Don’t Retire, Refire: Little steps can lead to big changes

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

tatumThe common thread throughout my previous articles has been about making small changes, to move towards your goals. I want to impress upon you the importance of focusing on that one, small change and not get distracted over anxious about how far off you may think your goal is. In this regard, have tunnel vision and stay in the moment.

Here are 3 small changes that apply to us all and may assist in ultimately achieving your goal. During this holiday season, the side-effect of these small changes will fill you heart with joy and give you a sense of accomplishment, beyond measure. A few ideas…     1. Do something for your health. Take a ten-minute walk. Stretch every day, with feet more than hip distant apart, inhale and then slowly bend over. If you haven’t done this in a while, you may not be able to touch the floor, so put your hands on your knees and just stay there for a couple of minutes. You will get closer and closer to the floor and finally be able to touch the floor! Consistency is the key. If you drink too much coffee, drink one less cup. If you eat a danish for breakfast, cut it in half and add a piece of fruit.

2. Focus on relationships, those that you know plus those who are people who cross your path in the course of each day. The best and only way to focus is to be present in each moment. Reach out to a friend or relative that you’ve “been meaning to call”. Perhaps you haven’t yet, because you think it’s going to be a long conversation and you can’t seem to find a stretch of time to make that call. One of the great things about technology is that you can text or email.

You can also send a “thinking of you” card. The text, email or card can be a short expression of love, letting that person know that you care and that you’re thinking about them. Find opportunities in your day to do a good deed for the day. A good deed could be as simple as smile. When you smile at someone, 99% of the time, you get a smile back. Your smile could be the very thing that gives hope to a person who may otherwise be hanging on edge. Look for the good deed by being aware of your surrounding and by really listening in a conversation, rather than thinking about what you’re going to say. We all have done this and, when we do, we miss out on great opportunities to affect someone in a positive way.

3. Do something new, every day, for 30 days, whether it be for you, personally or for someone else, or for a cause. Think about your own personal development. Pick a book that will keep fired up, in your ReFirement. The Compound Effect by Daren Hardy is an easy read and packs a huge punch! Visit someone you know who is house-bound or if you have a friend, who volunteers their time to Meals on Wheels, make the extra effort to go with them once. Visit a nursing home. There may be residents who haven’t had any visitors in days, maybe weeks, maybe months or years.

If you’re an animal lover, volunteer at your local rescue or buy some dry food or beds and drop them off. Find out ways that you and/or your community can make an impact. At the end of the 30 days, see how it has affected you. Are you more aware of the world around you? Are you more enriched? Are you more fulfilled? Are you more grateful? So many blessing come from being grateful. Life looks different when it’s lived in gratitude.

Think about not just reaching your goal, think about reaching out and GRABBING your goal, with vim and vigor, zest and passion.

A quote from Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect is “Small, Smart, Choices + Consistency + Time = Radical Difference.”   There isn’t any better way to live your life than to share it. We all have talents, whether big or small and it is our duty as human beings to be a light in an otherwise dark room. I would love to hear back from you, about how making small changes have made a big difference in your life!

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