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The Power of Small: Making Tiny But Powerful Changes When Everything Feels Too Much

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Feeling overwhelmed? This is the book for you. 'At last! A book that shows you realistically how to transform your life, one small step at a time.'
Russ Harris, author of international bestseller The Happiness Trap

Rather than waiting for the big life-changing moments, which more often than not don't happen, The Power of Small shows you how to take manageable steps as opportunities to change your life, one decision at a time -- emphasising self-compassion as a means to gently expand your comfort zone and open up new horizons. Mixing case studies from clinical practice with the latest psychological research, the authors also share personal stories, having worked first-hand with these techniques on their own journeys towards improved mental and emotional wellbeing. From understanding -- and learning to observe without judgement -- the traps our minds set, to breaking our of our comfort zones, The Power of Small technique is all about what is manageable in the now, and teaches us how to prioritise and know what boundaries to keep, and which to gently push. If your mind tells you that certain life changes are unattainable, undeserved, or too hot to handle, this simple and effective book is the one for you.

336 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2019

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Aisling Leonard-Curtin

1 book3 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews
Profile Image for Literary Redhead.
1,623 reviews493 followers
July 10, 2020
Small steps built on over time can lead to transformation, say the psychologist co-authors of THE POWER OF SMALL. The concept fits with the current trend of simplicity: Small houses, 10-item capsule wardrobes, wee cars.

The authors show how to take tiny actionable steps with self-care, offering exercises for practice and examples for inspiration. I realize I’m using this same tactic with my new FitBit. The device prompts me to walk just 250 steps each hour, and already I’ve lost five pounds! I’ve seen how small changes work and highly recommend THE POWER OF SMALL for others wanting to ease into better lives.

5 of 5 Stars

Pub Date 28 Jul 2020

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

#ThePowerofSmall #NetGalley
43 reviews2 followers
October 13, 2019
If this is the first book of psychology you have ever read, you might like it. If you have ever read something on similar topic before, you will likely be disappointed. The book is vague, full of random personal examples and doesn't carry much significance. I didn't find a single suggestion I could use in my own life.
Profile Image for Kym Moore.
Author 3 books31 followers
August 7, 2022
This book offers tiny changes to transform your life. Focus on making small changes in your life rather than attempting huge changes all at once. If you need a guidebook containing a toolkit of small steps for self-care, this book offers incremental actions toward longer-lasting change.

Don't give your power away needlessly. Do we get caught up in rules, and are they working for you to get what you want out of life? Find a new flexible guideline if this is the case. Overwhelm builds up over time. The small way means the gradual expansion of our comfort zone. All emotions can teach us something if we would pause to listen.

We are prone to control issues, especially in a leadership role. Psychological inflexibility increases the risk of depression, anxiety, disorders, addictions, and general dissatisfaction with life. There are three states of mind (lack of awareness in the present moment, getting caught by thinking in emotional traps, and disengagement from what really matters.) Choose discomfort over resentment. The authors explain three areas of compassion: Self-to-Self compassion, Self-to-Other compassion, and Other-to-Self compassion. We have a choice in how we respond.

Let your values guide your actions. You can't outrun your fears. Awareness in the present moment, openness to unwanted experiences, and engagement with what matters give you the ability to stay grounded in the present moment even when distressing events occur.
Profile Image for Joan.
3,645 reviews64 followers
July 25, 2020
Getting this this book is a life time investment. I like the premise. We want a big change – all at once. We get going then crash and burn. The authors suggest small steps are the answer. These are manageable steps taking 5-10 minutes a day.

There is a great deal of information this this book on a variety of personal issues. One of my favorites was preventing end of life regret. A practical suggestion is to connect with what is important to us on a daily basis, even if it is only for a few moments. (Loc 1526/3137) Something else I like is the emphasis on writing, such as daily journaling.

And you'll need a journal. This is not only a book to read. It is a book to work through with tons of questions to answer and practical strategies to consider. A variety of suggestions are presented to help work through personal issues. They might be small shifts in perspectives or habits. They might be questions to work through to help take small steps toward a better self

I am glad the authors are realistic as well as practical. They note that some of these strategic practices might make us feel worse before we feel better. They point out that if all this growth felt good, there would be no need for counselors and self-help books. (Loc 2113/3137)

