Tiny actions add up over time to make big changes in your life, either positive or negative.
Consider the small action to decide, “I don’t want to have a vegetable with dinner tonight.” That decision is okay. It’s okay to not eat a vegetable with dinner. Last night, I didn’t eat a vegetable with dinner. But if you continue to make that decision every day, in 3 months you will be feeling sort of blah and lacking the nutrients that you receive from eating vegetables.
On the other hand, if you decide “I will have a small side of vegetables with dinner, even though I don’t really feel like veggies tonight,” then you have made a small action that didn’t really impact your day at all, besides prepping some veggies to eat. That’s a good decision for today. It’s okay to eat a small bit of something even if you don’t feel like it, if that thing is something you are eating for your good health. If you continue to make that decision every day, in 3 months you will have been eating a lot of veggies that you might not have otherwise eaten.
This applies to all aspects in your life. Tiny actions have a snowball effect that add up over time to make a big change.
Think about the following 5 tiny actions that wouldn’t make a significant impact on your daily routine, and consider how they could change your life if you did them every day (or even 3-4 times per week) for a month. These actions take one minute out of your day. Just one minute!
- Unsubscribe from one email newsletter you don’t read, or unlike a page on Facebook you don’t care about.
- Text one friend or family member a nice message.
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up.
- Add a vegetable to one meal.
- Focus on giving your spouse, partner, or kids a hug and kiss when you get home from work.
If you just do one of these things, you have given only 30 minutes of your life to a small action over the course of a month, but each action has the potential to shape your life into something completely different.
If you unsubscribe from one email newsletter per day, your daily inbox review will go smoothly and you can focus on emails that are actually important to you. I am guilty of signing up for newsletters to enter into a giveaway. I also have a lot of “Liked” pages on Facebook that aren’t actually important to me. By reducing this background noise of media, you can really begin to focus on updates from people and causes that are truly important in your life.
If you text one friend or family member per day – a casual “Hello, I was thinking about you and just wanted to tell you that you mean a lot to me,” that will make THEIR day better and will also get you into the small habit of sending love out to people around you daily. It takes ten seconds to type out a message. If they write back to you, engage in conversation for a few minutes but don’t let it take over your whole day. Just let them know that you were taking a break from your busy day to send them some of your love. They will appreciate it and you will feel better.
Drinking a glass of water when you wake up can change your whole day! Water helps to refresh and wake you up, and many people are not drinking enough. That first cup in the morning can trigger your body to remind you to drink up during the day.
Adding a veggie serving to one meal of your day is a small action that will only add a minute or two to your meal prep time. This morning, I threw a handful of spinach into my shake. Easy. You could make up a small salad, sautee some onions and mushrooms to go with your chicken or steak, or toss some carrots into the oven to roast while you cook the rest of dinner on the stove.
A targeted sixty second greeting to the person or people important to you when you greet them at the close of your work day can make a huge difference. Too often, we are rushed and saying a quick hello or goodbye as we shuffle out the door in the morning, or out to do errands, or doing one of the million things that takes up our day. When my partner takes just a few moments to embrace me in a full-on hug, and then gives me a kiss, either in the morning before I leave or when I come home from work – my day changes COMPLETELY and I feel so at peace and so relaxed and so loved. It takes just a few seconds of making that person the center of your attention to set you both up for a better day.
I challenge you to pick one of these five tiny actions, just one, and do it every day for a week. Report back and let me know how things went! If you accept my challenge, please post your action in the comments section. You can add your own as well! Pick one that will only add a minute or two to your daily routine.