The 1 Degree Effect

I want to encourage you because we all need encouragement to keep us going sometimes when change is difficult.

Often, I felt like the small steps I was taking were doing very little to affect my overall health.

Was I ever going to actually see any changes? Were the efforts I was making actually doing any good? Was it all for nothing? Should I just give up?

I chose not to give up out of sheer stubbornness! But if that doesn’t work for you, I’d like to introduce you to a concept I discovered somewhere along my journey – the 1 degree effect.

Hang with me – we’re going back to math class for a moment. I promise, it’ll be quick and painless!

Remember that tool we used called a protractor? It was a half circle in shape and had all the degrees from 0 to 180 marked along the edge.

Now, the difference between those degree marks is not very large. They are really close together. When you drew lines from the center point to each of those marks, the lines were almost on top of each other, weren’t they?

But … here’s the important part! The further those lines got from the center point, the more space there was between them, wasn’t there?

That’s the one degree effect.

Put another way, imagine you and your friend are standing side by side, facing exactly the same direction, and you start walking together. You’ll continue along side by side, won’t you? (Unless you’re a klutz like me, and you fall over or trip, but that’s beside the point!)

Now, go back to that starting point. You’re still side by side, but you turn, so you are facing just a teeny bit away from your friend before you start walking. At first, it will seem like you’re still walking side by side, but little by little, as you keep walking, you will begin to get further and further apart. After you’ve walked an entire mile, there will be quite a bit of distance between you, and there will be even more at the second mile, and so on.

It is the same concept with adopting a more natural lifestyle. You make a tiny change, a one degree change, and for a while, it doesn’t seem to be making any difference.

Then, you get a bit further along your journey, and you start to be able to see the changes from where you would have been if you hadn’t changed that one degree.

You’re also likely going to make another one degree change somewhere along the way, and then another, and another, and before you know it, you’ve made five degrees of change, or even 10 or 20!

It all starts to add up, and when you stick with it, you really start to feel the enormous positive difference that’s happened along the way, one degree at a time.


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