Maximize your change with these simple personal life hacks


Art by Stella Fetherston

Stella Fetherston, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Let’s get one thing straight: I’ve never picked up a self-help book in my life. Inspirational quotes don’t do it for me. In fact, I find certain brands of positivity to be toxic and unhelpful. 

However, I do know a thing or two about mental and physical health. And to be more specific, I know that hearing the same tips over and over again about how to change your lifestyle is annoying at best and isolating at worst. But if you’re looking to make changes in the organization of your personal life, I’ve got you covered. 

A big pitfall that a lot of people fall into is that their goals are overwhelming. Someone might want to start exercising, so they decide they are going to run two miles every day. Now, I don’t want to speak for anyone, but a majority of us lack that type of motivation. We often get stuck in this cyclical line of thinking that we need to make drastic lifestyle changes to be healthier. That is misguided. For most people, it’s important to start with something small that you can build into your daily routine. 

For example, if you want to reduce screen time, you don’t have to go from eight hours to 45 minutes. More often than not, making such high goals will probably discourage you if you don’t meet them. And the less likely you are to meet said goals, the less likely you are to maintain them in your day-to-day schedule after failure. 

Another important factor is that not everything has to be perfect. To come back to the running example, let’s say you just don’t have the energy to go out and run. Going out for a walk can be just as fulfilling. If you don’t feel like going for a walk, sitting outside is okay, too. 

If you can’t organize your whole closet, do it bit by bit. Maybe start with one drawer instead of the whole dresser. Give yourself something small to complete so you get the dopamine of completing a task and don’t get stuck in your head. This way, you won’t feel as overwhelmed. Another way to make organization easier is making an outline for yourself. Making a time frame with specific, quantifiable goals that you know you can meet will make things easier to complete. 

If you’re a perfectionist, you might have a brain that goes, “Well if it isn’t perfect, then why do it at all?” With all due respect, that brain is not being helpful. Doing things with half-effort is better than doing nothing at all. Maybe not even half-effort, but a quarter or an eighth. The principle remains the same: taking care of yourself isn’t about perfection – it’s about your wellness.