It's unfortunate how many people are miserable and feel like they're in a rut--a hamster on a wheel going nowhere really fast. Fortunately for us, there are things we can do right now to improve our lives and be so much happier. Here are 11 things to get you started.

1. Start your day off right.

To get your day off to a great start, your alarm clock should go off at a time that provides you with enough time to do those things in the morning that are important to you, like eating breakfast, exercising, drinking coffee, catching up on the news, striking some yoga poses--whatever it is that gets you going and charged up and ready to face another day.

2. Vow to remove one negative thing from your life.

Maybe it's moving to a new apartment because your neighbors are driving you crazy, or it's your roommate who needs to go. Perhaps it's a beat-up piece of furniture in your office. Choose one thing that is impacting your life in a negative way and do something about it. One less negative thing in your life equals a much happier you.

3. Remove negative thoughts.

We all have a story. We were bullied as children, or someone at work took credit for something we did--the possibilities and resulting upsets are endless. Quit allowing negative thoughts about the past to swirl around and torment your head and instead focus your energy on today and moving forward.

4. Be grateful for what you do have.

No matter how bad your life may seem at times, there is always something to be thankful for. Express your appreciation for something or someone in your life today.

5. Find your chill self.

When anxiety strikes, it is so easy to go off on others and say things we regret later. Remind yourself that getting angry or frustrated isn't worth your time. When you feel that temper beginning to flare, take yourself to a place in your mind that calms you, like the beach, the woods, the desert, the ice cream shop down the street--wherever it is that makes you smile and cools the red in your face.

6. Commit to a random act of kindness.

Doing nice things for others not only makes them feel special, it makes you feel better about yourself too. You can dramatically change your life right now by preparing your favorite muffin recipe (store-bought works too) and sharing with your office mates, or offering to help a co-worker with some daunting tasks. Another way to spread kindness is through your smile. When you smile, others view you as friendly--they feel accepted and usually smile back, which in turn makes them feel better. So spread the most genuine smile you have and share the happiness.

7. A bit about to-do lists.

With the majority of the population carrying around a smartphone, now is the time to embrace the calendar and all those apps that help keep you organized. As soon as an idea or something you need pops into your head, put it in your calendar or log it into one of those handy apps as soon as possible. Tackle those things on your list that you know you can conquer quickly and then move on to the more time-consuming tasks, one at a time.

8. Evaluate your career happiness.

Sometimes it is a matter of really taking a look at your career or company choice. Are you in a career that sings to you and has you jumping out of bed eager to begin your day? Do you work for a company that takes care of your needs and makes you feel like part of the team? Do you feel rewarded for your daily contributions? If the answer is "No!" to any or all of these questions, it is time to figure out a solution that will allow you to answer "Yes!" instead.

9. Organize one space today.

Did you know that being organized could reduce stress, improve your health, and increase your productivity? Choose one unorganized space that you have been valiantly ignoring for much too long and get it organized right now.

10. Change up your life.

Get out of your rut by doing something new! In as little as a half hour, you can turn your day around and improve your life. Is there a dysfunctional procedure at work--one that works for some situations, but not others? Then find a way to improve upon it and create a win-win situation. Have you been dreaming of learning a new programming language, starting your own business, or figuring out the stock market? Whatever it is you have been thinking and dreaming about for far too long, begin the journey today.

11. End your day right.

Hug someone a little tighter and love someone a little more. Haven't exercised yet today? Get out, even if it's for only 15 minutes. Make healthy food choices and plan on a good night's sleep. And, when you look in the mirror at yourself one last time before bed tonight, don't forget to smile.