A Dime's Worth of Change

I am not a fan of resolutions.  Not because I don't think people need to set goals, but because people often set unrealistic goals, especially at the beginning of a new year!

Resolutions fail because people fail to think long term before they make them.

I'm all in favor of people getting healthier, having better marriages, drawing closer to God, but sometimes I think we all go about it all wrong.

What if I told you that your life could be significantly different just by changing it in small ways? Instead of thinking radical change, what if you thought about change in terms of a dime's worth of change?

Here are some examples of small changes, Ten Cent changes, that can significantly change your life for the better.  I've taken common resolutions and turned them into Ten Cent Life Changes.

Common Goal:  Read the Bible through in a Year.
Ten Cent Change: Read the Bible 10% more than you are already doing it.

(This one is for my Christian friends, or for those who are curious about the Bible.)  If you're not reading it at all, try reading it for 10 minutes every day.  If you're already reading it for 30 minutes, read it 33 minutes.  Increase it by 10%.  (Did you know that with just 10 minutes a day, you can read the Bible cover to cover in one year.)

Common Goal:  No More Diet Drinks, Cokes, Sweet Tea, Coffee (insert drink of choice!)  Only water.
Ten Cent Change:  Drink 10 more ounces of water every day.

That's a little more than one glass.  One simple way to implement that change is to order water when you eat out. The next time you drive through the drive through, order water.  Over time, you'll discover that drinking water when you are eating out has become a habit (and saved you a lot of money!)

Or maybe, every morning at breakfast, drink water (Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser says, "Skinny people drink water first thing every morning.")

Goal:  Get Healthy (Join a gym, lose weight, eat clean/paleo/gluten-free/primal/whatever)
Ten Cent Change: If you lead a sedentary life,  if you never exercise, if you are overweight and eat crap all the time; DO NOT TRY TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT ONCE.  YOU WILL FAIL.

Change in increments of 10.
Step 1:  Get active. Do some kind of exercise for 10 minutes a day.  Then, once you are up to 30 minutes a day, then THINK about joining a gym.  But before you do, determine how it will fit into your life.  Otherwise, you'll waste your money and become part of the "January Gym" people.

Step 2:  Set a realistic weight loss goal.  How about 1 pound a week?  Or how about 10 pounds?  And then once you get to 10 pounds (however long that takes you) set another 10 pound goal.

Step 3:  Eating healthier doesn't mean you have to become a clean/paleo/gluten-free/primal plan eater.  There are many healthy eating options for you to choose from.  If you make a sudden, radical change, unless it is ordered by your doctor, you will most likely NOT sustain that eating habit.  Start small.  Try eliminating sweets and eating fruit in its place.  Or try the lesser fat versions of the things you love (salad dressing, mayonnaise, milk, beef, etc.)  Small, incremental changes are more likely to help you than fad diets.

Here's an easy exercise you can do to eat healthier:

Make a list of 10 small changes you can make to your eating habits.
1. Eat the lower fat version.
2. Eat more fruit.
3. Eat fresh veggies instead of canned whenever possible.
4. Don't buy junk food, but if you really, really want ice cream, go out for it.
5. Don't salt your food at the table.
6. Eat on smaller plates.
7. Try one new healthy food a week (or a month if that's too much for you)
8. Take your lunch to work.
9. Reduce the number of times you eat out by one time a week.
10. When you do eat out, ask for the to-go box at the beginning of the meal.

Now you make your list!

And for those of you who are following a clean/paleo/primal/gluten-free diet, I'm not saying you are a fad.  But I do hope you are educated about why you are eating that way, and not just doing it because everyone else is.  I talk to so many people who eat according to these strict regimens and have no idea why they are doing it.  For our family, we are trying to eat better and we are gradually adopting clean eating habits.  If I tried to do that all at once, I would have a revolt on my hands!

But I would like to say that Mike Jones gladly purchased whole grain pasta for me the other day and happily ate brown rice.  :)  Small changes people.  Small changes.

Common Goal:  Improve my marriage.
Ten Cent Change: Spend 10 intentional, focused, uninterrupted minutes a day with your spouse.  I mean, no TV, no phones, no computers, no kids, no interruptions.  Just 10 intentional minutes.

Of course, I know how Mike would want to spend his 10 intentional minutes. :)  (And I suppose that WOULD improve my marriage!) HA!

All that to say, you can set resolutions and keep them.  A dime's worth of change is better than a dollar's worth of good intentions.


  1. I are brown rice???? And 10 minutes, ha!


  2. Yes Mike! You ate brown rice. :)


Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.