No matter where you are in life, there’s always room for improvement! I’ve been working on growing and improving small things in my life that have helped me immensely, and I think they will help you, too! These simple changes will help you start living a life you love today with intentionality.
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66 Simple Changes to Start Today to Live a Life You Love
1. Make time with God a priority every single day. I love to start my day with God. It makes all the difference in how I approach my day, my calmness, my patience, and the joy I have.
2. Open the windows and go outside more. Fresh air and sunshine are amazing for the soul!
3. Make laughter a daily goal, even if that means you have to create moments for it. Sometimes you have to create moments of joy. If you have to do that to have it, it’s so worth it to do!
4. Look for joy and thankfulness in monotonous moments. Sometimes joy comes to you in monotonous, small moments where it’s easy to miss. Make it a goal to look for those small things. If you’re always looking for red cars, you’ll always see red cars.
5. Read more. I honestly have to make myself sit down and read, but think of this: if a book is 15 chapters and you read one chapter 5 days a week, you’d have it finished in 3 weeks. That’s roughly, what, maybe 20 minutes? So reading a book once a month should be completely doable! Need some ideas for your next awesome read? Check out this list!
6. Write a bucket list and make checking things off of it something you aim for twice a month. If you need ideas to get started on your own bucket list, read this!
7. Have goals. Accomplishment gives you a sense of fulfillment and like you’re going somewhere in life. Work on yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. I wrote about achieving goals in detail in this post!
8. Write a budget and stick to it. I’m not going to lie and say I’m the best budgeter ever, but a little bit of life has taught us both how to write a budget and the importance of sticking to it. This is a great article to get you started.
9. Make paying down debt a priority. I know, it stinks, but it will change your life, if you let it. If you haven’t already taken it, I highly recommend Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey.
10. Don’t use credit cards unless you have the cash for what you’re purchasing and you pay it off immediately. Or debit cards. When we first got married, we were bad for using cards without really thinking through whether or not we had it in our budget, because honestly, we didn’t have one. We figured out real fast that wouldn’t work! Once we had a working budget in place, it gave us a lot more peace when our needs were always paid for.
11. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily (at least)! Water is so helpful and your body literally runs on it! From a girl that used to live on energy drinks and pop, trust me when I say, it really does help your body and help you feel your best.
12. Do yoga. I love yoga because it helps my body feel so much stronger, more flexible, and reduces pain!
13. Get a Fitbit and use it! Do step challenges with friends to push yourself to move more. The American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps per day. That’s hard for me, but if I work up slowly, I can get in the habit! Here lately, I’ve been getting my steps in literally in 10 minute chunks, just running around my house. We haven’t been able to leave much for weeks and I have had more to do with less help – so finding 40 or 50 minutes straight is hard. But I can find 10 minutes 4 or 5 times.
14. Wake up an hour earlier than the kids. This one hurts in the moment, but it’s a game changer! I talk about morning routines in detail and how they have helped me in this post!
15. Find a way to move your body that you don’t hate and do it often. For me, that’s walking and yoga, but for you, it might be weight lifting or long distance running. It might become a stress relief or a think that is just time for yourself and that helps you! It can be just about anything. Just move your body because God gave you a wonderfully strong and capable body and you have the choice and ability to move it!
16. Have a hobby that you love and make doing it a priority. I believe in having a hobby you love so so much. It means a lot to me because I was guilty of having literally nothing for myself for the first probably three years of being a mother, and I know it can suck the life out of you to feel like you give of yourself all day every day without ever feeling like you matter anymore. Just because you’re a mother does not mean you don’t matter anymore. That time you have to do something you love matters. I believe in hobbies so much, especially for moms (and even more so for stay at home moms), I made a whole list of hobbies with resources to get you started today!
17. Build a happy marriage. Prioritize date night. Speak kindly to each other, help each other, and build each other up with your words. Happy spouse, happy house! Read my secrets for building a happy marriage here.
