We’ve all made extravagant New Year’s resolutions. Lofty goals can be exciting at first, since the final result can be inspiring, but they often overlook all the work it takes to get there. Studies have shown that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Such a low rate of success is largely attributed to making goals that are too complicated, far-reaching, and unrealistic.

We decided to create a list of 36 small changes you can make to improve yourself in the new year. We recommend trying only a few at a time so that you aren’t overwhelmed, and can get as much lasting value from these improvements as possible. The changes include tips for improving work life, health, general happiness, and productivity.

One example: people realize waking up early is associated with better productivity, but not everyone has the will to do it. To achieve a consistently earlier wake-up time, we suggest folks slowly start pushing back their alarm clocks by one minute each day until the desired rising time is reached. Check out the graphic below for the rest of the ideas:


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These changes are pretty small and easy to start, but if you stick with them, they can add up to a dramatically improved and happier you! If any of these tasks seem daunting or unfitting to you personally, simply choose others on the list to start first or to substitute with your own goals. Similarly, if you’re knocking these out of the park you can work on more challenging changes, but be careful with committing to any that are hard to stick with — the last thing you want to do is to get discouraged and lose the great progress you’ve already made!

So whether you’re taking on these small changes yourself or you have a partner along the way, nothing helps and motivates like a reminder. Consider adding some gifts for the home and garden that you’ll see each time you enter the living room or backyard. Perhaps a simple message on a personalized mug with your morning beverage could be a fitting nudge for today’s small change for a better 2017!