I was anxiously lamenting all the little fires in my life to a friend over tea recently.
“There’s so much, and I don’t even know where to begin. How do you rebuild everything from nothing?” I cried out, having talked myself into a frenzy at the sheer magnitude of the pressures I faced.
She regarded me with a steady gaze, “Well, how do you eat an elephant?”
“One bite a time.”
Her silly and slightly disturbing mental image filled my mind, and close on its heels was the heavyweight of realization. Nothing needs to be solved in one fell swoop. Tiny habits, not massive overhauls, are the first steps to sustainable change. Through goal setting with bite-sized chunks of life’s elephants, you can (and will!) overcome them.
New Year’s Resolutions have this way of making us feel prepared. Outlines and action plans can give us an illusion of control over our success. But often, when we start them, we become paralyzed by the magnitude of change and quit. In fact, the enthusiastic hope-plan-doom cycle of a resolution contributes to failure almost 80% of the time.
Take charge of your time, boost your recovery and your future. There is no perfect moment coming that will unlock your success, but every step forward will benefit you. Make it a habit to start now, not in five minutes or five days, to reap big rewards.
Establishing a habit is a commitment. Most often, the hardest ones to keep are the “To me; Love, me” kind. The ones that benefit you and are led by your action. It can feel selfish and like an indulgence. But it is not. Making yourself a priority is the gift that keeps on giving.
Allow space for the things you want and need, then hold that space for them. Make this your first tiny habit, as it will be the key to ensuring you do not slip into harmful coping mechanisms when those wants and needs are ignored.
Small but mighty change.
When you feel untethered, handing over your power can be a struggle, but it’s not always necessary. Cliché as it sounds, sustainability must begin from the inside out. Many mini-mind shifts will produce powerful results without involving anyone but you.
The holistic healing staff at Villa Kali Ma suggest incorporating into your daily schedule little habits like mindful breathing, a short yoga flow, or reframing the words and emotions you use to express yourself. These can offer small shifts with a big influence. Other small but mighty changes you can make are:
- Offer kindness to others when you are feeling low.
- Google something interesting. Anything, really, but learning something new can productively engage your mind.
- Start your day with a glass of water.
- However, feels good to you. Just get your thoughts out on paper for a few minutes every day.
Think about it.
It seems so simple, but how often do you take the time to sit with an idea and flesh it out? Spend time with those ideas (even the worries). Take inventory of them, and process them accordingly. Intrusive thoughts can feel intense, even when they’re good ones. We are often told to stop the spirals in our heads.
What if sometimes the answer is thinking them through?
To pause and give them space.
Use a timer to give yourself a structured few minutes. Then pause and consider as many of those loose ends as you can. Spend time with the thought in its entirety, even if it’s uncomfortable. This tiny habit of giving yourself permission to pause and make space for your thoughts and feelings can have powerful results, and the cue is already ingrained when you feel that building push of an idea, pause.
Lean on experts.
Tiny Habits aficionado BJ Fogg has a reputation you can rely on- and you should. With more than two decades of research into a sustainable life change, Dr. Fogg supports small changes to make the most impact. Fogg suggests getting highly specific to optimize the prompt you’ll use to engage it. Using the combined force of motivation, ability, and a prompt within a moment, you can establish a behavior. Boost your recovery by allowing it to motivate you.
Set your habits with intention and specificity, but don’t eat your elephant in one big gulp. Small bites, tiny habits, and consistent effort toward your end goal will move you steadily toward it. Allow expertise to strengthen your resolve and support the habits you put into motion right now. If you find you need some assistance to boost your recovery or begin your healing journey, Villa Kali Ma offers a holistic program that supports setting goals and teaches mindfulness practices.
Contact us today to learn more about sustainable recovery and the life change available to you when you are in a supportive environment like Villa Kali Ma.