Happy New Year! I hope your first day of 2015 felt like the start to an auspicious year. Today I relaxed with my dude and watched some of my favorite TV shows, worked a bit on some projects, and also fit in a hike in Rustic Canyon here in LA. This was where, after huffing and puffing my way up a series of stairs, I discovered that I am ridiculously unfit and clearly need to add cardio to my New Year’s resolutions.
Whatever your personal hopes for the New Year may be, I want you to go easy on yourself. Big changes happen with tiny steps. I believe that we undervalue tiny changes. When we see people transform their lives on shows like The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover, the transformations happen in these huge “all or nothing” ways. We’re bombarded with the message that if our life changes aren’t big and sweeping, then they aren’t going to be effective.
But that’s a crock of sh**! Even five minutes a day of a new habit adds up. I became a writer through 20 minutes of writing a day. Years ago, I remember telling Laura I was going to devote myself to 20 minutes a day of putting words on a page. I did it. And honestly, I got a TON DONE. Way more than I ever thought. That’s how I wrote my first major play.
Now I write a lot more than that, but even more important – I write nearly every day. Whether it’s more outlining than actual writing, I’m usually at work on some project. Even writing for this blog counts. But it all began with 20 minutes a day.
And even 20 minutes can be a lot. So why not start with 5 minutes a day of whatever it is you want to accomplish? Establishing a new habit is very much about creating mental (or actual physical) muscle memory. It’s also about consistency. Doing something everyday is way more important than doing it intensively once in a awhile.
So here’s to tiny changes! Or, as Richard Dreyfuss’ character says in the comedy classic “What About Bob,” Baby Steps...