Making Big Strides With Small Steps
Change is a Process…Not an Event
The advent of the new year has come and gone and understandably for many, the allure of creating positive change within our lives begins to wane. Suddenly, the drive to seek more success and fulfillment in our careers, relationships, health, and well-being begins to diminish. Of course, we still want more for ourselves, personally and professionally, it’s just that the effort is hard to sustain, life gets in the way, and results don’t typically occur quick enough, all of which detracts from the once renewed sense of energy we had back in January. But hears the good news, that is ok because change is a process and not an event. Having the things we want in and for our lives will not happen overnight, research proves it is within the small, subtle (not sizable or drastic) tweaks we make gradually that will add up to the big changes we seek. So don’t give up on those new year resolutions yet, slow and steady actually does win the race. Read on and learn how to make big strides with 4 small steps.
Four Small Steps That Have a Big Impact
1. Build On Existing Habits- Add a new beneficial behavior to an existing habit. For example, change your daily walk with your dog to a jog. Use the time carpooling your kids as an opportunity to connect. Add a fruit or vegetable with every meal and snack. Combine your daily mid-afternoon coffee break with calls or brief meet-ups with your team. The point being is to ease the creation of a desired new behavior by coupling it with an existing relatable habit.
2. Create Most Optimal Surroundings– Create a greater likelihood of success with supportive surroundings. So for example, if you want to eat healthier, stock your shelves with nutritious foods, not cookies or chips. Set out your gym clothes the night before so you’re ready to go for your workout tomorrow, put your cell phone in the draw while having dinner with your family or finishing up an important work-related project. In other words, set up your environment to promote what you want.
3. Anticipate Obstacles– Whether it’s a sudden circumstance that interferes with our well-intended plans to align with our goals (i.e illness, technology challenges, weather conditions, etc.) or the reality that we are only human and naturally our conviction will be tested. Anticipate obstacles and prepare for them with if-then strategies. So for example, if the going gets tough with work aspirations then connect with a mentor or other colleagues that can be of support or inspiration and create accountability. If you know you have a series of commitments that will challenge healthy eating or regular workouts then eat a nutritious, filling snack before heading out or travel with a jump rope should you be out of town or stuck indoors due to inclement weather. Know life can get in the way and plan accordingly.
4. Act. Learn. Build. Repeat.- The key to success is seeing change as a curious experiment and then taking a bunch of small actions steps to point yourself in the direction you want to go. Follow this formula and results are inevitable.
Do not underestimate the power of taking small steps, not only does its cumulative effects provide tangible markers of success but the cost of failure is comparatively low. So there’s less on the line to lose allowing us to feel more confident and at ease with implementing change into our lives. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Wishing You Always The Best Of Success