Editor’s note: The following article is contributed by Skinny Mom Resident Moms. The Resident Mom program gives a voice to our readers, allowing real moms across the world to contribute content to Skinny Mom. If you’re interested in becoming a Resident Mom, click here to apply.

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You may be a creature of habit and the word “change” may make you cringe, but you can’t make improvements to your life without it. You don’t have to turn your world upside down to become the best version of you; making one small change can lead to incredible results. Check out our Resident Moms’ motivating responses to the statement: “One small change that made a big difference in my life was…”

Waking Up Early

“I used to be a hot frazzled mess, waking up late, hating life, not getting anything done and being almost late for everything. (And that was even before kids!) Now as a busy wife, mom, employee and business owner, I’m waking up much earlier than before, and I now have a peaceful morning experience. I have time to meditate, exercise, work on my business and enjoy “me time” before everyone else wakes up to make me crazy! Totally changed my life.” — Danielle Faust

“Getting up an hour earlier in the morning has completely rocked my world! I love my sleep, but really wanted to improve my personal Bible study time and be more consistent with exercise. I started getting up at 5 or 5:30 a.m. four years ago to have an extra hour before my son wakes up. That enables me to get 30 minutes each for a workout and for Bible study. Those two things are reason enough to get the earlier start, but I’ve also found I feel better prepared for the day and it boosts my productivity.” — Julie Davis

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Eating a Balanced Diet

“Keeping a food diary (MyFitnessPal) has made the biggest impact on my new and improved healthy lifestyle. I seriously had no idea how many calories I was consuming each day until I took the time to track everything I ate. Once I realized how many calories I was consuming, it was a huge eye opener and motivated me to make some much-needed improvements to my diet. I came to realize I had to eat less and burn more to achieve the results I craved.” — Leslie Guzinski

“I stopped counting calories and started eating intuitively. My calorie counting was making me crazy and it was starting to impact my relationships with friends and family. I was worried that I’d gain weight when I stopped, but I actually LOST weight, just from listening to my body and eating healthy foods whenever I felt hungry.” — Jessica Cheek

“Eating five small meals a day has changed my metabolism, energy level and my waistline. Previous to making this change, I was always starving as ‘meal time’ approached, and the end result was terrible food choices. By simply incorporating high protein snacks [in the] mid-morning and afternoon, I have fewer food comas and a steady stream of energy! Anyone can do this with a little planning, a little prepping and aiming for a meal every 3-4 hours.” — Treenah Kight

“Reading the nutrition label was a huge breakthrough for me. Not reading just the calories and sugar, but the actual ingredients. Limiting my purchases to items that have ingredients I can pronounce as well as the fewest possible ingredients has made me think before buying and my body feels great!” — Lena Lawson

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Hydrating

“One small change that has made a big difference for me is proper hydration! I feel better, look better, and have more energy when I’m properly hydrated. A little bit of water can go a long way!” — Jordan Weaver

“Drinking H20 before my cup of morning coffee: One of the first things I do after I rise in the a.m. is drink at least 16 ounces of water! Not only does it wake me up, but it fires up my metabolism, helps my body flush out toxins and increases my mental clarity and awareness. It literally gets my organs and body jump-started and running how they should for the day ahead! You really start to feel the difference when done consistently. Bonus: Drink [your water] lukewarm with the juice of half of a fresh lemon for even more benefits!” — Megan Robison

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Breaking Family Patterns

“One small change that made a big difference in my life was to be my own person and not do everything exactly like my parents did. My parents were not active people; they didn’t exercise when I was growing up. My mother started going to a gym after I started going to a gym in my college years. I decided that I needed to be a healthier version of me, so I did something different than from what my parents did and decided to work out and get fit. Sometimes it’s easy, when we see our parents while we are growing up, to follow exactly in their footsteps and be just like them. I wanted something different for me, so I took the plunge and joined a gym. Best decision I made 15 years ago!” — Jessica Keipper

“One small change that made a huge difference in the health of my whole family was sleep tracking. After a year plagued by illness, I stumbled upon an app that tracked sleep. As a mother of young children, I knew I probably wasn’t getting enough. Curious, I downloaded the app and tried if for a week, and I was shocked to discover I was only getting about two to three hours of quality sleep per night! This realization led to many necessary changes to fix our sleep schedule. Once we all started getting a good night’s sleep, we stopped getting sick!” — Nichole Mumford

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Thinking Positively and Appreciating Life

“The small change that made a difference in my life was to think positive thoughts. Life is stressful. From bills to hungry children, home projects and work deadlines, it can be overwhelming and some days I want to shut down. When I feel pressure by negativity I take a deep breath and think of two things I’m thankful for. I now do this with my daughter on a daily basis and it has helped us both remain positive and less stressed!” — Susan Jumonville

“One small change that made a big difference in my life was deciding to slow down. I felt like I was always telling my family to hurry. Whether we were getting ready to go somewhere, I was asking my girls to clean up or I wanted them to get ready for bed, there was always a sense of urgency. When I decided to consciously stop rushing everything and stop using the word “hurry” all the time, there was a new sense of calm and peace in our actions and our home.” — Candice Macfarlane

“One small change that really made a difference in my life was realizing that my house doesn’t have to look perfect ALL of the time! Before, I would get so stressed if clothes or toys weren’t always put away. I have a house full of boys, I work a full time job and I do everything that a mommy does. The added stress of trying to be perfect just wasn’t worth it! Getting rid of the notion of perfection has been so freeing!” — Charity Kinneer