Small Changes Make the Difference

Sharon J Cole

Small Changes… REALLY??


You mean…Not the “Perfect” Plan??

Not the Perfect Diet?

Perfect Exercise?

Perfect Sleep?

Perfect Relationships?


What Good could Small Changes be??!


So…Small Changes can Actually Help?


Let’s talk about that.




Food:  There is a lot of wonderful, valuable research that lets us realize the foods that are good for us, and food that is not good for us.


Good, REAL food does make us feel better—it makes us stronger, and it helps our brain think better—it helps our immune system to be stronger—and so much more!


Movement: We get tons of information about how we should move (we should move, a lot!) every day.  Our bodies were made to move, and they are not made to be still, or sit for hours on end.  It’s hard to decide to take our time (and money) to go to the gym—yet it’s hard to find the time to walk or exercise at home. 

Even so, we know regular exercise strengthens our heart, our bones, our muscles, increases the oxygen in our bodies, and that all these things increase our health and stamina so we can live healthy lives into and past “old age”.


Stress:  We know we shouldn’t be stressed, and we know we sometimes work really a lot too much.  Our work is hard and long sometimes, and our stresses are great.  There’s not enough time in the day to get it done.  We must be productive, so our goal turns into squeezing every ounce and every breath of energy from every single minute of every day.  We do realize our bodies need to take a rest—to take “a breath”; to reflect—on the day—on the week—on our lives in general. 

And in reflecting, most importantly, we know we need to reflect on our close relationships and not let our work and overwhelm get ahead of those Valuable Relationships.  Because when we take “moments” here and there to quietly live for those small instances here and there, and when we take time to show the people we love that we do love them, our lives are more level with who we really are—not the hustle and bustle world, but the real world —the one that needs us, and the one we need to hold close.  We can feel more like saying, “all is right with my world”. 

Then we’ll be more ready to tackle that stress again the next day.  There are a lot of ways to reduce stress, but this is a very important one.


Sleep:  We know we have to have good sleep to function at our best—and sometimes we don’t even realize we’re not up to par when we have lack of sleep because we’re so used to living that way.

          More recent research is showing that one of the links to Alzheimer’s is lack of good quality sleep over long periods of time.  We know we need to sleep better, but it’s hard to eat dinner early; hard to get to bed early (I know…we have to live our lives in the evening too!!); but we do know if we can get more rest at night for our bodies (and minds), we’re able to be more content waking up actually ready to get up, and we’ll just feel better.


There are other things we know that we need—other things that help us feel good and feel joyful and happy.  But these four are basic: quality food, moving our bodies, having less stress (yes…we actually can reduce our stress), and sleep.




These “changes” don’t usually come with overnight success—and sometimes if we get all excited for all the changes we want and “plan” to make, and decide how truly committed we will be, and dive in whole-heartedly…

          Sometimes…life just happens in between.  We get derailed, and it’s hard to think of scaling that tall mountain in front of us—all the things we excitedly committed to do—as Reality, anymore.

          In light of the fact that more often than not, things come up in our lives that derail us from our big goal, and when we get off-track, it’s sometimes very hard to believe again that we can actually attain our goal.


First off, I’ll offer to help you with your goals, and with getting through them without getting derailed (you can email me at, but if you want to get to your goal under your own power and might, and without any help, it may be easier if you approach your goals more slowly, with a plan of taking one small step at a time.  You can do it.  It will work for you.




For example, if you want to add more real, quality food to your eating habit, pick a food (or a meal) that’s healthy and that you want to add.  Decide what day you’ll prepare it, and a couple of days before then, check to make sure you have everything it takes to get that food prepared easily.  You might even prepare part of it ahead.

          When you accomplish the meal you set out to serve, congratulate yourself on your win!!

          Do this for a couple of weeks, and if you have been successful and feel ready to make another change, decide if you want the change to be in the same category (in this case, food) or if you want it to be in a different category (maybe movement).


If you decide to make a change in how much your body moves, start out with a small goal; for instance, maybe decide to walk a mile (or half mile) two days in a week (or even one day).

