I think it’s a mistake to think that in order to make big changes in your life, you need to make big decisions. I want to change my life for the better! So I’m going to buy a one-way ticket abroad and never come back! You can’t fire me! I quit! Fuck it! Yolo!
Why does everything have to be so dramatic?
I get it. Why shouldn’t it be dramatic? You really think that I can change my life just by taking tiny steps here and there? That’s not what they show in the movies. That’s not what they talk about on all the inspirational videos I’ve watched. I need to take the leap! I need to go all in! I need to hustle!
I get it… and to be honest, those things do work, but I just want to say that that’s not the only way.
I started changing my life by doing very little things every day. Making my bed. Writing in my journal (3 pages minimum). Counting my blessings (10 every morning) and sticking to a workout schedule that’s very basic and ordinary.
None of these things will win me cool points on instagram. None of these things will garner oohs and ahh when I share it with my friends. It’s so simple and boring that it’s almost as if I’m not doing anything. But that’s a perception I think holds more people back than it helps them move forward.
Human beings are very visual creatures. If I can’t see my muscles grow bigger. If I can’t see my bank account going sky high, I’ll start to think that whatever it is that I’m doing is not working. But let’s also think about all these other things that affect our lives that we can’t necessarily see. Like the effects of being surrounded by people who love and support you. The effect the weather has on you. Or the slow effects of time and how we all grow old. We can’t see any of these things, but they happen. Does it have to be that in order for us to make progress in life, it needs to be immediately “see-able”?
I think we’d all benefit if we can embrace the idea of little decisions, big results. Like driving a car on the highway, you only have to turn the steering wheel ever so slightly to completely change the direction you’re going. Is life really that different? Sure, we’re not moving at 75 miles per hour so it’s harder to see, but we are moving forward nonetheless, and yes, the little tiny decisions you make every day changes the course of your life over the span of a lifetime.
You might not think that journaling every morning can do much. Counting your blessings. Sticking to a simple workout routine. Making your bed! How can that do anything? C’mon man, I need the quick dramatic hit! I need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a life coach! I need a complete overhaul!
Or do you maybe just need to evolve a little bit every day? Could it be that tiny steps over a span of a lifetime can take you exactly where you need to go? That progress need not be dramatic? That progress need not even be see-able? Do we really need our friends to see our progress on social media in order for us to want to continue on with it?
Speaking from personal experience, these little things that I do every day has changed my life. I’ve become a happier person. I’ve also become a better person to be around. Before I made these little changes, I was in a very dark place and I was not a fun person to be around.
But then I started waking up a little earlier every morning. I started accepting that a boring workout routine is better than none at all. I started journaling. I started acknowledging how my own thoughts and perception of life was what was holding me back. I admitted to my own faults and started making tiny little decisions to steer myself back towards the direction I want to go.
The direction I want to go is a life full of love, fun, and excitement. I want to live every day knowing that I am growing, challenging myself in meaningful ways, and progressing in every way possible. I also want to share everything I learn with others in the hopes that it helps you too. Only, I’ve come to find that big changes like these don’t have to come with big actions.
If you’re feeling like you’ve stalled in life and you need to get back into alignment with yourself, choose one tiny thing you can do today and every day after that to get you back on track. For you, it could be something totally different from me. You might come to find that it’s helpful to make yourself breakfast every morning. You might find that it’s beneficial to go for a brisk walk in the evenings. You might find that sometimes, you just need to sit around and do nothing. Or who knows, you might want to indulge in a little hobby, or you could be like me and do simple things like writing in your journal every day. Throughout a span of a lifetime these tiny actions will build up and if you stay consistent enough you might wake up one day and realize you’re exactly where you wanted to be, even though it seems like you’ve done nothing at all.
Little decisions. Big results.
by Jason Lam