Start With The Low Hanging Fruit
Perhaps you’ve heard this quote attributed to Mark Twain; “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Makes sense, right? And maybe you’ve even quoted that very saying when looking at someone else’s habitual behavior, but have you ever thought about it in reference to your own behavior and habits of thought? Have you considered what you could be doing differently?
It seems to me that for most of us it is pretty easy to see what other people need to do to create a positive change in their lives, yet we often times are unable to make changes for ourselves. We get stuck in the way we do or look at things, and when something starts to go bad, we apply what we know harder. We do what we know to do with more effort, and while we can readily see when someone else may be doing that very thing, we may not see it in our own behavior.
So if this is starting to ring true for you, you may be wondering how you could start to do something different to get new results?
A good first step could be to decide to take time to evaluate things that are no longer working the way you’d like them to. I know, at first this may seem like a pretty big task, yet it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. You could simply decide to be aware of the next time you begin to feel stuck or stifled in some way, or when you start to feel like a hamster running its’ heart out on its’ spinning wheel just to get no where. The point is to identify something in your life that you ‘d like to improve and then take a long look at the situation. What is working and what isn’t? You don’t necessarily need to make a drastic change and chuck the whole thing. Actually, if you did think that chucking it was the answer, you may not really take such a drastic step right way because it could be too big of a change.
What I’m talking about is to look at the small steps you can take. Start with the easy stuff. You know, the low hanging fruit. You don’t have to make it into a big deal, writing list and comparing pros and cons, or asking your friends and family members for their ideas. Trust me, they are more than happy to tell you what you need to fix, but this is not about what anyone else thinks you need to improve. It’s about what you think needs to be improved.
And be kind to yourself when starting this process. Start small, even if the thing you want to change seems difficult like losing weight or getting in shape, or getting along with one of your in-laws better. Just look at one little thing you could change, then imagine how applying that change could positively affect your experience. Maybe you stop drinking soda after dinner every night, or you park farther away from the door so you must walk a longer distance to get to the office or go into the store, or maybe you could consider looking at things from your brother-in-law’s point of view. He could have a point, you know.
This short evaluation process could become a new habit of thought for you that could make a huge change in your life right away and even more so over time. It may not seem like you are really doing anything at all, which is actually the point. It doesn’t have to take a lot of effort to make a positive and lasting change. Just a small adjustment can make the biggest difference over time. Think of it as a very small course correction in your flight plan. A small adjustment gives you time to easily settle into your new flight plan, and once more comfortable, you can readjust as needed. Remember, even a change of just a fraction of a degree applied over the course of miles will lead you to an entirely different destination.