          If you accomplish that, schedule adding another day, or walking further.  Set out your shoes and clothes the night before—it makes it easier to actually get out the door. 

          And even if all you get done is “get out the door”, or just a few steps, count it a win for a forward motion!


If you decide you want to improve your sleep, there are several things you can do to improve you “sleep hygiene”.  Electronics off an hour or two before bed; light meals a couple of hours before bed; no alcohol a couple of hours at least before bed; dark, quiet bedroom; have a nightly routing so your body and mind, when you start your routine, will know it’s getting close to time to sleep.

          There are several other things that help, but if you try one of these, and make the change successfully, this is time for congratulating yourself on a Victory!  It sets you up to do the second thing you want to change, and before you know it, you’ll be sleeping well!


If you want your goal to be less stress, you might dedicate yourself to trying something new—like sitting in the quiet in the morning before actually getting ready for the day, and just closing your eyes, and breathing…concentrating on your breathing for about 10 minutes—or whatever time you choose.  Then for the next 2-3 minutes (or 5), concentrate on what you’re thankful for…how you have been blessed to be where you are in your life, and acknowledging that you have been successful in some way on this day (or the day before if you’re doing this in the morning).

          Or you might try getting a pad of paper and each morning or each evening, write down 10 things you’re thankful for.  And feel the appreciation for them.  You might include on one of those ten things to be something specific that you, yourself did this day, or the day before so you can see and acknowledge that you did good. (You really can think of at least one thing)


Again, there are other things you can do to make changes.  But if you dedicate yourself to making changes in these four basic areas, you will absolutely see a major positive change in yourself, and probably some of those things you never even thought of improving.


And, sure, there are other things in these specific categories you can do to make yourself “more perfect”—and those things are good!  But if you can accomplish some small goals in these directions, there is no doubt you will feel better and be able to tell in your body and your mind that you are making improvements.


Once you see and feel the improvements you’re making, you can consider if you want to make more changes (well…yes…you do…) and decide what area you want to make those changes in…then just keep building on your goals.


And one thing to know…There is not just ONE ideal way to change; not “one ideal” diet, or way to exercise, etc.  The “One Way” is what fits your life, and your way of living, and what you like.


The main thought process I’m trying to convey is this:  Whatever change you want in your life, don’t let yourself be overwhelmed and unable to conquer it.  Take it in small, easy steps, so you can keep going forward.  And if you don’t meet the timetable you set for yourself, it’s ok.  Be flexible with yourself.  Be forgiving of yourself.


And you know what else can help a lot?  Figuring out little ways to make it fun, and Enjoy it!


It would be a shame to do all that planning, and work, without getting to enjoy any of it.  You can think of ways to make a game of it, or add some excitement to it, or just to enjoy the imperfection of it.


One more thing… Don’t be critical of yourself if you stumble.  It’s ok.  It’s part of your life…part of your journey.  It happens.  Give yourself good, encouraging words when this happens.


One more thing…these changes…they’re never “done”.  The exciting thing is, we can keep growing.  Deeper and better, and further… to no telling what heights!  And as you improve, don’t consider it the end at the “finish line” of your goal.  Consider that you won that race…now on to a better one!


And don’t be afraid if you feel you “did it wrong”~  Just call it “imperfect forward motion”, which it is, and keep going forward.

          Consider it a game of Discovery of what your body needs and likes, along with what you can do, along with Trial and Error.


The Best to You—I hope you consider making changes; Make them Small, so you can Make them GREAT!


Love to you as you move forward in your life.


Please contact me at if I can help you in any way.


Thank you for reading my article—I hope it’s helpful to you.



Meet Sharon

Sharon is the founder of Where is Your Calm, and is dedicated to the wellness of every client she has. She graduated from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy in 2019 and has been doing group coaching and individual coaching since then.

Sharon is a caring haven for people of all ages to address their overwhelm and overwork, helping them to improve their life with small changes in their lifestyle and nutrition habits. She regularly attends classes and training to keep up with the most innovative practices to address her clients' needs.  

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