How Small Habits Can Change Your Life

Winston_Churchill_statue,_Parliament_Square,_London-29Sept2011

There’s a statue of Winston Churchill just outside the chamber to the House of Common’s. For years MPs (Members of Parliament) used to rub one of the statue’s feet before a big speech or vote for luck.

This small act, repeated over and over again by hundreds of MPs over the years, caused the dull bronze to shine gold. Once this discovery was brought to light MPs were banned from touching Churchill’s shoes so it wouldn’t look like there were holes in the statue.

Small actions, done consistently over time, can make a big impact.

Many of us get discouraged when we don’t see the progress that we want. Whether it’s dieting, exercise, decluttering, paying off debt, or simplifying our lives it’s easy for us to quit when it seems like things are going nowhere.

But when we stick with it, when we keep up with these tiny habits day by day, what we’ll see over time (as we stick with it) is change. Sometimes that change isn’t always good. When that happens we need to reexamine what we’re doing, learn from it, make changes, and move forward.

In life there are few quick fixes. Instead, there are tiny acts that become habits. Those habits become disciplines. And those disciplines will determine our direction and, ultimately, our destination.

What are the habits that have formed your life?

Do you find yourself eating too much junk food and struggling to lose weight? Are you living beyond your means and look around to find piles of debt and clutter that are weighing your down? Are your relationships and health suffering because you’ve said yes to too many things?

If you find yourself exactly where you want to be in life, that’s great! Keep doing what you’re doing.

But if there’s something about your life you wish were different, the best thing you can do is to start small.

If you’re struggling with your weight set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and walk around each hour.

If you’re looking to get out of debt make a list of everything your own and set aside a little money from each paycheck to pay off what you owe, beginning with the smallest amount first.

If you’re tired of the clutter in your home and garage, pick the least cluttered area and beginning getting rid of all the junk in that room. Go through it one drawer, one closet, one desk, and one corner at a time. Grab a box or a trash bag and begin filling it with all the things you don’t need or want.

If you’re health or relationships are suffering because of your workload take a look at your schedule with your family and begin to trim down the activities and commitments that you’re involved in. Set aside a night a week where all of you will get together and do something fun as a family that allows you to connect and catch up. Commit to having dinner together a few times each week.

The key to accomplishing big things in your life is to do a few small things each and every day that will move you forward in the direction you want to go.

Take a walk around the park. Say no to anything that’s not within your budget. Have dinner with your family. Get rid of a bag of clutter.

These small things, done consistently over the long haul will have a big impact on your life.

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