10 Small Life Changes I’m Making Before 2022

Welcome to this post, “10 Small Life Changes I’m Making Before 2022”!

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I (Jacob) have had a rough last month or so. For those that don’t know, I started my first semester of college this school year. It was going great until I took a trip home in the middle of the semester. When I got back, I got super overwhelmed and busy. Once I got through that stage, I felt worn out. Looking back now, I had all the symptoms of burnout. But, this burnout affected more than just my productivity, it took me into a rut across all areas of my life.

I wrote a post or two about the subject, but I never really provided any advice if any of you are going through something similar. At that time I had no idea what the solution was. To be honest, I still don’t know what the solution is for sure. The best thing I could think of at the time was to embrace it. I embraced the burnout and the rut for a solid month. Toward the end, I started to brainstorm some solutions.

I came to the realization that something needed to change. I needed some solution that would jump-start my life…something radical. But, then I remembered something that I learned recently from my productivity accountability meetings with Terry: radical changes are not realistic. Radical changes aren’t sustainable in the long run, meaning eventually you will revert back to the way you were before.

So…the only other option was to start with small changes. You see, if I have learned anything from the finance world the last few years, it’s the power of compound interest. There’s something magical that happens when you start with a small amount, continuously add to it, and watch it grow. At first, you don’t see your efforts paying off. In some cases, it takes years to see any progress. But eventually you see progress and from there the snowball never stops growing.

I believe the same holds true for our personal lives as well. We can start with crazy goals that aren’t very realistic, or we can set small habits that start to build up over time. This is the whole idea behind Atomic Habits by James Clear if you haven’t read that book yet. So with that in mind, lets get into the 10 small life changes I’m making before 2022 to help turn my life around.

Deleting Time-Wasting Apps

10 Small Life Changes I'm Making Before 2022

One of the first changes I always make whenever I am in a phase of self-improvement is deleting time-wasting apps. Someone once told me, before you can add, you must subtract. No, we’re not talking about math here, this is in the context of self-improvement. In this case, I’m subtracting some time-wasting apps in order to add in some other positive habits.

I’ve talked about this a ton on the blog before, so I won’t beat a dead horse. However, there is a reason why I always bring this up. There’s something powerful about eliminating some of those distractions from your life. You’d be surprised at how much more time you find yourself with when you aren’t wasting time on these types of apps.

In my case, I actually deleted apps like Instagram, Reddit, and LinkedIn a couple of months ago. However, I still keep logging onto the website versions through Safari on my phone. I need to find a way to block these websites on my phone in order to increase resistance and decrease the willpower required to stay off of them.

Stop Spending Time In My Bed

This one is a bit of a new struggle for me. I used to think I was way better than the average person at not lying around in bed all day. This was likely because of my computer. For years, I had a desktop computer where I spent a lot of time. This was the place where I would work (I’ve been self-employed for over 2 years), spend time on passion projects, and even play video games from time to time.

But when I came to college, I sold my desktop and bought a laptop for a more mobile computer. Don’t get me wrong, the mobility of a laptop is amazing, but it comes with a cost. I have got in the bad habit of doing a lot of work in my bed. Even as I write this right now, I’m in my bed.

One of the problems is that the desk chair provided by the college is incredibly uncomfortable. I can’t sit there for more than a few hours before I have to switch to my bed for comfortability sake. However, I still know that sitting at the desk is much better for me. Having a good posture and being upright is way more important than my butt being comfortable.

So that brings me to a few changes that I want to make regarding my bed. First and foremost, I want to make my bed a place of rest and relaxation only. This means no more work in bed and no more laying there when I shouldn’t be resting or relaxing.

Number two, I want to get out of bed as soon as possible in the morning. My goal is to get up and go sit in my desk chair, even if I’m not awake yet. This will stop me from sleeping in and laying in bed all morning.

Finally, once I’m a bit more awake and alert, I want to make my bed as one of the first things I do. I’m actually really good about making my bed already, but I want to be better about doing it immediately after waking up. This idea came from Varun Khadri on LinkedIn. He suggested that a made bed is a lot less inviting to want to go back to sleep. I think the idea is brilliant and something I want to start implementing.

