Day 18 – Little and Often

All right – Day 18 is a game-changer! Mme. Ferris’s suggestion for today is “little and often,” which she claims is a universal rule for life. After reading and thinking about this entry, I think she might be on to something here.

marley-a-christmas-carol-lizardmedia-co-regarding-marley-christmas-carolHer point is that habits – good and bad – are built up over time, so our daily routines really, really matter. (It’s Christmas time, so I can’t help but think of Jacob Marley’s ghost visiting Scrooge and showing him the heavy yards of chains Marley had forged throughout his life – this principle really is like that. Well, without the ghost.)

Why do so many New Year’s resolutions fail? You know the ones I mean – those earnest promises to eat healthy food, exercise every day, declutter the house, and so on. Mme Ferris would say that they fail because they’re too big. By trying to change everything all at once, you’re setting yourself up for failure. (I used to have a shelf of “get slim quick” diet books to testify to this. Preach it, sister!) Instead, she says, make tiny tweaks and work them consistently until they become habits – little and often. It won’t look like much at the beginning; you’ll need to build them into the fabric of your life, but those small changes will lead to dramatic results, given enough time.

acorns-2-300x225So what’s this look like? She applies the principle to relationships, beauty, diet, exercise, housekeeping,  and money, wrapping up with what she calls “tiny acorns.” These are concrete suggestions to illustrate how small changes can add up over time. For instance, declutter five things a week and you will have donated or thrown out (please – never donate something that needs to just be thrown out) 260 items by the end of the year. Never used that yoga DVD? Why not pull up a beginners’ video on YouTube and just try 5 minutes to easy stretches to wind down at night? Tying in with yesterday’s entry, pick one single grooming element to start doing on a regular basis.

Simply put, this one is all about doing something rather than doing nothing.

It’s fantastically solid advice. So today, yes, I stopped by a bakery and bought a lemon cupcake that’s the size of my fist. (I am on vacation, after all! And yes, that included a lovely visit with my FFG.) But I also took my bike out for a ride.

Life isn’t an “all or nothing” proposition. It’s good to be reminded of that.

Tune in tomorrow to see what’s next on our tour of 30 Chic Days!

 

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