A few months ago, I decided that I had to start waking up an hour earlier than I was used to. The decision came after spending years of my life running late to work almost every single day. My morning routine was the same: set my alarm for a reasonable time, then hit snooze a minimum of five times before hauling my ass out of bed, running around like a maniac to get ready, racing for the train so fast I almost got in more than enough accidents, and getting to work late, feeling frazzled and stressed before my cup of coffee. It was horrible… until I started waking up earlier. This small change in my daily routine literally changed my life. Okay, well, almost.
Now that I wake up earlier, I’m able to take my time getting ready, which allows me to feel less stressed and more relaxed. I get to work earlier than anyone else, which is nice because I cherish those moments of silence. I get more done in the day, and I actually feel better about myself too. Sometimes, that extra time even allows me to leave a little early. Of course it wasn’t easy to wake up so early, but I don’t think I can ever go back to the way things used to be.
These is just one example of a small change anyone can make to their daily routine to make their lives better – and so when I saw this Ask Reddit thread on the subject, I was immediately interested. It’s normal for us as humans to get used to our routine and not want to change from it – it’s hard to switch up your habits. But in most cases, it’s ultimately beneficial. Whether you want to be more productive, feel less stressed, or just be a little happier, the below changes can help. And while you certainly don’t have to do all of them, you should pick at least one… maybe two… and try it out. Good luck!
Make Breakfast At Nightamgov: Making my breakfast the night before. Unless you aren't in school and you don't work, mornings are probably pretty hectic for you - they are for most people. This is why so many of us either skip breakfast altogether, or end up eating something unhealthy. One solution: making breakfast in advance when you need to. You can make egg muffins at night and heat them up in the morning, freeze egg sandwiches, do some overnight oatmeal, or even put aside yogurt and fruit bowls. It might take up some TV time at night, but it's worth it in the morning. Source: iStock
Be A Little SelfishMostlyALurkerBefore: I don't know if this applies to people who don't suffer from self-loathing and depression, but I try to do one nice thing just for myself every day. I do a lot for my family and it's easy for me to slip into neglecting my own needs or wants. So every day, I try to do something that's just for me. Some days I go see a movie, sometimes I get myself some chocolate, or I make the food I want instead of trying to please everyone. It's usually a very small thing, but that's what I do. This is a great idea! Too many of us don't do things for ourselves and only do the things we feel we need to do. But it's okay to focus on yourself and be a little "selfish" sometimes. Source: iStock
Focus On Habits Instead Of GoalsWordyWordWords: The major change I made to my routine, to help improve my life overall, was to focus on habit-forming instead of goals. Now on the 1st of each new month I start work on a new ‘30-Day-Goal’, aiming to keep up a minimum 30 day streak by repeating a new positive habit every day (ideally in the mornings) until it sticks (http://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/18-tricks-to-make-new-habits-stick.html). As a result I have now formed the habits of; writing 1,000 creative words everyday, doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, eating 5 portions of fruit and veg every day, reading a book for one hour every morning, meditating for 15 minutes each day, and (this was the most difficult habit to form for me personally) going to bed before 11pm every work-night. Plus, beyond personal improvement, you can also use habit-forming tricks to help you get out of your rut. This is such great advice. Working towards big goals can be intimidating - so intimidating that you never actually do it. But focusing in a habit feels smaller and less stressful, and really does work. Source: iStock
Go Outside For A Little Bitspettis: Going outside for at least a few minutes every day, get some sun, some fresh air. Stand on the grass barefoot, or take a little walk. So easy, and so good for your health. Being outside is so important, even if you don't realize it. Right now is the perfect time to start! Exercise outside if you'd like, or you can just go for quick walks. You can even keep it super simple and just sit on a blanket on the grass for a few minutes. It will make you happier and less stressed. Source: iStock
Force Yourself To Think Of The GoodOoLaLana: I'd play the 'look for the silver lining' game. No matter what happened (that normally would make me feel angry or defeated or have a 'why me' moment) I'd look around and beyond and try to figure out how the incident was part of a bigger plan to either help me avoid something worse down the line, or offer me a life lesson and an opportunity to grow and learn. It actually ended giving me a feeling of both taking back control and optimism. Pretty soon that line of thinking became like muscle memory. Small change with a huge impact. Life is good. I love my life. It can be really, really hard to be positive, but it can also change everything. This is something you'll have to train for, and it's not a miracle cure. But it's a great way of thinking! Source: iStock
Compliment Someone Once A Dayminusthelela: I try to compliment at least one stranger a day. My day job requires me to be out and about working with the public, and I realized it's just a nice feeling to have a small chat with people here and there. And then I realized, if I noticed something neat about someone, why not tell them? For the most part, the human race is pretty amazing and I just try to remind random folks that they're special for a reason. For example, I saw a woman with gorgeous hair and I just told her and her eyes lit up and she kept saying thank you. It wasn't a lie, she had beautiful hair (I was partially jealous). It might sound corny, but giving out compliments will make you happy - and it will make you feel more confident in yourself also. It could even be a great way to make friends! Source: iStock
Wake Up EarlierIronicallyNamedCat: I started getting up early enough to actually feel ready to leave the house. I was always like "yeah, I can be out the door in 15 minutes." Then I realized that while I could be out the door in 15 minutes, I wasn't actually getting ready before I left. I was still getting ready for the day at my desk, which was wrecking my drive in and eating time out of my day. Like I said, waking up earlier can change your life. It makes your mornings more relaxing and starts you off on the right foot. Try it! It's tough, and it takes time to adjust, but it's amazing. Source: iStock
Or Wake Up LaterBibbidiBobbityBoop: This is the opposite of what most people will tell you, but going to bed later and waking up later has made a world of difference in my mental health. I've always been a real night owl and I've never been able to force my body to adjust to a 'normal' schedule. When I try, I just constantly feel jet lagged. Now I'm lucky to be in a situation where I can control my schedule a little more and I can't believe how much better I feel and how much more productive I am! Of course, there are always people who will declare that I'm just lazy because I sleep in (and apparently work can't happen during the nighttime?), but I've learned to ignore them. I function much better at night. That doesn't make me lazy. Some people just can't be morning people, no matter how hard they try. And that's okay! You don't always have to be. If you're lucky enough to be in a position where you don't need to be up early, don't force yourself to wake up early. Be productive when it works for you - for some people, that's at night. Source: iStock
Throw Things OutMrs_Seagull: I removed all useless, cheap or broken things from my life. For one, I now have only clothes that I enjoy wearing, books I enjoy reading, and so on. Also, cleaning got much easier without shifting piles of stuff around. It actually improved my feeling of self-worth to have a few nice things. I was sick of struggling with sub-par stuff that never worked. There are some people who throw things out the second they realize they don't need them. I am not one of those people, and I know a lot of you aren't either. We all joke about hoarding, but it's a real thing! So many of us hold onto things we don't use or don't need, because we're worried that one day we'll want them. That day usually never comes. Start throwing out the things you don't need immediately. The lack of clutter is liberating. Source: iStock
Make ListsF0xyCle0patra: List making, I get overwhelmed by work really easily so having super detailed lists that I can tick off are really motivational and help me structure my time better. This is something I started doing a few years ago, and now I feel weird whenever I go a day without a to-do list. Checking things off your list feels so great, but making one makes me feel more productive and motivated too. Just try it! It might be really helpful. Source: iStock
Which one of these small changes are you thinking of making? What’s a small change you’ve made that makes a big difference? Share in the comments!