Small Changes, Big Results

My first blog post for Another Mother Runner came out this month. It highlighted why New Year’s resolutions don’t work in my world but how taking time out to set your intention for the year or season you are in is a valid exercise regardless of what month the calendar says.

This year, I have some tangibles on my bucket list that I’ve plotted out in pencil (due to COVID-19). But bigger than that, I plan to spend the year operating under the framework of enough.

What does this mean?

It means recognizing that I am enough. I have enough. Enough is enough with some things I’ve fought to keep. Instead, it is time to let go. It also means that I’m in a season where I’m not seeking for more or the next thing but focusing on some foundational building blocks.

To achieve this, I’m doubling down on the tips found in James Clear’s brilliant book Atomic Habits. I know I’ve said a lot of books have inspired me to change my life. These books often focus on the categories of how I think, plan, or improve things like relationships. This book is all about taking action. The reason I love it so much, is because the action is so insignificant, you don’t even realize it is happening.

Similar to year’s past, I have a vision of myself being stronger, more energized and frankly a bit lighter. I certainly never want to give caffeine up but I would like to not rely on it quite so heavily. Clear spends a lot of time in Atomic Habits talking about how starting small and building consistent action into your daily life will ultimately lead to bigger results. He also reminds us that if you don’t identify or believe you can be the person or thing you want to achieve, you’ll never get there.

Henry Ford once said, “whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” I used to think that’s a nice poster but a bit cliché. I now stand corrected. Our beliefs really do impact the actions we take in life. It is why when we’re out of alignment with our beliefs that we get a pit in our stomach or feel “off.” It also means that if I don’t believe I’m capable of being the person that loses the weight, does the plank or beats her PR, I’ll prove myself right every time.

This year, I’m scaling back. I’m slowly rewiring my brain by asking myself, “what would the healthy version of Beth do in this situation?” Would she hop on the treadmill for 5-minutes or eat the chips. Sometimes it is the latter of the two. But most times, it is a hybrid. I don’t mind doing a 15-20 minute HIT run on the treadmill or the bike, which then leads me to want eat a bit healthier. I don’t mind recording my food if the goal is nothing more than to write down what I eat. I don’t mind training for a 5k in January because it seems manageable – at times even easy. I don’t mind tackling a single page in my book or jotting down a few words in my journal most days.

The point is, I’m slowly building in these very small but meaningful moments in my day. Things that take little effort but are wiring myself to believe that maybe I can beat my PR this year. Or, drop the pant size. Or, write the book. Or, have so much energy my afternoon consists of dance parties and playing with Jake without a single diet coke assisting me.

I don’t know what’ll happen in the coming months. Right now, though, I know I’m 21 days into the New Year and I’m more on task for where I want to get then year’s past. More importantly, I’m having fun doing it.

I share all of this because if you are struggling with achieving big goals, consider dumping them. Start small like Clear recommends. And brace yourself to be amazed. I know I am right now!

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2 thoughts on “Small Changes, Big Results

  1. Oh yeah, I quote James Clear a lot because I’ve benefitted from small habits too. I actually learned to juggle by only practising for five minutes a day, and I memorised quite a few Chinese words by learning two new characters a day. Here’s to our slow and steady path to being the best versions of ourselves!

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