Sometimes small steps can lead to big changes.
This post goes out to the Thrive Community to celebrate the launch of Thrive’s first book, Your Time to Thrive: End Burnout, Increase Well-being, and Unlock Your Full Potential with the New Science of Microsteps, which will be published by Hachette Go in March, 2021.
At a time when so much seems overwhelming or out of our control, Microsteps are both practical and powerful. By implementing changes into our lives that are too small to fail, we can create sustainable habits that help improve our well-being, our relationships, and our resilience.Thrive Community
How 5 Small Microsteps Led to Big Changes
- Switched from coffee to tea.
This is a tough one for me. When I’ve cut out high doses of caffeine before, I’ve gone through a hazy withdrawal that’s somewhat sloth and somewhat starfish.
But, four cups of coffee every morning on an empty stomach was keeping me anxious, jittery and more distracted than ever.
Although I loved the taste, I decided to try breaking up with coffee.
Maybe it was a long time in coming.
We moved to Charlotte from Glen Ellyn in May 2019. In all that time, I’ve only been to Starbucks once. And that was for a business meeting where I didn’t have coffee, I had an energy drink.
Process: Switch from coffee to a mug of Earl Grey Tea with lemon.
Result: More focused, better hydration and higher productivity.
2. Evening Mind Clearing
I keep a notebook by my bed, but I don’t always write in it.
I used to journal every night about what happened that day with the kids. But now that they’re all grown up, I’d let that go.
Now, I take a few minutes to write down everything that’s on my mind. What do I need to do?
Go to the dry cleaner, pick up a library book, send emails, write a post. And, more importantly – what do I want to do tomorrow? This is the fun part.
Dreaming up what happens before it becomes real. When I turn out the light, I fall sound asleep.
Process: End the day with tomorrow’s preview.
Result: Better sleep, higher productivity.
3. Books and Notes
I read a lot.
Three to four books a week is about my current rate.
Every book has bits of library receipts torn into mini bookmarks.
Marking the quotes, the insights and the pages I want to remember, these fringes can be few or many. They stay in the book, unless my cat removes them as he loves to do, before I return it.
In the past I’d taken photographs of the pages. Now, I open the a transcription app and dictate what I want to remember. The app transcribes my voice and I email the notes to me. The notes could also go in GoodReads.
Process: Record highlights.
Result: Lasting impact to use in quotes and research.
4. Skip Breakfast. Skip After Dinner Snacks.
Maybe it’s not having coffee first thing that’s making less hungry.
Whatever it is, I don’t start eating until noon.
And, I stop eating and drinking after dinner. A form of intermittent fasting, I can focus on powering through the morning without stopping. And after dinner I don’t feel tempted to paw into the cookie jar.
Process: Defined eating time from noon-7:00
Result: Higher energy, better weight management
5. Letting Go of Worry
Whenever a worrisome thought comes up now, I let it go. First, I thank the thought for pointing out whatever it wants me to know and then I release it. Over time, I’ve found I’m more on the right track.
Process: Let worry run through
Result: More optimism and more accomplishments
How about you? What microsteps are you taking right now?