It’s hard to break the vicious cycle of negative patterns we fall into. Especially when there are so many things we’re told we have to do in order to live a better life. Eat organic. Work out. Only purchase from fair trade manufacturers. Go vegan. Don’t buy from puppy farms. Meditate. Take long walks every day, preferably in the country.
That last one was actually a piece of advice in a maternity book I read when I was five months pregnant, exhausted, working full time in a Manhattan ad agency with a 2-hour commute each way to and from the city. It did not make me laugh at the time, but now I think it’s pretty funny.
All of that advice is good, truly it is. There’s not one thing in that list that wouldn’t help you to live a better, healthier, life. The trouble is, who’s got the time – and in some cases, the budget – to do all that? Most days I just don’t have a chance to get around to shopping for locally sourced organic in-season produce, and I’m betting you don’t either.
So why not do this: don’t try to save the universe, or totally change your life, in one fell swoop (or even several fell swoops). Instead, just do one small thing. Just one.
Tomorrow, when you go to Starbucks, buy a banana instead of a cookie. As you’re walking from your car to your office, pick up a discarded coffee cup and throw it in the garbage can. Pay the toll for the person behind you. Take a paper towel and wipe off the shower bench at the gym so it’s clean and dry for the next person. Walk up the stairs at the mall instead of standing still on the escalator. Give someone a compliment.
You don’t have to do all of them. Just do one.
There are so many different ways you can make your life better. It begins with making healthy choices for yourself, but goes far beyond that to being a better citizen of Earth. The best part about it is that doing good makes you feel good, which makes you want to do more good, which makes you feel even better.
Now that’s a cycle that’s anything but vicious.