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26 Small Changes To Make In 2018 That'll Actually Improve Your Life

From little things, big things grow.

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Recently we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community what tiny changes they've made to make their lives better or easier. Here are some of the best answers:

1. Carve out time in the week that is solely for you.

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"Saturday morning is my "me time". I go to my favourite 8am hot pilates class, stop at Starbucks on my way home, run a bath, clean my apartment, do laundry, and get a nap in if I have time.

Carving out a morning on one of my days off to ACTUALLY take the day for myself has helped my mental health so much. Sure, people get hurt when I say no to plans but hey, it's my time. If I don't spend some time for myself, I'll get run into the ground and resentful of other people." – Fayeh

2. Start your day in a relaxing way.

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"A few years ago, I started getting up just half an hour earlier to make sure I eat at home. I watch a YouTube video or something while I have my breakfast and coffee. I used to eat breakfast at my desk at work, in the car, or not at all. I realised it was making me so cranky and tired. Yes, it means I have to get out of bed earlier, but it gives me something to look forward to... eating calmly and waking up slowly." – kathys32

3. Grow plants, even if they're just small ones.

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"Gardening has really helped. I've started growing poppies, radishes, broccoli, and succulents. It's so amazing to watch them grow and see how beautiful plants are." – phoebew

Live in a garden-less apartment? Here are some city living-friendly plant ideas, and here are tips for keeping indoor plants alive. And here's a list of plants you can buy online!

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4. Take time out with pen and paper.

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"Journaling really helps me articulate my thoughts. If your problems aren’t better after 30 minutes of journaling, they will at least be easier to process." – epugel95

You don't have to write pages and pages when you're journaling – everyone has a different thing that works. Whether it's a sentence that helps you sum up the day and gets you thinking, or five pages of train-of-thought writing, find something that suits you. This is a really helpful guide to bullet journaling.

5. Never underestimate the power of fresh flowers.

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"Every Saturday morning, while I’m doing laundry and tidying my room up, I go into our garden and pick flowers for my room. Fresh flowers always brighten up my space." – jamiejeanw

Not everyone has a garden or can afford fresh flowers all the time. But even just buying a $10 supermarket bunch every month can be a nice treat to look forward to.

6. Love yourself.

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"I used to be very insecure and extremely mean to myself. After a nasty break up, I looked in the mirror and I hated the foul thoughts I was having about myself. It was then that I decided that I needed to love myself wholly and unconditionally because my love is more important than anyone else's.

I would leave love notes to myself at night and read them first thing in the morning. I would hug myself tight and announce that I love me out loud before getting out of bed. When I would look in the mirror, I would say two positives for every negative thought I had about me.

It sounds silly, but I fell so deeply in love with myself by doing this and it's made my life so much more positive." – aveum22

If that sounds like a hard thing to do, here are some ideas for embracing self-love.

7. Start cooking a few meals a week.

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"Getting invested in cooking for myself instead of eating out. " – Emilyhanka

Check out these recipes that will teach you how to cook, and these easy dinners that are good to master!

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8. If you're not a morning person, find a way to make mornings a little easier for you.

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"Personally, I’m a cranky pot in the morning. I hate loud noises so I listen to a Spotify playlist that has some of my favorite comedians on it. It gets me laughing and generally creates a more cheerful and brighter day ahead for me." – darshinies

It's all about creating a morning routine that gets you excited for the day. Maybe you spend five minutes listening to your favourite music, drinking your favourite coffee, or cuddling with your pet. Find something that cheers you up and makes you feel warm inside. Here's a list of ideas to make mornings easier.

9. Get ready the night before.

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"I lay out my work clothes the night before: it's a small but time-saving task. It takes the guesswork out of getting dressed, so I have more time to do my makeup, and eat breakfast (or sleep five minutes longer!). It also prevents me from scrambling in the morning to find something I've misplaced. I know well in advance if I don't have something I need, and have enough time to search for it." – samantham

10. Just cry sometimes.

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"One day I just told myself that whenever I feel the urge to cry, I should just let it all go. It helps me relieve a lot of stress." – tarara3511

Also I can personally recommend getting into a warm bath, putting on sad music, thinking about sad things, and crying until all the tears are gone. It's so damn therapeutic.

11. Get outside and walk when you can.

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"For my mental and physical health, I started walking anywhere it was possible to walk instead of driving. I listen to music or podcasts and take time to transition from activity to activity. I’ve found that it helps keep me sane, helps me sleep, and gets me outdoors more. There are a lot of places I used to drive to, that I found pretty easy to walk to." – katherinep

If you don't want to walk all the way to work, try getting off the bus/train a couple stops early and walk the rest of the way. Just find little ways to get a few extra steps in.

