Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This idea wasn’t original with me. I heard it several years ago on the Oprah show. The idea was to simply do one thing to make life different, better. It didn’t take huge changes, only small consistent ones. And the small ones then add up to something bigger. It was a seed that was planted in my soul that began to sprout and grow.
All of us can do that. It’s a simple, maybe even easy, thing to work on. For me, it makes whatever I want to, or need to, work on very possible, hopeful and sustainable.
I was reminded the other day of the importance of “the power of one,” of working to make life better one day at a time, one step at a time.
I was at Variety Produce in Rockwell to buy a bushel of apples. I shared with Joey Cagle, one of the staff members there, that I had lost a lot of weight this past year partly by reaching for an apple instead of other snacks. I told him I’d eaten THREE bushels of apples this past fall and winter. And then he shared something that was remarkable.
“I’ve lost 57 pounds,” he told me.
“Really? What did you do?” I asked.
“I stopped drinking sodas. Took me about a year.”
“What else did you do? Did you do anything else?”
“No, only sodas. Now I only drink water.”
I had read that only ONE soda a day (12 oz. can) will add a pound a month, 12 pounds in a year. And that stopping sodas would equal the same 10- to 12-pound weight loss. But 57 pounds? Remarkable.
“Yeah, I think the folks who say they only lose 10 pounds are cheating and are really still drinking a soda every day,” he added.
I told him my biggest “one thing” was NO SWEETS. I know this “one thing” had been the biggest difference in my losing weight and feeling better.
My oldest brother, Jerry, started taking an aspirin and a vitamin every day many years ago. This simple “one thing” daily “changed my life,” he said.
My wife, Beth, and I went to Greensboro recently to celebrate our son Timothy’s 21st birthday. During dinner, Timothy shared that his one thing was being sure to eat three meals a day in high school to feel better and to do better at school. And it helped him not overeat later on. He called it “a balanced mealtime,” with at least something simple for breakfast like a bagel or English muffin.
Tim’s girlfriend, Lisa, said her biggest decision for “one thing” was to be optimistic, “to find the good in as many situations as possible. To compliment people.” And the result for her of this simple one thing? “I feel like a better person.”
I told her, “I think you are a better person for wanting to find the good, to be optimistic.”
Attitude makes a huge difference in our day to day living. That’s an incredibly important “one thing” in my way of thinking.
Susan Wetmore, a former fellow crafter of Rowan Crafts, sent me an e-mail back in January. She had gastric bypass last year, and had lost 75 pounds (she’s now lost 90 pounds). She told me she was happy for me in my losing weight without having surgery.
I asked her what made the difference for her ó what was “the spark” that caused her to change her life.
Her reply included this: “I decided that I had a choice. I could keep on the road I was on and die young and depressed or make the changes I needed to enjoy my life.”Realizing we have a choice ó what a powerful “one thing!”
We’ve heard the sayings, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” and “Divide And Conquer.”
I’ve found that separating out “one thing” makes it easier to have a success, easier to cause an old habit to fall. Concentrating only on “one thing” makes it easier to move toward our hopes, our goals, our dreams.
I’d bet you have “one thing” that has made a difference in your life, too. Or at least the idea of what that “one thing” could be. Why not take a chance and go for it? There’s no better time than now to begin the journey toward making life better. One step at a time. One day at a time.
It’s Time for Life to be Better ó and it can be, “one thing” at a time!
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