Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tiny Changes, Big Impact

To get anything done, you have to act. Thinking about it, wishing for something, is not enough. Imagination precedes action, it doesn't replace action. What happens is we sometimes get overwhelmed with the scope of our dream or goal, and we don't know where to start, or what the next step should be. Julia Cameron has a great suggestion to get moving.

In The Artist's Way, she recommends making 10 tiny changes in your life. Listing these in your journal, or anywhere, and doing them. What kind of changes are tiny ones? Ones that you can do today, or certainly this week. For example, something so mundane as socks. I had been looking for socks to wear with my running shoes, not that I was going running, but of course I needed athletic socks, not dressy socks. I started to murmur to myelf about my kids taking my socks, and then I realized, simply go buy more socks! It sounds so ridiculous, but getting out to a nearby convenience store, I bought my socks. No more negative thoughts about socks!

In their follow-up book, The Artist's Way at Work, the authors, writing for a slightly different audience, refer to this as filling the form. "Filling the form requires us to pay gentle attention to our wishes and needs. We may not be able to make the large changes that we yearn for, but we certainly can make small changes that bring us a sense of comfort and optimism" (69). I think tiny changes are the path to big changes. In his work with success principles, Jack Canfield recommends taking 5 steps each day that move you closer to your big goal, it could be as small as sending email to 5 people who may be able to help you.

Think of 3 small changes you can make in eacd of the following areas of your life:

1. Work space.
2. Car.
3. Kitchen.
4. Wardrobe.
5. Reading list, or entertainment plans.
6. Living room.
7. Bedroom.
8. Exercise habits.
9. Eating habits.
10. Spiritual/intellectual maintenance

These changes can be so ordinary, getting your tires aligned, getting a picture framed, buying organic dates, picking up paint chips, buying socks. However, they get you moving toward your good life.

What can you do today that would bring you delight, or bring you closer to attaining a big dream?