Whenever you wish to change something, change it slowly, change it gently, and it will result in bigger, better, deeper and longer lasting results. Begin any quest for a goal by changing just one small thing, whether you want to lose weight, improve a relationship or get a raise and the final results you want will follow.Why does one small change create such substantial, sustainable results?It’s gentle. It’s subtle. It almost goes unnoticed by the most important person, you. This works because we underestimate the impact of “gentle.”Huge, massive, innovative change, the “Just Do It” or “Jump in with Both Feet” types of change, represent a drastic process. It is big, fast, and flashy. We buy into the concept because it represents a large result in the shortest amount of time. It is usually a traumatic step to change, too.If we make it through this type of traumatic process we more often than not have survived it, rather than deftly negotiate a path of progress. We may even have a few scars to prove it and are not certain that we ever want to do it again. Most of the time we don’t: we are through, finished and now have a story to tell for the rest of our lives.If we don’t make it through this type of process we beat ourselves up with white hot destructive internal responses such as feelings of failure or even, “You idiot!” or “I failed at that important project!” or “What a jerk!”It is the nature of big, harsh, innovative changes that make it like a gamble. We may or may not make it. We may or may not win. By these facts alone we have to get psyched up for it, for the big start date. It’s the type of change we see with:Workout programsDietsCold turkey methods like stopping smokingBelt-tightening plans for getting out of debtBig change is also frightening. It has been proven to trigger the fight-or-flight mechanism within us. It triggers our fear response. We literally scare ourselves out of completing, sometimes even starting, a new drastic program.Gentle change bypasses this fear response. It is so subtle our mind never notices it and therefore does not react to it. By doing so, it actually stimulates rational thought and creative thinking. It, in reality, has been proven to lay down a new neural network in our brain for enjoying the change, thus opening the door quietly for more change over a longer period of time.By taking small steps you effectively rewire your nervous system so that it unsticks a creative block, bypasses fight or flight and fear, and creates new connections between neurons so that the brain enthusiastically takes over the process of change and you progress rapidly toward your goal. What are some of those small first steps?What to lose weight?Toss out the first bite of chocolate cake.Want to start an exercise program?Jog for one minute in front of the TV tonight.Want to eliminate issues with a coworker?Give them a small compliment today at work.The tiniest first step, no matter how silly it seems, is the most important one for reaching any goal, especially one that has eluded you for years.