Written by Lifestyle Contributor, Andrea Merrill
Why is it that so often when we are trying to make changes in our lives, we go all-out all at once and try to accomplish a HUGE change in a matter of a day? It’s that “all or nothing” mentality. We don’t like to wait for results. There’s no process needed, no journey, just a sprint to make a change and achieve the ideal as quickly as possible. I definitely tend to operate this way. The problem is that changing everything all at once is often impossible given our time and resource constraints. Even if we do succeed for a few days or weeks, eventually it becomes too much to maintain and we give up (New Years Resolutions, anyone?). What if we were to look at change as a step-by-step journey rather than a full-blown makeover?
Quite a few years ago I made the decision to start cleaning up my life and start living as organically as possible.
I joined a group of like-minded women so I could learn and make changes. I remember sitting in a meeting with these ambitious ladies. They made just about everything – food, cleaning products, skin care. They gardened, composted and recycled. In my eyes, their lives exemplified what I wanted to achieve and I left the meeting inspired to start that week. I was going to throw away everything in my house that wasn’t organic and start making everything from scratch. I bought a book with recipes to make my own skin care. I bought some dirt and got started on my garden. I tried cleaning my counters with a homemade vinegar concoction. While I never said it out loud, the expectation in my head was that I would be “completely organic” (whatever THAT means) within 2 weeks. I quickly realized, however, that this kind of transformation was really a full-time job, and I already had one of those! I stressed about not having enough time to soak my beans overnight or grind wheat berries into flour. I was frustrated when the enormous garden I tried to plant felt like a chore to water and prune. This was supposed to be fun! And making my own skin care? Never got around to that. I stopped going to the meetings because I felt like I couldn’t pull it together enough to carry out the level of organic living that these ladies had going. “I gave it a good shot”, I rationalized, “but my life is too busy for this!”
Ever been there? Maybe you’ve had thoughts like I did – it’s too much. My life doesn’t work this way. I’ll never get anywhere so why even bother?
It was shortly after I stopped going to the meetings that I got an email from one of the ladies. I was honest with her about why I stopped going – it was too much all at once. She emailed back with something that gave me an “Ah-ha” moment: where they are now is not where they started. For all of them this has been a process, not an overnight overhaul. She challenged me to think about what I eat on a daily basis and start there. Make one change to one thing.
Over the next months as I write to you, I will challenge you with new ways to make small changes. Each time you read my words I hope that you will walk away with a renewed commitment to just take your next step. If I’m completely honest, I need these blog posts just as much as you do! We all falter. We all have rough seasons that run us off-course, but that doesn’t mean that any of us has to stay there.
As I’ve turned each new change into a routine, I then looked to the next change I wanted to make. Not all at once – one change at a time. THIS has been my secret to creating new habits that have lasted years rather than weeks. The way I live now is drastically different and infinitely better than when I started this journey. More than anything, my mentality is healthy. I still see plenty of areas to grow in, but I also know that I will accomplish them in time, and when I do, those changes will be forever. Slow it down. Make it last. Enjoy the journey.
Andrea and her husband, Michael are currently dealing with the aftermath of his brain tumor diagnosis, surgery and recovery. Thankfully this hasn’t crushed them, but has made them stronger and even more committed to living with intention and joy, no matter the circumstances! Whole and healthy living can be found in the midst of chaos and difficult circumstances, and it is now Andrea’s mission to spread that message of hope.She will fill her blog posts with ideas to change your lifestyle a little at a time so the changes you make are sustainable.Give yourself a year of steady progress and you’ll look back in amazement about just how far you’ve come!
Group and Individual Personal Training
Goal Setting Consultations
Wellness Seminar/Conference Speaker
Christian Musician & Speaker
Latest posts by Andrea Merrill (see all)
Trackback from your site.