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Doing These 10 Things Changed My Life

The beginning of every year can be intimidating. It is like a fresh start, but nothing has really changed from 11:59 p.m. to 12 a.m. In the past year (I know, does anyone really want to talk about the last year? Anyways…) I have been working on being more intentional with my free time and space. I have come up with 10 things I've been doing that have changed my life for the better.

Hot Yoga

I know what you’re thinking: “She’s one of ~ those ~,” but I have hated working out for years. I would try to get into going to the gym for a couple months at a time, but ultimately I would stop working out completely. Hot yoga is something I have always gone back to, because it is fun! I like the freedom of movement that comes with hot yoga. The idea of standing on my head in a dimmed room just really gets me, I guess. In all seriousness, I feel so much lighter after going to yoga. My mind is cleared and it sets me up for a good day. 

Finding My Feel-Good Podcast

This was an integral part of my 2020 because I love listening to podcasts, but sometimes searching for the perfect one for how you are feeling that day can take forever. I have found that there is one podcast that no matter what mood I am in or how I am feeling, will always make me smile. For me, that podcast is the Morning Toast, a pop-culture podcast hosted by sisters Jackie and Claudia Oshry.

Learning How to do My Own Nails

After several times of leaving the nail salon unhappy with my new, $40 set, I decided to learn how to do my own dip powder nails. I bought a $22 nail drill on Amazon and purchased a dip powder starter kit from Walmart. I have not been to a nail salon in months!

Getting a Good Amount of Sleep Every Night

When I was in high school, I would stay up until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. almost every night, waking up at 6:30 the next morning. Once I started college, I realized I just couldn’t do that anymore (am I getting old?). Since the beginning of my sophomore year of college I have consistently been getting at least seven hours of sleep, and eight on most nights. Along with waking up at a decent time each morning, this has changed the trajectory of my days and I feel more motivated and determined each morning. 

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar

I have been taking a shot of apple cider vinegar for about a month now and I think it has changed my life. Growing up, I struggled with stomach issues here and there and just overall not feeling good throughout the day. Since beginning to regularly drink apple cider vinegar, I have noticed my stomach has been more controlled and I have been feeling more awake and alert throughout the day. 

Pro tip: Mix the shot with about the same amount of water. Mixing the vinegar with water makes it slightly more bearable to drink. 


Another basic tip, but journaling my life has made a huge difference for me. I am not very good at keeping up with journaling, but when I do journal I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I love going back and reading my journal entries from over the years and seeing how much I have grown. If writing really is not your thing, a fun way to “journal” is to make video diaries. If you want to remember a certain day or week, take videos throughout the day and compile them into one tape that you can keep for the memories. 

Making Inspo Boards

If you don’t think you are good at writing, singing, drawing, painting, etc., but feel like you have a lot of creative energy built up, making inspiration or mood boards is an artistic way to let your creative side shine. This board can be digital or you could print out pictures and make collages to hang on your wall. 

Cooking at Home

I never thought I would be one to find cooking therapeutic, because I am advanced in ordering food, but ever since the pandemic started about a year ago, I have loved finding new recipes and cooking for my family. I find all my recipes on Pinterest (or from my brother sending them to me. I guess he likes my new hobby, too?), and I have found it to be easier to eat healthy and feel better about what I’m eating when I make it myself.

Creating a Morning Routine

I have never had a solid morning routine until about six months ago, and it has changed my life. I have always thought morning routines were overrated. I was the type to wake up when I want and do what I want to do, but I realized I was setting myself up for an unorganized day. Now, I wake up at the same time every morning and do my routine, which consists of: making coffee, getting ready, eating breakfast and going to the library or coffee shop to do homework. Having this routine makes me more productive and keeps my life more organized. 

Doing What I am Passionate About

This one probably sounds like a no-brainer, but doing what I am passionate about has changed my life. Many times, people are held back from doing what they are passionate about because of the fear of what others will think or the fear of failure. If anything, this past year has taught me life is too short to not love what you are doing every single day. 

Recognizing that these 10 things have changed my life over the past year has been inspiring. It is important to me to be doing what I love and living my life to the fullest. I encourage you to try any of these 10 things and see if they work for you, or to make your own list of 10 things that have changed your life and recognize that there is something good in every day. 

Jordan Thornsberry is a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, studying magazine journalism. In her free time, Jordan likes to travel, read and catch up on the latest celebrity drama. You can find more of her writing at jordantberry.com and on social media at @jordantberry.
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