I don’t know about you, but I find January to be a little overwhelming. I love the start of a new year and all of the promise that comes with it, but I feel bombarded with calls for improvement. “A New Year, A New You! Lose those 10 lbs. Now!” “Sign up for a year-long gym membership and get 1 month free!” “Start Living Your Best Life Today!” So, I found it refreshing to hear someone talk about the “Power of the Small Adjustment.”
I first heard of this radical idea on the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. Autumn Brown, who is herself the host of a podcast called How to Survive the End of the World, offered the approach as one of her lessons learned from 2018. The idea is that instead of committing to a grand RESOLUTION like getting up every morning at 5 AM to run for miles (which usually only lasts until the first time that alarm goes off in the dark and cold of a January morning), you plan on a really small and thus totally achievable adjustment. For example, instead of trying to run three miles a day, the small adjustment might be to walk up the escalator stairs rather than standing still while looking at your phone. Maybe you then add walking to the Starbucks that’s farther away from the office instead of the one across the street. It might be impossible to find twenty minutes each day to start meditating, but closing your eyes and taking deep breaths for a single minute is possible, right? The point is that when you only shoot for something small, you’re more likely to actually do it and then over time, those little things actually amount to more than what you get from hitting the snooze button every morning.
I think that the “Power of the Small Adjustment” applies to creativity too. Maybe you feel that you should be sketching every day. Why not try a 1-minute doodle? Love the idea of Morning Pages, but not enough to fill three full sheets? Try a 3-minute rapid fire brain dump instead. Been putting off Artist Dates? Close your eyes for a quick Artist Daydream. I don’t want to dissuade you from full-on Morning Pages, but something is better than nothing, right?
Want the Creative Play™ Newsletter sent directly to your inbox each month? Sign up for the newsletter here.