Most of us probably have things we would like to change about ourselves. Some changes might seem small, but sadly, no one ever explained just how hard it would be to make those changes. Yet, you want to make changes because you feel that these changes could really help you move forward, to live the life you want to live.
Maybe you are interested in making bigger changes, like learning a new language, or losing weight, and training to run a marathon. Something has always prevented you from following through, though.
What is it that is stopping you?
Instead of looking to change in small steps, we get caught up in the grandeur of our plans. The idea of trimming the fat, and training for a marathon seems like an insurmountable task, well it can be, if that is what you are telling yourself.
It is All About Taking Small Baby Steps
I will be referencing the weight loss and marathon example, because it is a great way to break things down. If this was your goal then you would need to start at the beginning, and that means with one small step every single day, starting with weight loss. That in turn will fuel your marathon training, too.
You could start with something as simple as hopping on a treadmill every morning for five minutes. Once you got into that habit, you can increase it to 10 minutes, and then to 20 minutes, and so on. You get the idea. Here are some additional baby steps that you can take to make serious changes in your life.
Ditch The Negativity – That won’t be easy because we were fed a lot of negativity, in ways that we might not even understand, or even notice most of the time. Getting a lot of negative input, leaves us at risk of stress, depression, and other illnesses.
The first step we can take is to make the decision to entertain positive thoughts every morning, and be mindful of your actions as we progress through our day. Make decisions that will re-enforce the new mindset. Here are some small ways you can do that:
- Help someone every day … go out of your way to lend a hand … listen to someone.
- Be accountable … stop shifting the blame and accept responsibility for your actions.
- Be grateful … list three things you have to be grateful for.
- Have a good belly laugh.
- View “problems” as challenges to overcome, learn and improve.
Be Kind – People who act kindly are happier people in the long run. It feels great to be good to other people, it leaves you feeling more positive. It costs nothing to be nice, so the next time someone eggs you on, take a deep breath before you respond, throw your cashier a thank you tip, and a bigger smile than normal. Those things are so easy to do, and it is something that can trigger a major change in you as a person, and leave a lasting impression on others.
Support – We underestimate how damaging stress can be to our lives, and one of the most effective ways to manage stress is by having a strong support network. There is a lot to be said for having a strong community to provide us with a sense of belonging, security, guidance, advice, and anything else we can reach out for, as we need it.
Eliminate None-essentials – If you want to effect real change in your life, it is time to identify what is essential to you, and then get rid yourself of everything else. How badly do you really need that doodle your ex drew on your math homework in middle school?
Don’t downplay what clutter from your past could be doing to you. Just think of how much extra stuff you have to pack when you move. Why are you allowing this stuff to build up, and leave you with emotional clutter? Clear the decks. Clutter creates stress.
The key to keep going with the changes you would like to make, is taking regular small baby steps, and take inventory at times to see how far you have come. When you find yourself focused solely on the big picture, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
While big-picture thinking can be seen as a positive, and motivating, it is just as important to be able to break it all down into the small steps you can take, to keep the momentum going. This is how we stay focused, this is how we keep driving, and this is how we win.