One-Day-at-a-Time … One Small Change at a Time


How often have you heard that mantra? And how often have you actually acted on it?

It really is how change happens: – one-day-at-a-time.  But we tend to forget that – either  catastrophizing about missteps or getting complacent when we are doing well.  And when we lose our one-day-at-a-time focus, we are very likely to lose our footing and lose ground.

Embracing a one-day-at-a-time perspective means, of necessity, starting and staying small.  As Kyle Savikko wrote in his recent blog post, NOT staying small leads inevitably to disappointment.

It is then when we fall. We miss a day of working out. Forget to brush our teeth. Are too busy and get too distracted by the trials of life to write everyday… We miss the chance to fulfill our promise to ourselves to perform the habits.

One-day-at-a-time and your goals

So, how does this perspective work when you have really big goals?

Actually, it works quite well.  You still have your goals – as big as your dreams.  But you know, right down to your toes, that your path involves many incremental steps.  If your goal is to create and sustain a new habit, you know that it takes a lot of repetition. Each step is important, but no one step makes or breaks things.  Each link in the chain is vital but, honestly, in most situations, if you break the chain you can pick it up again and keep going.

There’s a balance to maintain here. Each step is important, but it’s a form of self-sabotage to make any single step into a make-or-break proposition. Encourage and energize yourself with your commitment to follow-through, but don’t beat yourself up for a misstep.  That will only distract you and get you stuck in self-criticism.

One-Day-at-a-Time Challenge

Here’s a challenge for readers of The Time Finder – a challenge we can share here on the blog and on my Facebook Page.

I’d like you to tell me, in a comment here (or over on Facebook) one change that you’ll make in your life in the coming month, one-day-at-a-time.

For me, as September is looking to be a particularly busy month, my commitment is to find time for meditation once a day – even if only for 5-minutes (but when I can, for longer).  I know how this practice grounds and rejuvenates me – and it’s one that I sometimes set aside when life feels hectic.

What small thing would you like to do, one-day-at-a-time, in the coming month.  Let us know – and then pop back from time to time to tell us how it’s going!

We can all change our lives, one small change at a time.

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  1. This is a great idea. I’ve been stuck about getting to my blog for MONTHS now, and really miss it (but haven’t found the time to write regularly). I am going to spend at least 5 minutes a day crafting a post or posts … with the goal of publishing at least once a week. I’m excited about this, as 5-minutes a day certainly will be doable – and mulling over a post for several days will be a nice way to get back in the flow.

    Thanks for this idea – it’s a keeper!

    • Hi JordanCornblog –
      This sounds like an excellent goal for one-day-at-a-time practice, and I look forward to hearing about how it goes (and seeing your posts)!
      To your time success,

  2. OK…I know that publicly declaring a challenge I set for myself can help me make it stick, so I’ll join in here.

    Because I can get caught up in email in the morning, despite my best intentions, I’ll make the following commitment:

    Each night, I’ll turn off my computer, rather than keep it in sleep mode. That way, I’m much less likely to drift into my studio to “take a quick look” at emails. I’m much more likely to start the morning with my journaling, and be more centered throughout the day. Thanks for the invitation!

    • Hi Dale –

      What a great idea for a small change that can reap big rewards for you. This is an excellent example of a step-by-step process that is fairly easily implemented and opens up all sorts of possibilities.

      I’ll be very interested to hear how it goes for you. Please keep us in the loop!



  3. Good challenge and so do-able at only 5 minutes. For starters I am going to work at breathing and being fully present when I take my dogs out every morning instead of projecting into the future and worrying about what I might forget etc!

  4. Hi Pippajojo –

    I absolutely love your idea!

    Not only do you bring yourself back into your moment but you also complete a daily task – AND enhance your connection with your animal companions.

    This is so good on so many fronts. I’d love to hear how it goes for you in the days ahead – and what changes you notice in the quality of your time.

    Thanks for sharing …


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