When things in our lives aren’t working, we want them to change — now!  We determine what needs to happen to bring about that change.  We make resolutions to lose weight, start exercising, become organized, eat healthy, get more sleep, improve relationships, etc.   We set ourselves up for failure by deciding to make changes that are too big, too abstract, and that involve changing too many behaviors that we do automatically.  When failure happens, we feel bad about ourselves, and think all kinds of negative, self-defeating thoughts.

This doesn’t need to happen!  I came across a book recently that makes such good sense, and I want to share it with you.  The book I found is called,  “Small Move, Big Change: Using Micro-resolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently,” by Caroline Arnold.  This book explains why big resolutions don’t work.  According to Ms. Arnold, our self-imposed mandates to make abstract, overarching changes in our lives, run head-on into too many “personal well-entrenched behaviors and attitudes.”   She describes these “auto-pilot” behaviors and attitudes as being roadblocks, which too often prevent us from succeeding.  I love that she suggests making small, precise, achievable changes.

As a psychotherapist in Santa Barbara, I talk with my clients all the time about taking small steps to bring about the changes they want to make in their lives.   I’m  a big believer in the benefit of small changes!  Over time, these small steps lead to major changes in our overall health, happiness, peace of mind, and personal satisfaction.

The tree shown in this blog post didn’t become this large and beautiful overnight.  It was planted originally as a tiny seed.  Little by little, it grew big and strong.  It had the right conditions to help it grow and develop.  Nature has so many lessons to teach us, if we only slow down enough to learn them.

If there are things you want to change in your life, I would very much recommend “Small Move, Big Change: Using Micro-resolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently.”  If you’d like to see a video of Caroline Arnold talking about this whole concept, here is her talk at Microsoft.

Maximize your potential for success; start small and be specific!  For personal and professional growth, try something different.  Be kind to yourself, and check this book out.

Until next time,

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