As a mom, I’ve been surprised by how many changes I need to make. Whether it’s an improvement like healthier food, more productive morning, or a tidier playroom, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by things I should improve. If I’m not careful, I can easily make quite a long to-do list of changes I should make. Once I review the list, I realize it’s impossible to make all of those changes all at once – so I don’t do a thing.
Before I know it, guilt is added on to my seemingly unattainable wish list. As you may already know, the combination guilt and really ambitious changes is not a pretty picture for any mom. Fortunately I’ve found a solution that’s simple. My secret is this…
Make one small change at a time.
There is no possible way I can make all the changes I want to make at once. But what I can do is break down each goal into smaller goals. I choose something to begin with and work at making it a normal habit in my everyday life. Once it’s become a part of my routine, then I get to work on the next change. It may not seem like much at the time – that’s actually the point! – but if I end up making one or two small changes a month, then by the end of a year I’ve made 24 changes. And that’s huge.
What’s more exciting is to keep making changes. In just two years, you can make 50 changes – and that quickly multiplies to 100 improvements in four years. As an example, my husband and I had been living a fairly unhealthy life before we became parents. We ate a lot of processed foods and used any kind of personal care product or cleaning product that caught our eye.
When we began to pray about becoming parents, I started making healthier eating choices. Then I started changing my cosmetics and hair products. Within a year, I had completely changed all of my personal care products, I was eating healthy, real foods, and my cleaning routine was completely different. While my changes had been noticeably different, they weren’t ever uncomfortable – because I made one small change at a time. Those changes have stuck for past seven years and are a part of my daily life.
Once I began making changes, I didn’t stop. As I’ve made one healthy, green or frugal change at a time, I truly can’t believe how much my family’s life and routines have changed.
Hilary Bernstein is a Christ follower, wife, homeschooling mama of two young children, and journalist. She writes about making healthy decisions that honor God and happen to help the environment at Accidentally Green. She’s written two eBooks, First Bites: How To Instill Healthy Eating Habits During Your Baby’s First Year, and Accidentally Green: How and Why One Family Began Making Healthy Changes That Honor God and Help the Environment.