How to change your life in 20 minutes a day

The New Year no longer feels quite so new. And even if you made New Year resolutions, they may well be long forgotten by now. 

New Year does always feel like a fresh start. As Big Ben chimes in another year, it can sometimes feel as if anything is possible. As if somehow there is a new you this year that is completely different from the old you from last year . . . . . even though in reality those two years are only separated by a few seconds.

But if you’re feeling a bit despondent because your high hopes for 2023 have already evaporated, think again. The good news is that you can start making changes to your life at any time. And, even better, it’s possible to do this in just 20 minutes a day. 

The American author, Rainbow Rowell, wrote “So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.” 

If in 2023 you add something good into your life, for just 20 minutes a day, you will gradually begin to see a difference. Think of this as either baby steps, or little wins. Small changes over which you have control and that will make things better.

In this article we look at ten ways you can bring positive change to your life in 20 minutes a day. And we also explore how you might be able to find 20 minutes a day to do just that.

Ten positive changes you can make in 20 minutes a day

The list below are only examples, and some may not be relevant to you, but we hope that they will provide some ideas and inspiration. The key thing is to identify areas of your life where you want to make changes then find that achievable first step towards making change happen.

  • Intense exercise

Exercise doesn’t mean having to sign up to a gym and make the effort to go there. In fact, research shows that a short, sharp and intense 20 minute workout can be just as effective as slogging away in the gym for a couple of hours. In 20 minutes you could fit in a brisk walk, quick run, or a YouTube workout such as aerobics, dance or Zumba.

  • Gentle stretching

20 minutes is also an ideal length of time to do some gentle stretching exercise, particularly if you feel tired and achy. Whether you do your own stretching, or perhaps follow a YouTube yoga or pilates session, your body will benefit much more from this than slumping on the sofa.

  • Meditate

How often do we allow ourselves the space just to be? Taking 20 minutes to relax, breathe deeply, and meditate – whatever that means for you – is important. The “must do” part of you will most likely feel that this is a waste of time, and a bit self-indulgent. You may even feel guilty for taking time for yourself and not doing anything tangible with it. But taking time to clear your mind will reap tremendous benefits in other areas of your life.

  • Read a book

Is there a book you’ve always wanted to read? And you are sure you’ll get round to it one of these days . . . except you don’t. And you won’t, unless you make time for it. Spend just 20 minutes a day reading it and you will soon finish it, and be able to move onto the next one on your list!

  • Learn something new

What is the one thing you really wish you could do? Whether it’s to speak another language, play a musical instrument, paint a picture, bake a cake, or perhaps something technical like learning how to code, now is the time. Spending just 20 minutes a day on your interest can soon pay dividends.

  • Rekindle your latent skills

Leading on from the above, perhaps there is a skill that you already have but have not used it for years. Did you learn French at school but have never spoken it since? Were you forced into piano lessons as a child but gave it up as soon as you could? Did your grandmother teach you to knit or crochet and you now wish you had paid more attention? Whatever your latent skills are, is there something that you now regret neglecting that you would like to give another go?

  • Clean your home

Most people don’t like cleaning, but if you often find yourself looking round your home and despairing, then 20 minutes a day can soon begin to make a change. In 20 minutes you could either give a quick spruce up to one room, or focus on deep cleaning something specific, for example a window, skirting board, rug, or kitchen appliance. If you can get into the groove of doing this regularly, your home will soon start to look much better and brighter.

  • Get rid of clutter

As well as cleaning your home, a good use of 20 minutes is to do a bit of decluttering. You could clear out a drawer, sort out old clothes, take a bag to the charity shop, or list something on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Keep chipping away, and you will gradually begin to see the wood for the trees.

  • Fix something

Every home has a vast array of things that need fixing. And usually, no-one does anything about it. You just get used to something not working. The same applies to clothes; you forget that a hem is down or a button missing from something until you go to put it on and get frustrated. So a good use of 20 minutes is to find something – just one thing – that needs fixing, and fix it. Job done.

  • Contact family or friends

Even with all the technology we have at our disposal, it’s easy to start to lose touch with people. So why not use 20 minutes for a long overdue catch up with family or friends? Whether it’s a video call, phone call, social media message or handwritten letter, make the effort to contact them and you will both be pleased that you did. Catching up news, enjoying reminiscing, and having a few laughs is a real tonic.

How to find 20 minutes a day

We’re all so busy that finding even 20 minutes a day for yourself can seem impossible. And how you do this is completely up to you and your circumstances. You may find it better to use the same 20 minute slot every day, if you can find one that works for you. Or it could be easier to just grab 20 minutes when you spot the opportunity.

But during a typical day, we all tend to waste time without realising it. So here are some ideas for where you may be able to claw back 20 minutes:

  • Cut down phone scrolling time. It is so easy for time to disappear with no tangible benefit from it. So scroll quickly then use 20 minutes for something better.
  • Turn off the TV. It’s great to relax in front of the TV but all too easy to just leave it on when your programme or film has finished, and half watch whatever comes next – even if you’re not really interested. Instead, turn it off and reclaim those 20 minutes!
  • Waiting time. There are often times during the day when we are waiting for something. At home you may be waiting for food to heat up, or the washing machine to finish, or a phone call or delivery. When out you may be waiting for a bus or train, an appointment or to pick up your kids. If you have a few minutes of dead time, kick it into life.
  • Get up 20 minutes earlier. This may not work if you are not a morning person, but many people find the quiet of the morning – before anyone else is awake – a very peaceful time to focus on yourself.
  • Go to bed 20 minutes later. Sleep is important, but if your 20 minutes relaxes you, you may find you sleep better. Many of us also have the tendency to fritter time before heading to bed, so why not put it to good use instead.

Depending on your circumstances, there may be many other opportunities to find 20 minutes during the day. Be creative, and you can use this time to make your life better rather than just watching it drift away.

We hope that this article helps you to start making small changes in your life, and that you will see positive differences during 2023.

 Check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from direct lender Munzee Loans.