Living Simply: Internal Motivation

photo(1)Big changes are daunting. They look difficult and scary, and there’s never any guarantee that the other side will still be green when we arrive.

I’ve recently noticed that some of the simple living changes that people are so loathe to make are only bigger versions of familiar experiences. If you’ve ever packed a suitcase and gone on vacation, you know what it’s like to live on less. If you’ve ever gotten low on groceries and had to live on ramen and canned green beans for a day or two, you know what it’s like to be a vegetarian.

When I worked with 3rd graders, my students would sometimes complain that this or that chapter book was “too hard” to read, because it was longer than the books they were used to. Eventually the kids discovered that just because a book had more words didn’t make it harder to read. A page a day is still a page a day.

In the same way, any big change is just a series of little ones. Saying “I’m not going to eat pasta for lunch today” is so much more manageable that saying “I’m going to stop eating gluten.” Putting one item a day into the donation box is so much easier than decluttering the entire house in a weekend. It’s time to stop making excuses for big changes and start finding creative ways to take small steps right now.

What big changes are you facing, and how can you make your goals bite-sized?

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7 thoughts on “Living Simply: Internal Motivation

  1. This is such a really good point. Losing weight is something I really want to do and change the way I eat but I’m always looking at the final result not the baby steps it takes to get there. One meal at a time sounds so much easier to manage then a month with no carbs! : )

  2. Such good advice and something I think we all need reminded of at times… I’m definitely one of those people today šŸ™‚

    Baby steps, today I will… šŸ™‚

  3. How you eat elephant? In small pieces šŸ™‚ The same way is reported to quit smoking: instead of telling yourself, that you will not smoke ever, you change it to “I will not smoke today…” (it really helps šŸ˜‰ )

  4. Simple idea, but such a good reminder! It’s also good to remember that nothing worthwhile comes without effort. If it’s important, then we need to just take that first step. Before we know it we’ll have walked a mile!

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