7 Small Changes that Will Make a Big Difference in Your Life
Making a big change in life can be pretty intimidating. It can also be a source of a lot of stress and even more frustration. With some of those big life changes, results aren’t always immediate. As time goes by, you might experience feelings of self-doubt and irritation. Especially if you find yourself not meeting those high expectations you’ve set for yourself.
Thing is, your life really is what you make it.
Yes, there are some things in life that are beyond your control. There are, however, even more things which you do have control over, things you can… change.
We love saying: “If you don’t like something, just change it.” Thing is, it’s not always that simple, or easy to do. This is why focusing on making small changes in your life can be a great place to start.
A small change can still deliver those big results. It can help you create a huge, wonderful transformation in your life. By changing as little as one small daily habit, you can introduce more positive and healthy patterns into your life and daily routine. It can bring more joy and bliss to this seemingly ordinary, “everyday” life, as we like to call it.
7 SMALL LIFE CHANGES THAT WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE
1. GET ACTIVE
Start small. Take longer walks with your dog, go for a 15-minute run in the morning, take the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Park your car a little farther from that store entrance. Eventually, introducing some light exercise will become easier. Then, try to incorporate daily workouts into your routine (if it’s not already a part of your daily routine)– it doesn’t have to be anything intense at first- just find something that works for you. You will feel better- both physically and mentally. You will find that you have more energy and that you are generally in a better mood. Being more active will also help you cope with stress in a much healthier way.
2. SPEND MORE TIME IN NATURE
There are countless studies proving that spending time in nature not only inspires creativity, but it also boosts happiness and the immune system. People who spend a lot of time in nature are also less likely to develop feelings of anxiety. Whether it’s a hike in the forest, a bike ride or a walk in the park- being in nature has a calming and soothing effect. Making this a habit will help you be more calm and mindful.
3. DO YOUR WORK AT YOUR DESK
I bring work home with me quite often and I noticed that if I don’t sit down at my desk with my computer and try to do my work in the living room sitting on the couch with my laptop, it takes me much longer to complete my work. Truth is, we all think that we’re great at multitasking. In reality, though, multitasking is a productivity killer. Sitting at your desk when working on an important task will keep distractions to a minimum, which in turn will make your work much more productive. The same thing goes for turning off your phone or TV while working on something important- it minimizes distractions. This also doesn’t apply just to your “work” but also other important things you need to take care of- like having to make important phone calls, set up appointments, etc.
4. CLEAN THAT UP (OR PUT IT AWAY, OR PICK IT UP) RIGHT AWAY
Ever woke up late and didn’t have enough time to make your bed in the morning? Maybe you always leave that empty cereal bowl on your countertop and don’t pick it up until after you get home at the end of the day? Things like doing your dishes right away or making your bed in the morning only take about 2 minutes of your time, if you think about it. It’s those little, seemingly insignificant things that can make a big difference in your daily routine and… your mood.
The dishes won’t keep pilling up and when you get home, you won’t find your bedroom looking like a mess, with empty water bottles, clothes, and pillows laying all over the place. It really might seem like not that big of a deal, but cleaning up after yourself right away leads to developing other good habits. It also sort of gives you a small feeling of accomplishment, knowing that you started the day on a positive note. It’s a small change, but it can make a big difference. Plus, it’s much easier to pick up those little items and clean them up or put them away “as you go,” rather than having to devote an entire day to clean your place. When you get home, you won’t feel annoyed or irritated at your past self for leaving the place in a state of a chaotic jumble.
5. SMALL LIFE CHANGES: PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Swap complaining for feeling thankful and watch your life change. This is one of the best small life changes you can make. Regardless of your current circumstances, there are many things that you might be taking for granted. Things that we think are “simple” or “not a big deal.” Things like running water, electricity, our jobs, relationships, health. Make it a daily habit to feel thankful for those things. Every night, before you go to sleep, think about one, good thing that happened to you that day and say “thank you, thank you, thank you!” The more you think and talk about these things, the more often you will notice them. With regular practice, you will begin to notice that those “bad” or negative things that once felt “normal” and natural (innocent office gossip, that constant, toxic self-criticism, etc.) actually affect your mood and energy. They won’t feel “good” or natural anymore. This practice really changed my life- I started noticing and acknowledging all these amazing things, people, places, opportunities that I used to take for granted. Life became more beautiful, peaceful, simple. If you truly commit to this and practice gratitude daily, I guarantee that you’ll notice your life change within the first month. Gratitude rewires your brain, in a way, and redirects your focus to things that are good, positive, things that bring you joy. I know that a lot of people have a very skeptical attitude toward these things (I thought that writing down things I feel grateful for was kind of silly and awkward when I started my gratitude practice) but it has been scientifically proven that practicing gratitude can improve your wellbeing and health.
6. GET AN EARLY START
To me, getting an early start to my day is not necessarily about arriving to work early or getting more things done before the day officially “starts.” It’s about having those extra few minutes just for yourself, to really enjoy that morning coffee, to get in a good workout or have a light stretch, get a positive attitude and prepare yourself for the day ahead. You can try doing this even if you don’t consider yourself a morning person, even as little as 15 minutes of extra time in the morning (or evening, if you work night shifts) can make a huge difference. If your life is very busy with work and family, this might be the only chance where you can get to experience a couple of minutes of that joy of solitude, to do something just for yourself.
7. BE KIND
This, right here, is also something important to think about whenever people treat you poorly: “Always respond intelligently, even to unintelligent treatment.” (Lao Tzu). You never know where someone’s anger and frustration may be coming from. Remind yourself that how you treat others says nothing about them, but it does say a lot about you. I think now, more than ever, it’s very important for us to be kind to each other- even when we don’t always agree with, or particularly like the other person.
When it comes to those small life changes, you don’t have to make all of them at once to get big results- that, after all, wouldn’t be a small change at all, would it? Start off by changing something small and subtle, but something that will truly make a positive impact on your life. Begin with focusing just on that one change, one single habit that will make your life better.
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