I highly recommend this book. Grab a notebook and get to work. This is not a book about why small steps work. It is rather a book to help you identify the small steps you need to take to be the best you. I think you will be impressed with the suggested practical steps to take from clarifying your values to changing your thinking.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
44 reviews
May 9, 2021
Tremendously helpful for understanding, amending and forgiving unhelpful behaviours and thought patterns you may not have been aware you were engaging in. If nothing else, you'll gain perspective and functional exercises for when everything is too much.
Profile Image for Kiona Meade.
100 reviews1 follower
July 13, 2020
I thought this book was excellent and have already recommended it to a few friends! It is broken up into manageable sections for reading - if you only have 5 minutes at a time to get through the book and lots of good exercises and mindsets that would likely benefit anyone - not just for people feeling overwhelmed.
Profile Image for JoyAnn.
416 reviews9 followers
April 27, 2020
I appreciated the short focused chapters and patterned layout. That helped me move through the book at a quicker pace or let the reader digest it in bite sized chunks. For me, when I read books like this, I’ve learned that the scenarios/example stories are what I get the least out of, and I skim those. I recognize though that for others that may be where they find the most value. The consistent pattern let me know those parts were coming and skim/skip them if I wanted. The small step journal parts were the most help to me. I like that it personalizes things and again can be in bite sized chunks.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
276 reviews1 follower
July 28, 2020
I enjoyed this book very much. I have been working with a coach over the last couple of years who strongly emphasizes self-care and I feel like the philosophy in this book aligns with that well. I loved the concept of determining your values then identifying “toward moves” and “away moves” to figure out whether something aligns with your values. The book is kind of long and it’s a lot of information, but I like that it has actionable steps. Ultimately, that is the true test of a “self-help” book - is it something that is easy to actually implement in your life? I think there is a lot in this book that can be easily implemented.
Profile Image for Joanne.
2 reviews
May 8, 2019
Loved the little strategies in this book. Especially the “toward” and “away” moves instead of labelling them as good/bad. And my favourite quote that stuck with me was “short-term pain, long-term gain”. Asking myself this before every decision I make has really helped. Only thing about this book was that it’s a bit repetitive at the beginning in terms of explaining what the book is about, other than that it was very enjoyable to read!
Profile Image for Kerri Peacock.
48 reviews
October 6, 2020
A fantastic book with lots of little knowledge nuggets in it! I have found working on my small steps diary while reading this book really helpful as I continue to fill it in.
Profile Image for Steph.
11 reviews5 followers
June 21, 2019
As it says on the back of the Power of Small book if you are feeling overwhelmed then this book is for you.

This book is simply universal. It might be of great help for everyone, because even if you think you have it all and you are having a great life, there is always something that can be improved.

Forget about changing your life drastically overnight, it takes time, strong will and patience. Aisling and Trish are both psychologists and they are providing useful tips from their practice to us to help us achieve our goals and assure as that, step by step we can change and get rid of our old habits/visions.

In The Power of Small you can find the latest psychological research which I find interesting and many personal stories that show us we all have our downsides in life and we all struggle with different areas in our life. Nothing is ever as perfect and glamorous as what people share on their social media. Being able to read about others people stories helps us to understand the journey we have to take to improve the quality of the life we have.

The Power of Small is about making small steps, tiny changes in our routine, that’s the only way we can achieve results that will last in the future. New Year New Me isn’t working for us, every day we have to take a step or two to get close to the life we want to have but we cannot expect that we will wake the next day and we will be someone else, it takes time and perseverance.

Aisling and Trish have simply created a guide for these days in our life, when as it says in the tagline of the book When Everything Feels Too Much. They even might help you find your inner core values that sometimes stay hidden from us. All you have to do is to take a journal, a pen and follow their advice.

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Profile Image for Audrey  Adamson Stars in Her Eye.
956 reviews5 followers
May 5, 2020
The Power of Small helps you break down your large issues in life into small manageable steps.
The majority of chapters are short allowing you to take in teh information instead of giving you too much information at one time. This is just one technique the authors use to help you make changes a small step at a time. The chapters aren't sparse including examples of the activities in each chapter so you can see how the activities can make a difference in real life.
If you are looking for change but large steps scare you, The Power of Small will help you tackle your fear and get ou started small step by small step.

I received an ARC for review; all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Sara.
2,598 reviews34 followers
April 16, 2020
I received a free e-ARC of this book from Netgalley.

First of all, this is not a book to rush through. Although these 30-some steps are labeled tiny, you really need to be thoughtful with putting each one into practice. I really thought it was nicely laid-out with telling the reader about the step, giving practical advice on how to implement the step and giving an exercise to practice the step. Interspersed throughout the steps are real life examples of people who need to put the steps into practice which made it much more interesting to read.