18. Use life words. Proverbs reminds us that life and death are in the power of the tongue, and man oh man, is that true. We talk a lot about life words in our house. When you use your words to build up and encourage, it helps your emotional wellbeing, too. I don’t know what it is, but there is something exhausting about everything that comes out of your mouth being negative. When you’re talking to your kids, flip it by focusing on what they can do over what they can’t. For example: stop running > walking feet, please. It sounds corny, but it helps!
19. If it won’t matter in a year, channel your inner Elsa and let it goooo! I remind myself of this often! If I won’t care in a year, or even a week or a day, I try to let it roll.
20. Start and implement a morning and evening routine. I started this close to a year ago and have come to love them! It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it gives nice bookends to your day and helps you start and end your day on a consistent, positive note.
21. Journal daily. Write down what you’re thankful for, goals, and more if you’re inspired to! If you need a little inspiration, check out my journal prompts to help you grow here!
22. Encourage others. I love encouraging others, and ya know what? Sometimes it helps me feel encouraged, just by encouraging them! Isn’t that cool how that works?
23. Make random acts of kindness a way of life. I try so hard to instill kindness in my kids in their everyday lives. It’s a process, but one worth doing! I wrote a whole post on how we’ve created a positive home and instilled kindness in our kids that you can find here.
24. Surprise people you love just to make them smile without expecting anything in return. Why is this so fun?! Just make someone smile for funsies.
25. Implement the 30 day rule for purchases. If not 30 days, sometimes even 3 is enough to make you resist impulse purchases!
26. Buy yourself small treats randomly. You work hard! You deserve a little treat to brighten your day. My favorite small treat is an iced mocha latte with an extra shot from Dunkin or a Nitro Cold Brew with sweet cream from Starbucks. I don’t hate their lemon cake either.
27. Make time to be alone with a coffee and a good book. This is so relaxing to me! I love to do this at coffee shops. Here lately, it’s been home versions out on the patio or the swing while the kids play, or stealing 20 minutes of naptime.
28. Make family dinners a priority. My friend told me the other day that she had read where a study was done by Columbia University where showed that teenagers who had dinners with their families at the table often were 5 or more times less likely to hang out with friends who smoked, drank, abused substances or were sexually active. Eating as a family around the table is old fashioned, but it matters to how engaged children feel to their parents! Make it a goal to leave phones in the other room.
29. Practice mindful eating. Smell and observe your food to appreciate it. Think about the tastes. Chew slowly. No screens at meal time so you’re focused on your meal and avoiding mindless eating.
30. Tell loved ones things you love about them. I think I saw this concept a few years ago, but I took a liking to writing lists of things I love about people and giving it to them, especially as a gift. This is extra sweet from kids!
31. Spend money on experiences over things. I read somewhere that this directly correlates with how fulfilled people feel. When you get kids experiences in place of gifts, it teaches them the value of experiences over things. Although this one is Christmasy, the concept remains true all year! I talked about that in a lot more detail in this post.
32. Teach your kids to be true friends. This is a process, too, but so so worth it in the long run! My kids are still small, but I’ve learned a lot of secrets to raising best friends which I share in this post.
33. Set intentions and goals for your day every morning. Every day! Without overworking or over-scheduling yourself.
34. Have a schedule and stick to it to best manage your time. I have struggled with time management so much, that I knew most moms probably have, too. If you’re struggling to achieve goals and “get it all done” on the daily, I have some time management tips that have helped me that I think will help you, too!
35. Declutter your home. What is it about a clean space that helps us mentally? I have noticed that we rest better and just generally are more happy when our space is clean and organized.
36. Eat the cake, then eat a salad tomorrow. Balance is key.
37. Be intentional. Intentionally kind, intentionally thoughtful, intentionally present. Intentionally like God. Live your life on purpose. Be in moments emotionally as much as physically present. Be intentional in one area of your life, and it starts to spill into the rest 😉
38. Make prayer and worship a part of your daily life. I pray when I’m driving, in the shower, cooking, writing; you name it. I worship when in the kitchen, putting clothes away, walking around my house. It’s not boxed into a certain chunk of time, it’s a way of life. Anytime, anywhere. Craving out time for God is great, but He isn’t localized to a block of time for 20 minutes. He’s your best friend who lives on the inside of your heart and goes with you everywhere. Talk to Him like He’s your best friend because He is.
