To Make Big Change Start Small
Every habit you dislike in yourself was built on a series of small (sometimes unconsciously made) decisions. These decisions compound over time to help you move to or away from your goals. Everyone has the power to find purpose, create value, and live a fulfilled life by embracing change. We make small choices every day. To make big change, consider these positive but small changes as your foundation for self-transformation:
- Begin within. Outside actions begin in the mind. You are the only one in control of your inner monologue. Others can help you identify your thought patterns, but only you can change them. When self-doubt, fear, and negative arguments creep into your mind, reframe them into positive affirmations. Practicing control over your inner monologue will transform your life.
- Drink water. Hydration facilitates every other bodily process, and drinking water is a small and simple change to make. Instead of ordering a soda, a sweetened coffee, or an energy drink, choose water. If you normally consume high-calorie drinks, this one change could kick start your path to better health. Cutting down on or eliminating empty calorie beverages can improve mental clarity, energy levels, and mood.
- Practice failing with grace. People commonly fail to transform their lives in meaningful ways because they are afraid of failure. Ironic, isn’t it? Failure is uncomfortable, embarrassing, and sometimes painful, but it’s not the end of the world. Look to historical examples for inspiration. Overcoming the fear of failure is a step toward success. Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey, and Thomas Edison all failed (sometimes repeatedly) before they changed the world. Don’t try to fail, but embrace it as a learning opportunity.
- Schedule these two things for every day. Scheduling activities increases the likelihood of accomplishment. In addition to your to-do list, pencil in 30 minutes of exercise and 30 minute to an hour of device-free time. You choose when you schedule the activities based on your own preferences and needs. Disconnecting completely for even a short amount of time can reduce stress levels, and exercise offers multiple benefits. Find balance on the most stressful days when you schedule these two activities.
- Try something new and exciting. Creating habits, eating regularly, and making a gratitude list all inspire transformations, but some people need something more. If you feel stuck, zombie-like during the days, and/or generally unmotivated, try something new in the next week. Take one painting class, try out aerial yoga, or drive somewhere spontaneous early on Saturday morning – alone. When you get outside your comfort zone and enjoy it, you build confidence. When you feel confident, choosing a salad and making small talk at a professional gathering don’t seem so hard.
- Stay in the moment. You can’t change the past, and the future hasn’t happened yet. The only thing you can control is your thoughts and behaviors in the moment. Notice the texture of the counter in the coffee shop, truly listen during conversations, and avoid distractions. When you focus on the present, you engage with the world around you in a meaningful way. Practice mindfulness to avoid going into autopilot mode and missing business and personal relationship opportunities.
Few people can make lasting changes overnight. To permanently transform your life, make small changes. To expedite the process, consider partnering with a life coach who will inspire you and hold you accountable. Every day is an opportunity to make positive choices and build a better life.
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