How One Small Step Really Can Change Your Life

Back in January 2011, when I started this blog, I explained what I was trying to do: discover small, easy changes I could make that would significantly improve the quality of my life.

But I didn’t talk about why I felt like I needed to do it.

In June 2010, ten days after my birthday, my father died in a plane crash.

Although our relationship was rocky during my childhood and early adulthood, we’d gotten to a good place by the time he died. We talked every week. I told him that I loved him. Nothing had been left unsaid.

Yet his loss was devastating to me in ways I would never have expected. For the rest of 2010, I was lost. I couldn’t finish my novel–the only emotions I was capable of feeling in the months after his death were anger and grief. I couldn’t bring myself to care about much of anything. I don’t think I smiled once in those six months.

I shudder to think how much harder it would have been if not for the love of my husband and the support of my very good friends.

As you might guess, during that period of depression, I started to let things slip. It took a tremendous amount of effort to focus on anything. Simple tasks that used to take a few minutes became overwhelming.

Then, in my sixth month of grieving, I somehow found that book I’ve mentioned so many times, One Small Step Can Change Your Life, by Robert Maurer. And I saw a path out of the overwhelm.

So I started this blog to document the reassembling of my life in baby steps.

Footprints by Matt Shalvatis, CC License

Footprints by Matt Shalvatis, CC License

It worked.  So well that not only was I able to clear the overwhelm, but after almost two years of baby steps, I had written several short ebooks and reached a point of productivity that was even higher than I’d managed to achieve before my father died.

By the end of 2012, I was not only able to achieve the goals I was setting for myself, I was able to see a path to accomplishing things I wouldn’t have thought possible before.

Two years of small, doable steps pushed me up to a new, higher level of productivity and creative capacity.

So I put this blog on hiatus, and started tackling bigger projects.  Taking bigger steps when I could, but always going back to baby steps whenever things started to get overwhelming.

Before, I was asking questions like, “How can I keep my life from falling apart when I’m having trouble focusing long enough to pay bills and keep up with the laundry?”

Now, I’m asking questions like, “How can I contribute to the writing community in my new home while also running a small business, raising my fitness level, and continuing to write fiction?”

And the answer to both questions is:  “One small step at a time.”

No matter what you’re struggling with, it can be broken down into small steps.

No matter what bad habits you’re trying to break or what good habits you’re trying to start, you can do it in small steps.

No matter where you want to go, you can get there in small steps.

I invite you to join me this year in exploring how we can use small steps to become healthy, wealthy and wise.

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