Bite-Size Change

Bite-Size Change

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
By |2017-05-24T13:28:51+00:00December 24th, 2012|Change|13 Comments

About the Author:

Bradley Charbonneau was sitting with his 8-year old reading a bad children's book when he said to his son, "We can do better than this ... and you're going to help me." Then they did it. He hasn't stopped since.


  1. Write Every Day Challenge December 24, 2012 at 4:09 am - Reply

    […] Bite-Size Change (Dec 24) […]

  2. John Muldoon December 24, 2012 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Such an awesome post! 🙂

    Bite-size change really adds up.

  3. Big Change - repossible December 25, 2012 at 7:47 am - Reply

    […] Let’s put it this way: in the words of the California State Lottery: you can’t win if you don’t play. If you do nothing, you know the outcome: same old, same old. Or worse. If you “play,” if you give it a shot, a real shot, then who knows. Will it guarantee success? No, in fact, while we’re on the subject of guarantees, there are no guarantees when it comes to your future. But you can influence your future. I’m sorry, I missed that, who can influence your future? Oh yes, you. How can you do it? Hmm, start small? Maybe start with Bite-Size Change. […]

  4. […] been quite a bit of talk above of Big Change. But I’m actually more compelled by Bite-Size Change. Big change is important and necessary, but it’s hard. I fear it’s the marathon […]

  5. 100 Posts in 100 Days January 27, 2013 at 10:36 am - Reply

    […] a bit more of the excited and a bit less of the daunted to get this done. But big change is hard. Small change is easier. Where to get started? At the beginning. When to get started? How does now […]

  6. […] a single hour this morning and my whole day is starting off more productive. By taking it in small chunks, we’ll eventually chip away at the big picture. But we’re chipping away, we’re […]

  7. […] I get annoyed when my life doesn’t go as I’d like it to go. Sure, we can all say that, but I find that if you get annoyed enough, you’ll do something about it. Or, of course, you won’t, but today I’m focusing on doing something, taking action, to make change happen. Even bite-size change. […]

  8. The Next Step April 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Yes! Everything has to be taken one step at a time or I feel totally overwhelmed and tend to give up. Imagine how hard it’s been for me to deal with twins! Talk about too much all at once!

    • Bradley Charbonneau April 22, 2013 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      Twins isn’t “one step at a time,” it’s two steps at a time! 😉 Too bad you don’t get a bonus 24 hours in a day!

  9. 3-Day Juice Cleanse April 29, 2013 at 10:03 am - Reply

    […] It’s as important to “ease out” of the cleanse as it is to “ease in.” In other words, don’t have double cheeseburgers the night before the cleanse and the pepperoni pizza right afterwards. In fact, take this challenge as a “crutch” (or reason or trigger) to help you work on your diet before and after. Try to prolong it as much as you can. For the immediate day after, stick to the cleanse as much as you can, maybe give yourself a “treat” of something yummy, but healthy. Take it slow afterwards, ease out of it, eat well as much as you can for as long as you can. Who knows, you might develop it into a habit. […]

  10. 200 Posts in 200 Days April 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    […] your work, your lifestyle. I’ve changed it, I’ve managed to move this mountain. How? A tiny bit at a time. Remember, it’s not 100 Posts in 1 Day. It’s 100 Posts in 100 Days. How many per day? […]

  11. Let Me Live That Fantasy October 6, 2013 at 10:30 am - Reply

    […] a dog staring at the tennis ball … for 12 minutes). I’m also a staunch believer in Bite-Size Change. How can you get from where you are now to Bite-Size Change (say, Paris for 2 weeks) to Big Change […]

  12. […] I waited patiently. I kept an eye open. I dabbled in Small Change. […]

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