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Summary to 100 Ways to Change Your Life | Liz Moody

Dive into “100 Ways to Change Your Life” for scientifically validated strategies to elevate your health, relationships, happiness, and success. Uncover actionable steps to transform your life with evidence-based insights and practical advice—explore the comprehensive guide in its entirety.

“100 Ways to Change Your Life: The Science of Leveling Up Health, Happiness, Relationships, and Success” by Liz Moody is a transformative guide packed with actionable insights and evidence-based strategies. Divided into digestible sections, the book delves into various aspects of life, offering 100 scientifically validated methods to upgrade health, relationships, happiness, and success.

Summary: 100 Ways to Change Your Life: The Science of Leveling Up Health, Happiness, Relationships and Success by Liz Moody

Moody combines her expertise in wellness and psychology to present a holistic approach that empowers readers. Each of the 100 strategies is grounded in scientific research, making the book a credible and valuable resource for anyone seeking tangible improvements in different spheres of life.

This book isn’t just about quick fixes; it’s a comprehensive roadmap for lasting change. It doesn’t overwhelm but instead provides practical steps that readers can easily incorporate into their daily routines. Whether it’s optimizing health habits, improving relationships, fostering happiness, or enhancing success, Moody’s book offers a wealth of actionable advice.

What sets this book apart is its balance between depth and accessibility. Moody’s writing style is engaging, making complex concepts understandable without diluting their scientific foundation. Additionally, the book’s organization allows readers to focus on specific areas of interest or work through the strategies systematically.

“100 Ways to Change Your Life” is more than a self-help book; it’s a well-researched guide that respects the complexity of human behavior and motivation. It’s a valuable tool for those committed to personal growth and seeking evidence-backed strategies for positive change.

Genres

Health, Nutrition, Sex, Relationships, Mindfulness, Happiness, Career Success, Self-help, Personal Development, Wellness, Psychology, Behavioral Science, Motivational

Introduction: Live better through science

100 Ways to Change Your Life (2023) is a guide that offers you a wide range of practical tips and strategies for making impactful changes in various aspects of your life. Covering topics from health and wellness to personal growth and happiness, it’s designed to inspire and motivate you to implement small but significant adjustments to suit your individual needs and goals.

Living well is an art, but it’s also a science.

Think of your happiness as a wonderful, yet complex, machine – one with many moving parts. These parts include your sense of community, your sleep quality, your mental health, your physical health, and even the state of your microbiome. When all these parts are well maintained, you’re able to create happiness where you might not have otherwise seen it, enjoy pleasures you might not have otherwise noticed, and respond with resilience to challenges that might otherwise have knocked you into depression and despondency.

One small problem, though: this wonderful, complex machine doesn’t come with a manual.

Or does it?

Luckily, there are data-driven studies into how you can improve your happiness and science-backed blueprints for boosting joy. In this summary, we’ve collated a selection of these proven strategies, designed to make your happiness soar.

Want to live well? Try enjoying yourself!

If you want to be happier, try enjoying yourself more. Yes, advice doesn’t get much more obvious than this. But hear us out: How many of the things you do to live well are actually enjoyable for you? You’re told to exercise, eat well, and form productive habits, but your wellness should be a benefit, not a burden. Does any of this ring a bell?

You hit the gym three times a week, but just because you want to make your body fit the mold that society deems acceptable.

You eat organically and macrobiotically but you skip dinner dates with friends because of internalized pressure not to deviate from your diet.

Your “calming” morning routine has so many steps you’re already stressing about ticking them all off before you go to sleep the night before.

Of course, you know wellness is key to happiness and success. But somewhere along the way, you’ve probably got all mixed up – you’ve started to think that success only comes about through suffering. But actually enjoying the things you do to maintain your wellness is crucial to both boosting your happiness and to maintaining those very same wellness habits.

To help you get to this point, there are two simple ways you can enhance your enjoyment of wellness. First, you can stop doing all the wellness- and productivity-related tasks that you simply don’t enjoy. That’s right! You officially have permission not to meditate, not to drink kale juice, and not to optimize your email inbox!

But don’t get too carried away: while avoiding things you don’t like can make you feel happy, it’s also true that wellness – both physical and mental – is crucial for consistent happiness. So, find ways to enjoy the things that help you maintain wellness – in body and in mind. This might look like ditching a form of exercise you hate but also experimenting to find something you enjoy, whether that’s yoga or cliff diving. You do you! The same goes for diet. You don’t need to suffer through unseasoned steamed veggies to be well. Nutritional science shows that some of the most flavor-packed foods are also the most nutrient-dense. Think fresh herbs, aromatic spices, and in-season fruit – in other words, go on and add cinnamon to your oatmeal, basil to your salads, and juicy strawberries to your morning smoothie.

