LITTLE PEBBLES, BIG RIPPLES
Have you heard of the “butterfly effect?” Attributed to meteorological scientist Edward Lorenz, it refers to the idea that outcomes may be radically changed by extremely small initial influences: in other words, the flapping of a butterfly’s wings on Monday may initiate the hurricane that is blowing on Friday.
Little ideas, small changes, the right thought or word at the right time can have a big effect on eventual circumstances. In other words—the smallest and seemingly most inconsequential decisions can make a big impact on the course of your life.
This happened to me when I met my husband. When I walked past him one day in a studio cycling class, he said to me, “Hey! Don’t you go to my church?” Which I did. Five months later we were dating, and shortly thereafter we were engaged.
I got up that morning not thinking about dating (I hadn’t been on a date in more than 2 years,) but just thinking about getting my cardio in early so I could get to work on time. It was a very small decision that changed the course of my life forever—not to mention my last name!
The same metaphor might be used in regards to your health. I make about a thousand decisions a day about staying strong, vital and healthy, including what to eat and when, fitting in enough time for a great, sweaty workout, buying and preparing the right kinds of foods to serve my family, and creating healthy recipes and workout templates to share with my clients.
None of these decisions by themselves are crucial, yet all of them together drive the direction and path of my life. If I changed even one or two of them, my health, my business, and my family would be impacted, and potentially even suffer.
These are small decisions, but they are not always easy to make. It can be tempting to forgo the fresh vegetables and save time with fast food. There are a million excuses that can get you out of going to the gym. Go ahead, stay up late again tonight and don’t get enough sleep—but good luck functioning at your optimum tomorrow!
Today is the day you can make a different decision. That little decision to hit the salad bar instead of the burrito bar. To pack your gym bag early and keep it in your car so you get there without the internal struggle. To commit to a schedule—in writing!—that allows you to really take care of your body and your health.
It could be that one small, healthy decision and action you take today will change your life in miraculous ways. After all, little pebbles thrown into a still pond will make bigger and bigger ripples, eventually extending all the way to shore. Take the leap, make the decision, throw the pebble—and watch your life transform!