If you’re like me, you regularly fantasize about upgrading your life.
Starting Monday, you’ll go to the gym, eat better, stay present, reconnect with loved ones, clean your home from top to bottom, and socialize more.
Then Monday comes, and you go through the day on autopilot, lacking the energy for overwhelming adjustments.
But here’s the thing: you don’t have to overhaul your entire existence to live a little better.
Even a slight change in routine can yield incredible results.
Case in point, here are 14 small changes that can lead to massive personal growth.
They don’t even require a whole lot of time or effort.
1) Add a fun activity to your morning routine
If your morning routine consists of chaotically slurping your coffee as you read emails, you’re starting the day on the wrong note.
What you do in the morning influences your mood for the rest of the day.
Why not devote a little time to an activity that brings you joy?
Perhaps you can listen to your favorite podcast, have a lavish breakfast, or adopt a luxurious skincare routine.
I journal as I drink coffee, and I watch motivational YouTube videos while cooking my eggs.
When you have something to look forward to in the morning, waking up is more pleasant.
2) Make your bed
Making your bed takes about 2 minutes and comes with several benefits:
- You start your day as you mean to go on
- It gives you a sense of accomplishment
- It clears your mind
- Your bedroom looks tidy
Additionally, making your bed can be a keystone habit that produces a ripple effect, encouraging smarter choices throughout the day.
3) Put your phone in Airplane Mode when you need to focus
We live in a time of distraction, with notifications disturbing our flow every few minutes, loved ones able to reach us at all hours, and social media apps ruining our attention span.
If you want to increase productivity, create a distraction-free environment that promotes focus.
The quickest way to do that is to make sure that your phone doesn’t vibrate every 5 minutes, prompting you to pick it up.
Whenever you engage in deep work, put it in Airplane or Do Not Disturb mode.
Don’t let email notifications prevent you from getting crucial tasks done.
4) Meet or call a friend during your lunch break
Humans are social beings.
As we age, however, making new friends becomes challenging. Blame it on hectic schedules and fewer opportunities to meet people outside of work.
That’s why it’s crucial to cherish the friends you already have.
Connecting with a friend during your lunch break deepens the relationship and positively impacts your mental health. Win-win.
5) Go on a solo date each month
On a similar note, we can get so caught up in the mundanity of life that we forget to spend time with ourselves.
When was the last time you did something selfish like taking yourself out to dinner, seeing a movie in an actual cinema, taking a class, or exploring a museum?
Put in on the schedule.
Self-care reduces stress, promotes relaxation, and enhances your emotional resilience.
It’s the key to becoming a better you.
6) Instill a no-phone rule at dinner
By setting aside phones during dinner, you can engage in quality time with your partner, kids, or family members.
And if you eat alone, ditching your phone lets you be more mindful and savor the food.
Either way, you won’t regret it.
7) Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read
Is your inbox constantly overflowing and causing unnecessary stress? You should finally do something about it.
Next time you have a few free minutes, search for “unsubscribe” in your email app. Then scroll to see which newsletters or promotions you can get out of.
Do this consistently for a few days, and inbox zero will no longer seem like an unattainable goal.
8) Unfollow everyone you hate follow on social media
If you spend a decent amount of time on social media, the quality of the accounts you follow affects everything from your self-esteem to your emotional well-being and personal growth.
Next time you have a few spare minutes, review your following lists and remove anyone whose posts don’t benefit you.
A few tips to curate your social media feed:
- Unfollow anyone whose posts make you feel angry, judgmental, or envious
- Limit your exposure to news and politics
- Mute people you can’t unfollow because it would cause drama but wish you could (like a politically incorrect aunt or annoying friend of a friend)
- Block your ex (you don’t need to know what they’re up to)
9) Declutter for 10 minutes each day
A clutter-free home is less stressful and easier to clean.
With that in mind, I’ve wanted to declutter my pantry for the last six months.
But I was discouraged every time I opened the door, gearing up for the task. It felt like an energy-draining and time-consuming activity.
Finally, I decided to break down the project into smaller milestones.
Instead of spending an entire Saturday throwing up expired cans and yelling at myself for collecting recipe books I never use, I spent about 10-15 minutes daily on a single shelf.
I was done in a little over a week, only slightly frustrated by the entire ordeal.
Next time you clean, devote 10 minutes to tackling one area of your home. The junk drawer, the cabinet below the kitchen sink, your sneaker collection, and so on.
That feels more doable than doing it all at once.
You have probably already read about 2450 articles about how meditation can improve mental clarity and focus.
I won’t insist. It’s true. What have you got to lose?
11) Track your spending
I started to track my spending at the end of last year.
After a couple of months, I was appalled by how much money I was throwing at streaming services alone.
None of them was that expensive, but once I added them up, the total was… surprising, and not in a good way.
If you want to save money, start by figuring out exactly where your cash is going once it leaves your account.
An expense tracking app will help you identify any problem areas.
Then, you can make a budget and adjust your spending accordingly.
12) Plan or prep your meals
Speaking of money, the amount I used to leave at the grocery store was alarming as well.
It was even more depressing when I realized that a lot of that food ended up in the garbage because I am not an overnight oats kind of person, regardless of how much I try.
As a result, I started to look for ways to reduce that spending. Meal planning turned out to be the most effective.
By planning your meals, you make intentional choices about the foods you consume, reduce food waste, and eliminate the daily stress of deciding what to cook.
Here’s how my weekly meal-planning routine looks now:
- Sit down and create a meal plan for the week ahead
- Come up with a grocery list based on that meal plan
- Buy the groceries (you can order them online to avoid impulse purchases)
- Prep ingredients to make cooking easier
You can take it one step further and batch-cook meals every Sunday.
I prefer to cook every night to unwind, but you do you.
13) Wear the fancy outfit
We all have clothes we save for special occasions.
More often than not, they stay in the back of the closet, and we never get to enjoy them.
Here’s a little secret: every day can be a special occasion.
Saving outfits perpetuates the mindset of waiting for the perfect moment to enjoy something.
By wearing your favorite clothes regularly, you find satisfaction in the here and now.
Plus, it’s an instant confidence boost!
14) Create a vision board
A vision board is a powerful tool for clarifying your goals and staying motivated.
You can use a tool like Canva to create a digital version. Download it on your phone for easy access, and set it as a desktop background to keep yourself accountable.
Look at it whenever you feel dispirited. It reminds you of where you want to go.
There are only 24 hours in a day. Fitting everything you want into such a rigid timeframe can be difficult.
Don’t discount the compound effect of small changes. You’d be surprised by how much they can help you grow.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.