How to Change Your Life in 30 Seconds or Less


March 19, 2009   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Too busy, too rushed or simply too stressed to even think about how you could go about adding a positive spin to your life? Trust me, I know. It all takes so much time: read a book, make a list, talk to this person, etc. If you do have the time, do you have the energy and determination?

It’s tough. Sometimes, too tough.

As I tried to clear my head during a walk recently, something occurred to me. Things often change due to short bursts of action that last 30 seconds or less. Think about it, think of how potent and life changing a mere thirty seconds could be.

Experience Your Life Differently

The more I thought about it, I began to really notice and feel how long thirty seconds was. Try it. Do nothing but focus only on your breath (nothing else) for a whole thirty seconds. You’ll soon realize that thirty seconds is indeed a reasonable and worthy amount of time that can be used purposefully. Begin to explore all the things you can do with such a seemingly small moment of time. Wisely use it to make small contributions towards fueling new habits and stopping wasteful ones. Imagine, gradually, thirty seconds, by thirty seconds, you will be able to experience your life differently without really even trying.

Grow Your 30 Second Muscle

All, you need to do is hold your focus on a something positive for a whole thirty seconds (without getting distracted), and follow through with thirty seconds of positive action. Voila! In under a minute you’ve made a positive and valuable change to the flow of your life.

I’m sure you can find thirty seconds somewhere in your day, or better still, once every hour to make small, yet frequent positive changes to your life.

Here are some ideas.; take them or leave them. The point is that major change doesn’t always have to take major effort or major amounts of time.

    1. Start a 30 second savings habit
      All it takes is 30 seconds to grab some cash and deposit a coin or note into your daily savings jar in the kitchen. I have a little pink pig which I feed happily each day in under 30 seconds. 
  • Reduce your electricity bill
    30 seconds is all it takes to walk over to the wall, bend down and turn all your electrical appliances off at the wall that are not being used. After one month, my kids are now experts at this new money saving habit. 
  • Lose the frown
    All it takes is less than 30 seconds to turn a frown into a smile. A smile literally relaxes hundreds of muscles and releases pockets of stress and tension held in your face. Feel your face now for any unnecessary squinting, frowning, or tight muscles. 
  • Start a 30 second clutter clearing session
    Walk to a cluttered draw/cupboard and spend a huge thirty seconds grabbing one thing that you no longer need and throw it out. No fuss and no stress. Allow thirty seconds each day to clear at least one thing from your chosen draw/cupboard. The beauty of 30 seconds is that you haven’t got any time to have a discussion or argument with yourself. If in doubt, throw it out. 
  • Take a chill pill
    How often do you hold your breath and suck in the stress. Spend longer on your exhale to support your body in releasing built up stress and tension. Ten seconds on the inhale and twenty seconds on the exhale is a good formula for inviting space into your body and creating distance between you and your worries. 
  • Get unstuck
    Always keep a copy of your favorite inspirational book close by. Open randomly and read a few paragraphs to bring insight, to your current situation. I often pick up a book when my mind is going around in circles to regroup/refocus an unproductive mind. One of my favorites is The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer. No matter what page I read, it always seems to put me back on track again. 
  • Repeat a mantra
    When confusion hits, step back, take a breather, and spend a valuable thirty seconds calming those erratic thoughts with a sanity saving mantra. My favorite “I trust” allows me to “let go” and relax into the situation. 
  • The 30 second detox
    Did you know that 70% of waste is eliminated via your lungs? Improve the efficiency of your lungs by breathing deeply into your lower abdomen. Place your hands on your belly and feel it rise and fall with each breath cycle. A thirty second detox every hour will do wonders for your health. 
  • Stay hydrated
    Your brain needs water to think clearly. It’s the first place in the body to lose water. Get into the habit of sipping on water for thirty seconds every hour.
  • Do nothing for 30 seconds
    Put some space between you and your hectic schedule. Treat yourself to regular 30 second breaks and give your body an opportunity to re-balance itself. Close your eyes, cup the palm of your hands over your ears and listen to the blissful sounds of the ocean playing inside your head. 
  • Cancel a complaining thought
    Each time you catch yourself complaining, spend thirty seconds focusing on the opposite and increase your ratio between helpful and unhelpful thoughts. 
  • Take a 30 second exercise break
    Stand up, roll your shoulders, stretch or try some wall push ups. Better still keep two cans of food beside your computer. When reading an article, grab a can in each hand and lift up to your shoulders and back down again, repeat as if lifting weights. 
  • Adjust the speed of your day
    Take some time out and notice if your mind is racing, your breathing shallow or your body feels rushed and uptight. Simply by taking thirty seconds to observe your body, you can slow down your thoughts, your breath and the speed of your day.You might even realize that your body is hungry, thirsty or simply needs some fresh air. 
  • Turn off the TV
    Value your time. All it takes is 30 seconds to get up off your seat and turn the TV off. Do something meaningful like talk to your family or connect to nature by talking a walk. 
  • Eat mindfully
    Take thirty seconds before you eat your meal to make sure you are settled, present and ready to smell, taste, eat and enjoy your food consciously. Breathe in “I am calm” Breathe out “I smile” Repeat five times.

What do you think? Can small decisions make major changes?

Written on 3/19/2009 by Carole Fogarty. Carole is the Editor of the Rejuvenation Lounge, a blog focused on sharing ways of living a relaxed lifestyle. Photo Credit: nattu

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