It might also look like reframing the why of your wellness routine. Why do you exercise? To look slimmer? Or do you exercise so that your body has the energy for you to do all the things you love – like dancing until sunrise or chasing after your kids?

Finally, let’s get a bit philosophical. When all else fails, and you can’t seem to overcome feelings of discomfort, anxiety, boredom, or irritation, consider the alternative. That’s right: think about death. Though it sounds morbid, experts from death doulas to clinical psychologists routinely encourage their clients to think about the fact that one day they’ll die. The logic here is simple. Remembering that life is finite can help you experience its meaning and its pleasures more fully. You won’t be able to enjoy life forever, so make sure to find and seek out life’s joys wherever you are. Even if you’re at the gym.

Hack your habits

Like most people, you probably know what makes you feel healthier and happier – whether that’s getting more regular exercise, quitting drinking, or making time to journal each day – but again, just like most people, you can’t seem to get in the habit of actually, you know, doing it.

Whatever habit you want to set and stick to, try using these science-backed strategies to achieve your goals.

First up, have you ever heard of the fresh start effect? Basically, humans tend to break their lives into “chapters,” like “college” or “summer.” Every chapter break leaves you feeling extra energized to create new habits – it’s why January 1 is such a popular day to set new goals. But Dr. Katie Milkman, who coined the term “fresh start effect” has good news – life is full of fresh starts for you to capitalize on. Milkman recommends finding a fresh start, like a Monday, or the beginning of a new month, on which to pin your new habits and goals.

When you set a goal for yourself, the conventional advice is to visualize yourself achieving it. Want to climb a mountain? Just visualize yourself standing triumphantly at its peak! But sadly, it’s not that easy. In fact, a team of researchers at NYU uncovered something surprising: visualizing achieving a goal can actually give you a sense of completion, making you less motivated to pursue it – after all, in your head, you’ve already conquered that mountain. That’s why instead of just visualizing, try the WOOP – that’s W-O-O-P – method instead. Define your Wish – in other words, articulate your goal. Then visualize the Outcome – not the moment you achieve your goal but how achieving that goal changes your life. Then identify Obstacles that might stop you from fulfilling your goal, and come up with a Plan to tackle them. WOOP! You’re well on your way to achieving that goal.

And make it fun. Not to sound repetitive, but the things you do to improve your life should also be enjoyable in and of themselves. A quick hack to make habit-forming feel more pleasurable is temptation bundling. Temptations are those fun activities that so often pull you away from doing the things you know you should be doing – you know you should go for a jog, but the couch and reruns of Friends are calling. What if you didn’t have to choose between the two? Save your favorite podcasts for the day you deep clean your house. File your taxes from a cozy local cafe. The key is to save your temptations for times when you’re doing a less desirable activity – so no Friends reruns unless you’re on the treadmill at the gym. It’s a tactic that works – in a recent study respondents who were only allowed to listen to audiobooks while they exercised found they exercised with 51 percent more frequency.

Invite inspiration and creativity

Have you ever watched someone turn their passion project into their main hustle and wished that you could too? Scrolled the social media accounts of artists and innovators sharing their work and felt slightly envious?

When it comes to living happily and well, creativity and imagination are the secret sauce – they give everything a little extra zing. If you’re not pursuing your own creativity, then you’re missing out. But before we talk about how to boost your creativity, let’s talk about why you might be neglecting your creativity in the first place.

Creativity isn’t an innate talent that only a few lucky people are born with but a muscle that can be trained. Everyone has a creative spark inside them. But many people still fail to flex their creativity because they’re waiting for the conditions to be right – waiting until they can buy a fancy camera, waiting until they’ve taken a watercolor course, waiting until they have enough time to focus on their creative work. But if you wait until the conditions are perfect, you’ll never begin! The same applies to sharing your work. Your work might not be as good as the work of your creative heroes. But guess how your heroes got to the level they’re at now? By sharing their work, seeking feedback, editing, tweaking, modifying. The right time to start getting creative and sharing your work is now.

If you’re feeling inspired to get creative but your imaginative juices just aren’t flowing, try twiddling your thumbs. Literally. Neuroscientists have found that fiddling, fidgeting, twitching, and wriggling can help us think more creatively. The hypothesis goes that before humans used verbal language, they relied on a language of gesture. Gesturing, then, can unlock parts of the brain that speaking or writing can’t – gesture enhances your thinking. Doodling or playing with a toy like a fidget spinner can be a shortcut to the deep thinking that creativity often requires.

Have you ever noticed that your best ideas rarely come to you when you’re at your desk, laptop open, and freshly brewed coffee in hand? True flashes of inspiration tend to come when your thoughts are wandering, mid-daydream. But researchers at Kings College London have proven that it’s possible to generate inspiration by daydreaming on purpose. Intentionally doing nothing allows your brain to drift, sparking free-flowing associative ideas. Work “nothing time” into your schedule, and capitalize on micro-moments of nothing time when they arise in your day. Skip the podcast when you wash the dishes. Don’t scroll your phone on your commute. You’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve when you set your mind to doing nothing.

