When working with systems-- either a family system, an ecological system, or a corporation-- a question that sometimes gets asked is, "What might be the best entry to create the most positive change?" This question becomes key when resources and time are limited and when there's a need for some type of intervention to minimize conflict, re-establish balance, or increase productivity.
I often find myself asking this same question when helping people think about their self-care efforts-- recognizing that our emotional, physical, social, and spiritual well-being all come together to create a system of sorts. It's useful to identify if there's a certain healthy behavior that acts as a catalyst to set other good choices in motion. Sometimes, exercise feels like an essential entry point, creating more energy and motivating healthy eating decisions. Sometimes prayer or meditation serves as a foundational first step, offering clarity about what should happen next. For others, connecting with friends or family first seems to ground their life in meaning and joy.
When life is busy and we only have limited resources to allocate to our self care, it's helpful to consider what action will give us the most metaphorical "bang for our buck." What do you consider to be the best first step in day-to-day life?