How to (again) start with changes?
Reading Time: 5 minutes
March has started, spring is coming! Somehow this time brings us new energy, new power, is pushing us to move forward. Maybe you have already started to think about new changes you’d like to implement? Some people say that March is also like January. Quite often after winter, we make another resolution list. Another plan for how to make life better and easier. Of course, it’s not the first time, when we do it. There were New Years, springs, and other moments before. But – from what I observe – we try again and again, look for the best way to make it work.
Stanford behavior scientist BJ Fogg, Ph.D. is saying that there are three ways to make changes:
- have an epiphany,
- change your environment,
- take baby steps.
Epiphany – a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization – can be really helpful and give you a lot of motivation and clarity to take matters back into your hands and start doing great things that help you a lot. It can appear when you are really down and there are some serious things happening that truly shake you. You will find the power and motivation to make radical changes.
Unfortunately, this probably will not happen so often (if at all) and you don’t have any control over it. So to make a change, it doesn’t make sense to start waiting for an epiphany.
Environment – your physical surroundings, but also the people who are in your life – can motivate you and prompt you to do the things you need. And you have control over it! Sometimes more, sometimes less, but always there is something that is possible to change in your situation.
Look around, what do you see? Is there a mess or is everything nice and clean? Are all the things you need in their place where you find them easily or are you constantly looking for something? Does your environment make you feel good? Does it support you? Do you see something that motivates you to take action or maybe demotivates instead? Is there something that makes your good habits easier to do or harder to do?
There can be small details in your surroundings that can help you to do the things you should. That can motivate you or even help you to form new good habits. Maybe a small post-it with a cute message from your partner? Maybe a glass of water on your desk? Maybe a yoga mat on the floor of the bedroom? Maybe a wireless charging pad for your phone that always seems to have an empty battery at the wrong time?
Think about one tiny improvement in your environment that you could do right now, to start implementing changes. What could it be? What you would like? What would motivate or help you? Make this upgrade right now!
Also, think about the people that surround you. Are they supporting you? Do they know that you would need some help or encouragement? Are your family, friends, or colleges influencing you in a good or bad way?
Think about the people in your life right now. Is there something you could say or ask from somebody? Is there anybody you could spend more time with? Think about people, who inspire you, that are interesting for you. Maybe you can spend more time also with some helpful books or podcasts, made by them?
Baby steps – tiny actions that will help you to get started – can seem too small and meaningless at first, but they can multiply or grow to big changes. It will take time and patience, but the constant small improvements that you will experience will motivate you and help you to get started.
Getting started is most important! To get over the first resistance. To start moving even when you don’t have a lot of motivation. To receive the first small win. To feel that you are able to achieve and finish something, no matter how small the task. Completing something will give you the feeling of success.
So be clever and think tiny! What is the smallest thing you could do right now that would help you to start a small change? Make this step ridiculously tiny. Drink a glass of water. Take a deep breath. Do one push-up. Put your phone in airplane mode. Write down one thing you want to achieve this week. Tell someone you love them. Give a hug or kiss. Put on your sneakers.
Start with the things you really want to do. Don’t think about what others would want you to do or what you should do. Help yourself to feel successful! Be a bit better!
As you see – making changes can start with really easy action! You don’t have to take on big challenges that need a lot of effort and motivation. Of course, if you have had an epiphany kind of experience, you feel the hunger for big change and you have the motivation and willpower then go for it. But otherwise, look around and start with baby steps!
If you would like to learn how to make these tiny steps into your tiny habits, then join our Tiny Habits course!
Certified Tiny Habits® Coach
Creator of Habits Mastery