Starting in the April just gone and for 12 months I am giving each month theme. This is a word that is going to be my focus for that month.

My theme for May is EFFORT.

This means, as part of my Happiness Project, I am making a concerted effort to make more of an effort in all aspects of my life.

Sometimes there isn’t a lot of time for it to take poll position in my day. So I have compiled a list of quick ways to make more of an effort. They are all under 10 minutes so are very achievable.

I’d love to know if you have any others:

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1. Pay a compliment. This is so easy and will make someone’s day. Don’t just focus on appearance – is the person a good listener? Have they done something kind?

2. Wear lipstick – a slick of your favourite bright lipstick can catapult you you from drab to fab and if you’ve got a little more time (10mins13) try Lisa Eldridge’s Quick Modern Glam make up tutorial.

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3. The One Minute Rule: Do a task that takes under 60 seconds now – clothes in the laundry basket, dishes in the dishwasher, rubbish out, collect the post, wipe the kitchen counter, reply to a short email.

4. Make a healthier choice. You’re stood in line waiting  to order your latte, trying to be good, and you hear the immortal words “anything else?” Just say no. My downfall is M&S chocolate covered popcorn on the way home from work. Now I have to walk a different route to the station (p.s. sorry to remind you how good it is)!

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5. Call, text, message or email a friend. Have a catch up, send a link to an article they might be interested in or a photo you might have taken with them in.

6. Pick up the phone and book a date night at a favourite restaurant.

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7. At home, don’t eat dinner on the sofa, sit at the table and light a few candles. I bought a set of different sizes from Ikea and placed terminal pretty ceramic plate.

8. Spruce up your outfit. Don a pair of earrings, put a necklace on, wear your heels. Try this pair and this pair below.

9. Pack a utility bag. The number of times I’ve wanted to freshen up after work and grapple with/don’t have the following: small deodorant, small dry shampoo, hairbrush, tissues, mints, perfume (samples are perfect, the one thing that I think goes against the Marie Kondo no samples rule).

10. Write and post a card or a letter. Everybody loves a hand written letter in the post.

11. Do something you’ve been putting off like making that dentist appointment or cancelling a credit card.

12. Engage in a work meeting and speak up when you might tend to shy away. Trust in yourself and be confident in your ability.

13. Really listen to the person you are talking to.

14. Donate what you can to a good cause (time, money, supplies).

15. Paint your nails. My current favourite is Lounge Lover by Essie.

16. Write a journal and by doing this you’ll be able to focus and clarify your ideas.

16. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it.

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Surely the best smile ever?

17. Say yes to something where you would usually say no. An invitation, a drink after work with colleagues, a 5 km run, a 10km run, a marathon

18. Update (or create!) your address and birthdays book.

19. Do you have a chair in your bedroom perpetually covered clothes? I do and I feel so much better when it isn’t.

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20. On the go in the morning and out the house before breakfast time? Make a breakfast smoothie and take it with you. My favourite is this mango, raspberry and nut butter one from The Body Coach. Nutribullets are AMAZING. This recipe only takes five minutes to whizz up

21. Take the stairs.


I got to 21 ideas! Although I am sure there are heaps more ways. Any suggestions?

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