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12. Surround yourself with good people and show them love.

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"Strengthen your friendships, it helps your overall happiness. Simple ways to do this are:

1. Give them good, wholehearted hugs every time you greet them.

2. Give them genuine compliments from the heart.

3. Remind them frequently how much they mean to you.

4. Make the effort to spend quality time with them." – eliseh

13. Set reminders on your phone for things you're prone to forgetting.

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"I have one every night to take my medication, and use them a lot for other things as needed. Since you're on your phone so much, you're going to notice it, and the notification icon will stay on the top bar of the screen until you check it as done." – gessiep21

You can use the reminders app in your phone or use Google Calendars.

14. Don't use electronics after a certain time.

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"I start winding down at 8pm and after 10pm the only thing electronic I can use is my Kindle. I'm falling asleep hours earlier, and it's made a huge improvement in all areas of my life. It helps me get more sleep and have a better quality of sleep." – janets

15. Or if you can't unplug, at least make it a little easier on your eyes.

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"I turn on the night mode feature on my phone at 8pm every night. It really does make me fall asleep a little easier." – geocallie

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16. Find things each day that you're grateful for.

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"I keep a journal that’s a daily list of things I'm grateful for that day. Kind people, good foods, something funny – the list gets huge after a week and is a great reminder of how wonderful life is!" – Sophia

17. Stop every now and then and look around you.

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"Simply looking up at the sky and clouds, or around me at other little things: colours, leaves, flowers etc., can make a big difference in keeping me grounded, especially in a city." – Tessh

If you work in a city, near a park, why not spend your lunch breaks there with a book or good music?

18. Meditate every day, but in a way that works for you.

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"Daily meditation has completely changed my life. After experiencing a series of losses and deaths in my life, I began to develop severe anxiety marked by nearly debilitating panic attacks. A friend suggested I explore meditation techniques. I started with YouTube and once I found one that fit my style, I tried it and was able to comfortably fall asleep for the first time in months. It has transformed my perspective on life, allowing me to view anxiety in a manageable and controlled way." – Drewpstreet

Meditation doesn't just mean sitting down and thinking about nothing. If you can't sit still, try practicing mindfulness routines while walking through a park or even around your house. Or look into moving meditation as an alternative. Here are some apps to get you started.

19. Turn off your phone notifications.

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"I’m an attorney and, like most other professions, I get a zillion emails a day. My phone would never stop dinging with emails and I used to try to answer them all as they came to me. It was maddening. I felt like I was never off the clock and the constant negative energy was bumming me out. Then one day it hit me – turn off your email on your phone and only turn it on in emergencies or if you really need to check it. So, about three years ago, I did. And guess what? The world didn’t end, no clients fired me, and I felt mentally stable for the first time in ages." – ginab

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20. Start your workday strong and focused.

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"I show up at work an hour early so I can sit, have my coffee, and go through my social media. After clocking in, I immediately get water and then I turn off my phone for an hour so I can get to all the work that wasn’t done the day before. It’s a small change in my life but it really helps to always have my water and to focus for an hour." – Katelyn.K

21. Spread happiness.

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"I leave rocks and stones with smiley faces (drawn with chalk or marker pen) on walls and by lampposts, etc. when I have the time. It makes me feel very warm inside, and hopefully also cheers up anyone who sees them." – Elle Haulls

22. Stretch out your muscles every day.

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"I spend 10 or so minutes every day stretching. Right after I make coffee and feed my dog, I lay down on the floor and do some deep stretching before work. I immediately feel more awake, my varicose veins are going away, I’m able to go to work and spend 10 hours on my feet and still feel great. I’m no longer sore or needing to taking anti-inflammatories all day." – corellaw

If you're a stretching beginner, try these.

23. Leave kind notes for strangers.

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"Every time I park my car somewhere I take a sticky note and write something positive and encouraging on it. I then place the note on a car next to me. Knowing that I'm spreading love and encouragement to others helps me feel more positive. You never know who needs a little reminder of how amazing they are." – hannahk

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24. Set an intention for the week.

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"Writing down a new quote on my whiteboard helps me to set a goal for each week and always reminds me of why I put it up there." – graceroecker21

25. Have some wind-down time at the end of each day.

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"Every evening I sit on the balcony drinking tea or a glass of water, no matter how cold it is – that's why I have blankets! That 5-10 minute calm-down is what I need to stop worrying over everything and go to bed peacefully." – Erika Drewke, Facebook

26. Zen out in the bath.

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"Every week I treat myself to a phone-free bath. Sometimes I set up my iPad to watch Netflix, grab a drink, or drop in a fun bath bomb. No matter what, I treat it as me, myself, and I time. It's been great for giving myself a chance to re-energise my mind." – KateMoose