More of This, Less of That – Making Gradual Changes

unbalanced scalesToday is Sunday, January 5, 2013.

The other day I saw one of those “more of/less of” lists and realized that instead of going whole hog on the good things and quitting the bad things cold-turkey, it would probably be better for lots of folks to just ease out of their bad habits and ease into the better habits.

Let’s say you want to improve your physical health and you decide that you need to stop drinking soda.  I would agree, soda is definitely bad for your health, but if you drink a lot of it, you may find it really hard to quit all of a sudden. Instead, why not commit to drinking less and less of it, and substituting another beverage, so you can drink more and more of that?

If you think you eat too much sugar, why not start eating more fruit, instead?   If you eat too much processed food, try eating more raw or minimally cooked foods, instead?   The idea is not to give up sugar and processed foods altogether.  Just eat less and less, and substitute more and more healthier options.  You’re not really denying yourself anything, just switching up your foods of choice.

Food consumption isn’t the only place where this works.  You could try a little less driving and a little more walking.  A little less watching TV and a little more activity would be a good thing, too.  A little less social media on the internet and a little more reading would be more stimulating for your mind.

Here are some more great ideas for the nonphysical you:

Do a little more listening, and less talking.  This is especially true in relation to you and God.  When you listen, your emphasis is on what God is saying, not on what you are saying.

Let there be a little more doing in your life, and a little less planning.  Making plans is a good thing, but there comes a point where you have to put your plan into action.  When that point comes along, don’t think about it; do it.

Let there be a little more gratitude in your life, and a little less criticism.  Being grateful for what you do have in your life doesn’t mean that you don’t want to make any more changes.  It just means you appreciate the pleasant parts of your life.  With criticism, you may wish to put your remark through a little test before it comes out of your mouth.  Is it true?  Is it kind?  Is it helpful?  Is it necessary?  Don’t forget to criticize yourself less, as well as criticizing others less.

Do a little less frowning and a little more smiling.   Make a list of things that make you smile and keep it handy for a while.  When you realize that you’re not smiling, stop what you’re doing, get out your little list and read one or two items.

This world would be a lot better off if people would do some of the following:

Spread a little less fear and a little more cheer. Make a point of identifying things that make you happy and spend more time on those things.  It’s OK to be aware of the negative things in life, but spend less time focusing on them or worrying about them.

Cast a little less doubt and strive to trust more.  This applies especially to yourself.  Trust yourself to solve your own problems and work through your own issues.  Spend less time doubting whether you can do it, take it, or make it.

Exercise a little less greed and do a little more giving.  In other words, think a bit more about others and less about yourself.   This isn’t just about money.  It’s also about time and effort, as well.  Spend a little more time with people you love and put forth a bit more effort to contribute to the happiness and welfare of others.

Make fewer judgments, and entertain more new ideas.  Remember that “entertain” doesn’t mean you accept things right off the bat.  It simply means that you are willing to look at new ideas and study them a bit instead of rejecting them out of hand.

Whatever you decide to do, be gentle with yourself.  Gradually tip the balance in the opposite direction.  Instead of obsessing over every little detail, just look back every couple of weeks to see how you’re doing.  (Write it down in your planner!)  Good luck!  🙂

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