one little change

hello and welcome to one little change.

one little change is about seeing lasting difference and making real progress on the big goals in life by being faithful in small monthly changes.

this week's one little change post is extra special.  the lovely jerusalem of jolly goode gal is graciously bailing me out at the last minute.  i seriously asked her yesterday morning if she would share some of her thoughts with us, when i belatedly realized this cold/flu would be keeping me from getting it done by the end of the week.  surprisingly, she was not weirded out by my random request.  and i love what she wrote up.

jerusalem's little changes

This past January I saw my family and myself spiraling out of control. All the rest and peace we had found during the Christmas break went right down the toilet after one day back at school and work. Cranky, short tempered, withdrawn, frazzled. This was the picture of every member of my household, with myself as the poster child. And I had no idea why.

The next night, after another disastrous and dissatisfying day, I crawled into my comfy bed well before my usual bedtime, completely at the end of my rope. I am pretty sure I mumbled-prayed something like "Help me please, I have no idea what to do" as I put on my face mask, turned on some music and laid still, waiting to fall asleep.

But instead of sleep came an epiphany. I do not know any better way to explain it. My whole body was flooded with warmth and I knew exactly what we needed to do.  What I needed to do. 

The next morning I got up, I went to work and I wrote what we now refer to as The Manifesto (or The New Greer Order.) Sweet Man will tell you that there were lots of great points and bullet points in that document, but I think the thing we all agree on in hindsight that the one change that could be has turned out to be the Main Thing that All Other Things Hinge On is this one little change in our daily routine:

I get up one hour before everyone else.

Now this may not seem drastic to you, but it is drastic to us. Maybe you always get up an hour before you absolutely have to. Before your kids and your spouse. Maybe your mornings have not been defined by trying to beat the clock and never winning. Maybe you just pop up at dawn and always have. But this is not, and never has been true of me. And yet I have done with myself, what I could never seem to do with my infants; I have put myself on a schedule. Radical, I know.

The positive effects of me having an hour to write/think/pray/shower/drink coffee in silence on the overall temperament of my household in the morning and our well being throughout the entire day is something that I cannot describe, but it is beautiful and healing and we are all so much better for it. Essentially I have found a way to follow that great old piece of airline wisdom:

I have put my own oxygen mask on first.

Now we are rapidly approaching the end of February and while I have continued to be the change I wish to see in my home in them mornings, my One Little Change for February has yet to take hold. My goal for February was to get myself in a healthier eating routine. To track what I eat and eat less. Less sweets, less fats, less random face stuffing. Because I work at a school, my days, while very very busy at times, does follow a pretty set routine. I tend to eat lunch and snacks at the same time everyday, and I can bring my lunch and snacks from home because there isn’t much time to “go out” for lunch.

For the record, I am not trying for drastic weight loss, and I purposefully wasn’t trying to a change both my exercise and eating patterns at the same time because I knew that would overwhelm me. I was just trying what I thought was one little change. And I did really great for a whole week. I felt great, I lost a pound or two and I was so proud, so encouraged that it was not a lost cause, this healthy eating stuff.

And then Snowmagedan came to Arkansas. And suddenly I found myself at home with the kids, off from work and school, completely out of our routine. And there went the tracking and the healthy. I just ate, whatever, whenever. Then we went back to work/school and it was Valentines Day! And parties! And cupcakes and pizza and candy, oh my! And while under calm, rational circumstances I would have been able to perhaps say NO a little bit better, this week was brutal at work, and all my defenses were down - I was more than happy to eat as much chocolate as was sent my way. Finally, yesterday, just when I thought I was ready to get back on the wagon, the Girl Scout Cookies arrived. Ugh.

So here we are February 18 and I have not been successful with my One Little Change. Yet.

In retrospect, I think maybe my change wasn’t small enough. Maybe I was so easily thwarted because it wasn’t one change, it was a dozen changes a day that I was attempting. So I am rethinking things, and tweaking this months one change. I do want to eat healthier in 2011. I do want to lose a few pounds so that I feel better as well as look better and fit in my clothes better. But I don’t want to feel worse about myself when I don’t accomplish it fast enough, or when life throws me a curve ball - which lets me honest, it does ALL THE TIME.

February is not over. I can still change the way I eat. I just may need to change it one meal at a time. I need to think smaller. Isn’t that how the ant ate the elephant after all?

how about you?
are you making any little changes in life?
please share them with us.
leave a comment.  let us encourage you.
and include a link back here so others can be inspired by all of our faithfulness. 

just make one little change.

work at it.  stick to it.
and move a step closer to your goals.
soar, however slowly, to your dreams. 

one little change

a year of little changes can make one big difference.


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