Take Advantage of Mornings

10 Small Life Changes I'm Making Before 2022

One challenge of college is unpredictability. What I mean by this is you never really know what is going to happen on any given day. In high school, you had to be very intentional to make plans with friends for a specific date and time. In college, someone could ask you to hang out at any moment. It could be your roommates bringing friends back to the room, someone asking if you want to go eat with them, or you running into someone and talking for way too long.

This unpredictability has been hard for my work schedule. If you didn’t know, I am a very structured and routine-oriented person despite being self-employed. I like making a plan for the day and sticking to it. I’m not the best at dealing with spontaneity yet, but I’m working on it. The challenge is that I may have plans to work that get overridden by spontaneous plans. With how busy I am, I know that I need to take advantage of every moment possible to work.

There is one time of day that is always predictable…the morning. I think most people can attest to the fact that mornings have a lot less distractions than any other part of the day. As a result, I want to do better about using this time wisely before the day gets away from me and the spontaneous plans start happening. At this point, I know that if something doesn’t get done in the morning, there is no guarantee it gets done at any other time in the day.

With that in mind, there are a few things I want to do better about in the mornings. First, I want to start to workout in the morning more on days where I know the afternoons will be busy. I do like working out a little later in the day normally, but if that time will be busy I would rather do it in the morning than miss a workout.

Second, I want to be better about having some quiet time in the morning. This will look different for everyone, but as a Christian, I would like to get back into the routine of reading my Bible, praying, and doing a devotion before I start my day. If you’re not religious, you could consider starting with some meditation or something along those lines.

Finally, I want to conquer my MIT (Most Important Task) in the morning. Each day, I make a to-do list using the 1-2-3 method: 1 big thing, 2 medium things, and 3 small things. The 1 big thing is the one task that I really need to get done that day. I would like to get this out of the way first thing in the morning that way I don’t have to worry about whether or not I will get it done.

Wrap Up For Work Earlier In The Day

Playing off that unpredictability I talked about, I would like to wrap my work up earlier in the day. This first semester I pushed a lot of my work off until later at night. Sometimes I am more energized then and it works well. However, a lot of times plans would come up and I would be unable to work on what I had scheduled. This means I constantly had to push back the work I was trying to do which was quite frustrating.

I think the solution here is try to wrap my work up earlier in the day. I know that if I was able to do this on a consistent basis, I could leave my evenings free for whatever ended up happening. Maybe some plans with friends end up happening, or maybe I just have the night off to relax which will be good for a work-life balance.

In order to achieve this I want to not schedule any work for the evenings. I also want to have an end of work day routine that will allow me to wrap up my work for the day. I’m thinking I will use the first half of my current nightly routine as this helps transition me out of the work mindset and into a relaxation one.

Wrap Up For Bed Earlier

10 Small Life Changes I'm Making Before 2022

Along those lines, I want to start the rest of my nightly routine at an earlier time. This semester I got in the bad habit of not finishing, or in a lot of cases, not even starting my nightly routine. Sometimes it would be so late at night that I would just go straight to sleep without following my usual routine.

To some people this might sound fine as the goal of a nightly routine is to get to bed, right? My nightly routine is a lot more than that. The goals of my nightly routine are to wrap up work for the day, plan the next day, finish a few final habits, track my habits, and lastly get to bed. If I don’t have a proper nightly routine, by entire next day won’t be able to start. I’m 100% serious when I say that. I literally won’t start the next day until I’ve gone back and finished my nightly routine for the previous day. You can see how this could become a bad habit.

The main reasons why I’m unable to finish my nightly routine sometimes are because it’s too late and night and I don’t have enough energy. To solve both, I simply need to start wrapping up for bed earlier. This means, setting a timer to make sure I am done with work by this time and starting to wrap up for bed. It also means avoiding staying out late with friends whenever possible.

Fall Asleep Earlier

Have you noticed how the last few changes I mentioned all had to do with doing something earlier? The recurring theme with a lot of these issues is that I’m staying up too late. By me staying up too late, I’m not getting my full nightly routine in. With me not getting my full nightly routine in, I’m not truly wrapping up my work for the day. By me not wrapping up my work for the day, I’m not taking advantage of my mornings. It’s a perpetual cycle that is all stirred by my sleep habits.

Sleep has been my biggest struggle in college. I’ve talked about it several times, but it truly has been the one thing that has hindered my success the most. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure how I am going to completely fix this next semester, but I have a few ideas that will hopefully help turn things around.

