People seeking change in their lives tend to think that “change” is the result of some big decision.
“I need to move cities!”
“I need to change careers!”
“I need to start a huge project!”
And while all those things can be beneficial, it’s the small stuff that ends up bringing about the biggest change.
1. Learn To Cook A Healthy Morning Breakfast
When did cooking get the bad reputation of being “difficult?”
It’s no more “difficult” than anything else in life — it just takes a bit of learning.
For 10 minutes every morning, search on YouTube or Google something for breakfast you want to learn how to make — and then follow the instructions and make it. 10 minutes a day, 7 days a week, that’s a little over an hour of practice per week.
Add that up over a month, 3 months, a year, and you’ll not only be a much better chef, but you’ll be setting a better foundation for yourself each morning: Learning something new, and eating some healthy.
2. Handstands, Push Ups, Crunches
Your body is the single best indication of how you feel.
The more in tune you can be with your body, the better sense you will have of what your body needs (sleep? food? rest?). Since the majority of us spend so much time in front of our computers, hunched over, demolishing our posture, try adding in 10 minutes of body weight exercises (preferably every few hours).
Again, the Internet is your resource. If you have no idea how to do a crunch, push up or handstand, look it up. 10 minutes a day will improve your ability to get in touch with your body, make you stronger, and help you remember to maintain good posture.
3. Breathing Exercises
If angry outbursts during frustrating meetings is in your daily repertoire, this one is especially for you.
Breathing exercises are quite possibly one of the easiest things to learn — you just breathe — but their effects are tremendous. Focus solely on your breathing for 10 minutes. No worrying about the next project. No stressing about what is due and when. Just breathe for 10 minutes and you’ll be amazed at how much more cool, calm, and collected you’ll feel.
Nobody makes good decisions when they’re stressed out.
4. Creative Brainstorm
Creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised, just like anything else.
If you want to keep your creative muscles fresh and learn how to be more creative on the spot, then you need to practice that. Every day, for 10 minutes, write down 10 new ideas that interest you. 10 ideas that would be fun to execute, or you think would be cool. They can be anything you want. But write them down.
Do this for a few days and your creative juices will be overflowing.
5. Don’t Eat Sugar
One of the most common snacks (especially in America) is sugar: whether that’s fruit, or “nutrition bars” masked as sweet tooth snacks.
Something you can learn right now that will significantly help your health is that sugar is one of the worst snacks you could possibly have — especially over long periods of not eating. When you eat sugar, you spike your insulin. When you spike your insulin, you are signaling to the body that you’ve just been fed.
The body, then, isn’t sure when it is going to be fed next, so it halts the body’s burning of stored fat because it wants to make sure it “makes it” to the next meal.
Aka: Your body decides, “Now I should store fat.” No bueno.
6. Journal Your Thoughts
Journaling can be so therapeutic, and if you are going through stressful times or just want to “think through” something a bit deeper, pull out your journal.
For 10 minutes, just write whatever comes to mind. Don’t think about making it perfect, or anyone reading it. A journal is a journal for a reason — it’s your place to be messy and get out all your thoughts.
Once you see them in front of you, you’ll have a much clearer sense of how to best move forward with whatever it is you’re contemplating.
7. Read or Listen To Music
10 minutes of input is often better than 10 minutes of output — especially when you are feeling drained.
A big pitfall people succumb to is thinking that when they are tired or worn out, they need to “do something.” That’s the opposite of what you need to do. What you need is to “do” nothing.
You need to soak up something new. 10 quiet minutes of reading or listening to music and you’ll find yourself starting to refill with ideas.
This article first appeared on Medium.