pearsonWe have a guest blog post from Corey, a Pearson Campus Ambassador and Hope Scholar at University of Georgia where he is majoring in Business Management. Thank you to our partners at Pearson, the world’s leading education company, providing educational materials, technology, assessments and services to teachers and students of all ages.

I’m no expert on what you should be doing on a daily basis, but these 12 things help me become a better person each and every day. Sure, there are days where I don’t get a few done, or when I barely get any done at all… but each of these 12 things will help you grow and learn – and that’s the real question – what’s living if you aren’t learning? Whether you think these things will help you or not, it’s worth it to at least try them out. Read the list below to get a peek into what helps me.

1.  Wake up at sunrise. If you decide to sleep in past 9 am, I can promise you that your day will be far less productive than if you started earlier. And, being outside early in the morning, even if you’re just sitting, can make all the difference in your day-starting-mood.

2. Go for a run/jog/walk/bike adventure. Whether it’s in the morning or in the evening, getting out for some alone-time-exercise will always make you feel on top of the world. It’s also nice if you change up your routes to find new views and new places – trust the avid runner on this one.

3. Learn something new. I try to learn something new every single day. Pick up a book, get on the internet, or even talk to a neighbor. Research those ants in your yard, or why your car is guzzling so much gas. There’s ALWAYS something for you to learn.

4. Make your food. There’s a huge difference between pressing buttons on a microwave that will instantly heat up that pre-cooked frozen macaroni and actually making what you eat. This simple change has helped me appreciate the food in front of me and my environment a little more – try it. You may even find a new hobby out of it.

5. Read the news. Easy enough right? How are you supposed to stay up-to-date with the world if you don’t even know what’s going on around you? Find a good source for local, national, and international news. There is always something in the news that helps me learn about the world around me: from technology to foreign relations.

6. Thank someone. If you’ve read my previous blog, “Thank You”, then you’ll know exactly what I mean. I try to thank someone at least once a day. Send an email, a text message, a letter, a Facebook message – whatever it is, thank someone who has helped you in some way or another. It could mean all the difference.

7. Read a chapter. If you think you don’t like reading, then you probably haven’t found the right book. That’s coming from someone who didn’t like reading in the past. Reading a chapter a day allows you to get away from reality.

8. Talk to someone. I always say our generation has lost its mojo because barely anyone talks in person anymore – we live on social media and text messaging. You know what though? That’s okay. As long as you’re talking with someone every day, then you are growing your network, your social skills, and your relationships. Talk to people. Family, friends, cashiers… anyone. Social skills are gold in my mind.

9. Take a break. Have you ever meditated for 10 minutes? Have you ever taken a nap in the grass for 10 minutes? Have you ever done yoga? Stretched? If you have or have not, I recommend taking some kind of break daily. Whether it’s for 5, 10, 20 or even 30 minutes, a break can do wonders for my mind and soul. Everyone needs a break.

10. Try something new. Surprisingly, whether you think you do or not, you try new things every day. I take new paths every day. I try a new food, or a new combo of food. I try to do a new workout or a new walking path. I try picking up some new music or a new hobby. New is good. New means you’re learning.

11. Don’t scroll. I get it, social media is the way of the word. But you can’t let social media melt your mind. I’ve changed and made social media as a way of connecting with people, not as a crutch to my life. Can you spend a whole day without looking at social media? Taking a break can make all the difference.

12. Clean up. People tell me I’m a little over-committed to keeping my place clean, but cleancan do more for you than you think. If my place is clean, then I find myself less stressed and more relaxed with my work. I feel organized and fresh. And, if I’m good in a clean and comfortable environment, then I find myself to be more productive.

Sure there are more things I do daily, but these 12 things are the most important. They’re game changers. They’re growing tools. They may not make me a million dollars today, or put a car in the driveway tomorrow, but their stepping stones. They’re the ingredients I’m using toward finding success.

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