Four ways you can organise change. Week two: In tiny shifts
Last week we looked at how to break down goals into chunks of time. Today we'll look at levels of difficulty.
Professional Soccer player Mia Hamm said, “Success breeds success”. When faced with a mammoth task, it may be easier to tackle the smallest and easiest change first. Rather than wracking yourself with guilt that you’re copping out of the harder elements of your change, be inspired by the success of the change you are making right now. It’s possible to make great change by starting off small.
To break your goal into difficulty levels, start as small as you can but keep at it. As soon as the change seems achievable, add the next smallest change. For example, you could avoid sugar in your tea and, once you’re accustomed to the taste, avoid the biscuit with the tea. Remember, the point is long term achievable change so unless you have a strong health reason to make big changes straightaway then any steps you take towards a healthier future are positive.
This is the 'stealth method' for habit change and feeds on the concept that most of what we do is automatic rather than deeply considered. By making tiny shifts, it's possible to effect huge change. This is best described in Jeff Olsen's book "The Slight Edge" where he explains it as making simple daily choices and taking small actions to create the compound effect to deliver the lives we desire.
If you're trying this method of breaking down your goal, remember to measure and compare at regular intervals to keep you on track.