Change is hard. Smaller change is less hard.
Is small change necessarily just pieces of big change? Is big change always the goal and small change just a tool, a method, to get there?
Bite-size change is attainable, manageable, small enough to pop in your mouth, chew on, and be done with–swallowed, finished, accomplished. A simple example is weight loss. You’d like to lose 30 pounds. Whew, that sounds like a lot. It IS a lot. It’s sounds like quite a challenge. It IS quite a challenge. How to tackle it? Simple answer: one pound at a time. Even better answer: through bite-size change.
30 pounds sounds impossible. One pound is possible. How are we going to get from impossible to possible? We’re going to make it possible again, we’re going to make it repossible. How are we going to do that? Through small steps, through tiny tools that we’ll learn how to take. Steps that we know how to do, but when we’re blinded by the big picture or the larger goal, we’re blocked to accomplish. Through the enormity of the big change, we have trouble even starting, even taking the first steps towards small change. But we also might just not know how to take those steps or even what they are.
With weight loss, you might truly not know enough about nutrition and exercise to know what to do. You can buy books, sign up for classes, but when it’s back down to you and you alone, you still feel like you don’t know what to do. What you really must do right this minute. Or you just won’t do it. What’s what block? You either know what to do or you can easily learn what to do, why aren’t you doing it? Is it just willpower? Determination? Are you just not strong enough to not eat the chocolate cake at night? Do you not want it enough? Are you not capable of even small change?
When, exactly, does “eventually” come around?
I’ve been a writer since I was 20. My life is not complete when I’m not writing on a regular basis. Since we had kids (nine years ago), I haven’t been writing. (The math: which would calculate to: my life has not been complete.) At first, I knew we were overwhelmed: full-time job (not writing job), no sleep, strollers to the park, mushy apple sauce. I even made a pact with myself to not chastise myself for not writing knowing that I would “get to again eventually.” My trouble was mostly with the evasive scheduling of when exactly “eventually” was going to start.
For me, writing was Big Change. It was scary, it was serious, it was the real me. It was big. I think I liked the “eventually” aspect because then I didn’t actually have to do anything, I wasn’t admitting that I failed, I was going to really do it, no, really, I was, but just not now. But if not now, then when?
Does Bite-Size Change Necessarily Lead to Big Change?
Enter November 1, 2012. John Muldoon over at Monthly Experiments challenged me to Write Every Day. I like challenges. I’m good with challenges. In fact, part of me thinks I am worthless without a challenge. Does it matter that I didn’t challenge myself but had to be asked by someone else? Maybe. Probably. What was the challenge? Exactly? Write every day. What are the rules? Aren’t any. How much time, how many words, for publication, for my journal, with a crayon? Whatever. Write every day. I can do that. I even know how. I’ll take it.
It’s now December 24, 2012. I’ve been writing every day. I even hit publish every day (my twist to the challenge). Does this mean I’ll get back to my novel and finally finish editing? I don’t know. Does it mean the odds are better that I will? Yes. Does it mean writing is back in my life and I feel the void that I’ve been missing for years less? Yes. Am I happier? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.
Hold on. Happier? Yes. Through something that’s been sitting there, haunting me, hovering over me for years. Something I had complete control over. I could have started any day, any minute. But didn’t. What was the catalyst? What got me to take action? Bite-size change made it possible for me to again see what was becoming more and more impossible. Hmm, impossible becoming possible again. It was, dare I say it, repossible.
- Possible: Bite-Size Change
- Impossible: Big Change
- Repossible: Big Change through Bite-Size Change