Small Changes make a Big Difference

This post was inspired by the Groovymums blog hop on www.kateonthinice.wordpress.com which is for mums who want to rediscover the woman they used to be or to reinvent themselves altogether. It’s inspiring to read about what other people do to make themselves feel better and engineer a little time in the day just for themselves amongst the other responsibilities that we all have. I’ve linked up again with Kate to post my progress in forging a completely new groove for myself.

Immediately after the Christmas period, as another year ticks over, many people assess their lives and happiness and decide to make big changes. It’s no coincidence that the number of consultations with divorce lawyers increases dramatically at this time of year. Even if our ambitions are less dramatic, when we fail to live up to our own expectations we may give up altogether. For example, we may plan to lose two stone by next Tuesday and when we have one chocolate biscuit with our coffee we think we’ve blown the whole thing and give in. We are all busy people, we’ve got jobs and responsibilities to uphold, homes and families to keep, and sweeping changes are often impossible to sustain for the average woman for any length of time

But small changes can have a dramatic impact too. I’ve been reading this week about a blogger who simply changed all the door handles in her house from brass to a more elegant nickel and blogged about how such a small change gave her home a completely different feel. Groovymums is all about little changes, things that are easier to fit into our every day lives and to sustain for the longer term, building on our successes as we go. Mighty oaks from little acorns, as we all know. With this in mind, I’ve made some very small changes in the past two weeks but they have made a big difference and increased my confidence to an amazing degree considering how small the changes were.

Over Christmas I looked in the mirror and decided that the colour of my hair made it look as if I hadn’t washed it for a week. I wash it every day so it was definitely clean but the colour was very uninspiring. Wishing to seize the moment, I bought a home colouring kit and lightened it by only a couple of shades. It made all the difference, nothing dramatic, but a few people have asked if I’d had it cut (I hadn’t) and it certainly lightened my self perception too. I was given some hair straighteners for Christmas and considering how my hair is almost straight already, I was amazed by the difference that ironing out the kinks and waves has made. It makes my hair look longer and again, bizarrely, several people asked if I’d had it cut.

In the light of all these comments I thought that maybe I should get it cut. Very little was taken off, but a lot of weight was taken out (I have thick hair) and again, an amazing difference for very little input. Strangely, people stopped asking if I’d had it cut. Inspired by all of this, I found the courage to approach one of those immaculate women who work behind the beauty counters in department stores to ask for advice about the tired-about-the-eyes look I have been wearing for the last four years. She was charming and kind and I came away feeling that I looked much more alert. Again, very little in the way of make up was used, but the difference is noticeable, at least to me. People have started telling me how well I look after the Christmas break, which is exactly what the lady on the counter predicted would happen. Cost me a fortune in purchases though!

Inspired by the improvements from such tiny changes, I’ve decided to begin the Writers’ Bureau Comprehensive Writing course now rather than wait until September when the little man goes to school. I may make faster progress at that time with more hours to myself during the day, but I can make small steps on the course between now and then.

It’s amazing what effects even small alterations can cause. It’s taken me a while to get going this year, but the accumulation of all those little steps has made a huge difference to my outlook. I’m now looking forward to learning how to write something for which people might actually want to offer me money. Wouldn’t that be something to write about!

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10 Responses to Small Changes make a Big Difference

  1. “You’ve gotta wash that groove back into your hair”. Well done you. Also very impressed at you having the confidence to approach one of the four inches of foundation brigade. I am so pleased she proved quite human and helpful too. I must stop judging people if they are different to me or more vitally, if I perceive them as better than me in some way.
    Here’s to you and I reporting back on paid writing work in the not too distant future.
    If we make a really big success of things in months or years, just think what gurus we will be, groovy ones at that.
    Lovely wise post and you certainly fulfilled the lotions and potions challenge already.

  2. I love this post. I love the fact that you’re lightening your hair and trying things out at the make up counter – and that it makes you feel good! It’s great that you’ve decided to start the writing course now, as you say, you’ve got nothing to lose by starting early and taking small steps. High five to you – you’ve made me feel really positive too! x

  3. Ally Bean says:

    You’re on a roll– and inspiring to all. I need to follow your lead and do more things is small ways– instead of waiting for the “right” moment to do every thing at once in a big way.

    I wonder what your writing course will teach you. I’ve never known anyone who has done something like that, so I’ll be interested in knowing how it goes for you.

    • Thanks Ally, I’ve found it really difficult to get going this year, I was full of good ideas but not managing to make any progress. Suddenly things seem easier. Funny how that happens sometimes. I’m sure I’ll be blogging about the writing course at some stage! Hopefully there will be a lot to say about it.

  4. Go you, without realising it you have achieved a massive amount because you sound like these things have all given you lots of confidence. Big congrats on starting the course now, why wait, life is too short! Go Go Go!

  5. Older Mum says:

    What great changes you are making. I decided to start wearing make up again towards the end of last year and that made a big difference. Well done you on the writers course – I have heard of this course too – its meant to be very good. I have no doubt you be published – your writing is very accessible.

    • I’ve never been a wearer of make up before and I’m surprised how just a little made such a difference. Thank you for the kind things you said about my writing, I hope the course tutors think so too!