The small change Wellness Coach


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10 REASONS TO try small change

September 12, 20235 min read


Be Well: 10 Reasons to Commit to the small change Approach

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”      W. H. Murray

One thing I’ve learned on this journey of self-discovery is the power of commitment. Not having always lived a grateful life, a few years back, I committed to learning more about "gratitude," so I decided to research the word for a year and discovered that gratitude is so much more than what I learned in kindergarten: a polite “thank you” when you’re given something, or saying grace before meals. I discovered that gratitude is a state of being. And here's what's essential: everything I've learned about gratitude, I learned one small change at a time.

Each day for one year, beginning in 2014, I spent 30 minutes each day researching the word gratitude and writing what I learned on index cards. In 2015, I sent gratitude text messages to a few family members each morning, which took less than 30 minutes. By the end of the year, I had sent 365 gratitude messages and discovered that sending those messages was changing me on the inside (small change).

In 2016, I decided to write a book on gratitude. I didn't know the book's structure; I just knew I wanted to write. As commitment would have it, I made plans to attend a writer's retreat in February 2017 to begin the next leg of my gratitude book journey. My birthday was in February, and I couldn't think of a better gift to myself.

But the unimaginable happened on January 9, 2017, a month before the scheduled retreat. My daughter, Mia, suffered a massive stroke at 37. It shook me to my core. But  I didn’t abandon my commitment. I did was dive deeper into the meaning of gratitude and used it to help us get through the challenging days ahead, one day at a time. My Gratitude book, The Stroke That Touched My Heart, was in print two years later.

Here's the funny thing about commitment: once you move past focusing on the opposition, big or small, the universe will begin lining things up in your favor, just as it did for me. But you have to be paying attention, and you have to let the universe take care of the “how.” I knew my commitment to learning to live grateful was long-term. I also knew that long-term commitments can be manageable.

You’re more likely to reach long-term goals when you take baby steps. Here are ten reasons the small change approach works:

1.      It reduces the pressure to be perfect. Just do the best you can until you learn to do better.

2.      It helps you reduce or eliminate procrastination. Removing the need to be perfect helps you realize that perfect is a relative term. Deep within, most procrastinators feel imperfect and are reluctant to take on new tasks. They're afraid their flaws will be revealed, so to avoid embarrassment or humiliation, they keep putting things off. They overlook that every accomplishment, regardless of the magnitude, started small, and not a single achievement can be attributed to perfect people. The world's fastest human is not perfect; they are just the fastest runner based on a set standards that apply to runners. The richest person in the world is not perfect; they have accumulated more wealth than anyone else, based on specific measurements. There is no "perfect" except the perfection assigned by humans.

3.      It reduces the chances of feeling like a failure. When you begin a task with baby steps and miss your mark, it is more encouraging than when you try to take giant steps and fall short.

4.      It leads to long-term lifestyle changes. While environment and genes impact health, lifestyle is something you can control.

5.      It takes your mind off the problem and focuses on the solution; you begin to focus on what you are doing and spend less time on what is going wrong.

6.      It boosts your confidence and increases your likelihood of taking bigger steps when the time is right. When you see yourself making progress, you’re proud of your accomplishments, and when you feel good about yourself, the chances are pretty good that you’ll stick with what’s working. 

7.      It allows you to learn as you go. Life is trial and error!

8.      It considers that old habits are hard to break, so it makes sense to tackle them one at a time.

9.      The time and money you invest in making small changes is no comparison to healthcare costs.

10.  The small change approach can be applied to anything you want to accomplish. It’s all about making a commitment.

Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it, one small change at a time. Your health is at stake!

Myrtle Russell is the small change Wellness Coach and Creator of the small change Toolkit. Contact me at;


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Myrtle Russell

Myrtle Russell, the small change Wellness Coach.

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