39. Reduce screen time. I realized a few years ago what an incredible time suck TV had been for me, and how much better I felt emotionally when I used that time to do something constructive! I also realized this held true for my kids. Now, screen time is a treat. We only use it maybe several hours a week, which is even more than what we’ve been doing due to quarantine. What else is new?
40. Listen to understand, not to fix. Teach yourself the skill of really listening. Hear, comprehend, and slow down your answer. I have even asked people if they’re asking for advice, or just need me to listen. They always have an answer.
41. Organize small areas of your home. Start with a junk drawer or a closet and see where you end up!
42. Go to bed earlier. Going to bed earlier helps you get up earlier and ensures everything is getting their rest!
43. Be a friend to someone who needs it. It doesn’t matter who. Every person you see, Jesus thought they were worth dying for.
44. Video call a grandparent just to say hello. Make them smile!
45. Send a card in the actual United States Postal Service. WHOA. It’s crazy how uncommon this has become, but it’s super exciting to get actual mail!
46. Make positive language a habit. It’s easier for others to receive (especially kids), and less tiring for you!
47. Challenge yourself. Challenging ourselves is amazing for growth – be it emotional, physical, or spiritual. Challenge yourself and see what happens!
48. Try new things regularly. New things are amazing to keep life interesting! Eat new food, go new places, drive new routes. Change things often.
49. Break your routine. Branch out and do things you normally wouldn’t just for the heck of it.
50. Reduce external stimulation. Allow your mind to simply be from time to time.
51. Make it a habit to leave your phone in the other room to be more present with people you love. Be more than just physically present – be emotionally present.
52. Soak in small moments. Soak in things like baby laughs, sunrises, cool breezes, and yummy smells. Make it a habit to really enjoy small things in your life that make life, life.
53. Resist the appeal of busy. You’re not missing anything. Schedule time to do nothing but be a family (or just be). You’re not going to look back on your life one day and think, “Man, I wish we’d been busier.”
54. Quit bad habits. I quit a 13 year energy drink habit cold turkey. You can, too!
55. Dream and dream often about who you want to be and aspirations you have. God has a future and a hope for your life, and He’s not done with you yet!
56. Cultivate true friendships. Be a friend to the friendless. Minimize small talk. Really talk and see how people are truly doing past the surface answers.
57. Be the gatekeeper of your mind. Ask yourself if the things that are coming in are honoring God, feeding your soul, and making you feel joyful and inspired. I used to love certain shows and music, until one day, I asked myself that truly, and the answer was no. So they had to go.
58. Check your thoughts. Whatever things are lovely, true, just, worthy, and honor Jesus are things to think about. If whatever is on your mind, don’t think about it. Boom.
59. If it’s bothering you, throw it at Jesus and RUN GIRL RUN. He cares for you so! 1 Peter 5:7 is one of my favorites. Give it up along with your right to understand, because God’s peace is beyond anything we could ever understand. He loves you so much that He wants to take it from you and replace it with something much lighter and easier to carry. I’ve done it both ways, and trust me when I say, God’s way is easier.
60. Make eating out a treat. It reduces unnecessary calories and spending, and it’s much more of a treat when you don’t do it all the time!
61. Realize time is the only resource we have that we can’t make more of. Invest it over wasting it.
62. Let go of the opinions of others concerning you. The only opinion to be concerned about is God’s.
63. Say “I love you” so much they get sick of hearing it. I say this to my kids so much, they have literally gotten annoyed with me! Sorry, toots. I want you to know it.
64. Give yourself permission to slow down and take breaks. God didn’t make you to go nonstop, or He wouldn’t have said to come to Him all who were tired and He’d give them rest. God made us in His image, and He rested on the seventh day. You were made to take breaks.
65. If you work from home, create boundaries and off times for rest that you don’t break. It’s hard for me to slow down or stop because I hate feeling like I’m “wasting” my time, but time spent resting is not a waste, it’s crucial.
66. Do a quick clean up in the middle of the day and every night. It’s so much easier to do a quick clean up every so often than big ones less often!