Changes can be a bit unsettling, but the allure of making some at the New Year is undeniable.

For 2020, throw out the unrealistic resolutions and attempt to make some small, positive changes instead. Here is a list of six that are relatively painless, yet could still have a big effect on your day-to-day routine.

1. Get an early start.

Try getting up 15 minutes earlier every weekday. Use that extra time to get a jump on your commute, make yourself a cup of tea, or do a few minutes of yoga.

Once that becomes a little easier, try for 30 minutes or an hour. You'd be surprised how much you can accomplish in a day when you get up just a little earlier.


2. Start a journal.

You don't need a fancy blank book; any notebook will do. Let it be a to-do list, a place for weekly gratitudes, or even a full-fledged diary. If you're artistic, get a grid-dot book and try your hand at bullet-journaling.

Time goes by in the blink of an eye and you may find that you enjoy a bit of scribbling every day.

journal, writing

3. Plan your meals.

We all know what we should be doing: eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and prepping our meals. This suggestion is to think about your upcoming week and sketch out a general plan for what you're putting in your body.

During your weekly grocery trip, try to remember at least 5-7 portions of fruit so you always have some on hand. Find a new favorite (healthier) cereal that can do double duty as a snack or breakfast. If you've got the time, attempt some meal prepping! Make cooking more of a hobby and you'll find yourself saving money and calories as well.


4. Book a trip.

Whether you take a quick jaunt to the seaside or save for a longer overseas vacation, now is the time to think about treating yourself. If you're really low on funds, research the state parks in your region and make it a day trip for exploring. The world is your oyster—go out there and get it!

boat, river, mountains

5. Squirrel away some cash.

Saving money can seem a bit daunting, but you'd be surprised at how quickly a rainy day fund can grow. Set aside a bit of cash every week, whether it's the change from your pockets or the cost of an extra coffee. Before you know it, you'lll have a bit of a nest egg for a real emergency.

coins, jar

6. Read something.

When was the last time you read something for fun? Take a trip to the bookstore, a thrift store, or your local used book shop. This first year, shoot for 12 books and don't beat yourself up if you don't get through them all. 

The beauty of this is the built-in benefit of unplugging and taking time for yourself. Pack a picnic and read in a park, or snuggle under the covers and get lost in a story instead of a screen.

man reading, book

**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of Unsplash.

What do you think of our list—possible or still a bit intimidating? Let us know what changes you plan on making within the next year in the comments.