7 Simple Strategies to Make Small Changes
Small changes can often have a big impact on results, yet are often overlooked when we only focus on the final outcomes or the big picture. Whether you want to make any lifestyle changes or are striving to improve a specific area of your life, one of the best ways to achieve the results you seek is to try implementing 7 simple strategies.
1. Start Small.
One key to successfully making changes is to start small. Small choices. Small actions. Small changes. While it can be tempting to start with big changes to make an instant impact (e.g., 100% changing your lifestyle to lose weight), it simply is more effective to focus on small things you can do. To be clear, small changes add up over time, move you in the right direction, and have a longer lasting positive impact.
A Chinese proverb exemplifies this simple strategy: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
2. Set Achievable Goals.
When we seek instant gratification and results, it can be quite tempting to set some “unrealistic” and “unachievable” goals (e.g., losing 50+ in a month). Such efforts often backfire in frustration and disappointment. What helps is setting reasonable and achievable goals. As such, break down big goals into smaller goals, have reasonable deadlines, have someone hold you accountable, and do not expect results overnight. Goals that are reasonable are more achievable — which will help you stay motivated.
3. Monitor Your Progress.
Documenting your progress is another key strategy to making small changes. Keeping track of all the small changes you’ve made and when you made them, can be helpful in understanding what is and isn’t working. When you monitor and document your progress, the evidence you gather will help sustain you when you have “ups” and “downs.”
4. Track Your Progress.
How do you know if the small changes you make are actually working? The first step is to monitor / document your progress. The second step is to track ALL of your results, even if the results are not what you desire. Noting what changes are helping and what isn’t working, will better focus your efforts on those changes that are having the most impact. Thus, tracking your progress will ultimately help you learn to maximize the effects of making small changes.
5. Be Flexible.
Sometimes, the small changes you make may not yield the desired results that you want. When this happens, you need to be more flexible — and patient — and adapt and adjust accordingly. Although it can be frustrating when we don’t see the results of our efforts, it is okay to fail. Just. Don’t. Quit. I know that sounds counter-intuitive. Don’t ever be afraid to stop and start over. You have to be willing to change WHAT you do and HOW you do it. This flexible mindset is vital to long-lasting change.
6. Challenge Yourself.
Making small changes doesn’t necessarily mean moving at a snail’s pace. Small baby steps can have a big impact — if they are thoughtfully implemented. However, not only do you need a flexible mindset, you also need to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Change is often outside of our comfort zones. Challenge yourself to: push harder, do more, and be better — and don’t settle for mediocre results.
7. Enjoy the Process.
Making small changes doesn’t have to be boring or feel like a chore. Appreciate the journey. Celebrate small successes. Have some fun! Making small changes allows you to more efficiently and effectively achieve BIG goals, create better results, and enjoy the process!
Making small changes is something you can do quickly and easily. The 7 simple strategies are a blueprint to help your journey of making small changes in life. Improving or changing anything can be daunting, but the key is to make subtle, small changes every day.