Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Little Things, Big Difference

Since the beginning of 2014, I've made a few small adjustments in my life that have produced big results.  Over the past few years I've read about the concept of big improvements starting with very small changes in a few books (The Tipping Point, Switch, and The Power of Habit) but I was reminded again of this concept during a powerful sermon at church called "Small Things BIG DIFFERENCE".  Click here if you want to check it out.  

Over the next few blog posts allow me to tell you some of the small changes in my life that have produced big results.  These areas include health & fitness, time, productivity, spiritual, marriage, and parenting.  I will start by talking about time because I think it has helped shape the rest of the areas.

This year has been my most focused and productive year yet. In 2014 I have exercised more, eaten healthier, read more, played more, explored more, and planned more. I have also been more strategic with the resources of time and money.

I feel less stressed and overwhelmed.  I may not get everything done at the end of the day or the end of the week but I do have a greater sense of accomplishment.  The changes I made are nothing special in that they are simple but they are very special because they made a huge difference.

Do you want to know what small change made such a big difference?

I wake up 30 minutes earlier.

Thats it.  No magic potion or spell.  No elaborate formula.  Nothing drastic or exciting.

So I know what you're thinking because I thought it to.  "I'm not a morning person." Well neither was I.  But as it turns out you can retrain your body to be a morning person.  I was resistant at first but two things clicked in my mind for me to be willing to try this.

  1. I'm not losing sleep.  If I go to bed 30 minutes earlier I still sleep the same amount.  So I'm not actually more tired. My mind just knows its early so I tell myself I'm tired.  To remind me, I set a bedtime alarm.  This helps me stay on schedule and ensure that I get the proper amount of sleep so I can't use that as an excuse. 
  2. Fewer things fight for my time in the morning whereas many things fight for my time at night.  I am much more productive between 6am-7am than I am from 10pm-11pm.  Fewer people on social media, fewer things on TV, fewer people to call, fewer people awake, etc.  Plus I have a brand new batch of willpower in the morning whereas I may have depleted my daily allotment by 10pm.   

This restructuring of just 30 minutes of my time has opened up time for many other small changes to take place, some of which I will tell you about in future posts.

What would happen if you restructured your time to wake up 30 minutes earlier?  Try it for a week and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results!

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