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Spruce Up Your Life
by Chris Malone,posted Jul 26 2013 5:14AM
Happy Friday! Does your life need a little pick me up? Here are some ways to spruce it up!
1. Take stock
How now, Dow Jones? That is the question. Bank bailouts? Sub-prime mortgages? If you're not confused, you aren't paying attention. But ignorance will cost you, so make a point of reading the financial section of your newspaper every day. Lesson No. 1: If your best friend loses her job, it's a recession. If you lose yours, it's a depression.
2. Buy an item of clothing that's so not you
Leather pants, stilettos, a bikini that, if translated into Morse Code, would be two dots and a dash.
3. Switch your Swatch -- to the other wrist
"Any time you make an adjustment, no matter how small, your brain has to work a little harder," New York psychologist Arlene Kagle, Ph.D., says. "It's good mental exercise." Another noggin workout: Figure out a math problem in your head rather than on a calculator.
4. Stop apologizing already!
This is probably silly... If this isn't a good time...With those soggy preambles, you're trivializing your requests -- and yourself.
5. And while we're at it
Stop apologizing for apologizing.
6. Read one of those books your English teacher talked about
War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, Ulysses. This will give you a head start on a resolution for 2013: Finish War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, Ulysses...
7. Give something back
Got 30 seconds? Go to greatergood.com to support sites that help people, pets, and the planet -- with one click you provide books to literacy programs, food for malnourished kids, or protection for endangered forests.
8. Learn how to tell a joke
if your jokes fall flatter than Kate Moss's abs, maybe it's the way you're telling them. Eighty percent of a joke's effectiveness lies in the delivery, 20 percent in the content. "Make your tone conversational," says comedy writer Mark Simone. Don't talk too slowly; you want to sound like you're telling a joke, not reciting one. "And smile a lot," he says. "If it doesn't go over, just laugh and say, 'Well, I thought it was funny.'"
9. Renew a childhood passion
Try pottery. Perfect your Pictionary game. Take your piano skills from "Chopsticks" to Chopin.
10. Do something you hate for someone you love
Lunch with his mom, his college reunion (complete with kegger), or a movie that's long on action and short on plot.
11. Add color to your life. Buy a sweater in cerulean
Paint your living room a dramatic red. Vivid colors can boost your mood. And really, who could possibly be blue in purple?
12. Stop with the why-ning
"Why?" is a perfectly lovely question coming from a toddler, but not from you. Why am I stuck in this stupid job? Why don't I have a better boyfriend? A better question: "How?" How do I get a better job, a better guy?
13. Find a bra that fits
Because right now, we're guessing that yours doesn't (a study showed that eight out of 10 women don't know their correct bra size). To prevent cups that runneth over and underwires that dig, get a pro to measure you at your local department store. Or try the Bra Size Calculator at balicompany.com
14. Learn to say no
Put your tongue against the back of your top teeth, make an oval shape with your mouth, and let go. Feels good, no?