Commit to Change: mini-mission

The best way to give yourself an easy out when it comes to change is to try.

It starts out innocently enough with a sentence like,

“I’m going to give it a try” or

“I’ll try and see how it goes.”

That usually turns into,

“I tried it and…” or

“I tried but…”

This mini-mission requires commitment. It requires a plan and it requires doing instead of trying.

When I read a blog post and find myself nodding my head, or screaming, “YES!” I know I’ve discovered something powerful.

While reading Create Time to Change Your Life. I was nodding the whole time and screamed, “YES” for each of the following statements.

  1. You must make a commitment.
  2. Think of change not as “improving your life” but saving it.
  3. Find the things that eat up your time that are less important than the changes you want to make. (and cut back on them where you can.)

When I was diagnosed with MS, the changes I made were to save my life, or my lifestyle. I didn’t want to stop walking or thinking or seeing, so I made the choice to change. You do not need to be diagnosed with a terminal or progressively debilitating disease to want to save your life. In fact, change now and you can avoid that dreaded diagnosis all together.

Areas that may require change to save your life (or lifestyle)

  • diet
  • fitness
  • money
  • relationships
  • schedule

There are endless ways to change, but those are five areas that are pivotal in your health and well being. If you are struggling in any of the things I listed above, you are likely experiencing physical or emotional stress that is wreaking havoc on your body.

When you Commit to Change

  • do it in writing
  • make it measurable
  • enlist help but assume responsibility
  • celebrate your success

You may stumble and fall, but if you are committed, you will get back up and start where you left off. Don’t attempt to change everything at once. One at a time is always best. For today’s mini-mission, commit to change, and just start. Put more emphasis on the start than the finish as big change will take time. Be patient.

What do you want or need to change to ensure a healthy life? What do think is the most difficult thing about making a change?


For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.


  1. Leslie says

    I found your blog through Zen Habits & I truly love your blog. I’m just beginning the process of simplifying and living a more enriched/healthy lifestyle. I have a long way to go, but look forward to your suggestions & examples. I just wanted to say thank you! Your blog is truly inspiring and helpful!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Leslie, Thanks for your kind words. Let me know if you have questions or if I can help further.

  2. says

    It is refreshing that you mention schedule. It seems that most people over look this one, but it can be really helpful to reflect on what it is exactly you do to fill up your time. The commitment to change your schedule can make a huuuuuuge difference!

    • Courtney Carver says

      I agree David! If you are too busy, especially doing things you don’t care about, things get out of control fast.

    • says

      I thought the same thing. I also felt a little called out because I often convince myself that my schedule couldn’t be so detrimental to my health. Great inclusion, Courtney.

  3. Erin says

    Amen amen amen. I’ve been “trying” to move from my current home in rural western PA (where I’m miserable) to South Carolina or Florida for 5 years now. I just decided that this summer I WILL move, not just try or think about it any longer. Minimalism fits in with this plan too, because I plan to move with just one carload. Thank you for again giving me a kick in the pants and inspiring me to reach for my dreams.

      • says

        Hi Courtney! I just wanted to update you to let you know that I did indeed move mid-September :) but not to the south. I am now living in Denver, CO. It is so beautiful, and the Lord provided me a fantastic job, alot of which was made possible (and easier) by beginning to live with a simpler lifestyle. In fact, I only moved with one carload! Thank you for your continued encouragement and inspiration via this blog. It’s definitely on my must-read list!

  4. says

    This is SO true. I love this post, especially “enlist help but assume responsibility.” I recently came across this blog and I have to say, you’ve inspired me already to make many changes – thanks for sharing your thoughts, ideas, and encouragement!!

    • Courtney Carver says

      So glad to hear Mel! Sometimes when we ask for help, we blame the advice if things don’t work out, but it all comes down to our personal approach and dedication.

  5. says

    Courtney, are you reading my mind? Seriously? Do you have secret mind-reading powers we don’t know about?? 😉 Thanks for your encouragement – this definitely helps me put my stick-to-it-iveness :) back at the forefront. You ROCK!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Clara, Didn’t you know? As soon as you leave a comment, I can read your mind. 😉
      Actually, I think we all have similar struggles and I am glad I can use my experience and words to help.

