Sometimes when clients seem overwhelmed by life, and this time of year can make that feeling happen easily, I suggest the simple practice of changing just one thing and doing this same one change on a consistent, daily basis. The problem comes when we try to change too many things. “Turning over a new leaf” makes much more sense than trying to turn over a whole tree at once!
Deciding what one thing to change is sort of like an experiment. First you brainstorm about the many things you could possibly select as your “one thing.” It might be getting up half an hour earlier, making your lunch the night before, taking time to read or walk on the treadmill. It might be stopping one thing like eating a certain not so healthy food, or complaining about weather, or yelling. It might be as simple as doing one conscious act of kindness each day. Couples and families can also change one thing. Eating one meal together at a table, taking time to de-stress after work for half an hour before going into the evening routine, picking up after oneself.
The next step is to commit to the plan for about three weeks. Experts in human behavior estimate this as the amount of time needed to establish a habit. At the end of the period, comes the time to assess any effect this practice may have had on your life.
What is one area in your life that is causing stress? What one thing could you consider changing to bring about better results?