• Jolene Roehlkepartain

One Small Change


One small change can lead to a better life.


At the beginning of change, we become overly ambitious. We create long, impossible change lists. We’re excited. We’re motivated. We jump in.


At first, we make progress, but just as quickly as we start, we quit. Then we beat ourselves up for not meeting our goals.


How can you create lasting change without going overboard?


Start small and go smaller. After not exercising for a year, I sit on my exercise bike for one minute each day. I don’t pedal. I sit. My goal is to get on the bike every day. Then when I get that habit down, I pedal. Slowly. For 30 seconds. Every day.


Treat yourself kindly. Examine why you’re in the situation that you’re in. The pandemic thrust all kinds of challenging situations in my direction and for long periods of time. No wonder I stopped exercising and started eating poorly. Some days I could barely function. Now I need to dig myself out of my deep hole of unhealthy coping behaviors. But I’ll do it slowly so that the changes stick.


Keep adding to small changes. A small change results in big change when you build upon each one. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this phenomenon in Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.


“Many great moments of progress come out of a workaday attention to the little things,” writes Robert Maurer in One Small Step Can Change Your Life. “Instead of aggressively forcing yourself into a boot-camp mentality about change, give your mind permission to make the leaps on its own schedule, in its own time.”


Start with one small change.

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