Why self development is all about the domino effect

An image of a row of dominoes about to be knocked over

No, this isn’t a homage to my favourite game as a child.  (But it was all about Domino Rally in the 80’s!).

It is in fact a great visual reminder of how things impact on another.  And in the case of self development, this works in both positive and negative ways.

I’ve had a busy couple of months with work and study, and I’ve let the non-essential things slip.  Such as exercises and eating healthily.  One missed gym class became a week of missed classes.  One convenience meal became a daily pattern of snacking and making poor meal choices.

I say the non-essential things, because we often assume that they aren’t that important, right?  These are the things that we can put off thinking about until tomorrow, or the weekend, or next week.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said next week I’m getting back to the gym every day, or I’m going to cook every meal from scratch.  And if I’m honest, I usually get annoyed with myself when I don’t get things done.

Going for the ‘boom or bust’ approach of “I have to do all the things at once” isn’t helpful either.  Often, we start off really motivated and focussed, and with all good intentions.   But then work happens, or social events happen or, well, life happens – and we’ve skipped a few days, or  week, and we start off back at where we started.

The most successful approach to any habit, is to take it gradually.  To build up patterns and routine, to ease ourselves in and build our confidence.

It really is the small actions we take each day that add up.  And it’s much easier to maintain small actions, rather than tackling an overwhelming amount of stuff all at the same time.

So if you’re thinking about making some changes, try and visualise the domino effect.  Small action can create movement and progress.  It’s never wasted!

Photo credit: Bradyn Trollip via Unsplash.com