Often, when we want change, we are looking for that big time, life changing experience. A major goal, a vision, that once we set it, will magically turn us into a new, better, healthier, smarter, ________ (fill in the blank with whatever you are looking for!) version of ourselves. Something that will inspire us to, just like that, either stop or start doing something that makes that dream come through.
I remember my father telling me how he, as dedicated chain smoker in the 70s, was invited to join his friend, the doctor, at the hospital and was shown x-rays pictures of older patients’ lungs. What they looked like after a lifetime of chain smoking. The story goes that my dad saw those pictures and immediately quit smoking. Only a few years ago did we talk about that event again, and now (perhaps with me being an adult and listening in a different way) did I realize that the change did not come immediately. He did not quit just like that. It gradually happened.
I find that most change is not a result of a “I-saw-the-light-moment”. From one day to the next. Rather, thinking back on changes that I’ve successfully managed, it has been baby steps, small habits, one at a time. An example would be my journey from a hard core (stiff…!) runner, to a yoga instructor and faster, but not so stiff, runner. Yoga felt so advanced, like it was for all the former ballerinas (not me!) and I felt out of place in a yoga studio. But my sister got excited about it and she recommend me an app. Slowly but surely, I started to practice. And when I say practice, I mean 10 min “yoga for runners” sessions and similar. But the more I did it, the more I liked it. Yoga can be very rewarding like that. It became part of my morning routine. And then I joined a “proper” yoga class and realized that I was very much capable to join the flow and the full hour or even 90 min sessions. The short, daily 15 min sessions really created the foundation of my yoga practice. Eventually I completed the yoga instructor training. What got me there was really the 15 min yoga session in my bedroom every morning.
What can you invest 10-15 min on each day that will long term make a real difference to your life?