The Power of Small Changes

In March I read Gretchen Ruben's book, Better Than Before. I talked at length in my review about how impactful it's been for me, and how much my life really has improved since then. A lot of the book talks about small changes that you can make in your everyday life that will ultimately better you in the long run. 

After reading the book I evaluated a couple ares of my life. One of them being how much sugar I was eating on a daily basis. Not that I was eating a dozen donuts everyday, but around 4pm when my kids would start driving me crazy, I would shove down a handful of chocolate chips to make it through until Derek came home from work. As you can imagine, one handful turns into another, and then another, and then all of a sudden, you've eaten half the bag in one sitting. 

Once I evaluated that situation, I mentally told myself, "I will no longer eat chocolate chips". You want to know what happened? I was really awesome at not eating them for three weeks, and then one day I caved, and had some before Derek got home, and I didn't even like them plain anymore. I've now gone six months without having a chocolate chip snack and I've saved myself thousands of calories and grams of fat. This doesn't mean I deprive myself of all sweets (I have had nine donuts this week thanks to Krispy Kreme's talk like a pirate day), but since we don't buy cookies and ice cream at the store, whatever treats we have, I usually make, which means they're once in a while, and a lot more intentional. 

Another issue we were having was with laundry. All our clothes are upstairs, but the laundry room and ironing things are down two flights of stairs in the basement. It was such a hassle to bring a wrinkled shirt downstairs to iron that Derek and I were starting to avoid wearing half of our clothes because it was so inconvenient to go and iron them. Then I had the genius idea to bring the ironing board and iron into the master closet, and now all of our clothes are happily being worn again.

One lifesaving hack was when I was desperate to stop losing all my hair ties all over the house. I stuck a little three inch makeup bag in the drawer of my bathroom, and now when I take my hair tie out, it goes on my wrist until I make my way to the bathroom again, and then it promptly goes back into the little bag tucked neatly away in my drawer. I haven't bought a new pack of hair ties in over a year now, and I still have most, if not all from the last pack. 

When we bought our house, we were so busy and go, go, go, for so long that we fell out of the habit of doing PT at home with Em everyday, that paired with the fact that she doesn't use her legs very much resulted in her developing really tight hamstrings. We were given stretches to do with her each day on top of our other at home PT stuff and it felt like one more thing we "had to do". Then I decided that I would just do her stretches every time I changed her diaper, and now she's getting them done (and screaming her face off), three-four times per day. 

As a blogger I get emails all day long. Emails about potential sponsored posts, from advertisers, other blogging friends, and then there is church, doctor appointments, spam, neighbors... it all adds up over the course of the day. I'm usually pretty good about sifting through and deleting the junk as it comes in, but then I'll hoard 10 or so e-mails that require action in my inbox for weeks at a time thinking, "I'll get to it when I have time". After living like this for a year, I finally made the decision to not go to bed each night until my inbox is back to zero, and it's been amazing. All my emails that need response, only really take two minutes each at the most, so 10 minutes before bed, or throughout the day as they come in, I deal with them, and then I don't have that added stress for the next week and a half. 

Something else that's been mind-blowingly (yes, making new words here), life changing is Janssen's One Minute Rule. Which basically means, if you can get a chore or task done in one minute from the second you think about it, to just buckle down and do it. So if I'm downstairs cleaning and remember I have laundry that needs to go in the dryer? Do it now instead of waiting until 10 at night before bed. If the kids are eating breakfast and I'm not doing anything? Unload the dishwasher. I've actually been blown away by how many more things I get done by doing the one minute rule. Once I start doing one thing, I think, "well I might as well take out the trash... and now I should pick up the toys... and wow, now I can see the carpet,  I should vacuum too...", basically, our house has never been cleaner because once I get going, I can't stop.

I hope this was helpful for you to see some of the areas in my life that  I've switched up a little bit to make my life easier. What are some things you're doing to improve your life, and make your days smoother? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Oh man. I should adopt that email trick.

  2. Don't be hard on yourself. Didn't you know dark chocolate is a actually good for your health. Boosts serotonin, makes you happy, relaxed and full of antioxidants. Eat
    T that bag up guilt free.

  3. It's so crazy how the little things can make such a huge difference! And how sometimes it takes a while to think of the bringing the ironing board upstairs. lol. I have to admit that when I was reading that paragraph, I was thinking, "there's really no solution to that problem", and them duh, you found a solution. lol

  4. Love the tips! Thanks for posting.