Why small changes can make a difference? Have you figured it out yet? Do you think it takes big sweeping changes like cutting up your credit cards, fasting, or stop shopping to take control of your life? If you do, I would like to open up the discussion and prove to you that small changes are much more effective.
Games are more than Fun
When I was a child I spent a great deal of time playing games. There were no computers, computer games, Xbox 360, PlayStation, Wii or Nintendo. I played board games, cards and team sports in school. The importance of playing games was discussed before. Games and sports are a bunch of rules, details and skills! You learn them and become good at it. You generally slowly get better by practicing the skills. Games teach you strategy and how small changes will make you a better player.
About thirty-five years ago, I lost a lot of weight (35-40 lbs.). I was in a high stress job and I would frequent the candy machine every day. Between candy and the holidays, I added an extra fifteen to twenty pounds. My waistline reached 36 inches which was a 4 inch growth from my usual 32 inch waist. In January when many people make weight loss resolutions, I started a diet. I joined the many millions of people on a diet! My approach was different; I brought my lunch to work with enough food for the day. I started eating at ten in the morning and finished around mid afternoon. I made small changes in what I ate which made a huge difference.
My lunch was a sandwich, fruit, vegetables and a snack. The difference from before was a series of small changes. I looked for vegetables that were satisfying, but low in calories. For example seven (7) stalks of celery are less than fifty (50) calories. I saved some of the lunch to eat in the afternoon to replace the candy addiction. I made small changes to meet my goal. In about five or six weeks, I lost the extra weight (15-20 lbs.). I was so motivated, I continued with my diet for four to five more weeks. I went from 185 lbs. to 145 lbs. in roughly ten (10) weeks by making small changes.
Sweeping changes do not work! Extreme budgets are very difficult to maintain. How long can you stick with a budget that denies you all the things you enjoy? I am not giving you permission to go wild! Small changes will help you achieve your goal. One of the small changes I use is setting up a payroll deduction for retirement savings. I started using a payroll deduction for savings when I was roughly twenty-six (26) years old. I bought my first house and I wanted to make sure I would have the annual property insurance and taxes. I use payroll deductions as a way to support my savings goals and can be used to reduce debt by setting up automatic payments.
Early in my career, I reduced my expenses by bringing my lunch to work one day a week. Slowly, I added additional days and ate lunch out just one day a week. My approach to lowering my expenses is small changes. I review all my bills monthly and look for ways to reduce expenses. I contacted the cable company, reduced utilities, changed vendors and changed how I do things. I started using online banking and saved $150 per year in stamps alone. More importantly, I could set up automatic payments for my mortgage, insurance or loans. The savings in interest alone can add up to a significant amount. Small changes yield big dollar savings.
If you are out of control, you have a losing strategy! Getting control takes small steps or changes. Spend less than you earn! I know you heard that before, but you can make small changes to reduce your expenses to get control of your finances. Small changes in our personal life whether diet; habits or relationships will make your life better. Change is difficult for most of us, but small changes can easily slip through and you can adapt easily. A small change may be substituting a fruit for a high calorie dessert or parking further away from the office so you add some exercise. What small changes are you willing to make to reach your goal?
Photo by: Rafa Garces