It sounds a bit odd to phrase it like this, but I’m on a daily mission to change my life for the better.
Rather than doing one or two big things once a year in the hopes that they’ll transform my life, I think it’s doing little things every day that makes the most impact and therefore the biggest difference.
All I want (and I think most of us want) is a happy life. I want to have a life that I’m proud of, to be a person that I’m proud of and to have a baseline of happiness that runs throughout my life, that I still know is there during the down times and that I know I’ll come back to during the good times.
Making small changes to improve my life wasn’t really a conscious decision, it’s just something that I’ve found myself doing over time.
So, on this cold day in January where payday and summer seem a lifetime away, I thought I’d share some of the things that have helped me improve my life – one small step at a time.
Getting my nails done
This might sound superficial, but getting my nails done regularly brings me so much joy. No matter how much I don’t want to be, I’m a nail-biter. Always have been, probably always will be. It would always bother me whenever I caught sight of my nails – when I’m paying for something, writing a text or typing in work. So I’ve started to get acrylic nails every three weeks or so. I know they’re not good for my nails in the long run, but having nice nails every day has made a small but impactful change on my everyday life. It’s €30 each time I go, and it’s one self-indulgence that I truly don’t feel guilty spending money on.
Using an electric toothbrush
This is a bit of an odd one, but can you feel truly clean if you don’t have clean teeth? I don’t think so. I bought an electric toothbrush for around €25 on Amazon (this is the one I have) and it gives me some comfort to know that I’m doing something to reduce the damage on my teeth from the chocolate and sweet food that I can’t help but eat.
Buying a coffee every weekday morning
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me going on about my daily coffee. As Marie Kondo would say, it simply brings me joy. The coffee that I buy is €2 and it’s delicious, but if I had to pay more just to get a good coffee, I would. The routine of going in and getting myself something that makes me feel good starts my day on the right foot, and for me, that’s priceless.
Going on a walk on Sundays
I used to find Sundays *really hard*. I’d nearly always end them in tears, worried about the week ahead and wondering how I’d make it to Friday. Now, since starting a job that I love, I don’t have that problem any more. But one thing that I still always try to do and one thing that helped me when I found Sundays difficult was going on a walk. George and I go on a walk of some sort nearly every Sunday, whether it’s to get coffee or if I’m just convincing him to take an outfit photo. Either way, spending time outdoors really clears my head and sets me up for the week ahead. (Bonus points if you have a nice brunch, too).
Using my time commuting wisely
I spend around two hours a day commuting and although it drives me mad, I try to make the most of it. Rather than sitting there frustrated and wondering why the bus driver isn’t bloody moving (!!!), I’ve tried to spend that time doing things I enjoy or something that’s productive. Whether it’s reading a book, listening to a podcast, putting up an Instagram post or replying to a friend’s text (or writing this blog post), I try to put that otherwise wasted time to good use so I can fully relax when I get home.
Creating a nice space for myself
After sleeping in the ‘spare room’ for more than two years, last autumn I turned it into *my* bedroom. Sleeping in there was never supposed to be a permanent move, but I said I’d give it a try as it’s bigger than my original bedroom and Lord, am I glad I did. I got a new headboard, duvet cover and a super soft blanket. I got rid of the drawers that I couldn’t stand and replaced them with floating shelves where I can put books that I’ll never read but look pretty. I got a bed side locker from this century, a salt lamp and an essential oil diffuser. Basically, I love where I sleep. As contradictory as it may sound, it makes getting up in the morning easier because I love my surroundings. Considering that your room is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning, I think that’s pretty damn important.
And that’s everything! I’m aware that a few of these points are ‘things’, but it’s all about what works for you. Maybe you love painting your own nails or doing your tan or having a bath once a week. Maybe you love watching Friends for three hours on a Sunday evening.
If the lumpy pillow on your bed that you’ve had for years is driving you mad – get rid of it and buy one for €5 in Penneys! If you hate stressing about what clothes to wear each morning – pick them out the night before.
Whatever it may be for you, I think improving your life is all about finding the little things that make you happy and incorporating them into your day – every day.
I’m sure I have more things that I do that I can’t pinpoint at the moment, but I’ll be sure to share them once I do.
What little things do you do to improve your life?