zen habits : breathe

Overwhelmed by All the Changes You Want to Make

By Leo Babauta

If you had to make a list of all the habits you’d like to change or create, how many changes would be on the list?

For many of us, we might have more than a dozen habit changes we’d like to make. And we want to make them all right now!

I’ve had several people tell me recently that they are overwhelmed by all the changes they want to make. They want to eat better, meditate, do more yoga, procrastinate less, write more, get better at relationships, exercise more, and so on … but they’re paralyzed by the amount of change they want to make. In the end, this paralysis means they don’t do much at all.

I’ve found it helpful to think of these changes as a marathon, not a sprint.

Imagine running a marathon: it takes awhile, and there are more than 30,000 steps that have to be run to get through it. You cannot run all these steps at once. It’s physically impossible — all you can do is run one step at a time, and eventually you’ll run all of them.

But we want to change them all right now. We want changing our lives to be a sprint, over in 10 seconds of hard work. It doesn’t work that way.

Changing your life is a marathon. There are thousands of tiny steps that need to be taken, one at a time. You can’t do them all right now. But eventually, you’ll get to them all.

So what step will you take today?

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