One Small, Doable Change
As I write and record this episode, it’s about half way through the calendar year. And I’m reflecting back to January. I always resist setting any New Year’s Resolutions. And here’s why: Throughout the year, I focus instead on one small, doable change.
One thing at a time! One task, one activity, one day, one change.
I’m still working on it. But I really want to embrace the concept of one small, doable change because I’ve become painfully aware that my attempts at multitasking only result in not doing anything well. And I feel so scattered, even overwhelmed at times.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I’m hoping for a little less mental clutter so that my focus can deepen! And my connection to those around me has an opportunity to deepen as well.
In this episode of the Art of Homeschooling podcast, you’ll hear 3 steps to creating change along with 3 benefits to focusing on one small, doable change at a time.
One Small, Doable Change
This idea of one, small doable change comes from Kim John Payne’s book Simplicity Parenting. And it’s a great for parents and homeschoolers.
Known as the Change Process, these 3 steps are so simple and satisfying. And just the thing to keep overwhelm at bay and encourage more positive thoughts and actions.
It can be so easy to spiral into overwhelm as a homeschooling parent! Planning, over-planning, comparing yourself to unrealistic expectations or glossy social media accounts, shopping for new curriculum… Sometimes it’s hard to stay grounded and present no matter how hard you try.
Before overwhelm gets the best of you, try the 3 step Change Process and start by choosing ONE area you want to focus on and ONE change you want to make.
One Thing at a Time
Want to focus on painting this year? Great! Make a plan for how often or what days you’ll paint.
Want to stop comparing yourself to others? Look at your children and decide what they need. Observations of your children can guide you better than you trying to copy what someone else is doing.
Wondering if you need another curriculum? First decide on one skill or topic area you want to focus on this coming year. Then look at the resources you already have and what’s available at your local public library before you make another panic purchase.
Here’s the key to the Change Process: Pick just one area of your home or homeschool to focus on for a few weeks. That’s right, just one.
Possibilities include bringing painting and drawing into your lessons, or getting a handle on making healthy meals and menu planning, or helping your child learn to read.
Whatever you choose thought, remember that you have a much higher chance of making progress if you focus on just one thing at a time.
Three Steps to Change
Here are the steps to designing One Small, Doable Change:
Step 1. Identify Your Dissatisfaction ~ what is bothering you the most about homeschooling right now? And what about the situation is motivating you to focus on this?
Step 2. Imagine Things Better ~ what does it look like when this is going smoothly? Picture this in your mind.
Step 3. Design a Small Doable Change ~ where will you start and what will you do?
An important warning: the change may fail!
It may not go as you imagine. And that’s ok! This gives us an opportunity to make friends with failure, to learn from the experience, and to design a new small change. So be sure to celebrate your attempts to improve, lessons learned, and any progress you make.
In my own life, I’ve used the Change Process to declutter 50% (yes, half!) of the clothes and books I owned. And it was hard! But I used the power of visualization to imagine my closet and my bookshelves as easy to find and access what I needed, when I needed it. I identified my dissatisfaction with all the clutter, pictured what getting rid of the clutter would look like, and then make a simple plan to sort, organize, and donate half of my books and clothes.
So what is one small, doable change you would like to design?
Remember, just pick ONE change to focus at a time! That doesn’t mean you aren’t also doing lots of other things! Of course you are!
It simply means that you’ve identified one thing to give extra love and attention to right now. Next month or season, you can choose another.
Need Some More Inspiration?
Here are three benefits to focusing on ONE change at a time.
1. Gradual Improvement
Making one small doable change at a time allows you to gradually adapt to new routines or approaches, preventing overwhelm and resistance. This also allows for a smoother transition and helps you see the real progress. So whether you want to focus on a new daily rhythm or a new skill to teach to your child, you’ll notice the improvement so much more if you focus on just one thing at a time.
2. Sustainable Progress
Implementing one small change at a time helps you to see the progress and maintain the change so much better. Instead of going in with a “go big or go home” attitude and trying to overhaul everything at once – like I tend to do! – you can focus on incremental changes at a sustainable pace. This helps to reduce the risk of frustration and even burnout. Many of us want to go for big changes all at once. But they aren’t nearly as sustainable and there tends to be a lot of fallout as a result. Believe me, I’ve been there. Sustainable progress is what we want.
3. Building Confidence
Implementing just one small change at a time helps you to build more confidence. Because when you devote your focus to one area of your life, you’ll see improvements and experience a sense of achievement. This gives us more motivation to keep going and provides us with a sense of forward momentum.
I hope that now you can see what it might look like for you to make changes in more sustainable ways.
Here’s a quick recap: the three steps to small doable changes are to start with your dissatisfaction, imagine things better, and then take action.
Don’t forget to celebrate your efforts and progress! This will inspire you to keep moving forward and keep you out of the stuck cycle of overwhelm.💜
If you want to explore one small doable change and Simplicity Parenting even further, I have a 4-lesson masterclass on this very thing inside the Inspired at Home community. Inspired at Home is a warm and encouraging community of homeschoolers where you can find the training, coaching and support you’re looking for!
Rate & Review the Podcast
If the Art of Homeschooling Podcast has inspired you, I’d LOVE it if you could rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast player! Reviews can be left on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Podcast Addict, or Stitcher.
Or simply pop on over to lovethepodcast.com/artofhomeschooling and choose where you want to leave your review.
And if you want to show your appreciation for the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, you can buy me a coffee!