How To Transform Your Life with the Butterfly Effect

Back in August, I was feeling really stuck with where I was at in life.

It felt as if I was moving through wet cement, trying to get somewhere but I wasn’t quite sure where.

So, as one does late at night, I decided to search on YouTube for the phrase ‘how to transform your life.’

I knew I needed some form of change, but I wasn’t sure what.

The younger me would have thought I needed to do something drastic: move across the country, chop my hair off, get a new job, or just generally stir things up.

The slightly wiser, current-day version of me realized that perhaps I could see how other people had transformed their lives without burning everything to the ground first.

(That alone is growth, right?)

The Butterfly Effect

One video that piqued my curiosity was by Tina Huang called How to Completely Transform Your Life in 6 Months (the butterfly effect 🦋).

In the video, Tina shared a story about a man who felt as if he simply couldn’t get things straight in his life.

No matter what he did, he still felt as though nothing was going right.

Money was one of his main problems, so when he saw a poster for a study that offered to pay him for his time, he took the chance.

The only thing he had to do for the study was keep a daily journey of the money he was spending.

Simple enough.

Well, that small action had a compound effect that trickled down into the rest of his life.

He started eating better. His relationships improved. He even cut down on smoking.

None of those things were done intentionally, but they became a by-product of one small action.

By writing down how much money he spent each day, he transformed his life little by little.

The Keystone Habit

This butterfly effect, or the compounding impact of small changes, led Tiffany to experiment with changing just one thing in her life: her morning routine.

She knew that if she had a good morning, this would have a positive effect on the rest of her day.

She called this a keystone habit.

All of this led me to think about the one keystone habit that could potentially change my life if I stuck to it for long enough.

I thought about the things that were weighing me down the most and taking up space in my brain.

The one thing that came up for me was writing.

If there was one thing I could do every day that would have a positive effect on everything else, it would be writing.

For me, writing is the way I process my thoughts. It helps me uncover things I didn’t even know I had floating around in my head. Writing is my love, my enemy, and my soul’s work.

I thought that if I could write first thing in the morning, especially when my brain is quite limber after sleep, I could accomplish anything.

That might sound as if I want to prioritize busyness or productivity first thing in the morning (which goes against my moral values of taking time for yourself in the morning), but this isn’t being productive for the sake of being productive.

This would be doing the thing that’s on my mind 24/7, the thing that I’ve been avoiding for so long, the thing that scares me but also brings me joy, and the part of my life that feels like it’s been missing.

Could writing be the thing that changes everything?

That’s what I’ve decided to find out.

I know committing to writing every day will mean facing that voice that says ‘I have nothing to write today’. It will mean facing my fears about my writing not being good enough.

But change comes from diligence. Change comes from careful and persistent effort.

I can’t keep doing what I’ve been doing, which is hoping things are going to magically change on their own.

I’m going to have to face my fears if I want to transform my life.

So I’m going to explore what happens when I commit to writing on a regular basis, and I’ll let you know what I discover in a future post.

What would your keystone habit be?

About the Author
Catherine Beard
Hi, I'm Catherine! As the creator of The Blissful Mind, I love exploring ways to make life more fulfilling, especially when it comes to our daily routines, habits, and well-being.

22 Responses

  1. I feel like I needed to read this. Writing for me is also the thing that’s on my mind 24/7 but I just don’t have the energy to sit and do it. Your words encourage me to push through the discomfort, and who knows maybe one day my one small habit will turn into a permanent part of my life.

    1. That’s exactly how I felt! I wanted to do it, but the lack of energy (whether emotional or physical) would get in the way. Doing just a little a day without high expectations has been incredibly helpful for me.

  2. Hi, this inspires me a lot! However, i only write when I’m having a stressful day and im not used to write when i didn’t have any events. Do you have any beginning tips to what i should write to start the morning routine? Thank you❤️

  3. Hi I love the feeling of walking through wet cement as I seem to be lately.
    Everything I seem to do ends up backfiring, whether its investments or trying to get back to trying to find a way to reconnect with a family member and make things right so I can see my grandchildren. sometimes I wonder is it worth the effort as it is do draining on me. thanks for your posts, keep being positive and give me some. cheers Ria

  4. Wow, Katherine… your message really struck a cord with me ❤️. I am also a creative person, specifically an artist trying to launch a website selling wedding stationery that I design. Like yourself, self doubt and imposter syndrome steals my momentum, and my joy of creativity. I was just thinking the other day about challenging myself to create one new illustration every week…work through the doubt and focus on the joy in the process of creating. If I am diligent … perhaps the self doubt will slowly disappear and I would have a portfolio of illustrations I can use in my next collection of invitations. I will be printing your blog post and hanging it on my bulletin board as a reminder.
    I do hope your new writing routine brings you comfort, joy, and personal satisfaction.

  5. Hello Catherine

    Your mail this week was really important for me, cause I am feeling exactely the same, a bit lost and unsatisfied.
    I decided that I want to my life, presence, creativity and action (not to be stuck with my fears), so I decided to try to draw and to write every day.
    I am not doing anything, specially drawing, cause I feel I am unable.
    So, I will have to find space in my everyday routine, you gave me strength.
    I am 61 and I’m not satisfied with my work.

    Isabel Matos

  6. I completely understand you. This year, the hubby and I have been rehabbing our rentals and getting them ready to sell. It’s been challenging to say the least. The rehab is one thing, then comes the selling and closing aspect. We’ve done 3 houses in 4 months. We’re exhausted.

    I was wearing grubs (as we call them) daily bc why put on something nice, when i’m going over to paint, etc.

    Anyways – I’ve been trying to get back to taking care of myself, getting a haircut, manicure/pedicures, etc. Journaling……….sigh. Here and there. I know I need to – but just can’t find the motivation. I’m also trying to get healthy and eat right. Another challenge to the mix. I keep telling myself…… thing at a time. One day at a time. Also – do one habit and stick with it. It will build on itself. Good luck and glad to see you back!!

    1. Yes, one thing at a time! There are so many things we *could* do, on top of people telling us we need to do them all in order to be healthy/happy/wealthy etc. I find sometimes that removing things is more helpful than adding things on!

  7. Loved your post! My one thing I started two weeks ago is to get up earlier. Its hard as the mornings in the UK are getting darker each day. But. That hour 6 till 7 means I can do what I need to do to feel like me time. Might be coffee and the news, might be bootcamp (!) Or just some time to read a few pages of a library book, or put a wash on and clean the bathroom. Whatever. By 7am I just feel so smug that I’m already ahead of that day’s game :) I seem to have a more positive approach to the rest of my day, less overwhelmed, less stressed, calmer. More patient.

  8. Hi Catherine !
    Thank you for an insightful post !
    Journaling is my one thing . I love it ! It’s been tremendously helpful for me to process my feelings, thoughts, productivity and my healing of becoming a healthier,happier person and knowing that I am worthy and enough after a lifetime of chaos ,drama and dysfunction . Journaling has become my saving grace !

  9. Loved this! I feel the same way at times until a reality check snaps me out of it…like the kids or even work….very helpful…a good example of how to get out of a rut.

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