I’d like to share with you an insight I had in the past couple of weeks. I think it connects well to the journey of Creating Peace with Food.
While I was brushing my teeth one morning, I looked down at my counter. It was nice and tidy, clean of dried water droplets from face-washing splashes, contact case residue, or my toothbrush lying on the counter. I had only a few things next to my sink and it made me feel crisp, clutter free, and clean. I realized I had this sense of joy and part of me questioned why. I moved about my morning and later the counter caught my eye again. Really? Why do I feel such a sense of happiness seeing that clean counter? How silly.
I realized later I was happy because this was a change that I wanted, made, and maintained. Does it really matter why I was happy? Not for the point I am trying to make: feeling good regardless of the reason and the fact that it seemed silly to me, started my whole day off on a positive note.
From this simple excerpt of a morning, I have two points to make.
First, allowing ourselves to find success in little things can help us leverage small change because it points us in a positive direction. Does discarding little things as just that- small stuff, nothing meaningful, something you should have done all along, and minute compared to everything you need to change- shift your thinking in the same positive direction?
Another way to imagine this is with dominos in mind. Often, allowing ourselves to feel success in small things can result in a domino effect in a positive direction. And on the other hand, disregarding little successes may not help us change anything and may potentially tip the dominos in a negative direction. Which would you choose?
Second, although my example had nothing to do with nutrition or activity, I think we can make direct and indirect connections between the two. Do you see how they can relate?
Directly, we can apply this small-success mentality to our health goals. For example, say you ate a balanced meal once this week when you usually never eat balanced meals. You could think of this as no big feat or allow yourself to enjoy this as a mini success. Would one way of thinking help you more?
Indirectly, small changes in one area of life can impact a different and “unrelated” area of our lives. Have you had this experience before? A way to visualize this is to think about life as a giant puzzle in zero gravity where all the puzzle pieces are connected by strings. The pieces tend to spread apart because of the lack of gravity. If all the pieces are connected and our goal is to join them at the center, small tugs to the center (no matter how small) pull the rest too. Another way to think about this calls to mind a commercial from Nutri-Grain I saw- although it is food related you can see the “domino effect”. (I am not advertising anything but I think the concept really hits home).
I encourage you to observe your day. What is something that you may be shrugging off as nothing when it might actually (if you let it) have the potential to feel like a mini success? What direction would this point you? Is it a different direction than shrugging it off as nothing? How might looking at this small change from a new vantage point help you? With this thinking, you may just be one step closer to your goals.