- Nancy Urbach
Why Small Changes Work
Anyone who has ever tried to create a new habit knows that small changes are the building blocks of lasting change. Part of the problem is that we often underestimate the power of small changes. We think that in order to achieve our goals, we need to make big sweeping changes; but the truth is that small changes can have a big impact if we're patient enough to let them grow. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day, but it was built one brick at a time.
Habits are things that we do automatically, without thinking about them. So how do you turn something that you have to think about into a habit?
The answer is actually quite simple; you just have to start small. Instead of vowing to go to the gym every day for an hour, commit to going for a 10-minute walk around the block. Once you have made walking a part of your daily routine, you can start to add in other healthy habits one action at a time. If you desire to take more breaks in your workday, you can set an alarm on your phone for one additional break as a start. Then once you have achieved taking one additional break, just set further alarms to increase the breaks if needed. Once you have completed these small changes for at least 3-6 weeks you will start to see yourself do them automatically without much thought.
Once you have developed the new habit, how do you stay motivated? It is easy to be motivated when you are first starting out and everything is new and exciting; however, sticking with it day after day can be a challenge. The key is to find ways to make it fun and rewarding. Maybe you could set yourself a goal to reach each week or give yourself a small treat each time you complete your task. What works will be different for each person. The important thing is to find a way to stay motivated and remind yourself why you started this new habit in the first place.
Small changes are the building blocks of habits. Do not be intimidated by this process - one success leads to another, and soon your goals may expand even further! Start today and stop talking about making progress. Begin the action steps for actual change!