January 3, 2022
This is a very powerful book. Those who read 'Emotional Intelligence' by Daniel Goleman should know that the book lacked practical advice on how to become emotionally intelligent. 'The Power of Small" is probably one of the best answers to the question left open by Daniel Goleman. The Power of small offers a practical blueprint to practice and become emotionally intelligent. It surely deserves five stars. It is a great book indeed.
Profile Image for Emily C..
29 reviews
January 17, 2022
There are many books on this topic, but I liked that this one had a focus on managing feelings overwhelm with small, actionable steps. Some of the exercises were interesting. Listening to the audiobook, which was narrated by the author, is very enjoyable. She has a lovely accent and calming voice. My biggest issue with the book is that she kept listing obesity in with other problematic behaviors without much context.
1 review
July 2, 2020
I would highly recommend this book. It has really helped to deal with some of life’s struggles or stressers. I find it easy to pick up and read and it gave me a lot of great ways to accept and deal with stuff that was sometimes difficult to deal with.
Profile Image for Kerrie Paterson.
Author 12 books17 followers
March 2, 2019
This book has lots of case studies and exercises to help make tiny, manageable steps towards your goal. Several of the techniques resonated with me and will be going in my "toolkit".
Profile Image for Kerrie McDonald.
106 reviews3 followers
April 26, 2020
This book has lots of case studies and exercises to help make tiny, manageable steps towards your goal. Several of the techniques resonated with me and will be going in my "toolkit".
Profile Image for Vikash Agarwal.
13 reviews
September 14, 2020
It a great book for self improvement..very simple...
Small steps to follow....
It will transform life......
Must give it a go...🤘
October 12, 2020
This is a lovely handbook to wellness. I found the pace very achievable and also liked the exercises that help you in your positive change journey. A lovely present for someone.
Profile Image for Dawn Thomas.
829 reviews4 followers
February 26, 2023
The Power of Small Making Tiny Changes When Everything Feels Too Much by Aisling Leonard-Curtin and Trish Leonard-Curtin

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Essentials
Release Date: July 28, 2020

Nonfiction, Self-Help, Spirituality, Self-Improvement, Motivational

The book is divided into the following parts

Part One: The Comfort Trap
Part Two: From the Inside Out
Part Three: The Power of a Small Toolkit
Part Four: Make the Power of Small a Way of Life

Many times, events or people seem too big to handle. This book addresses this issue and shows you it is possible to face anything in small portions. Just like the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The authors break each part down into smaller topics that are easier to handle and address. This not only includes mental and emotional issues but physical issues. I love this idea of small. Everyone is always looking for big but, it is best to handle things small. If you are looking for a motivational book, this might just be the one for you.
Profile Image for Cynthia.
Author 8 books9 followers
April 15, 2020
An excellent self-help book, focused on making small changes in your life - rather than attempting huge change all at once. This well-written book is highly readable and practical. The authors have a field-tested, proven strategy to help people make change in their lives, but they are not doctrinaire at all. While embracing the wisdom of others and techniques of mindfulness, they offer a plan accessible to anyone, regardless of religion or philosophical background.

The premise of the book is that it's more effective to make very small, immediately do-able changes than try for bigger, harder to achieve changes. While also focused on value-setting, the authors give easy-to-follow strategies for making a variety of life changes - health, jobs, relationships. I liked that they do not promise you will feel "happy" all the time and embrace the concept of accepting and honoring sadness, grief, and shame.

Highly recommended for anyone wanting to make changes in any area of your life.
Profile Image for Kathy.
1,685 reviews22 followers
July 7, 2020
If there is ever a time when everything feels too much, it's now, with the world experiencing a global pandemic! Though this book is not written with that in mind, it seeks to help readers recognize the myriad of ways we keep ourselves "stuck" where we don't want to be or where we're not getting the most out of our lives. It offers a wide variety of situations and suggested small steps that can make a huge difference. Sometimes it's the littlest change that turns the tide.

I found the book easy to read, relatable, and practical. It is almost a sure bet that there is something in this book that will speak to you and help you in some way. This is a book that can be read time and again with new benefits, as your perspective and life changes.

My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Essential for allowing me to read a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions stated are my own.
October 23, 2020
The book The Power of Small is a good read & I think that it will appeal to a wide variety of people who are interested in small, psychology-based, & habit based tips to improve their lives. It talks about psychological tactics that lead us to inflexibility & then the tactics that allow us to practice flexibility. The book is full of tips & ideas with some background of case studies that give examples of other people. It’s like a toolbox that can help you to not necessarily get rid of harsh thoughts but rather it helps you to reframe them so you’re easier on yourself. I really liked it! Thank you to NetGalley for the complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for your mom.
285 reviews20 followers
April 1, 2020
I am an individual who is always looking to improve myself, but is easily overwhelmed as to where to start and how to implement changes. That feeling of being overwhelmed leads to becoming paralyzed. This book is a great answer if you struggle with that same problem.

THE POWER OF SMALL gives you the resources and encouragement you meed to make small, daily, changes that add up to accomplishing big goals.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Sharon Naylor Toris .
Author 54 books22 followers
April 24, 2020
A good reminder of a smart belief, making an impact on our overwrought mindsets in this crazy world. Sometimes we need to be reminded that the answer is really quite simple, and effective. Doing small things with care has been called out by many great minds as an answer to what you seek, and the author takes us there. I didn't love the focus on how chance encounters can be seen as wise moves (ex. the admiral,) so just dial that down and berry-pick through all the business world anecdotes if you are a creator or freelancer to get the good stuff here.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews

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