Sometimes it takes just the smallest shift in perspective to change how you go about your day and help jump start real change.
Everyone has something they would love to make happen, but most never take the steps to get there. They sit there day after day, unhappy with the situation but unsure if they could ever change it, so they do nothing. Maybe it’s because of fear, or not knowing where to start, or maybe it just feels like real change is too hard. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re working towards a goal, no matter what it is.
Maybe you want to be debt free or a size 4 and you feel like it’ll take you forever to get there. Maybe you want to declutter your house, simplify your life, or build a business but you don’t know how to even begin. All you can see is the huge gap between where you are now and where you want to be, you don’t see the thousands of steps that will help get you there.
You start to think one decision won’t matter in the long run because the task you’re looking at is so big. Today doesn’t feel very powerful when it could take years to get where you’re going. That’s when you start making bad choices, because if today doesn’t matter then the choices you make today are miniscule compared to the huge goal in front of you.
But what if instead today is all that matters?
Unless you’re in the waiting room about to have liposuction or have just won the lottery you’re probably not going to drop 3 sizes or be debt free by the end of today, but you can be in a little better shape than you were when you woke up.
You can choose to go for a walk, no matter how short, or to not spend $4 on a coffee, or to take one small bag of unused stuff off to donate. You can choose to do things that cause you to make just a little forward progress. Even if it doesn’t feel like it will make a difference at the time, it will.
All those little choices add up, and winning is almost always the result of
being born Charlie Sheen making small intentional choices every day. You don’t have to make the right choice every single time, that could cripple anyone with indecision. All you have to do is make sure that the net of your choices at the end of today has made you a little bit better in some way.
Your life is the sum total of your days, which are the sum total of your decisions, and those days are going to pass regardless of how you spend them. You can either sit idly by and wish things were different, or you can use the time you’ve been given to change for the better.
- Get out and go for a walk around the block. It may be a short walk, but it’s a lot farther than you would have gotten if you’d stayed on the couch.
- Eat a little something before you leave the house if you’ll be gone for several hours, that way you won’t spend money eating out.
- Put a $5 bill in a jar. Next time you have a $5 bill, put it in the jar too. Only put fives in the jar and see how fast it adds up.
- Take everything out of one drawer, separate it and decide what goes back in the drawer. Get rid of the rest.
- Read an article on something related to your dream. Google is a wonderful thing.
- Want to start a business? Decide to do one thing every day to get started – read articles, find your domain name, set up a price structure.
- When you run up on something in your closet that you don’t love or don’t wear much, take 3 seconds to take it off the hanger and put it in a donate/sell box.
- Start planning a trip if your goal is to travel, even if you don’t have the resources to go yet. Doing the research will make it more real in your mind and give you a good idea of what you’ll need.
- If you want to be a writer, start writing. Sit down for 20 minutes and just write the first thing that comes to mind.
- Clean up. If you’re anything like me you’ll be more motivated and feel better at the end of the day if your space is clean.
- Say no thanks to a commitment you don’t want to take on. Just one for now.
- Say yes to something that scares you. Push yourself to go outside your comfort zone and see what happens.
- Set up a budget so you know how much money you really have.
- Take a class. One class on something you want to learn how to do. Or even smaller, just research and find that one class so you know what’s out there.
- Do something totally unique to your dream or goal.
Incidentally, the majority of this post was written in my head while taking a short walk this cool quiet morning. More often than not I think you’ll find that one good choice leads to other things falling into place. I always feel more productive when I walk in the morning, I have more energy to make better choices, and I nearly always clear my mind enough to be much more creative the rest of the day. It’s worth far more than the few minutes out of my day that it takes.
All you really need to focus on right now, at this moment, is making one decision that will ensure that tonight you are just a little better than you were this morning. Not perfect, just a little better. Don’t worry about getting it all right, one day your choices will have become habits and you’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.
You don’t have to sell your house, run a marathon or win the lottery to get started, you just have to start. One day, one hour, one choice at a time.