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Motivation: Small Changes, Big Results


When I was 8 years old, my parents let me go to the toy store with my buddy Mike and his Mom.

My dad gave me a whole dollar to spend.

At the store I found a Frankenstein model that I really really wanted. The problem was the model was 88 cents, I had a dollar and I didn't want to waste the 12 cents difference.

Fortunately for me, Mike's Mom explained that if I took the model to the check-out counter and gave the lady the dollar, she would give me 12 cents back.

I thought this was a pretty cool way to run things so I bought the model.

The model is long gone, but the lesson is not.

Once someone explained the concept of change to me, a new part of the world opened for me.

In my work with helping people to get the changes they want and need in their lives, I find that most clients do not understand the concept of change. Once people see how easy change can be, they get excited, begin to believe they really can change, and a whole new world opens up to them.

One of the most common places people get confused about change is the false notion that in order to change you have to make big, huge, and difficult changes for it to make a difference.

That's just not true. A small change, the right small change, can bring big results.

For example, a plane flying from Atlanta to Hawaii could be off course by only one degree at the start and wind up in Australia.

Applied to our own lives, just one small correction in our course can make all the difference.

I know of a man who was very out of shape who decided to start running. The first day, he made one small change in his day. He ran from the mail box in front of his house to the mail box of the house next door and back. By adding one more mail box to each of his runs, he was able to run a marathon within the year.

Small change, big results.

Let's take an example from one of my coaching clients. This person really wanted to start a savings plan but believed he did not have enough money to begin.

Experience tells me if you look in the right places, you can usually find a little bit of money.

We discovered that he was spending at least $2 a day on a soda and a candy bar on the way to work each morning.

That small amount of pocket change adds up to $10 a week, approximately $43 a month, which is more than $500 a year.

Put that small $2 a day into the right interest bearing places, and you are well on your way to a healthy savings plan, all based on the small change in a pocket.

Small change, big results.

So let's put some hands and feet on this, and apply these notions in your own life.

Choose something you have been wanting to change - just one small thing to do differently. Give up caffeine, walk around the block each night, go to bed an hour earlier, listen to your kids, smile at your spouse, etc. All of these are small changes that can lead to big results.

Here's my challenge:

test this out and see if what I am saying makes practical sense.

For the next week, choose just one small thing to do differently and commit to it.

At the end of the week, check out the results.

I'm willing to bet you'll be surprised and motivated to move on to some more changes. Then you are on your way.

It may even open up a whole new world of

small changes, big results.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.


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Orlando Sentinel

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Bleacher Report

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — With the Miami Dolphins at 7-7 and all but eliminated from the playoffs, defensive tackle Jared Odrick talked about playing out the season. “We're on a team that's .500,” he said. “If you don't believe that you're a .500 ...

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The carrot of Champions League qualification for winning the Europa League will further supplement the motivation within the Liverpool squad to lift the trophy next year, insists Javier Manquillo. A third-place finish in Group B of the continent's ...

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What Maslow's Hierarchy Won't Tell You About Motivation
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At some point in their careers, most leaders have either consciously — or, more likely, unwittingly — based (or justified) their approach to motivation on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow's idea that people are motivated by satisfying lower-level ...



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Whether it's family, friends, money, pride, credibility, goals, consequences or simply the challenge of finishing the season strong, each Dolphins player must find themselves a carrot. If Philbin's having a problem keeping his team hungry and motivated ...

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Forest Lake Times

Boys lagging when it comes to classroom motivation
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A Stillwater school superintendent is asking a big question: Why do high school girls do better in the classroom than high school boys? Tom Nelson, who has been a superintendent for 20 years, recently wrote a guest column in the Stillwater Gazette that ...



Writing the book on motivation
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San Diegan Susan Fowler has worked for more than 30 years as a leadership researcher, consultant and coach. She's not much of a fan of the traditional carrot-and-stick approach to management. Her new book, “Why Motivating People Doesn't Work.


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