7 Small Ways To Make Big Changes In Your Life

I swung my closest door open, placed my hands on the handles of my hips, and stared at the clothes that were spewing out in 15 different directions all over the floor. The hemlines of old bridesmaid dresses were trying to emerge from the very back and the faint outline of one, single, red rain boot was doused in old Forever21 dresses.

This staring contest lasted for an entire block of television commercials and once Keeping up with the Kardashians came back onto E! I flung back onto the couch, feeling faint-like and exhausted.

I’ll do this some other time, tomorrow night — I promise.

Procrastination happens when our goals are bigger than our energy levels, our time and even sometimes, our courage. When we look at something that at first seems so insurmountable, it’s easy just to stuff everything back into our closest and place our body weight against the door to shut it closed, again.

It’s the same way with everything we want to change in our lives. We imagine the big, ultimate end goal and see ourselves at mile marker #1, already exhausted by our thoughts and drowning in our own stress sweat.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

After I realized that Kourtney Kardashian eating a bowl of yogurt the size of her knee cap and Kim Kardashian taking a selfie on a boat in Thailand was a pathetic excuse for not doing what needed to be done, I turned off the TV and started to “deal” my closest piece by piece.

Here’s a list of other big changes you can start making in small ways.

1. Appreciate what you have in your life on a daily basis.
When we scroll through Instagram and marvel over the adventurous and perfectly filtered lives of our “friends” or get suffocated by our to-do list at work, our minds start to harp on what we wish we had (more time to sleep or the money to take a one week vacation to Costa Rica).

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about Morning Pages. Before you start your day in the morning, you flip open a notebook and write down three pages of whatever you want. If you don’t know what to write, you can write “IDK” for three entire pages. Or you can write about what’s on your mind, in your dreams, or on your plate for the day. Lately, I’ve been using this to wake up and remind myself what I’m grateful for. A morning list of the things (tiny or large) that I sometimes forget mean the world to me — or at least more than any stressor that’s on Monday’s agenda.

2. Express more vulnerability.
Compliment someone once a day. The lady sitting next to you on the subway with baby-blue nails or the women standing in front of you at the check-out line who has an delicious selection of food in her cart. Instead of thinking about something positive you feel about them — tell them. While you’re eating a salad with your best friend on a Sunday afternoon, tell her that she means the world for you — and you’re thankful she puts up with you. Tell your parents that you don’t know how the heck they have as much patience as they do or the intern who sits across from you that you appreciate how hard she is working and things will eventually get easier.

Compliments put you out there, as if you’re pulling open the curtain of a Broadway stage open and stepping out and speaking your mind like people, these days, rarely do.

3. Feel more comfortable in your skin.
Add on an extra 10 minutes to your workout. If you don’t workout regularly, try to do just 10 minutes, three times a week. You can watch two sets of commercials during that time, so while you’re waiting for your show to come back on, do some jumping jacks, push ups, squats. Every week, add on another 10 minutes until you’ve mastered a routine that works for you.

4. Reconnect with people in your life.
Turn off your social media for a week and insert a “no text message” policy. People think they know everything that’s going on in your life because they see what you post on Facebook or Twitter — so they rarely call to see how you’re doing or even ask when they bump into you in person. Spend a week dialing phone numbers of people you haven’t see in a while or heard their voice. Say you’re calling for no reason other than to see how they are really doing.

5. Switch up your day-to-day grind.
When the days start to blend together and you feel like you can’t change much due to your overwhelming work schedule, initiate a small change in the morning that’ll carry you through the day, like wearing a different perfume.

Use a bottle you haven’t touched in a while or call up a friend and see if they’d like to swap bottles with you for just one week. Doing something as simple as introducing a new smell into your life will really make you feel as though you’re starting the week off with a brand new experience.

P.S.: Splurge — without breaking your piggy bank — and head to the mall or a department store and get a handful of perfume samples from brands that cost more than your electric bill!

6. Learn something new.
Talk to one new person every single day. Strangers have the power to turn your world upside. If anything, they will be the most honest and unbiased person you’ll speak to during that day. Every human being has a story to tell — has experiences to share with you — has wisdom and advice from the things they have learned. Say hello. Ask them how their day is going. See what happens.

7. Stop feeling like a grown up.
Spend Saturday afternoon doing something that you used to love doing when you were 8-years-old. Maybe it’s making friendship bracelets or sliding down a slip and slide in your backyard. Perhaps it’s rollerblading or writing love letters to a guy you have a giant crush on while you dance on top of your mattress to a 98 Degrees song.

Change has the power to make life slow down a bit. Gives us the opportunity to press the reset button on a situation that’s spun wildly out of our control. It makes us shake off the crud that’s building up inside of our eye socket and say hello to a world we’ve been casually sleeping through.

No more of doing that, okay?

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