Small steps are most effective for making changes

It can be healthy to set goals for a new year. It can be unhealthy, too.

To make it healthy, make small, sustainable changes. For example, if you want to start meditating, revive a meditation practice, or extend a meditation practice, try what feels achievable and realistic. Five minutes twice a day is a useful start.

Trying to sit for 30 minutes right away could feel discouraging and daunting, both of which are counter to goal achievement.

Small changes add up over time. For example, if you want to save money, try something like a cash-back credit card (if you don’t carry a balance) or a round-up app like Acorn. Money just adds up over time. Set a 6-month reminder on your phone. Then you’ll be like, “This is free money! Cool!”

Saving a set amount every month is like that, too. After half a year, you’ve got some bank!

If all your goals surround money or things, we suggest taking time to assess what personal goal(s) you might set. The best things in our life are not things. Exercise of some form is almost always good for you. Again, starting simple and small is sustainable.

We went to physical therapy for pain and weakness and got some exercises. They started us small, and over time we hope to get stronger. If we did too many exercises right away, we could do more harm than help!

Please do yourself a favor this year: try small changes. If you stop doing them, it’s okay. You can restart small again. No big deal! Small changes can really add up over time.

What small changes will you be practicing?

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