for radical change
create small and subtle shifts
easy to sustain
Over the course of the Chanukah holiday, we increase the number of candles we light each night. The first night we light one. The second night we light two. And so on, until the last night when we light all eight.
Why do we do it this way?
The miracle was that the oil lasted for eight days. Why not light eight candles for each of the eight nights?
Because trying to do too much at once isn’t sustainable.
The Chanukah progression teaches us how to create sustainable change.
This is the time of year when many people look to what they want to change in the year ahead.
It’s easy to get caught up in a belief that you need to make big sweeping changes: a radical overhaul of your habits, a completely new diet, a drastic workout plan.
Studies show that making big changes, or changes to a lot of places at once, aren’t sustainable. Most people abandon their New Years resolutions by mid January.
On the other hand, a small and subtle shift in one part of your day can have a ripple effect that impacts many areas of your life in a big way.
Instead of trying to overhaul your diet and fitness and your productivity all at once, try focusing on one place.
You might notice, for example, that giving yourself 10 minutes of silence in the morning sets you up to stay more calm throughout the day and make better decisions.
Instead of trying to overhaul your whole diet, try swapping out one unhealthy snack for a more nutritious option.
Rather than a lofty vision for a daily killer workout try committing to 10 minutes of something you find fun and enjoyable.
In my personal experience and with my clients I’ve found that small changes in my morning routine have outsized impacts on the rest of my day.
The first hour of the day is the highest leverage point for changes that create ripple effects. It is also the place that is easiest to create sustainable change, because it’s the time of day that is most consistently in our control.
Start with one thing in one area of your life. It may not seem like much in the moment, but small shifts create ripple effects that lead to radical change.