A year ago, my roommate and I were watching a YouTube video of a woman sharing her day in the life, 8 months pregnant. At one point, my roommate turned to me and said “I’m definitely going to be one of those cute pregnant women who do yoga too”. I remember thinking to myself, if you don’t do yoga now, why would you start when you’re 20lbs heavier and growing an entire human being?
Over the last year, I’ve come back to this moment many times. And each time I think, what was she waiting for? And also, what am I waiting for?
We all have those things that we plan to do someday. That we think can only happen if and when something else happens first. An if this, then this. Maybe it’s that you’ll start working out when your kids move out of the house. Or you’ll start cooking once you own a bigger kitchen. Or in my roommates case, you’ll start doing yoga once you’re pregnant.
It’s easy to find yourself stuck in this way of thinking. But the harsh reality is, it will keep you stagnant forever. There can always be a more perfect circumstance to change your life under. But if you limit yourself to waiting for the perfect opportunity to change your life, you’ll find yourself waiting forever.
Below are 20 changes you can make today that will significantly change your life. And no – you don’t need to own a bigger house, make more money or have more freedom to start. You can start right now, exactly as you are.
1. Declutter Your Physical Space
You know what they say, a clutter free space leads to a clutter free mind. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll declutter your home, just do it. Pick a specific area in your home and let go of the things you aren’t actively using. When it comes to decluttering, the hardest part is starting.
2. Get Active
Dedicate some time to physical activity today. Whether it’s going for a walk, doing a home workout, or trying a new fitness class, get your body moving.
3. Start Learning Something New
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do? Challenge yourself to start learning a new skill. It could be as simple as watching a short tutorial video, reading a book on a topic you’re interested in, or signing up for an online course. When it comes to learning new things, once you get the ball rolling, it will feel much less intimidating.
4. Cook Something From Scratch
Speaking of intimidating, cooking things from scratch can definitely be. Luckily, the first time is always the hardest. Whether you’ve been interested in baking sourdough bread or preparing homemade broth instead of buying it from the store – give it a try. The worst that’ll happen is that your bread may burn, which yes, would suck, but no, would not be the end of the world.
5. Practice Mindful Eating
Mindfully eating one meal today may heal your relationship with food forever. So, pay attention to your eating habits today. Slow down, savor each bite, and be mindful of the flavors and textures of your food. Avoid scrolling on your phone or any other distractions while eating.
6. Take Some Time Off
Have you been telling yourself that you need a vacation for years now? Give yourself permission to finally take some time off, even if it’s just for a long weekend.
7. Take Your Entire Lunch Break
Do you regularly work through your lunch break, fork in one hand, computer mouse in the other? If so, you’re not alone. According to Harvard Business Review, 62% of American workers say they eat lunch at their desks.
The irony is that most people work through lunch because they think it increases productivity, however, the alternative is true. According to Tork’s Take Back the Lunch Break Survey, 91% of employees and 93% of bosses surveyed agreed that taking a break helps them maintain mental focus.
So, stop telling yourself that you’ll take a lunch break when things “slow down at work”, they may never. Instead, take your full lunch break today – you deserve it!
8. Start Reading a Book
Reading is one of those things that so many people claim they don’t have time for. But, the irony is that you could be reading right now instead of scrolling on your cell phone. Now, I’m not asking you to click off this post – please stay! But, I am telling you that you have time, you just need to reprioritize your activities.
9. Set a Digital Boundary
Speaking of scrolling on your cell phone, if you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll get your mindless scrolling under control, this is the perfect time to start.
Luckily you don’t have to throw your phone out the window to spend less time on it. There are plenty of less extreme digital boundaries you can set for yourself to limit your phone usage. For instance, you can delete time-sucking apps off your phone or set up a complicated screen lock passcode. Click here for 15 Tips to Cut Down on Mindless Scrolling and Phone Usage.
10. Meditate for 3 Minutes
Meditating can be super intimidating if you’ve never done it. Fortunately, you don’t need to sign up for a 30 day silent meditation retreat to experience the benefits of meditation. Start small. Sit in meditation for just a few minutes and increase your duration from there. Even shorter practices will have a huge effect on your overall well-being. It’s a simple and accessible form of self-care that can be easily integrated into your daily routine.