Remember you’re resilient

Here’s the cold hard truth: you can design your life for happiness but you can’t optimize your way around setbacks. Challenges, disappointments, losses – all of these are inevitable. But just as science offers strategies for inviting happiness and well-being into your life, it also suggests best practices for dealing with the down times.

Banish the stigma around negative emotions – constant happiness isn’t the goal. If you’re not experiencing the full spectrum of emotion, then you’re not engaging fully with life. But sometimes those negative emotions can grow too persistent. If, for example, feelings of anxiety are preventing you from embracing new challenges, it’s time to address them. You might find a quick neurological fix is all you need – try reframing your feelings. Emotions aren’t hard and fast categories – they’re labels you fix to physical and mental sensations. When you feel anxiety, your heart races, your palms sweat, and your breath quickens. What would happen if you labeled those sensations as excitement rather than angst? Your experience would be transformed – you’re not nervous about speaking in public, you’re excited to get your message across. Or, say you’re often overwhelmed with sadness about a loss. That’s totally normal. But if you think you’re spending too much time feeling sad, probe your experience a bit deeper – what else can you find in there? Perhaps you’re also experiencing the bittersweetness of nostalgia or an uplifting sense of gratitude. You don’t have to be happy about your loss – but even in grief, there are shades of subtlety. Choosing to find the bright threads of hope and happiness within your sadness can help you cope.

Stress, like any emotion, has a lot to do with perception. You can perceive a stressful situation as either a threat or as a challenge – your perception has little to do with what causes the stress, and everything to do with how well-equipped you feel to deal with it. A high-pressure work deadline, for example, could send you into panic mode. But throw in a healthy budget and a skilled team, and you might even feel energized to tackle the challenge ahead. When stress threatens to overwhelm you, neuroscientists say one of the most productive things you can do is list all the resources you have at your disposal to combat your stressors. Simply reminding yourself of the tools at your disposal will help you regain some equilibrium.

While you’re at it, reminding yourself of past resilience can be a great way to deal with difficulties in the present. You might have heard of gratitude lists: basically, when you write down the things you’re thankful for, you bring your awareness to them and amplify your sense of gratitude in the process. Well, the same principle applies to resilience. Humans are infinitely adaptable, and as you’ve adapted to a range of situations in your life you’ve certainly shown flexibility, bravery, and determination. Whenever a challenging situation arises, take a deep breath, sit down, and write down all the other times in your life you’ve faced difficulties. You can deal with the hard stuff – because you know you’ve dealt with it before.

Live better and longer

When you build a wonderful life structured around happiness, well-being, inspiration, and resilience, it makes sense that you want to enjoy that life for as long as possible. So, here are a few science-based strategies for living well, longer.

Have you heard the saying that you only get out what you put in? Well, if you want to get more years out of life, start putting more nutrient-rich foods in your body. When people think about diet they tend to worry about macronutrients – fat, protein, and carbs. But micronutrients – things like selenium, potassium, and vitamin D – are just as important. Micronutrients create ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, which is the fuel that energizes your cells. Without sufficient ATP, your cells don’t function to their full potential. Most people eat, roughly, only two to three pounds of food a day – so it’s crucial to optimize the amount of micronutrients you get in each bite. Ultra-processed foods are stripped of micronutrients, so aim for natural, unprocessed food. Up the nutritional oomph of your meals by sprinkling them with nuts and seeds, and opt for organic, pasture-raised meat. Getting adequate micronutrients will keep your cells – and you – in top condition, for longer.

Don’t forget to floss. It’s not just important to your oral health. The microbiome in your mouth has a huge impact on the functioning of the rest of your body. Flossing reduces periodontitis, or inflammation of the gums, a condition which can drive inflammatory disease in the rest of the body. What’s more, the health of your gums has been linked to your risk of heart disease and even Alzheimer’s. So when you care for the health of your gums, you’re guarding against some of the most common life-limiting conditions out there.

Finally, don’t act your age. Seriously! A Yale study has shown that the biggest predictor of longevity is maintaining a youthful mindset. How you feel about aging may determine how long you live. Succumbing to seemingly innocuous stereotypes about aging – think: I’m too old to go clubbing – shifts you to a more limited conception of age. Forget dignity and respectability – if you want to live longer, don’t let anyone tell you not to wear mini-skirts, go rappelling, or finally get that septum piercing you’ve always wanted. After all, there’s no better time to start living your best life than right now!

Conclusion

There are a whole host of proven scientific strategies that can help you feel more joy, feel less stress, be more creative, be less sad, and even live longer! Why not choose one and put it into practice today?

About the Auther

Liz Moody

Nina Norman is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. She has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Nina has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. She is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Nina lives in London, England with her husband and two children. You can contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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