As it’s just two months before the end of year, and autumn, (a season when everyone seems to write about change), I thought I would join the chorus, and spend a moment thinking about subtle, incremental transformations.

I live near a city park with a lake that I walk several times a week. It’s quite a pretty spot with the only downside being the roar of an interstate that borders it to the north.  I pretend the traffic is a rushing river and go happily about my one mile loop. As I visit this park and the lake habitat regularly, I get the opportunity to observe the smaller, less dramatic changes that take place over the course of short periods of time, like in a couple of days or a week. It’s not just one season like Fall that brings about changes, it’s the everyday.

I’ve been writing about and utilizing the Wheel of Life as a tool to achieve our desired balance and well being as leaders. For some, this Wheel of Life seems monumental, too massive to take on.  But what if we thought about it not in terms of massive seasonal/paradigm shifting change, but in day-to-week incremental change. I think we do better with the proverbial baby steps than the giant leap.

What could this mean?

What if we reduced our email habit by quitting our email composition (don’t some emails feel like the author was writing a symphonyy), when it surpasses 150 words and picked up the phone instead?  What would happen if meetings were 45 minutes long instead of an hour (which everyone seems to default to, but why?).  What if we started to say good morning to everyone when we saw them walking down the hall of our office building, or on the street walking their dog? What if you spent five quiet minutes a day meditating, taking an aimless walk, or just watching the sunset?

Are these small, new habits that might help you reach toward your goals of lowering your stress, or being mindful and kind to the people around you, or creating efficiencies in your day to make more capacity for other projects and needs?  If not, could you spend a few minutes this week brainstorming some micro-changes that could eventually lead to the shift you’re looking for for better balance?

Like us, fall leaves don’t go from green to gold in a day, they transform through a whole spectrum of colors before falling to the ground. Embrace this subtle and lovely transformation, incrementally.