Change a little, often.Posted: October 5, 2013
I found this old post I wrote over a year ago around about the time I was given reduced days at work before being made redundant. I saved it as a draft and never published it as i thought it was too long. Re-reading it now in the face of new challenges it still rings true.
Change is something we crave and on the flipside dread. We all want some kind of change whether its to be smarter, healthier, prettier, wealthier or more talented. Yet when bombshelled with an unsought-after change we run for cover purchasing a family-size bag of maltezers and devouring them single-handed or forecasting our fears prematurely to our workmates. However learning to accept change that we cannot avoid gracefully is more than just a mantra for recovering addicts to live by, (God grant me the grace to etc etc), it’s a principle we all can learn from and live by. More than that we can pre-empt the nature of life and choose change. You see the element about change that we are uncomfortable with is the one where we have little choice in the form it takes. People by their nature like control and feel very unhappy when it is taken away from them. So if you want the kind of change that makes you smarter, healthier and so on then choose your own change. Don’t wait till change sneaks up and tells you that the boss has allocated your parking space to the new employee but not to worry because theres still one available next to the garbage crate. Look at your life and find the things that don’t work and change them. Pick one little thing at a time that doesn’t work about your life and change it.
The reason we often fail when we set a target is that we want to transform overnight into the goodlooking, toned and taut millionaire who just happened to buy the right ticket but far more likely to get you where you want to be are the incremental but constant adjustments of course that take stock of where you actually are in relation to your marker before moving. I’m not claiming to have all the answers but I know when I set my mind to achieve something I usually get there in the end if it’s important to me. In the times that I feel like I’m getting somewhere I’ve noticed that what I do is to use a lot of self reflection and follow this thought process:
1. Pick a thing thats not working for you. Example: Lack of excercise
2. Analyze thought process around why you’re not currently doing anything about it. Example: I don’t have enough time, it’s expensive, I don’t enjoy it.
3. Force yourself to find a solution that ticks most of the boxes for avoiding your negative reasons. Then instigate a change despite the fact it isn’t a perfect solution. Example: I joined a small gym very close to work with low fees for off-peak hours and excercise in my lunchbreak, then eat lunch at my desk while working. Not a perfect solution but it gets around the excuses.
4. Revaluate once change has been made for a while.
5. Adjust incrementally. Repeat as necessary.
Change a little, often.