A lot of people think that they have to make big changes in order to live well and do well in their lives. But sometimes, even small changes can make a big difference to your standard of living. And if you keep making small changes, they add up over time to create a life that’s completely different and infinitely superior to what went before.
So think before you sell your house, move cities or quit your job. Do you really need to take these steps? Wouldn’t it be equally effective for you to make small changes, such as going to sleep an hour earlier, taking a half hour walk per day or eating more fruits and vegetables?
Sometimes, people do sincerely need to change things around in a big way. Most of the time, however, they just need to make small changes which will bring them more joy and improve their health. Here are a few baby steps you can take to improve your life:
1. Eating Well
Preparing healthy meals everyday can be quite a chore. It’s so much easier to go to the nearest drive-through and pick up a burger and fries. But over time, eating unhealthy meals can make you sluggish, dull and overweight. Most people don’t realize when this starts happening because it’s a slow process. You might notice that you’ve gained weight but you probably won’t notice that you’re not as agile as you used to be.
However, when people switch from eating fast food to consuming more fruits, vegetables, nuts, white meat and complex carbohydrates, they usually find that they’re feeling more alert right away. Eating healthier makes their senses seem sharper, colors seem brighter and sounds seem clearer. It’s easier to be in the moment and enjoy life when you’re healthy.
So if you’re in the habit of eating junk food, try giving it up for one day or even just one meal; you’ll notice the difference.
2. Repairing Things
Have you been pinning that blouse with a safety pin for a long time, rather than sewing on a button? Have you been meaning to let out a dress that’s gotten a bit tight? Does your bathtub drain need to be unclogged? Have any tiles fallen off? Do your kitchen cabinets require an update?
Some repairs in your life might be small ones while others might be big. For example, you might need to get rid of those worn sofas in your living room completely. Or you might need to get your roof fixed, which can be a big chore.
The truth is that if you take care of these things when they’re still small, they won’t get bigger. So start with fixing the little things and you may just find that they will lead you to the big ones.
3. Little Luxuries
How long have you been sitting in that uncomfortable wooden chair to work? How long have you been thinking that the lights in your bedroom are too bright? Have you been thinking that a thicker comforter or duvet would be really cozy? These are little luxuries which we tend to deny ourselves, not for any other reason but just because we get used to what we have.
So look around your home and think about what things have been bothering you. Get a nicer chair or at least a cushion for that chair. Get a bedside lamp for your bedroom. Get a new comforter. Little home and furniture purchases such as these can greatly improve your standard of living, more so than that dress which you don’t need or a bigger flat-screen TV.
4. Adding Color
Sometimes, it helps to add a bit of color to your life, literally speaking. Seeing bright colors around you can actually make you feel better. This is the reason why people get flowers for their homes or put up artwork. No one needs flowers or artwork in order to survive. But little things such as these can subtly help you feel better throughout the day.
So get some colorful cushions or an aquarium. Add a few potted plants to your windowsill. Replace those old, grayed-out curtains with newer, brighter ones.
You can also do the same thing with your wardrobe. Replace all those black, grey and brown clothes with red, blue and green ones. If you don’t like wearing very bright colors, get pastels. Or you can at least brighten things up with a bit of colorful jewelry or makeup.
Sometimes, you don’t feel like making any changes to your life. You just don’t have the energy to change things around, repair them or add color to them. In such cases, you can still visualize. When you visualize the kind of life you’re looking for, you’re changing your thought patterns to make them more positive. You’re using your imagination to create the type of existence you might be longing for.
In visualization, you’re not physically doing anything but you’re mentally preparing yourself for changing things in the future. This makes you more alert. You’ll notice when an opportunity comes your way and you’ll grab it.
So if you don’t feel like taking baby steps, sit down and think about what you want out of your life. What kind of career would make you happy? What kind of partner are you looking for? Do you want children? What kind of house would you like to live in? Add as many details as you can to your final picture of the perfect life. It can’t hurt you to visualize it and it may actually end up helping you.