“Sometimes, little things make a big difference…”
On the road to self improvement there is a time for planning and thinking, but there is also a time for action. Many of those who are seeking or rethinking their life purpose stay stuck in the introspection. Maybe they do this to avoid taking risks, for fear of leaving their comfort zone, to avoid disapproval, or any other fear. And in doing so, they remain stuck in a rut.
My favorite tool at this stage is the ‘5% statement‘, created by Nathaniel Branden. It works by allowing you to take small steps. Trying to change completely overnight, as some might suggest, often creates fear, uncertainty, and resistance . A 5% statement is split into 2 parts;
If I were to be 5% more responsible today, I would …………………
If I were to be 5% less lazy today, I would ……………….
The first part of the statement does not have to change. Every morning when you wake up, you think of something that fills in blank, and then do it! 5% is small and easy enough to let you overcome fears and procrastination. If you spent 30 minutes per day working on your goal, this done consistently, builds up to produce results.
Being flexible to do different things each day in pursuit of the same goal keeps you from boredom. Even better, it encourages you to think of new ideas to try (although you can simply do the same activity 5% more each time).
You can use this for anything you plan to do – begin a new exercise routine, reduce procrastination, improve your workflow, or even your personal relationships. And if 5% seems too little, you will be surprised at how it works. Done regularly, you build up habits and it becomes part of your routine.
When life is busy and energy is limited, doing a little bit on a regular basis really does accomplish stuff. Moreover, the effect is cumulative and builds confidence and feelings of self worth.
“Dream big dreams, but start small. A journey of thousand steps begins with a step.”