We all want to do more, something good for the world, but sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed by the amount of need and injustice there is in the world. Then, instead of doing something, we become incapacitated by the sheer size and weight of it all, and instead do nothing. Thing is, it doesn’t take much to make a difference. It only takes small acts, repeated consistently, to make a big difference in your life and in the lives of others.

Sometimes all it takes to impact others is to make changes in your own life. Small changes that will make a big difference in your life include:

  • Read or listen to something educational or positive for 30 minutes every day. Over time you will become more enlightened and positive, which will change your attitude and outlook on life. Those around you will notice, you will have more energy and knowledge to pool from, which will help you perform better at work and home.
  • Add in 30 minutes of activity. Take the stairs, park further away from the building, go for a walk in your neighborhood, dance in the living room–it doesn’t take much to start moving toward a healthier life. The healthier you are, the better you feel, the longer you’ll live, the longer you’ll be there for your family, and the less medical care you’ll need as you age.
  • Acknowledge your accomplishments. Stop at least once a week and acknowledge the positive things you’ve done. No achievement is too small here. You’ll be surprised what it does to your ability to handle setbacks and to identify opportunities.
  • Take your lunch/make your own coffee. Eating and drinking out quickly adds up. Substitute at least one meal out with something brought from home. Start putting that money into a savings account. The average cost of lunch is $5-15 for one person . That’s an average of $520 a year!
  • Cut out 1 hour of television. The television is one of the biggest time sucks. If you really can’t tune out, try doubling up–exercise, craft, clean, or do some other activity while watching television so you don’t waste that time completely. Of course, you’ll be surprised at how refreshed you’ll feel with less television, especially if you limit it before bed.

Of course, it doesn’t take much to have an impact on others. Here are some small ways you can make a difference in the lives of others:

  • Donate an afternoon once a week/month: A couple of hours of your time can help tutor a child, deliver meals, clean up a public park, and more. Sometimes, that’s all the time it takes to save a life, to change someone’s view on life, and to improve the community.
  • Donate $5 a month. Take that money you would put toward coffee and put it toward your local food bank, animal shelter, library or other charity. As you feel you can afford it, add more to the donation pile. What you used to spend on your caffeine boost can feed a family, save an animal, build a well or school, and so much more.
  • Follow the three R’s. Reducing your waste, reusing materials, and recycling help to cut back on waste and reduces the amount of land needed for trash disposal. Not only does it preserve natural resources and improve your local environment, it saves taxes and other costs associated with building and maintaining landfills. Oh and don’t forget to BYOB–Bring Your Own Bag!
  • Write a Note. People don’t know how much you care if you never tell them. A quick note saying how much you appreciate someone will boost their self-esteem and strengthen your relationship. Of course, we always need reminding, so don’t forget to show your appreciation often.

These are just a few suggestions. Of course there are a million little things you can do daily, weekly, or monthly that will build up over time into big changes. In what small ways can make a big difference today?