nights out that you initially have low expectations of that end up being the most enjoyable.  


19. Watch less television

The number of hours of television being watched by many people these days is so great that, after the time you spend asleep and in work, it is probably the one activity that takes up most of your time. Watching less TV will free you up to follow other (hopefully more healthy) pursuits. Making this change will have a positive and radical impact on your life — and also on your general health.  


20. Give up alcohol

Too many people rely on alcohol as a means of relaxation or escapism, and while there are some health benefits from drinking alcohol in moderation (red wine being a good example), the benefits of not drinking cannot be stressed enough. Try giving up alcohol — even just for a trial period — to see if you feel any better. Realistically, most of us are not going to become teetotallers, but the there are many people who have given up and not regretted it whatsoever.  


21. Find a new hobby/enrol on a class

There’s probably something you’ve always wanted to have a go at but keep putting off. But there’s nothing to lose by trying something out — and it may be that if you do enjoy whatever activity you choose, it will become a regular part of your life. Many people become so ‘addicted’ to certain activities that they become obsessive about them — in a good way! — or even end up following a career path connected to that hobby or pastime. So why not check out what classes there are in your area and sign up to one of them?  


22. Employ the ‘three-minute rule’

Write down three things you have been trying to achieve — whether it’s changing bank, sorting out your photo album or a career change — and give yourself a month to get them done. When you decide to tackle one of your chosen tasks, set your alarm clock to buzz you in three minutes, then concentrate on the task in hand. You’ll find that once you have broken the fear of starting something, you’ll be fired up to get it done.  


23. Conquer stress

It sounds simple, but if you stop worrying about something then that will eradicate much of the stress. Some people are naturally able to cope better with stress than others, but at the end of the day what good does stressing out about something do you? If you calmly look at the problem and ask yourself, ‘Can I do something about it?’, then there either will or won’t be a solution to a particular problem. Things usually work out in the end, making all the stress that went before it seem so unnecessary — so quit stressing!  


24. Treat yourself

It’s not always possible to put yourself first, and all too often people actually forget that they deserve to be treated well too. If you keep waiting for others to treat you well, then it might never happen. Make a resolution to treat yourself every now and again by putting yourself first, so that you get what you deserve at regular intervals. It’s the one way of guaranteeing that at least one person is going to be good to you in your life — and that person is you!


25. It’s your life, so live it!

Keep reminding yourself that it’s your life and you are the one responsible for making yourself happy. Other people can add to your happiness, but ultimately it comes down to you to get the most out of life, as nobody else can force you into making positive changes which may improve your lot. So, don’t keep waiting for things to happen for you, as life may just pass you by. Instead, take each day by the scruff of the neck, and learn to make the most of the time you have.