5 degrees of change

5 Degrees of Change
For some of us, the thought of changing our behavior can be overwhelming.  And wemake it harder on us when we tell ourself that we have to do things all at onec, make a 180 degree change and become a completely different person.  

That couldn't be further from the truth.  In fact is that when we try to make such a big change, it usually fails to stick.

James P. Carnevale writes in his book, Counseling Gems, about the impact of 5 degree of change.

Recently I was talking with a friend about 5 degrees of change.  He recalled working with a youth group on a camping trip.  They had plotted the trail, but ended up traveling a mere 1.5 degrees off the planned route.  Well, they ended up 1 1/2 miles away from their camp site.  After a long day of hiking,  that 1.5 degree of change really makes a difference in where you end up.

We don’t have to change ourselves completely.  5 degrees of change can make  just enough difference to improve your life.  Walking 30 minutes per day isn’t a big deal when you consider we have 24 hours in a day.  Too often we push ourselves to do so much more, then burn ourselves out and stop entirely.  But if we just walk 30 minutes, it could make enough of a change to look better, feel better and improve our lives just enough.   

What if we decided that when we become angry, we would just leave the room and allow ourselves time to consider the facts before we responded?  That’s all, just take a five minute break to think and breathe.

Or what if we decided to talk to ourself only as we would to another person-being respectful and kind?  Would that alone help us to learn to trust and love ourself more?

Could our relationships improve just enough if we decided to pick up the phone and talk rather than text for the majority of our conversations?   I challenge you to choose one small change.  Try it for 2 weeks. That 5 degree change might just help more than you think.

Back to Blog