When we think about changing our lives, we often think BIG.
But actually, it’s the small steps we take that can have the biggest impact – things that most of us overlook or underestimate, much to our own detriment!
So, in this article, I’ll be sharing 10 little things that can make a big difference in your life:
1) Getting enough sleep
There are two types of people out there – those who refuse to sacrifice their sleep and those who use the expression, “I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead”…
If you fall into the latter category, this point is for you!
You see, sleep is our foundation. It’s the time in which our minds can process the events of the day, and the body can recuperate and repair itself.
So, sorry to say folks, but not sleeping enough could be ruining your life, without you even realizing it!
And it’s not just your body that might suffer, but your focus, attention, and patience may take a hit on a day-to-day basis if you’re constantly tired.
Remember – adults need on average at least 7 hours a night. It’s a small thing that can make a huge difference in your life!
2) Getting out into nature
When was the last time you took a few hours to stroll through your local park/forest?
When did you last relax on the beach and soak in the sun?
Getting into nature is such a simple, small thing that can have profound effects on your life!
Here are just a few of the benefits that come with spending a little bit of time in nature on a regular basis:
- Reduces stress
- Boosts mood
- Improves creativity
- Helps you become more active
Even if you live in a concrete city, find a local park and challenge yourself to take a 15-minute stroll every day after you finish work. You’ll quickly start to see how it positively affects you!
Talking of becoming more active…this is another little thing that can make a big difference in your life.
You see, aside from the long-term benefits (less chance of developing illness later in life), the short-term effects include feeling more energetic, improved mood, and better concentration.
And the best part?
You don’t need to spend two hours a day in the gym to benefit from exercise!
A light jog once a day, half an hour of yoga, or even 20 minutes of dancing around your kitchen with the music on high will leave you with incredible results!
4) Disconnecting from technology
Another little thing that can greatly change your life is disconnecting from technology…
Yes – that means putting away your phone/tablet and any other devices you have!
Switch off Netflix. Lock your phone in another room if you have to. Resist the urge to check social media.
It may be hard at first, after all, most of us are *slightly* addicted to our gadgets!
But the more you practice this, the easier it’ll get. And with time, you’ll realize how relaxing it is to spend time away from technology!
You can use this time to get on with other things, enjoy hobbies, connect with your loved ones, or simply be present in the moment.
5) Making time for yourself
Spending time alone and on things you enjoy is another underrated thing that doesn’t take long but can make a big difference in your life.
You see if you’re constantly living for others, you’re essentially neglecting yourself. Do this for long enough, and you’ll start to feel a disconnect, which can sometimes display itself as stress or a sense of frustration with life.
So, what does making time for yourself actually look like?
- Taking out half an hour a day to relax by yourself (without distractions)
- Giving yourself some TLC (run a bath, groom yourself, and feel good!)
- Reading/going for a run/painting (anything that you enjoy doing)
The truth is, many people feel bad about prioritizing themselves when there are so many other chores and tasks to get on with.
But remember – you can’t show up in the other areas of your life if you’re not showing up for yourself first!
What does the state of your home have to do with your life?
As it turns out – a lot!
I’ve always said, a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind.
And it makes sense. If everything around you is in disarray, it’s harder to focus.
That’s why something as simple as spending 10 minutes before bed putting things away can make a big difference in your life. You’ll wake up to a clean, organized space, ready to start your day!
And the same goes for your office/working space.
Dedicating some time to keeping it clutter free won’t take long, but it will improve the quality of your work.
If you’re struggling to declutter, a rule I follow is:
‘If it hasn’t been worn or used in the last year, it has to go!’
7) Practicing gratitude
Another little thing that will yield powerful, positive results in your life is gratitude.
This can be as simple as making sure to say thank you to those around you; whether it’s your partner bringing you a cup of coffee in the morning, or a colleague holding the door for you.
But showing gratitude doesn’t stop there…
Practicing it on a daily basis can shift your mindset into a more positive, bright outlook on life.
Try writing down three things you’re grateful for every day. It’ll only take you a few minutes, but the effects will go on long after you’ve put your journal away!
8) Practicing mindfulness meditation
Have you ever tried mindfulness meditation?
It’s not something that will change your life overnight, but the more you practice it, the more you’ll start to feel the benefits. Some of these include a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression.
And the good news is – you only need to do it for a few minutes every day.
- Find a quiet, calm place without distractions
- Get into a comfortable position
- Focus on your breathing
- Allow your thoughts to come and go – don’t engage with them, stay focussed on your breathing instead
You will find that your mind wanders, but that’s okay. Gently bring yourself back to your breathing every time you feel yourself becoming distracted.
9) Organizing your day beforehand
This one was a game changer for me – gone are the days when I’m running around stressed, tired, and frustrated because I forgot something important at home!
Now, I organize my days beforehand.
That means preparing lunch and packing my bag the night before. I also decide on the clothes I’m going to wear, and what errands I can fit in between meetings.
By doing this, I start each day feeling calm and composed.
And this has had a great impact not only on my work but also on my overall mood and sense of “togetherness”…which is what all of us adults want at the end of the day, right?
So, by spending just a few minutes the day before, you could make a big difference in the day-to-day runnings of your life!
10) Learning to say “no”
And finally, learning to say “no” will absolutely make a big difference in your life.
Crazy how such a little word can have such a big impact!
But when you learn to say “no”, what you’re effectively doing is learning how to set boundaries.
Boundaries are what tell other people how we wish to be treated. For example:
I used to regularly agree to things I didn’t want to do, simply because I was afraid to say “no” and let people down.
Now, I politely decline invitations to things I’m not interested in/don’t have time for. I let my friends and family know that I have other commitments and that I appreciate their understanding when I can’t make it to an event.
The truth is:
Learning to say “no” has empowered me, freed up my time, and shown me who can respect my boundaries and who can’t!
So, it’s well worth giving it a try, alongside the other points I’ve mentioned in this article. Great change is possible, and you don’t have to move mountains to get there!