Be Better At Prioritizing

10 Small Life Changes I'm Making Before 2022

The next three changes on this list will all have to do with how busy I was this semester. Trust me when I say, I’ve never been this busy before in my life. It’s a crazy feeling and I’m loving every minute of everything, but it has certainly been a challenge at the same time.

One of the main issues I have been running into is the lack of proper prioritization. In the past I had time to do everything that I wanted to do. Now, there’s not enough time in the day to do everything I want to. I had to get better about prioritization in order to accomplish what I did this semester. However, I still have a long way to go.

I would like to build up this internal prioritization system that allows me to always know what I absolutely need to get done. The truth is that there will always be more to do. So, the best thing I can do on any given day is work on the most important tasks, then let the rest be.

Become Insanely Good At Time Management

Along those same lines, I need to become insanely good at time management. Time management is another one of those things that I feel like I’ve always been better at than the average individual. Not trying to brag here, just trying to give context. This semester has put my time management skills to the test.

Going forward, I want to take strides to become a master of time management. Once again, not entirely sure what this even means. I just know that I want to become better and better at this throughout my life.

I’ll conclude this section with a recent takeaway I had. You know that cliché quote, “time is the most valuable resource you have”? I don’t think I ever realized how true that was until this semester. I realized that all my issues revolved around time, not money. Seriously…go look at every change I just mentioned above. Every single one of those issues I’m having has to do with time. Time is the only non-renewable resource you have in life. You can always earn more money, but you can never earn more time. Time is limited for us all, so we all need to take action to take advantage of it.

Take Advantage of Energy

Everything — Including the Human Body — is Made of Energy

Another valuable insight I had from Varun Khadri was that your energy is also limited. It’s not quite as limited as time because your energy does renew. However, as Varun states, “just because you have time available does not mean that you have energy available”.

Let me give you an example. As I was talking about earlier, I sometimes like to schedule myself work for late at night. A lot of times I have a ton of energy to do creative work late a night. While a lot of my late night work plans get changed because of social events, sometimes I do end up with time available. However, I don’t always have the energy to do the work I had scheduled.

The bottom line is that energy is finite on a day to day basis. Each day you can only do so much until you just won’t have the energy. I need to do better about taking advantage of both high and low energy times.

Make Smaller To-Do Lists

This brings me to the final change…making smaller to-do lists. All of the previous points were either about maximizing time or maximizing energy. But, sometimes no matter how much you maximize, there’s not enough time or energy in the day. Meaning, in 2022 I want to give myself permission to get less done.

I want to give myself smaller to-do lists in order to be more realistic about what I can actually accomplish in a day. Not only will this make me feel much better about how much I’m actually getting done, but it will be practical as well. Instead of me having to bump things to the next day when I don’t finish them, I’ll accomplish my tasks on the day that I assigned them. Overall, having a smaller to-do list will just make everything much more manageable.

Earlier I mentioned that I use the 1-2-3 method for my to-do lists (1 big thing, 2 medium things, 3 small things). I actually have been using the 1-3-5 method (which is something I came up with). I’ve been using these bigger to-do lists for awhile but I want to start working my way back to the 1-2-3 method.

The Takeaway

That’s it! There’s 10 small life changes I’m making before 2022. Notice how I’m making these changes before 2022 and I encourage you to do the same. There’s nothing magical that happens at the start of a new year, it’s all mental. So, why not get a head start now and start the new year with some momentum! If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, feel free to leave them down below. Otherwise, best of luck on the year ahead!

Next Steps

If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to comment your thoughts below and share it on social media!

Check out more content for:

Use this link to sign up for a brokerage account on WeBull and get TWO FREE STOCKS valued up to $1400 when you fund your account!

Learn how I was able to make $1,000/month as a teenager and quit my job by freelancing on Fiverr!

Join The Group Of Teens Dedicated To Achieving Financial Freedom

Disclaimer: Some of the links used on this site are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, we receive a commission each time you purchase something through our link. It helps us cover the costs of running this blog. We only recommend the best products available.

Disclaimer: We are not experts or certified financial advisers. Our advice for you based on what has worked and continues to work for us. If financial problems occur we are not responsible for them and advise that you speak to a professional. That being said, we believe wholeheartedly that the advice we give to you will help your financial situation greatly.