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Mindful You

Small Steps to a New You

September 25, 2017

Sometimes minor acts of self-improvement can yield big results. With four Mindful tips, you can set achievable goals, leading to a more fulfilling and productive autumn season.

Beat the Fall Blues

The end of the year will be here in just a few short months and it’s causing some people to experience the “fall blues” (similar to the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder). If you’re feeling antsy or just looking for a change, take a Mindful approach.

Making changes in your routine can help you feel more in control and more satisfied with your life, but be careful. Setting big goals can sometimes feel too overwhelming. The key to self-improvement is establishing small steps that lead to a big outcome. Use some of the ideas below as inspiration.

Big Goals vs. Small Mindful Steps

– Big goal: Read a novel

– Small mindful step: Read short stories

Have you had trouble finishing novels from your book bucket list? If so, don’t worry! Put aside that novel that you’ve restarted a thousand times and pick up a book of essays or an anthology of short stories instead. In our busy world completing a whole book can be difficult. Focusing on one short story or essay at a time is an easier goal!

– Big goal: Go to the gym three days a week

– Small mindful step: Going for a walk

Be honest. When’s the last time you used your gym membership? If going to the gym fills you with dread, start taking baby steps like using weights at home or going for a walk. Set aside one hour every day for a brisk walk. Walk through your neighborhood a couple of times, walk around the local park, or take a walk break when you’re at work. Once exercise is a fully established part of your routine going to the gym won’t seem that bad.

– Big goal: Put aside $1,000 for savings

– Small mindful step: Save $28 per week

Have you been meaning to save more money for retirement, your children’s college fund, or your dream vacation? Having trouble getting started? There are great Mindful saving plans that will help you slowly save money over time. For instance, you can do the “seven-day dollar cycle.” On Monday, save $1 and on Tuesday, save $2. Continue this pattern and by Sunday you’ll be up to $7. The following Monday you’ll repeat the whole process over again by saving just $1. With this seven-day cycle, you’ll save $28 per week. If you do this every week starting now until the end of the year, you’ll save almost $400.

– Big goal: Quit a bad habit

– Small mindful step: Set limits for yourself

Whether it’s eating unhealthy foods or wasting time on the internet, quitting a bad habit cold turkey can be a challenge. Instead, consider taking a smaller mindful step like setting limits for yourself. Allow yourself to enjoy one of your not-so-healthy foods per week. Or limit you web surf time to one hour per day. Slowly over time, you can wean yourself out of these bad habits much easier.

Bonus. Looking for more self-love tips? Try this Mindful Beginner’s Guide!

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