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Smarter You: Little Changes, Big Payoffs

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It has been said many times: little things can make a big difference. The Malcolm Gladwell bestseller The Tipping Point is all about this and explains it...the final part of the title is " How little things make a big difference." I see this all of the time with my mood. If I do a small thing, like put on a favorite sweater or listen to a perfect song, my gloominess lifts like that (insert finger snap). Same goes for Kiddo -- a small little discovery on the way home from school, like spotting a kitty sitting in a window, can turn an okay day into the best.day.ever.

There are a ton of little things we can do every day that can improve our lives ten-fold, heckadoo, million-fold. Okay, sure, playing the lottery is a small act that can make a big difference, but that difference isn't guaranteed, eh? Takes a bit of luck. These little things I'm thinking of require no luck and really no money. Just effort on your part to do it and reap the rewards that are awesometastic (I just made that word up).

-- Getting an extra hour of sleep. The majority of us are sleep-deprived. Adding in that little bit of sleep can not only make you feel less stressed, it actually helps your memory, keeps you healthy and even helps you lose weight.

-- Taking the stairs. Again, a simple little switcheroo, but if you are battling a few pounds or need to get your heart rate up more each day, take the stairs in the mall rather than the escalator or walk up three flights to the dentist instead of hopping on the elevator.

-- Turn off your phone when you are with your kids. Let go of the FOMO (fear of missing out). That hour you are playing My Little Pony or the bits of the afternoon you are walking through the park afterschool, just turn it off. That easy simple flip of a button lets you focus on your kids 100%.

-- Writing gratitude. Snag a little notepad or min journal and keep it by your bed. Before hitting the sheets (an hour earlier, remember), write down three things you were grateful for that day. Could be the fact you had good "green light" karma when driving to school this morning or that you were able to witness an amazing bonding moment of your older daughter helping her younger sister tie her shoes. This small little act will keep you centered on the goodness in life.

-- Make more one-dish recipes. One dish, less clean up, more time...I know, everyone wants more time. Small choice, big payoff. 'Nuf said.

What small changes do you make that create a big difference? Are there any that you want to make?

ŠiStockphoto.com/ marekuliasz

by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
Ladyisis
by Jenn on Aug. 23, 2013 at 3:59 PM

These are all great ideas. I try to combine trips when I need to go to several places like grocery shopping and paying bills. Also, take time with the family by watching a movie or just going for a walk as a family.

EbonySnow
by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM

after everyone goes to bed (or work for my dh) I watch an old movie or tv show that I love. it makes me go to bed smiling

LifeCafe42
by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 11:01 PM

I take an afternoon off a month for mommy time, I wish everyone a happy (insert day of the week) keep a smile it helps!

powow65
by kimmy on Aug. 24, 2013 at 6:54 AM
Tyvm for the info.
I love to take the stairs.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Flaca43
by Ruby Member on Aug. 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

 I think turning off the cell phone for a bit is a great idea! The kids appreciate it. I think an extra cuddle time with my toddler is a good one for him, especially now since he is having a big attachment issue with me right now. I thought of the grattitude journal and plan on doing one just about DF and giving it to him for a special occasion and I know he would treasure it.

lizzig
by Ruby Member on Aug. 24, 2013 at 9:07 AM

 i'm sure there are things i do just can't think of anything at the moment

mumamy
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 9:33 AM

We park the car and walk where we can. 
(Since they were about 4 years old) I make 1 day a month to take each child out for a small treat seperately. 
I turn things off at the power point that are not being used (really does make a difference with bills).
I ask the kids each day (usually before bed or at the dinner table) what was the not so great and the best part of their day. 

aneela
by 80sTardisGirl4Gore on Aug. 24, 2013 at 2:23 PM

i try to do combine outings as well...

Quoting MamaJane:

Combine trips. If you need to grocery shop and need to drop a bill off and need to pick up the dry cleaning, combine it and make a route to save you the most gas.


SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Aug. 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM
Sometimes I leave my phone at home so I can focus on my son or family time.
deedee3849
by Gold Member on Aug. 24, 2013 at 5:44 PM
I agree with turning off the phone...not just with the kids but for any time you need to be simply in that moment.
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