Often we get caught up in big ideas and grand gestures to make an impact on someone or something, when in reality it’s the little things that make a difference. Whether we are talking about our daily habits, being of service, contributing to a larger task or trying to solve a global crisis, our smallest actions will always be the most meaningful.
We all know that our lives are built on our habits; the small, repeated actions that we do on a daily basis. We often forget that in order to accomplish most things in our lives, it’s always the little things that make the biggest difference.
Gratitude habits are built on small, seemingly insignificant actions. Compounded over time, these small habits eventually change our way of thinking and in fact do change our lives.
What are some of the ways that we can make a difference today by focusing on the little things?
1. Look for opportunities to be of service to others. There are times when helping someone else would only take a few moments of our time, yet we are so caught in being busy that we’ll brush them off and tell them we’ll help later. Later never actually comes, and often they are left doing the task alone.
2. Do it now. If you’ve got a small task in front of you, one that would take less than 5 minutes, do it now. For example, you’ve just seen an email come through and you know that replying would only take a moment, do it now and get it over with instead of letting your inbox fill up. Another great way to manage email is to only open it a few times per day and deal with all of it once. Still a small task, as long as you do it on a regular basis.
3. Take a few extra moments to hug your family and tell them you love them. Make a point to look them in the eye for a bit longer than you normally would. Spend just a little more time showing your affection. Every day we read about those who have lost loved ones unexpectedly. Don’t miss the moment to say I love you daily.
4. Make a small donation to your favorite charity or maybe support a different charity than you have before. Every little bit helps! You may think that your $5 isn’t going to make any difference but for a family in need, that could mean a day’s worth of meals.
5. Add one new gratitude habit today. My favorite is to wake up with gratitude. Or something as simple as giving thanks before a meal. You could also practice saying thank you when you walk up and down stairs.
6. Pray. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Prayer doesn’t take much time and it has a lot of power when done regularly throughout your day. I pray to give thanks to God as a part of my day, several times a day.
7. Pick it up. Often when we look at the mess or clutter around our homes, it seems overwhelming and too big of a task to handle. One little thing we can do it is to simply pick up things off the floor as we walk by them (just one thing at a time) and put it away in its proper place. If it doesn’t have a place, that’s a whole other task that may not fall into the category of little things. Choose to take a moment to schedule time for a proper clean up and sort, if needed.
8. Give it away. There are so many things we can give away for free: our smile, kind words, gratitude, love, friendship and praise. We can also give away one item that no longer serves us. Do this daily and it could be really beneficial to someone else. Again, it’s a little thing that over time would make a big difference in reducing clutter and helping others.
9. Make one extra call. If you’re in business, you likely have a list of clients or prospects to connect with daily or weekly. Today, make one extra call. That one extra call could be the one that makes a difference both for you and the client.
10. Remember to breathe. Stop for a moment, at least once or twice a day to breathe deeply and be present. It doesn’t take long and it will shift your energy immediately. Take a few extra moments for a short meditation or yoga session. Five minutes per day will make a difference, compounded over time.
Keep it simple and do only one of these today. If you can do more, great! Remember that in order to create the big things in our lives, we’ve got to focus on the small things every day.
Julie Boyer’s mission in life is to inspire people to build their lives on a foundation of gratitude through her brand, Wake Up With Gratitude™. Julie’s first book, 30 Days of Gratitude, The Gratitude Program That Will Change Your Life, became an Amazon bestseller when it was released in May 2013. She is also the founder of the 30 Day Whole Body Detox Program, a healthy, whole food detox that nourishes your body at the cellular level. Julie also loves to mentor and develop leaders through her mentorship program as well. A former triathlete, Julie has completed 3 full Ironman Distance triathlons. Julie lives in Ontario, Canada with her 6 year old daughter and husband Dan. She can be reached on her blog, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.