The Secret Way to Change Your Life for the Better

Do you want to change your life for the better? Of course you do! Whether you want to improve your health, your financial situation, your relationships, your career, or anything else, we all strive to better ourselves in some way. The challenge is taking the necessary steps for improvement. What should you do? Where do you start? What if it seems too hard? Is it worth the effort? There are many questions. No wonder most people give up before they take the first step.

If you want to change your life, here’s the secret: Progress comes from making small improvements. “SMALL” is the key word. Just take one step at a time when trying to take on something new. The familiar aphorism states this idea succinctly: Small strokes fell great oaks.

By taking small steps, the brain creates neural networks for change. Taking small—really small—easily achievable steps is the key to success. For example, suppose you watch a lot of TV while sitting on the couch. You want to get healthier, but you don’t know what to do. Signing up for a gym membership and going to exercise multiple times a week seems like a daunting commitment. So, how about trying a simple balancing exercise to strengthen your core while watching TV? A first step would be to just stand for one minute on one foot while watching television. Then stand on the other foot. The next week, stand for two minutes each day. Gradually add in some jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, etc. Making small advances lets you tiptoe right past thoughts that could prompt negativity. Before you know it, you’ll be working out regularly.

You Can Change Your Life One Step at a Time

Unlike youth, who find little risk or problem in attempting new activities, adults have established patterns and often feel anxious and uncomfortable when attempting something new. Realizing this at the outset will make it easier to attempt something new.

Here’s an analogy to remember: Think of a rocket or a space mission. Most of the energy, most of the thrust, has to do with breaking away—to surge past the gravitational pull. Once you get past the pull of your habitual approach, you will steadily become more successful and will change your life for the better. You will also enjoy the satisfaction of your new successes.

Tip: Trust the process. You will soon find that practicing this suggestion will become easier if you focus on one step at a time.