11. Connect with a Loved One
If you’ve been wanting to deepen your relationships, now’s your chance. Reach out to a family member, friend, or someone you care about. Give them a call, send a heartfelt message (or a silly meme), or write them a letter. You don’t need to set aside a ton of time if you don’t have it. Nurturing your relationships can be as simple as just letting the other person know you’re thinking of them.
12. Write a Letter to Your Future Self
Writing a letter to your future self can be a profoundly transformative experience. By putting your thoughts down on paper, you’ll gain clarity and set intentions for what you want from your future. This can help guide your actions and give you a sense of direction.
13. Review Your Financial Goals
When was the last time you reviewed your financial goals? If it’s been years, I don’t blame you – taking control of your finances can be so intimidating! But the reality is that until you really take a look at your spending and set tangible financial goals for yourself, you’ll never achieve them. So ask yourself, what are you working so hard for? Maybe it’s to pay off your debt, to retire comfortably or to get yourself or a loved one through school.
14. Start a Savings Plan
After you’ve reviewed your financial goals, take the first step towards developing a savings plan. Ask yourself exactly how much money you’ll need to reach that financial goal, and then, develop a strategy to get there.
While it may not be possible to accomplish everything in a single day, today can be the day you begin exploring which money-saving method might work best for you.
15. Plan to Wake Up 15 Minutes Early Tomorrow
Are you longing to join the ranks of early risers but finding it difficult to make the leap? Here’s a simple yet effective step you can take today: plan to wake up just 15 minutes early tomorrow. By setting your alarm a bit earlier, you give yourself an extra 15 minutes to kickstart your day with intention. Just make sure to have a plan for how you want to spend your morning. Having a clear plan for those minutes will give you a reason to get out of bed when the alarm rings.
16. Listen to a Motivational or Educational Podcast
Let me start by saying that I’m not here to judge; “junk” podcasts certainly have their place. We all love a good dose of silly banter or true crime. However, there’s so much to be gained from swapping an episode or two for something motivational or educational.
Today, listen to a podcast that inspires or educates you. Whether it’s a podcast about entrepreneurship, self-improvement, or learning a new language, you’ll find that exposing yourself to uplifting and educational content can truly change your outlook on life.
17. Write Down Your Goals
In the hustle and bustle of day to day life, it’s easy to forget what you’re working towards and what you truly want out of life. By putting your goals on paper, you bring them to the forefront of your mind. This creates a tangible reminder of all that you’re working towards, reigniting your sense of purpose and providing you with a sense of clarity.
18. Write Down 3 Things Your Grateful For
Unfortunately, gratitude doesn’t always come easy, especially when life feels overwhelming or things aren’t going as planned. However, there’s always something to be grateful for, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
Take a moment to reflect and write down three things you’re grateful for. It could be the love and support of your family, the joy your hobbies bring, or simply the gift of being alive. By acknowledging and appreciating these blessings, you shift your focus towards positivity and invite more reasons to be grateful into your life.
19. Track How Much Water You’re Drinking
Are you one of those people who constantly tells themselves they should drink more water? You’re not alone. According to CivicScience, close to half (47%) of American adults consume far below the recommended amount at less than three 16-oz. glasses of water per day. By monitoring how much water you drink, you can improve your overall well-being. Whether it’s using a water tracking app, keeping a tally on a notepad, or using a water bottle with measurements, find a method that works for you!
20. Bike or Walk Somewhere Instead of Drive
I bike everywhere, and often when my coworkers see me pull up to work on my bike or friends see me putt into their driveway they say to me “I need to start biking”. If you’ve been wanting to drive less and start biking instead, I invite you to just try. It can be super intimidating to swap your trusted and true wheels for a bike, but there are so many benefits! From improved health to reduced environmental impact, and even a heightened sense of gratitude. After all, by exerting more effort to reach your destination, you’ll feel a greater sense of appreciation once you arrive.
With that being said, if biking isn’t feasible, consider walking somewhere close instead.
If you’re thinking that these small changes to your day won’t change your life, think again. Every big change starts with one small step. Think about it – deciding that you want to finally learn that new skill might just turn out to be your new passion or future career. Meditating for just 3 minutes today may set you down a mindful path that will last a life-time.
About the Author: Barefoot Minimalists is a blog packed with tips, ideas, guides and suggestions for everyday people who want to live a more natural life with less. Whether you are just starting your minimalist journey or learning to sustain it, this blog is for you!