Something Small to Begin Now?
When I coach my clients, I often emphasize the power of small changes or baby steps because this enables the client not to be intimidated. If we trying to implement too much change at one time, often we run away from the process because the primordial brain inside of us worries about survival. This part of our brain knows that we have survived life to this point so lets not change too much or we could die!
Knowing this basic psychology about ourselves, we should look for small changes we can immediately start implementing to become our ideal self. For example, what if you could just start taking a 30 minute walk per day? This is one of the suggestions I often make to someone who is having trouble beginning an exercise program. A 30 minute walk doesn’t sound so intimidating to this part of the brain I mentioned earlier. What if you could just start adding one more piece of fruit to your diet per day? What if you could get up out of bed 30 minutes earlier than you normally do? You may not think that’s a big deal, but in time, these practices could add years onto your life and greatly increase your energy level.
Something Small Becomes a Habit
Most studies show that it takes 30-60 days to establish a habit, which will stick long-term. Now, you’re beginning to understand how it’s much easier to create a new, life-long habit by focusing a small change of behavior or a small change in a thinking pattern.
The beautiful thing about this “small is really big” philosophy is that once you establish that new positive habit, you can now take the NEXT baby step and build a new habit, which logically follows the previous accomplishment. This is how you eventually get big results.
It’s Not Sexy
Have you noticed that most commercials or weight loss programs promise huge results in a short period of time? That’s a marketing gimmick that appeals to your instant gratification gene. That fact is most of these programs do not result in sustained change. Most people on the weight loss programs promising you the moon end up back at square one after they try it for a while.
If you see someone promising you huge results in a short period of time, run away! It’s most likely a scam.
But what if you knew in your heart that sustained transformation is happening for you, day after day, because you are taking simple steps in the right direction? Would that feel good? I can tell you, it works for me. I know that if I keep doing small things every day, I’m on the path to huge change.
This method has impacted my life in the area of drumming, improved health and fitness, relationship building, and building financial wealth. Just do the little things right and know they add up over time.
Compounding into Huge Results
Considering the example about waking up 30 minutes earlier, that’s 3 1/2 hours per week that you could be utilizing for something like exercise, reading, writing, or meditating in the morning before you start your day. Now consider how that would add up over a year! Now, you’re starting to see why small changes aren’t really baby steps in the grand scheme. In the moment, they don’t seem like anything significant, but they compound greatly over time.
Compounding change is an exciting thing to consider. For example, you’ve probably heard that if you had started putting $200 away per month into an index mutual fund in your 20s, you would easily be a millionaire by the time you retire. This same compounding effect can be implemented and used to your advantage in all areas of life.
Try to remember throughout your day the small choices you’re making are actually part of a large snowball. That way, you will start to realize the paramount importance of little decisions multiplied over a lifetime. This is exciting because now when we have a small decision to make; let’s say, whether or not to buy a salad or hamburger, we know this can increase the quality of our life exponentially by choosing the salad. Small changes are part of large changes. That’s the thing to remember. You are right now weaving the tapestry of your life with whatever decision you’re about to make next. What will your decision be? I hope it’s the healthiest one you can choose. You have to KNOW that you deserve the best in life and nothing less.
What small changes have improved your life? How long did it take for you to notice the small habit change was producing big results?