The challenge: to make small gradual changes
Some wise words from Martin Luther King :
How true that is for our challenge this year. I have written about 52 small changes that you can make to help simplify your lifestyle. Most people that you talk to WANT to make changes to their current lifestyle but most find it difficult to do. They start looking at the entire picture of what they want in their life, whether it be a better body, change of diet, a cleaner house, more organized life, or a better personal relationship within themselves. But instead of looking at the entire picture and getting overwhelmed they need to just take a step. Just one. Taking one small step towards a larger goal is better than not taking any step at all.
Why make the change:
We have been giving this great life that we live. We need to live it. We should stop being in the rut of daily hum drum tasks and just do it. Stop making excuses. Trust me, I have been one that has done that. My excuses these last few years are:
- I was too tired
- I am too busy
- I will worry about that later on
But guess what?? Later on will never come. You will ALWAYS be too busy. We can throw a million different things into our days, but we NEED to decide which things are worth pursuing to be most effective in our days. You will probably always be too tired as well, but it doesn’t take much of working on our goal even if it is for 20 minutes a day.
One of my husband and myself’s favorite quotes is by Henry David Thoreau and it is true for most people in life:
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
How many of us have big dreams that we only DREAM about in our life? Most everyone does. It is the very few that actually go forward and make strides to attain these goals.
How to make the change:
How do we go about making these changes? We all have a resistance to making a change. Why go AGAINST the flow when it seems you are just sailing along?
Take small steps
Instead of going from point A to point D in one full swoop, because you can, go from point A to point B. It is much easier to start small in our changes then making drastic ones. A person can get used to gradual changes much better than one who jumps right in and then sometimes jumps right back out because it was overwhelming.
That is why we start small. If you desire to lose some weight, start out by exercising for 5 minutes a day every day. Gradually start working your way up.
In order for anyone to stick to something they need to find JOY in doing it. For myself, I despise exercising. I do not like to do it at all. Sweating, doing mundane tasks like running are just not what I enjoy. I have done it, but it has been very easy for me to step back and not do it as much as I would have liked to. I had to change my mode and do something that makes me enjoy exercising. For myself, I include my husband or children. We goto the park and walk the bike path or my little ones and I will dance and do exercises in the living room together. Whatever I can do to make it more enjoyable is what is going to keep me motivated in doing it. Maybe it is seeing that counterspace clean in the morning that will motive you to want to keep going organizing your home. We are all different, we ALL need to find the joy that makes us happy.
Keeping it part of your daily routine
Remember you can make tons of changes and see great things happen in your life and then suddenly you gain back 10 pounds, or you start buying processed foods, or that shelf starts accumulating junk again. To integrate change into your life, it needs to become part of your normal everyday routine. If you desire to stay fit, then make sure that everyday after dinner you walk. Maybe you desire to pray more, set aside a time specifically like after you shower and before your morning coffee that you do it. It is like having a trigger for you to remember when to do it. The more times that you routinely do the tasks and are reminded by your “trigger” the easier it will become part of your normal everyday life.
Lastly, remember that you will fail. I say this lightly. Know that you are human and you are going to make mistakes, you will slip up. Using failure as a stepping stone and building upon it for the next try will make all the difference. We learn from failures, we learn how to not do that again and do better the next time.
I hope you have enjoyed my series on 52 weeks to living a simplified lifestyle. My pray is that it has encouraged you to WANT to make some changes and I pray that you actually DO make the changes to help simplify your life. We all deserve a happier life and that begins by making one small change.
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