Learning that the little things matter


Not one to normally listen to a self-help type podcast, staff reporter Aarya Oswal changed her mind after coming across the “Happier with Gretchen Ruben” podcast.

Aarya Oswal, Staff Reporter

It’s 9:30 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. My bed hasn’t been made since the morning, An empty packet of chips and unfinished homework is sitting on my desk, and I have little-to-zero will to get off of TikTok and actually do something with my life. I’m not alone in this, however, as 88 percent out of 2,219 people surveyed tend to procrastinate according to a study done by Darius Foroux for Medium.

This was in September of last year. What changed? I listened to “Happier with Gretchen Ruben”. I was reluctant to listen to it in the beginning; I was never the person who would willingly listen to a podcast about changing your life because it seemed like a ripoff to me. How would a person who doesn’t even know me, tell me my life could change – and that through a podcast.

I wished I listened to it when it came out.

Usually I hear motivational speakers say something really inspiring, but I’d forget about it the next day because their goals were too big for me to handle. I needed something I could keep doing every day. In one of her podcasts, Gretchen talks about the “one-coin loophole”. Suppose you’re trying to get rich but this alternate reality you live in only distributes pennies. The only way to get rich with pennies is to collect them every day, because every day you don’t collect a penny, is a day that adds up to you not being able to achieve your full potential of being rich.

It’s the same thing when talking about good habits such as working out; You’re trying to keep a habit going, but you say to yourself, “Oh it’s ok if I don’t do it today. It’s just one day, what could it matter?” Obviously, you’re trying to reach a goal, but you’re not allowing yourself to do so by keeping yourself from reaching your full potential. 

I, like many others, am a procrastinator – always doing things until the last minute – which would create havoc on my life. I’d get things done, for sure, but I’d be so stressed all the time to get it done on time. I tried meditation but I never seemed to focus. Every week Rubin and her guest for the week give the listeners a “try this at home” suggestion, and in one of her podcasts, she suggested the “one-minute rule”. It’s as simple as the name. If it can be done in about one minute, don’t waste a second and get it over with. Instead of leaving your laundry on the floor, just pick it up and put in the hamper. Gum wrapper on your desk? Toss it into a trash can.

See, it may not seem like it would make a difference, but it’s the little things that matter in the big picture. If your mom comes into your room, you’d rather her see no laundry on the floor rather than the obvious pile of laundry hidden under your bed, right? You just saved yourself a lecture there. How about that.

Every week, Gretchen tackles every day issues – some that I didn’t even know were problems until she spoke about it, and no matter how small they may seem, she makes it clear, that it’s the little things in life that matters –  that changing bad habits one by one, no matter how slowly the process occurs, you are on the right track for a happier and healthier lifestyle. I regret not having listened to her podcast earlier in life, but better late than never. So I urge you to go ahead and give it a try. It’s possible you could change your life for the better.