Traveling By Your Inner Compass: Make One Small Change
Posted Jan 14 2009 6:40pm
We’re now officially in the 2nd week of Traveling By Your Inner Compass. Now that you’ve reviewed your first week and selected some tasks for this week, it’s time to make things a little more challenging. Today, we’re going to stretch our comfort zones by making one small change that is just hard enough to keep your change muscles in shape!
What’s the point of going outside of our comfort zones? As people age we naturally become less comfortable with change. Most people gradually settle into a routine in their daily lives and it becomes more and more difficult to break out of those routines. As a good friend of my told me recently, “Life is pretty routine now. I have a nice ass groove worn in my couch and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.”
When something beyond our control happens that forces us out of those routines it can be really traumatic. Think about how hard it is for parents when their children move out of the house. All of the sudden, their daily routines that were centered on raising children have to change.
People who continue to change and push their boundaries over time are much more adaptable and deal with externally driven changes much better than mentally rigid people . Getting plenty of exercise keeps your body healthy over time, and exercising your brain and your change muscles will keep you fit when unexpected things happen to you.
For this week, brainstorm and choose one small thing that you can do to stretch your comfort zone and exercise your change muscles. Notice that I wrote small change. Just like I would never tell an out of shape person to go run a marathon, I would not suggest that you make a drastic change in your life all at once.
So how do you decide what to do for your small change? Start by thinking about areas in your life that are stuck in a rut. Do you come home every evening, flip on the TV, change into pajamas and sweats, and wear your own ass groove into the couch for the rest of the night? If that’s your routine, pick one night this week to do something that will be a lot of fun and motivate you to stay off the couch. It can be as simple as going out for desert with a friend or doing something outside like sledding or going for a walk.
We all have areas where we’re just going along unconsciously, so take a few minutes to identify one area that is pretty stuck for you and think of one way to get it unstuck. I do this type of thing regularly, and have documented a few of them in the SmallChange category on this site. In the past year a few of the things I’ve done include:
Having a No Complaint weekend
Moving one step closer to a childhood dream, and
Visiting an ethnic grocery store
None of these things is huge by themselves, but over the year I’ve become less resistant to change and have taken on bigger and bigger challenges. Now, when things happen that get me off course come along I’m able to adapt more quickly and get back to traveling in my Compass Direction.
Your exercise for today is to select one small change you can make that stretches your comfort zone and put it on your schedule. Commit to getting done this week.
When youâ€™re finished, tell us what your small change is in the comments section. Also, donâ€™t forget to follow me on Twitter . Iâ€™m tweeting a couple of tips per day to help you through this process.