Today Could Be the Day You Finally Change Your Life

DarrylBrooks by Pedro de Sousa on Unsplash

Have you been thinking about changing your life? It doesn’t have to be a momentous change, like moving to Nepal or taking up alpaca farming. It could be a small change, such as losing a little weight or looking for a new job.

So, what are you doing about it? Today, I mean, not at some point in the future.

We’ve all been there and done that.

“Next week, I’m going to start losing weight.”

“Tomorrow, I’ll quit smoking.”

“As soon as the new year rolls around, I’m going to quit this job.”

What’s wrong with today?

What’s wrong with every day?

I don’t mean that you have to choose some radical change in your life every day and jump into it.

But you could decide to change your life every day. Make every day a little better than yesterday: progress, not perfection, and all that.

A couple of months ago, I decided to learn the guitar. Within a few days of making that decision, I had a guitar in hand. That’s just how I roll. And I have practiced every day since.

Some days, it seems like I am moving backward, and others like I am making great strides. But every day I try. I practice. I play the same notes and chords repeatedly, instilling them in both my mental and muscle memory.

And every day, my life changes just a tiny bit. I get a little better at guitar, which brings me a little closer to my goal. And, in some small way, changes my life for the better.

And that’s all any of us have to do to change our lives. Pick a goal. Start working on it today. Practice it every day.

Remember the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray? Every day was the same.

But it wasn’t really. Each day, the movie progresses a little further into the day. Phil, the character played by Murray, went a bit further, delved a little deeper into what was going on.

And that’s what you can do if you want to change your life. Start today. Do a little. Do a bit more tomorrow. Make it like Groundhog Day. Every day, you get a little further in your change. Make your life just a tiny bit better than yesterday.

Make it the best day you can for as long as you can.

Change is hard. Change takes work; constant work. And that is the reason many of us fail when we try to change our lives. It’s hard work, and the results may be slow in coming. So eventually we give up.

Did you stop watching Groundhog Day in the middle? Ahh, same stuff, different day. Nothing’s going to happen. I’m going to stop watching this now. No, you probably didn’t. That would have been a mistake. You would have missed the end. You wouldn’t have witnessed the change.

And that’s why you can’t give up with whatever life change you have decided to tackle today. If you give up, you’ll never get there and just start the cycle over again next week. Or next year.

Or never.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Just make one small change today. Something easy. Something you can do.

Trying to lose weight? Drink one less soda today and have water instead — just one.

Want to change careers? Spend half an hour browsing job listings online.

Whatever the life change you are seeking, don’t try to do it all at once. Make one small change today. And tomorrow, make one more. Or start the day making the change for thirty minutes. You can do that, whatever it is.

Then tomorrow, it’s only forty-five minutes. You did a half-hour yesterday, surely you can go another fifteen minutes.

People get too wrapped up in making sudden and drastic life-altering changes all at once. It doesn’t work. It’s too much of a shock to the system and will usually fail. Sure, we all know someone who quit smoking cold turkey. But most used some sort of system that allowed them to stop more gradually — day by day.

But think about what you are trying to do.

Change Your Life.

Not change your day. You’re not trying to make this week different, but next week, you’ll go back to whatever you were doing.

You’re trying to change your life. That’s a marathon, not a sprint. When I ran marathons, I used to kid that I was going to start slowly and then taper off.

But at least I had the first part right. In my article 38 Seconds, I described my best and worst marathon. Spoiler alert: They were the same race. I started too fast. I tried to go from being an excellent runner to an Olympic class all in one go.

I failed.

And trying to do the same thing with your life-changing decision can lead to failure also.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, you have to just jump into the deep end of the pool. Sometimes, you have to close your eyes and rip the bandage off.

But most of the time, you need to start slowly. And not taper off. Keep going. Walk around the block. Tomorrow, walk around the block twice.

You’ve all heard the old saying, “bite off more than you can chew.” It’s only a metaphor for a good reason. We hardly ever do that. Whether we are eating a bag of chips or a six-course meal, we do it one bite at a time.

So today, take one bite. Chew it slowly. Tomorrow, you know you can take another bite. You’ve just proven you can. And maybe, just maybe, you could take two bites.

Don’t get put off by the enormity of the change you are trying to undertake. Because you don’t have to do it all at once. Just take that first step. Make that small, insignificant, but easy change.

But do it today.

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I am a writer with over 16 years of experience and hundreds of articles. I write about photography, productivity, life skills, money management and much more.

Alpharetta, GA

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