Mindful Monday – June 11, 2018
“You cannot see a tree as it grows. Only with time can you see its progress.” – Nicole Addison
“Lose belly fat fast with this weird old trick!”
“Make 2018 your healthiest year yet!”
“Get rid of stress, now!”
It is human nature to want a quick fix. That’s why advertisements make us these huge promises. One product, one pill, one pair of undies could change your life! It’s a nice idea right?
But as those of us who have ever gone on a fad diet know too well, the results don’t last. Sometimes we don’t even see results at all.
No. More. Quick. Fixes.
Unlike quick fixes, small and slow change will make a lasting impact on your life. After all, an acorn doesn’t grow into an oak tree overnight. An oak tree is beautiful even as a little sapling. And the ultimate results of growth over years and years is truly majestic.
Why do small and slow changes work?
- Small and slow changes are easier to start. Let’s say you want to start a daily meditation practice. You could start by meditating for 60 minutes a day. But a change that drastic is unlikely to have longevity. Sixty minutes is a big commitment in a busy life. It’s easy to talk yourself out of… after all, that 60 minutes could be used finishing work, cleaning house, spending time with the kids… Ten minutes a day is much easier to commit to. And committing to something small is much better than committing to nothing.
- Successfully starting a small change gives you a burst of self-confidence. If you’re able to meditate for 10 minutes for the first few days of your commitment, it’ll feel awesome! And you are more likely to achieve your goals when you’re feeling good about yourself. If you’re beating yourself up, it will feel harder and harder to reach your goals. Your mind may even start to tell you that you don’t deserve the good results of your goals (you do!). The confidence boost is key to your momentum.
- Small and slow changes are more realistic. Humans are habitual creatures. There is familiarity and comfort in returning to our old ways, even if those ways are harmful for us. This is important to remember. In every change process there will be setbacks or relapses. When these happen, we should try to have self-compassion. Change is hard! That’s the reality. If we can accept that and set our sights smaller, we will set ourselves up for success.
- It feels better and is easier to increase goals than to decrease them. Let’s say you’ve got that 10 minute daily meditation practice down, pat. Bump it up to 15 or even 20 minutes! It’ll feel great to know you’re going above and beyond your original goal. Decreasing from 60 minutes to 30 minutes, on the other hand? Your mind may be harsh on you. And remember, self-confidence is key.
- Accepting the slowness of change helps us enjoy the process. Change shouldn’t just be about the end result. If we enjoy every achievement along the way, no matter how small, and see every setback as an opportunity to try again, our quality of life will increase. And the whole ‘goal’ of goals is to increase our quality of life in some way. So return to the present moment, again and again, as you allow yourself to enjoy the process of changing.
Has small and slow change worked for you? Has a quick fix worked better? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.