  6. says

    I did a lot of research for a client recently on weight loss, and so much of the difference between those who succeeded and those who didn’t came down to simply DOING it. All the planning and strategies and tips in the world couldn’t compare to just deciding to do it – and following through.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Miss Britt,
      That is great. Change is not easy but getting started usually is. That “deciding” part is the start.

  7. says

    Hi Courtney,

    So often we decide to approach something with the thought “I’ll give it a try”. The problem of course is that then we are allowing the mindset that we might not succeed. Far better to commit to doing and to realise that it takes perseverance and patience to complete the task.
    Thanks for the reminder that it takes commitment to make the change.

  8. says

    A few more diagnostic tests yet to go, but I know there will be some changes coming up in at least two areas of my life. And like you say, it’ll be about saving my life(style) and not just hemming and hawing about it.

    You’re a true inspiration, Courtney!

  9. Jackie says

    Dear Courtney,

    I SO needed this today! Thank you for the (ever-so-polite) kick in the pants!

    I’ve been struggling with exercise ever since my son was born…6 1/2 years ago. I’ve been half-heartedly “trying” to fit it into my daily routine, but I keep making excuses. My head knows the benefits, but the excuse-maker lazy person somehow “justifies” all the inactivity.

    Every day begins anew. No more dwelling on past failures…just focus on what lies ahead…and BE PATIENT.

  10. lindimity says

    This is my verse for the year as I struggle to make some major changes in simplifying my life: “Do not despise small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”
    Zechariah 4:10 It’s helping me stop getting defeated by looking at all that needs to be done but just taking that first step. I love how you break things down into succinct bullets…you make it easy to get focused.

  11. says

    Hi Courtney,

    I found you through Tanja’s wonder directory over at

    This is a wonderful post. The five areas you listed that may require lifestyle changes (diet, fitness, money, relationships and schedule) really are big priorities for most people. I know I’ve worked on all five areas at different times during my life, although right now my focus is on money management. And your right, committing to the change you want to make can easily start if you just give it a try.

  12. says

    I’m making a major change (publicly) this year by way of my ODP. And I’m learning what that feels like in all its cycles. I’m thankful I followed through with a crazy notion I felt could be significant to my personal development, even though I didn’t know a ton about it to start out with. I did/do feel in many ways that committing to this change is/can largely impact my life and well being. I want to encourage others to make these leaps even when they feel like a thousand people have already done it bigger, better and with more authority.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Courtney.

  13. says

    I like the part that says save your life. So many times, we are living in a society of vices, even when we don’t notice it. Fast food, long hours sitting down and lack of exercise.(i’m guilty, i have to make a change)

    Commitment is something hard to grasp. I usually start off feeling all motivated with overdrive. Soon, I reach burnout. But I remember your words, commit to change and big change takes time. Hopefully it works for me (:

  14. says

    want the change MORE than what is keeping you from it

    create a no fail environment

    inspiring post

    thank you for the nudge dear one !


  15. Christian says

    Well the prOblem is I’m not very committed to anything… I was before but now I feel like shit Sometimes think of suicide. Because everything I think it can all be settled with death.. I don’t like school I have no girl no family near me the girls that live here are very hurtful and I pretty much cry inside. I have no motivation nothing.

  16. says


    I’ve been reading your blog in the past couple of months and I love it, it’s full of inspirational things!

    And now I find out that you have MS?! Uou! I have it too! For 8 years now and I can’t get to make a change and stress less, eat well, be in peace with myself… And stumbling into this post now is amazing!

    I’m not patient at all, I want to change from one day to another and I’m always frustrated with myself… so this time I’m really trying to take baby steps. Thanks for all your sharing! :)

  17. says

    Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if
    you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?

    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having
    trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  18. mae says

    I want to commit to a healthy life. I’m 4’10 and I weigh 145-148 lbs and I’m tired of being overweight! I commit today to he a healthier person!