Give Me the Simple Life: Start Small


This year, start small.

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest impact. Rather than set a major goal that fizzles out by the end of January, commit to small things. Like . . . switching from half & half to low-fat milk in your coffee. Or cleaning out one kitchen drawer each day. Just one! Or take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Over time, minor changes add up. And they can make a big difference!

Over the next few weeks, Tuesday’s Give Me the Simple Life feature will share some minor, positive changes that have made a big difference . . . to me, and to others, too. Here’s the first simple step you can make in your life.

15 Minutes in your Favorite Chair

Feeling frazzled? Claim 15 minutes for yourself each day, a quiet place where you can be alone. Use part of that time to read your Bible or favorite devotional. Then sit and listen. You’ll be amazed how therapeutic, energizing, and restorative that time will become.

Here’s how I do it: I’m reading John Stott’s Through the Bible, Through the Year (Baker) along with the suggested Bible text for each day.

How about you? Do you have a “start small” change to suggest? I’m always on the look out for ideas to improve my home keeping, eat healthfully, get more exercise, whittle down my to-do list, grow spiritually, and connect with others. Or what goal do you want help achieving? Share your suggestions in the comment section below for a chance to win a copy of Amish Values for Your Family!


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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Sandi Ansell says:

    My New Year’s resolution is to be a more patient driver. I don’t engage in road rage…except internally…so when I go out…I take a deep breath…and remind myself that I am not going to engage in their shenanigans. So far…I’ve been out once since the New Year…I’ll let you know how it goes.

  2. Tea Norman says:

    Looking forward to coming back and learning more ways to keep it simple the easy way. I would love to spend fifteen minutes a day reading my devotional. Will try.

  3. Julie Sunne says:

    Love this suggestion, Suzanne! I’m trying to learn to savor the time God has given me, not just do the right things, but delight in the moments I have breath. So, my first small step is to praise God first thing in the morning. One thought of praise before my mind gets cluttered with tasks.

  4. Melanie Backus says:

    A very calming and peaceful time for me is when I have a nice hot bath. It is during that time that I go to God in prayer.

  5. Sonja says:

    That’s a really good way to go about resolutions, Suzanne. I agree if you plan a huge goal, it is easier to fail. But the little ones are doable and you can begin to achieve results and find success. I want a goal to be more organized this year !

  6. Karen H. Phillips says:

    When putting away clothes/laundry, I often look for items I no longer wear or like. Today I found three pieces for the giveaway basket I keep in the front hall for periodic trips to GoodWill.

  7. Natalie J Vandenberghe says:

    My start small idea was to dance more–I thought it would be so much easier to implement (because I love music).

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  9. donna harris says:

    The only time I have time for myself is early in the morning or late at night. I have my 90 all most 91 yr. old mom living with me now. She can take care of her self on lots of things but it seems I’m doing things all day. She has a lot of doctors appointments she has to go to right now. My time to relax is getting on the computer, try to read a few pages of a book, sitting in the bathroom for a few minutes.
    My goal for this year is eat healthier and keep the weight down. Relax is breathe is the most important because I think it calms the mind.

    • Donna…you’ve got a lot on your shoulders. There was a period when my parents lived across the street because my dad was in mid-stages Alzheimer’s. I loved it…but it was a LOT of extra responsibilities. Praying for you…so glad you are finding some ways to relax, catch your breath, etc. XO

  10. Patty Tolliver says:

    I have decided for my small things this year 1) to take some time whenever it comes to read whatever book that is in progress when I have a few minutes 2) work on the current knitting project 3) work on my story that I have in progress on my computer for at least 15 min. So far so good and I’m feeling great

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