Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


Small Changes Can Have Big Effects: The I-M Approach

You don't need to change everything at once to make a difference in happiness.

So many people don’t like themselves. They should be doing better, have more money, be in better shape, do more, know more, be more. In my experience, this Ic makes it harder to really believe The I-M Approach.1 How can this really be the best I can do when it sucks? Surely I could be doing better? I should do better! There is no way this is my I-M!

I think the reason it is so hard to accept this as an I-M is the fear that things will never change, or so much has to change it is overwhelming.


Small changes can have big effects. Because all four domains are interconnected, a small change in any one domain can have a big effect through the entire system resulting in a different I-M. You don’t have to change everything at once. In fact, if you think you have to change everything you could become overwhelmed. Some people eat when they feel overwhelmed, some drink, some get angry, others sad, others anxious. While all of these are an I-M you don’t have to go there. Pick one small thing to change and then stick with it. Small changes really can have big effects.

Our I-M is always changing, is never static. We can get stuck in a theme we don’t like. We can start to believe things will never change. But that feeling can be managed and transformed when we remember we are always changing to the next current maximum potential. What you think effects what you feel: that’s a basic truth of our brain. And you have more control over what you think than you think!

The I-M Approach starts when you see yourself at an I-M instead of doing less than, being less than, always being less than. Instead, look again at why you do what you do, using the four domains as a road map. Pick one small change to make in any of the domains and see what happens.

It’s an I-M thing.

Joseph Shrand The I-M Approach
Source: Joseph Shrand The I-M Approach

References…. Shrand, J

Shrand, J. with Devine, L (2015) Do You Really Get Me?. Hazelden Press.

Shrand, J. with Devine, L (2014) The Fear Reflex. Hazelden Press.

More from Joseph A. Shrand M.D.
More from Psychology Today
More from Joseph A. Shrand M.D.
More from Psychology Today