The turn of the year always brings with it a childlike enthusiasm – the goals, the lists, the grand plans. 2020 feels like a year of promise – like something BIG could happen.
Not only is a new year…it’s a new decade - double the pressure to be our best selves, exceed expectations and become extraordinary.
I’m not a big fan of new year’s resolutions. Chances are if you did make some, they’re probably the same ones you’ve been making for years…and it’s unlikely these half-baked goals will see the end of January.
Top 10 Small Changes For Powerful Results
However, what I am a big fan of are small, manageable changes. Instead of trying to overhaul your entire life by the end of the month (and then feeling bad for failing), try our top 10 small changes for powerful results:
1. Set Your Alarm Half An Hour Earlier
One characteristic many successful people have in common is they get up early. Whilst you don’t have to jump out of bed at the ungodly hour of 3:45 a.m. like Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, you could start by setting your alarm half an hour earlier. So, if you normally get up at 7 a.m., set it for 6:30 a.m.
What this does is give you some precious extra time in the morning to meditate, exercise, read, drive your kids to school, plan your day or work on something that excites you. It eliminates rushing out the door each morning feeling stressed and addled before the day has even begun.
2. Tidy Up After Yourself Immediately
How long does it take to make your bed or wash your breakfast dishes? Five minutes? If even. If you don’t stay on top of these small jobs, they build-up…super quick. Who wants to walk home to a sink full of smelly dishes?
Taking care of these small jobs as you go will help you feel accomplished, minimises clutter and gives you a sense of control.
3. Save €3 Per Day
Having a little money put aside for emergencies or niceties is important. But saving money can be an additional stress. This is an easy way to save over €1,000 in 2020 without even trying. Pop €3 a day into a big jam jar – the price of your favourite coffee. By the end of the year, you will have accumulated €1,095…nice chunk to do with as you will.
4. Clean Out Your Wardrobe
This is a great project to undertake each year. Decluttering your wardrobe (or any area of your home) will reduce stress and anxiety. Once done, it’s easier to keep your wardrobe clean and tidy. Really challenge yourself on this one - if you haven’t worn it in the last year, chances are you aren’t going to. Be ruthless and then feel good about your donation to your local charity shop.
5. Get Moving
If the idea of joining a gym or a class brings you out in a cold sweat – then keep it simple. Take a walk every day or do some exercise in the comfort of your own home. Even 10 minutes a day will reap massive rewards for your physical and mental health.
6. Each Week Tackle One Thing You’ve Been Putting Off
We all have stuff we put on the long finger: sanding down and varnishing the worktops, organising the messy shelves in the utility, reviewing the credit card statements (yes, those are all my long finger tasks). Just like those dirty dishes I talked about earlier, these tasks left undone become heavy, mental clutter. Set a goal to tackle ONE THING each week and get rid of that mental baggage.
7. Be Less Reactive
When you see or hear something that instantly upsets or frustrates you (even if it's just a negative thought that crops up in your head) before reacting to it and pouring your precious energy into it, take a big deep breath and question it. Taking a micro-pause between a stimulus and your reaction can change how you handle any situation.
8. Practice Saying “No”
Your energy is finite each day. Make sure you’re using your limited reserve in a way that benefits and supports your goals. You should not feel bad about saying "no" to something or someone. Saying no to someone means you’re saying yes to yourself.
9. Drink More Water
This one is simple and free. Drink 2 litres of water a day. Once your body gets used to it (and it will take a few days of running to the bathroom every three minutes), you’ll crave the H2O. Plus, the benefits for body and mind are numerous. There isn’t a miracle skin cream in the world that can beat drinking 2 litres of water a day. Top tip – buy yourself a reusable 2-litre water bottle…and fill it first thing every morning. Leave it on your desk or within your eye line and it’ll soon become a habit.
10. Write Sh*t Down
If there’s something you want to get done – write it down. If you’ve got a goal for this year…write it down. And write it down daily. This helps to focus the mind towards the thing that is important to you. Writing your goal down daily make seem like overkill…but trust me, it’s not. Give it a go and also write one action on the page that will push you a little closer to that goal.
New year, new decade…new you…nah…don’t buy into that. You are perfectly imperfect. Start where you are, as you are. And take it slow. You don’t need to change your entire life…if you try you will fail. Micro changes done with consistency have MORE power than the big January new resolution push. Pick one thing from our top 10 small changes for powerful results list above and see how you go. And stick at this one thing until it's become a habit before introducing another change. They may be small ideas but they are impactful.
To your success in 2020.
Co-Founder Pepper Hustle
P.S. Bonus tip – find beauty in the ordinary – focus on what you do have and not what you don’t have or what someone else has. Happiness is not linked to money, power or fame. Happiness is accessible to us all, at any time and is generally found in the ordinary.