Leo Babauta has gained a big following on his blog Zen Habits, where he posts daily about simplifying your life to what you REALLY want to be doing. We often find useful practices we truly can apply to our lives. The other day, we read all the way through his lengthy post How I Changed My Life, In Four Lines. The catchy headline got us as did the compelling first lines:
Changing your life can seem an incredibly tough and complicated thing, especially if you’ve failed a great number of times (like I did), found it too hard, and resigned yourself to not changing.
But I found a way to change.
It’s worth reading Babauta’s examples, which go from how he started running and eating healthier and getting out of debt, to how he gave up goals because he figured out that you can change your life with or without goals, IF you follow 4 principles:
1. Start very small.
2. Do only one change at a time.
3. Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results).
4. Be grateful for every step you take.
These are compelling strategies that make sense on many levels, and seem to work for Barbauta. We can imagine applying them to life patterns we want to change… Yet they fly in the face of all the goal-oriented formula and seem perhaps, a bit, well, too simple. We’re wary of oversimplifying the very complex workings of our lives, of applying “magical thinking.”
Apparently other people wondered about this too, because he wrote a follow-up post called The Single-Changing Method that goes into more specifics on his method, and answers his readers questions.
His advice is “for people who have had trouble changing their lives.” In his experience, making one change and sticking with it for a month or two makes for real change, and that making one little change slowly after one little change, over time, adds up to serious results.
We think it’s worth reading his unique take. “Try it, and see what happens.” he writes. “I dare you.”
Could change really be that simple? What do you think?