About 6 weeks ago, I had the idea to start a little Facebook group called "50/5" for people interested in doing 50 sit-ups and 5 push ups a day. Through intenSati and coaching, I've learned a lot about the value of accountability and through team sports, I've learned about the tremendous value of support from players with the same goal. 50 sit-ups and 5 push ups felt like a sizable challenge for me and one that could definitely be done by someone first looking to get in shape, particularly if you do crunches instead of full sit-ups for the first month or so while building strength.
I found myself encouraging others and explaining the challenge by focusing on the value of small, incremental changes. I used to try and make sweeping changes that took my habits and flipped them on their head but the reality is, nothing really stuck. What did stick, for me, were minor adjustments. Tweaks.
I've been living in a new apartment since September and until Friday night had my bed in what could be considered an alcove area of the studio. I preferred to call it "the nook" and when I was feeling creative, "the spirit womb." My brother called it "the bomb shelter" and in a dream it was referred to as a closet. It's about the width and length (plus 2 feet) of a full sized bed with an opening about 3 feet wide. Cozy some days, claustrophobic on other days, my feelings about this resting place seemed to change entirely based on my mood.
For the last 3 months or so, it's been feeling claustrophobic almost every day and to add insult to injury, I have loud neighbors. The walls are thin so I could hear everything and needed to leave a note. Hi, please be mindful because I can hear all your bizzzz. I was a little more formal and wrote about 7 drafts but that was the gist. Even with my amazing noise canceling headphones (Groupon) I could not get comfortable.
On Friday night, my parents and uncle came over to watch my SXSW interviews which were airing on BBCA. Very sweet to have them in full support of this new direction in my career -- they are amazing. My uncle also happens to be an incredible interior designer and helped me get the place together. When I told him that I was really having a hard time with the bed in the nook, he said, That's it! We're taking it out! We'll get it in the main area. It will look fine. Don't worry.
1 hour later, the bed was moved out, the couch slid over and holiest of holy, the nook/womb/closet/bomb shelter area became MY OFFICE. In went the desk, my chair, my book shelves, and my files. Down went a rug we've had for me for 2 months. Up went post-its with affirmations on the wall. Spread your wings and fly.
I was absolutely delighted and for the last 3 nights slept better than I have since moving in -- and all it took was ONE small change.
I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. I couldn't breathe easily for months but thought it was "me" and I just had to figure out how to adjust. Even though the person before me had her bed in the alcove, it didn't mean I had to as well. Such a metaphor for what works for someone else doesn't necessarily work for you! Also a lesson in something being very solvable but my not choosing to see that for whatever reason.
The ripple effect started Friday night and I actually delighted in doing my bills this weekend, in cleaning out and reorganizing my files, arranging my books and figuring out how I'm going to hang pictures. In MY office. Sleeping with the bed out in the main area of the studio felt like I'd moved into a grand, master bedroom of a real home. As I open the blinds of my window facing 7th Avenue, my first image is a tree with springtime flowers in bloom. Then I look down and see the trucks. Not exactly idyllic but for now, it works.
So, whether it's a fitness change, an adjustment to your living space, or something new in the dietary arena, try making an adjustment and see how the power of one small change works in your life.
I'm still doing 50/5 and so is my little FB group of small changers. Perhaps they're finding a similar, positive domino effect and how one thing truly does lead to another......
Have a great day,