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12 small changes that will make a genuine difference to your life

You won’t even know yourself soon.

THE END OF THE year tends to be when people take stock and decide if they need or want to make changes in their lives.

Resolutions can seem daunting, but they don’t have to be – especially if you keep them small and manageable. Little changes can make a big difference, and we’ve rounded up some bitesize, achievable changes that will improve your enjoyment of life day-to-day.

1. Stay on top of your daily life by writing everything down in one place

Bullet Journal / YouTube

It’s very hard to keep track of everything you need to do, or remember, or want to do, or are thinking about doing. Writing everything down in one place is a great way to keep on top of this – and manage everything that needs doing. Try a system like the Bullet Journal – there are lots of tutorials online showing how people made the system work for them.

2. Spend five minutes on your dreams every day

No matter what your project is – from writing a novel to decluttering your room – if you set aside even five minutes a day you will make progress on that goal, without even realising. You have to be consistent though – five minutes in a year on your goal isn’t going to make much difference.

3. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning

Having a glass of water first thing in the morning has a number of benefits including waking you up, getting your metabolism going and rehydrating you after your night’s sleep. It’s a really easy to change to make and implement in your daily life, with easy-to-see results.

4. As soon as something breaks fix it within two weeks

If something breaks and you don’t fix it within two weeks, chances are you might never fix it, because you become accustomed to living with the broken item. Write it down at the top of your to-do list with a two-week deadline beside it or it’ll never get done.

5. Take a walk at lunch

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You know exercise is important to get everyday, but it can be hard to manage. One easy way to get a bit more exercise is to go for a walk at lunch. It doesn’t have to be for long, but getting away from your desk and outside will reenergise you for the rest of the afternoon as well as helping meet your weekly exercise goals.

6. Buy a stock of healthy snacks to keep beside you for guilt-free snacking

It’s really hard when that three o’clock slump comes around not to reach for a bar of chocolate, but if you have healthy snacks to hand, like nuts, and eat them before you get hungry – you won’t reach the point where you need to inhale some sweets or caffeine to get through the afternoon.

7. Put down the phone and pick up a book

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Spending too much time on screens, whether that’s a computer or your phone, has been blamed for a load of problems, from interrupting sleep to not paying attention to the real world. Conveniently, reading has been linked with lots of benefits, from helping people wind down before bed to being more empathetic. So swap one for the other for even ten minutes a day (to start) and see the benefits.

8. Give up your aul complaining

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Constant negative talk can lead to you feeling badly about your situation, so one way to preempt this is to nip complaining in the bud. Make it a goal to not complain for a day, or a week, or a month and see how much things change for you.

9. Pay yourself first

Set up a direct debit to put money in a dedicated savings account on the same day as you get paid. This way you won’t notice* the money leaving your account and you’ll consistently build up savings throughout the year.

*In theory.

10. Throw or give away three things a day

Clutter can be an energy drainer, but doing a full declutter of your house or apartment can be overwhelming too. One way to tackle this is to make a commitment to throwing or giving away just three things a day. Doing this daily means you’ll tackle the problem slowly but surely with a minimum of stress.

11.  Make small, medium and large goals – and track them

Tracking your goals is the best way to see the progress you’ve made, especially if you’re taking the ‘little and often’ approach to getting things done.  This way, you can easily see how much you’re getting done on any of your goals and keep the momentum going.

12. Make up a bedtime ritual for better sleep

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It’s obviously important to get a good night’s rest every night, and putting a ‘sleep ritual’ in place is one way to guarantee that. Having something you do every night that helps you sleep better, whether it’s meditating, reading a few pages of a book, or having a warm drink before bed, gives your brain the signal that it’s nearly bedtime so it’s time to wind down.

Sweet dreams.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for change in your life? The new and improved Renault Clio is being relaunched in January 2017 with lots of gorgeous new features. Head over to Renault Clio to find out more. #RestartYourHeart

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