Changing your life doesn’t have to be some big, grand gesture.

Many people avoid making positive life changes because they are overwhelmed by what it will (seemingly) take.

The reality is, changing your life doesn’t need to include some seismic shift. Focusing and committing to a few small changes can be just as effective over the long term.

Here are nine little things — little changes — that can make a big difference in your life.

1. Try to Stay Positive
I know, I know! Easier said than done. The keyword is “try,” though. While you can’t just turn yourself into a positive thinker overnight, simply being aware — mindful — and trying to think positively as much as possible will help. At the very least, it’s a start that could blossom into something bigger and you’ll feel better no matter what.

2. Get up A Little Earlier
A good night’s sleep is important, but most of us could get up a bit earlier and be fine. Getting up a little earlier gives you more time to get things done. It’s also the perfect time to read, reflect, meditate, journal, or just bask in quiet. I love getting up before anyone else in my house so I can enjoy my first cup of coffee just in the quiet of my own thoughts.

3. Write a Paragraph
No matter what your career is, the ability to communicate well via the written word can be very helpful. Writing can also be a powerful self-help tool. When you commit to writing a paragraph each day, you sharpen your skills and tap into the therapeutic effects of journaling. Just watch how fast that paragraph turns into pages.

4. Read a Paragraph
Reading isn’t only a nice past time; it’s a great way to learn. When you commit to reading more often, you open yourself up to all sorts of learning opportunities. An easy way to build a reading habit is to start a little bit at a time. A single paragraph — or just a page or two — today could blossom into a lifelong reading habit.

And don’t limit your reading to just stuff that’s so-called “good for you;” read a trashy novel if you like.

5. Do One Thing You Have Been Avoiding
We all have a set of tasks we know we ought to be doing but are putting it off for some reason. If you focus on finishing just one of these tasks, you will feel so much better. You will get something done that needs to be taken care of, plus you will be boosting your esteem and self-worth.

6. Explore Your Neighborhood
How often do you get out and walk around your neighborhood? If you’re like most people, not as often as you could. It might not seem like a big deal, but getting out and about in your neighborhood can boost your mood and health. On top of that, you might meet some new and interesting people.

7. Lend a Hand
It doesn’t take much effort or time to help another person. Besides boosting the moods of everyone involved, it is a good way to feel more personally fulfilled. You never know what you’ll learn or where an offer of help will lead either.

Years ago, a good friend of mine had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. He called one day to see if I could help him with something he needed done, and although I was extremely busy that day, I reluctantly said, “yes.” Turns out it was one of the best days of my life. We had a great conversation and a few drinks, and in just two weeks he was gone. To this day, I am SO glad that I took the time to spend that day with him. I am reminded now, continuously, that we are never too busy to help another when they need it.

8. Say “No” More Often
It should be easy to say “no”; after all, it’s only two letters. Even so, we struggle to say it when we know we should. By simply saying no more often, you will set expectations, free up your time, and keep yourself open for any new opportunities that might pop up out of the blue.

9. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
If we all took more time to focus on our own goals and stopped worrying about where others were, we would be better off. It might not be easy at first, but the effort is worth it if you want a happier life.


  1. Set Your Alarm 15 Minutes Earlier. Getting up earlier isn’t always easy, but almost all of us could manage fifteen minutes less sleep. You can use these extra 15 minutes however you see fit.
  2. Write One Line a Day. Developing a journaling habit isn’t always easy. Some people find it overwhelming and hard to stick to. That’s why focusing on writing just one line a day is a perfect place to start.
  3. List The Things You Have Been Putting Off. Simply creating this list will help relieve some stress in your life. Once the list is made, choose one thing to start addressing and forget about the rest until you’re ready to tackle the next one.