The smallest thing.

For the last several years, my morning routine has rolled the same way.

Bleep bleep bleep. The alarm clock on my phone goes off. I reach groggily towards the little table where my phone is resting. I flip off the alarm. And then — because I’m already holding my phone in my hand — I start scrolling absentmindedly through emails, the latest news stories (usually horrible and devastating), and whatnot. After ten minutes, I feel… completely stressed out.

Not exactly an ideal way to begin the day.

A few weeks ago, I found myself wondering, “What is my ‘fantasy’ morning routine?”

My fantasy went like this:

– I wake up to a pleasant sound — a zen alarm clock that creates the sounds of ocean waves, birds singing, something like that — instead of aggressive robotic beeping.

– My coffee maker is located on the little table right next to my bed. It’s been pre-loaded the night before with ground coffee and water. All I have to do is reach out and tap the button. I don’t have to walk into the kitchen. I don’t even have to get out of bed!

– Next to the coffee maker, there’s a glass jar filled with Stroopwafel cookies. I can have a cookie with my morning coffee. In bed.

– My phone is not in my bedroom at all.

– Instead of the phone, there’s an inspiring book. I can spend a few minutes reading fiction first thing in the morning instead of scrolling through emails.

– I start my day feeling inspired, luxurious, and refreshed, instead of panicky.

And then it occurred to me, “Why can’t my fantasy be my reality?”

There’s nothing stopping me. All I need to do is move the coffee maker into my bedroom, take the phone out of my bedroom, and set a few things into place.

And I did.

And you know what?


My morning — really, my entire day — feels different. All because I made some very small changes to my environment.

When we’re feeling stressed, often, we go to extremes. We think, “I need a totally new career!” or “I need to move to a new country,” or “I need to get rid of EVERYTHING in my apartment!” But often, those kinds of extreme measures aren’t really necessary. Sometimes, it’s the smallest thing that makes the biggest difference.

What’s a small change that would create a big ripple effect in your day?

Whatever it is, make the change. Move your painting canvas into your living room. Build a tea station in your office. Create a mini yoga studio and meditation shrine on your balcony. Put your phone into a drawer, out of sight, so it’s not the first thing you see in the morning.

Whatever you fantasize about, why not build it?

Make it happen. Because it will make all the difference.

PS. I am writing this article in bed. Surrounded by pillows. With my coffee next to me. Feeling inspired. Small changes are a big deal.