One Small Habit At A Time

At a student retreat a few weeks ago, I asked the student to each tell me one goal they want to accomplish this semester.  I told them to be as specific as possible so we can measure their progress. Goal after goal was mentioned….some were reach goals and some were simple goals that still had the potential to make a big difference.

Looking for a big change? Well start small and you will be amazed at the difference that is made over a few months.  One student said her goal is to make up her bed every morning. Some students scoffed at the idea.  But the goal, although small, could make a big difference. Studies have shown that simply starting your day with making your bed sets you up for a success mindset the rest of the day.  We talked about how great we feel walking into our home when things are neat.  Even Naval Admiral William H. McRaven mentioned in his commencement speech at The University of Texas Austin, that making up your bed means you start the day off with one win or accomplishment.

One Small Change a Month = Twelve Changes Over a Year!

Making your bed may seem insignificant but it is that one small change that allows other small changes to happen.  It gives you momentum.  When we first moved into our home, our son was on the way.  We focused on getting his nursery ready but pretty much neglected decorating the rest of the home.  A year later, we were still living in a bland home.  Bland has never been my style. I was ready to be proud of our home but so much needed to be done and it overwhelmed me.  New parents usually are short on time and money and we were not the exception.  So for months I didn’t do anything because I couldn’t go big all at once. Then I made a New Year’s resolution I actually kept. I would do one small thing each month to decorate our house.  Then by the next year I would have done 12 more things then I would have done the last year.

The first thing I did was hang a picture.  It was amazing the difference that one picture made. It made me happy and made that area of the room look more like a home.  Each month, I added one more thing.  Some months were more elaborate than others. I kept a list that year of what I did to hold myself accountable.  Strangely, it started to look pulled together in just a few months and in a year, those 12 changes made a huge difference.

Wanting big change? Start today with one habit that increases your happiness while building momentum toward that big goal.  Even thought it will be only a tiny step, it will be one step closer than you were yesterday and over time those small changes add up to a big difference.


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