One of the amazing things about life is that if we want to make a change that will make us happier, we are the architects of change. We can change anything we wish, we’re fully in control of that.
However, we all know that change can be difficult to achieve and maintain… and a friend sent me an article this morning about how to do that.
Quoting the founder of the Zen Habits website and his first tip for making a change, is to start very small.
There are two important reasons why that’s such good advice.
First, we’re often highly motivated at the beginning of a change process, but that bubble can burst quickly if we don’t see early success, so starting small gives us the opportunity to achieve something and feel good about that before we move on to the next step, that relates to the second reason it’s such good advice.
We tend to make incremental changes more successfully than big ones and so if you’re starting an exercise routine and we’re starting with a certain number of minutes a day, if you bump that up each week, you probably wouldn’t notice the change, but over the course of just a few months, you might even be doubling the amount of time that you spend exercising.
A personal finance website has a $5,000, 52-week saving challenge, and it starts with just $20 in the first week. There’s an incremental change up and down throughout the cycle of that 52-weeks, but for most people, the changes from week to week wouldn’t mean that much, but overall it helps them save $5,000.
I think you’ll find when it comes to change, starting small not only helps you get some traction, but also keeps that momentum going.