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It Only Takes a Spark

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

(also posted at my blog: The Horizontal YoYo www.thehorizontalyoyo.wo

It only takes a spark to get a fire going,
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing;
- Pass It On, Kurt Kaiser

Not too long ago, the founder of SparkPeople, Chris Downie’s book The Spark hit store shelves. I was able to read a few chapters before I decided to buy the book. This morning, I sat down to read them again.

In the first chapter, Chris gives a bit of a background of how the idea for SparkPeople started. Unlike other entrepreneurial ideas, I don’t believe he set out to make millions dollars, but rather “help millions of people” (The Spark, 2010) and he did! Starting out, Chris was a painfully shy adolescent who in any given day wouldn’t speak to anyone other than family. Soccer forced him to become part of a team. In college, he forced himself to take a public speaking class to get comfortable talking in public. After graduating, he got “sucked into” the corporate world and got too busy to do much of anything besides wolf down some fries and a fast food burger in his car during lunch break.

But he made a change that started with just 10 minutes. Every morning, he would get up and do 10 minutes of exercise. Day after day. Soon, he had created a steak of 100 days, 200 days. He even inspired a co-worker to do the same.

The reason why I’ve gone back and reread the first chapters of The Spark is to remind myself that small, daily actions lead to big changes. Chris didn’t dedicate hours of time in the gym (although eventually he had enough energy to head into one after work). The time he dedicated to his change was small, but it was consistent.

It reminds me that I can make small changes in my life and they will matter. I’m not talking just about weight loss (although this is definitely where I’m starting). Small actions that lead to big changes can affect all areas of my life. I will call it Chunks of 10. If I come home from work and take 10 minutes to straighten up the house, put in a load of clothes or make my bed, at the end of the week, my Saturday chores won’t take so long to complete. If I wake up 10 minutes before I need to, I can sit down and spend time with God. If I take 10 minutes to go through the mail as soon as it comes into the house, I won’t have to deal with it at the end of the week.

10 minutes is all it takes. I plan on incorporating Chunks of 10 to my daily routine.
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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