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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

Building habits that have long-lasting changes can always seem overwhelming and difficult to maintain. I’m here to tell you that small changes have big, long-lasting effects and they totally become habits by sticking with them. Building a house one brick at a time, taking it one day at a time and trying to be 1% better with each passing day can completely change your life; it did for me! Here are four changes I made that have become life-changing habits and have allowed me to have a more productive, healthy and happy life.

1. Meal Prepping

Meal prepping has completely changed my eating habits, helped with the rising cost of groceries and cleared up time in my day. I take time on Sunday afternoons to make my meals for the week. I make my breakfast for easy on-the-go meals, lunches that take little to no time to assemble and dinners that don’t interrupt precious study time. With the rising cost of groceries, making meals for one can sometimes cost more than making meals in bulk. Meal prepping allows me to better plan my grocery list, save money and eliminate food waste.

2. Making The Bed

Cliché, I know, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Making your bed in the mornings is so simple that you have no excuse not to do it. It not only makes my room look cleaner but also frees up mental space and fosters commitment. This habit started during the pandemic for me because I spent so much school time in my bedroom and realized how unproductive my environment was. I started making a promise to commit to making my bed and it transformed my mental space when working at home. It makes you feel so productive in the mornings and it’s as simple as committing to pulling up your duvet and fluffing your pillows into place.

3. Daily Exercise

I’m sure you have heard this one a thousand times but I’m here to convince you that if you aren’t currently moving your body as least once a day, you’re missing out! Exercise means something different for everyone. It can mean a walk outdoors, a run on the treadmill, a weighted gym sesh or a 20-minute at-home YouTube video. Either way, all movement is good for the mind and body. Working out has helped me manage my stress, anxiety and overall mood, which has translated to a healthy and more productive mental space. Daily movement can be so easy, you don’t even have to leave your home to do it and the effects are much more noticeable. I physically have more energy and mentally feel much better, and you can too!

4. 10-Minute Morning Clean

I think this one is self-explanatory. I start my day by taking ten minutes to tidy and clean up my room and you can try this too! Whether this includes making your bed (which it should!), hanging up clothes, putting away dishes, throwing out the garbage or doing a quick vacuum, morning clean-ups set the tone for your day. This helps you maintain a productive environment and keeps the clothes piled in the corner of your room at the shore. When your days become overwhelming, ten minutes in the morning can help take away some of that pressure.

While these changes are small, the effects are big! It’s so easy to manage these habits in your day-to-day life. Replace the time cooking takes up in your day with a 30-minute workout and a 10-minute clean. It’s as simple as pie and trusts me when I say your mind and body will not know what’s hit them (in a good way).

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Alyson Yoshida

Wilfrid Laurier '25

Alyson is a second-year English major at Wilfrid Laurier University. When she is not reading or rewatching Gilmore Girls (for the hundredth time), she is spending time with friends or family. Alyson loves all things beauty, fashion, wellness, and of course, reading or writing.