Small Change Big Impact

When people think of transformational change, they think of people making major life shifts. Maybe it’s moving 3,000 miles, getting married or going back to school for a new degree. I’ve had my share of personal and professional transformations. Those are tough ones that fundamentally change you immediately sometimes overnight. These big changes help you create a vision for the future. They give you a beginning, middle and maybe an end to what the change for you might mean.

The biggest transformational change in my life other than being a parent was standing up to my abusive (now ex) husband. In 2004, I asked him to move out after nearly 7 years of marriage riddled with domestic abuse. I made a decision that immediately changed my life. In fact it was so transformational, that I often feel like it wasn’t my life. It was the life of a friend of neighbor, but it wasn’t me.

At present, I’m finding the small changes to be the hardest. They are the ones that others don’t see. They are the changes so small you forget them, overlook them or underestimate them. They are just as important. They are the inertia of change.

These small changes for me are small healthy life choices. I’ve removed some friends from my life who were the root of negativity and stress for me. I’m eating organic and juicing every single day. In 2015, I made the decision to practice mindfulness which led me to pilates, my latest small change.

In pilates, it’s the small moves that are the hardest. There are positions using muscles I’m certain I haven’t ever muscled in my life. I’m moving them, challenging them and asking them to make a small but substantial change. It’s as simple as a small pelvic tilt or a small side bend, but it is oh so challenging. I’m asking my body to move just a few inches in ways it might have never moved before. The movement or change is small, isolated and very targeted. My body says no. I listen and gradually strengthen that change muscle. It is in that moment and in those few inches that I’m moving towards a small yet transformational and fundamental change.

The small changes are the ones that because they go unnoticed, they are forgotten or discounted, but I believe that these small changes make way for the larger and more substantial change. They are the changes we have a hard time seeing their impact. The ripple is small but if given time, that small changes can be far reaching.

In 2007, I did something small that had an impact on my life that now looking back was a defining small moment for me. It was the moment I started my blog. The process took just five minutes. I set up my site called BloggingforJobs. I set a goal of blogging 6-8 times a month. What began as an interest became a hobby and finally a new career. That is small yet transformational change.

That one single small change has defined my life. It guided me on a new path. It was one I hadn’t considered or anticipated until I toned that muscle of change. A five minute decision has led me to the new career and life journey I never considered. It’s in those moments that I really think about as I consider what next small change might have in store for me.

Earlier this year, I attended an all day workshop called Activate Your Strengths. My friends Lee Witcher and Rhonda Boyle host these workshops but they are really an accelerated personal intervention for life change. The size of change doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you are awakening that muscle but most important you are listening.

It can be big like my friend who just launched her own business or small like mine. It’s not the size of the change that’s most important. It’s your willingness. It’s your sticktoitiveness. It’s your commitment not just to the change but the unknown ripple impact it might have on you and your family.

Change is hard. It’s that unknown factor. It’s that change and the power that comes with it when you listen to yourself and when you dig deep into your heart and soul. That’s when change is really transformational. That’s when you have the ability to do amazing things.

It’s because you let that change happen. It’s because you blindly follow your desires. It’s when you listen to your innermost thoughts. It’s in that moment when you have the most power and you begin to realize is that life has no guarantees. Change doesn’t come with a guarantee or happiness. You also realize that the old way wasn’t doing that either. The difference is the change you are committing to at least provides you an alternative to a better you. You are choosing to make the change.

The only guarantee is that a life without change is one where you will waste your energy and time being unhappy, wishing and wondering for a sign. Those signs aren’t always billboards or messages written in the sky. They are quiet and small as whispers. But they are there if you listen. It takes time to build transformational life change.

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