In my last blog in the ‘Creating Movement’-series I ended off with saying that in this blog I was going to cover the Rewards of changing apathy, and laziness into movement. Since then I have realized that there is an important point that must be covered before we go into the dimension of the Rewards. That is why, in this blog, we are going to looking at the point of implementing change through the use of the Baby Steps-method.
A commonly occurring pattern in us human beings, is that when we want to change something – let us say laziness – we want to change it ALL and preferably from one day to the next. We write, or speak these solemn words, were we promise to ourselves that change will be implemented, change will come through, and whether it is the last thing we do, we will make it happen. Fascinatingly enough, when the time to change is here, and we are supposed to live, and implement our words, we fall, and cannot manifest our intention into physical reality. Then, the next stop on the ferries wheel is that we judge ourselves, and we speak seriously about our failure, and damn our mistakes: “Why is not possible for me to change?” is voiced, or thought, almost as a form of prayer to a higher entity that is seemingly taking a great joy in seeing us struggle.
Conclusion: This way of approaching change is not sustainable, and neither does it make change easy or enjoyable. Instead change becomes a pressure and a burden, and when we fall it becomes an excuse for us to judge ourselves – and this might eventually lead us to completely give up on ourselves and the change we desire. Thus, a much more effective, and productive way to approach change is through taking Baby Steps – and this means that instead of trying to change it ALL, and in one go – we instead change one small part of the pattern. We place our focus and attention on one aspect of the issue we have, and commit ourselves to change this first instead of taking on the entire pattern in one go.
Let me share an example with you: When I was studying, I had a tendency to every morning as I got up, and sat down by my desk to study, to after a while feel tired, and then proceed to the sofa and continue my studies there. Now, this always, without exception lead me to falling asleep, and also to retain information less effectively, and accordingly I wanted to change this pattern for myself, and thus sit by my desk when I studied. I first tried to change the pattern all in one go, but the temptation to sit/lie down in my coach was too big, and so I fell. Even though I wanted to change myself, the sofa just felt so comfortable and nice, and I was not willing to give it up.
Then I started to approach the change slightly differently, instead of wanting to change the entire pattern all in one go, I decided to, while in the sofa, sit up a little more straight, and practice focusing on what I was reading. This change I managed to pull through, because it was just a matter of pushing myself up against the backrest of the sofa a few centimeters. When I had that point down, after a while, what started to take place was that I went to my desk to study instead. I didn’t even make it an actual decision within myself to ‘not study in the couch’ – though because I had managed to pull through the change of sitting a little bit more straight, and focusing more clearly on the text, when reading in the sofa, this made it a lot easier for me to from there, move to actually sit by my desk. And this is the principle of Baby Steps – you place your change into creation using small incremental steps – one by one – and the common sense behind this goes again in all forms of change.
For example: If you wish to be able to run a marathon, and you’ve never jogged before, it would be a wise call if you first learned to, and worked up the stamina to jog. Only after that should you try to run. And if we look at school, there is a gradual increase in difficulty level – and this can be seen in most types of activities. Though strangely enough, many of us forget to apply the Baby Steps-mentality when it is comes to self-change, and changing a compromising pattern within ourselves into a supportive. Though, the fact of the matter is that, they are the same – no difference.
So, let us be patient with ourselves, give ourselves some slack, and when we change from laziness/apathy into movement, that we do it in incremental steps – little by little – challenge by challenge – decision by decision. Even though the change might feel as if it is moving too slow when you move forward with Baby Steps – it does not – because when we change using baby steps we know that we are going to get through. While, when we try to do that one, big momentous change, the probability is that we are going to fall, and then, in worst-case scenario, simply give up on our change and what we wanted for ourselves.
In my next blog, instead of discussing rewards, I am going to look more closely into how we tend to moralize change, and through that create even more resistance within ourselves when it comes to actually transforming our living actions to be supportive and nourishing.
Creating Movement – Part 1: Introduction
Creating Movement – Part 2: How laziness is created – external causes
Creating Movement – Part 3: How Laziness is Created – Internal Causes
Creating Movement – Part 4: Learning To Handle Resistance
Creating Movement – Part 5: Practical Solutions for Resistance
Creating Movement – Part 6: Baby Steps To Change
Creating Movement – Part 7: The Rewards