small changes

Since it’s New Year’s Eve, we all think about making changes for the year ahead. I find it interesting that we have linked in our heads that a new calendar year equates with making changes. Well, it turns out civilizations of people before us have been doing it for centuries, so I guess it’s part of being human.

Instead of talking about the “R” word that has a huge failure rate, I’d like to offer this for you to think about:  What would you want to be able to say about your life next New Year’s Eve?

Perhaps that will excite you to figure out how to get there. In other words, maybe it will help you figure out what changes you need to make. Let me encourage you to think small changes. Small changes unlock possibilities that didn’t exist before.

So, make one small change, one you feel like you can and will do. Set your own bar. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make on your Daily Fulfillment Meter, because often small changes create momentum.

I love it when I hear a counseling client say, “I can do that.” That means in their mind, they have a thought that fits them where they are, not where their spouse or some other influential voice from the past says they “should” be. I try to help them lock in that thought by following up, That’s awesome. Will you do that? Will you see what happens when you do?”

Here’s a quick brain dump of small changes you can consider. I hope this is a springboard for your thinking, but hey, you can just pick one from this list as well.

Put your accumulated change in a jar, and once a month have fun deciding what to do with it. Spend it, save it, give it away…

Cut up one credit card.

Pick a time to set an alarm to turn off all electronics for the night. What will you do??? Maybe get a better night’s sleep, have a great conversation with your spouse, have sex, read something you’ve been wanting to get to but “just haven’t had the time to”.

Decide one thing you will no longer tolerate. Don’t tolerate it.

Decide one silly thing you will not get angry about any more.

Read one verse of Scripture per day. Here’s a great place to sign up for an email or text to make it easy.

Try one new healthy food. Maybe you’ll like it.

Smile at one stranger a day. Make them wonder what you’re up to.

Write an inspiring thought on a note card and put it somewhere that you have to move it each day, like your pillow, car seat, or computer keyboard.

Take a 30 second gratitude break– make a mental list of all you have to be grateful for. This might take a note card or phone alarm reminder.

Give a complement to each family member before eating a meal together. Food tastes better when you feel good.

Take a 30 second stretch break once a day. Set a reminder, I know I need to…

Throw or give away 5 things a month.

Drive to work once a week without the radio on. Let your mind breathe.

Put a one-dollar bill in your Redbox case for the next renter to find.

Listen to your favorite song without multitasking. Play air guitar or drums instead.

Write one thank you note.


Hey, you can let life slide by, or you can decide to live life on purpose. Pick a small change that excites you, and see what happens. God gives each of us a day’s worth of joy, and it’s up to us to protect it from the Enemy who wants to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10).

Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.

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