make one Small change and get a big effect

I've had to learn to walk 3 times in my life. Like you, once when I was small. A second time when I had spinal surgery as a teenager. A third time when I had a severe post-operative complication to a knee surgery.

Graphic of Make a Small Change

The second and third times I really didn't know if I could walk again. It seemed completely overwhelming to me! One of the physical therapists was smart enough to come over to my wheelchair one day and sit beside me. She said, “I know this is frightening and discouraging. You don't have to take a step today. You just need to move your leg a little. Making a small change over time mean big changes in the end.” She was right!

You can make one small change and get a big effect. Click To Tweet

Maybe you know in your gut that you need to make a change. Maybe it feels too big, too complicated. Maybe you don't know where to start. Maybe trying to figure that out is so overwhelming that you stay stuck, unable to decide how to change at all.

Here's the truth. If you can make one small change, no matter how tiny, along with a commitment to that one small change, you will in time create a big effect.

What Small Change Should You Start With?

That's an easy one to answer – make a change that meets these two criteria:

  1. Something that is doable for you right now.
  2. Something you will stay committed to.

How Long Should You Practice This Small Change?

More than likely you'll want to practice this for the rest of your life! But that's not as bad as it seems, because you will change your perspective. What once felt bothersome and hard magically becomes helpful and easy if you stay consistent with your practice. As you start to see and feel the benefits you will naturally take another step, and another. Eventually you will work yourself out of the hole you are in right now.

Warning! Even when you make a small change you will have friends or family members tell you not to bother, that it won't make any difference or that you won't be able to keep it up. Here are two ways to handle that.

  1. Don't tell anyone about your small change for at least 3 weeks, just do it for yourself and keep it to yourself.
  2. Ignore the comments that seek to keep you stuck. They are not helpful or encouraging. Stare that person in the face, smile, and say, “Thank you for your opinion.” Then walk away or change the topic.

The truth is, making a small change in something you've felt hopeless about for a while is empowering for you. You'll start to feel more in control of your days and relieved that your small change is starting to make things better, too.

Tips for making small changes

I've done this dozens of times for my business and in my personal life, too. Here are some tips that have worked for me:

  • Remind yourself in the morning and evening that you believe you can do this one thing. Simply say to yourself, “I believe.”
  • Keep your change to yourself until a few weeks go by and you're feeling confident.
  • Take the mindset that you WILL make mistakes, and that you will simply correct yourself and get back to the change. Don't allow a slip-up to wreck your train
  • You are creating a change in yourself at the energetic level, so you'll start to feel differently after a few weeks. Expect that, and be grateful for it!

Related article: 3 Steps to Finding the Courage to Change

There are many examples of small changes in nature that make a big difference. On many islands, for example, you can drive to a dry desert-like side and then, within a few miles, be in a rainforest. It's only a small distance but the climate change is vast. So small changes exist in the natural world, and they can exist in you, as well.

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