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Frequently Asked Questions for 52 Small Things


52 Small Things is a self-care program designed to help you achieve your goals in a way that feels doable. If this is your first time hearing about our weekly self-care program, pause here and take a minute to read our introduction to 52 Small Things.

If you’ve already read the intro post and still have questions, check out this list of frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question on the list? Ask it in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.

How do I participate?

There are a few ways you can join the program. You can make your own list of small things you’d like to accomplish in 2019, or you can use our suggestions. We’ll be sending out the weekly challenges via email every Sunday. You can sign up for emails by following the 52 Small Things page. You will get your first welcome email the Sunday after you sign up, but you can get started before that comes if you’re ready to go!

A big part of this program is community. Whether you make your own list or use our suggestions, we invite you to share your progress — the ups and downs — by using the hashtag #52SmallThings when posting a thought or question on The Mighty. You are also welcome and encouraged to reply to other community members. We’re all in this together, after all!

I’m just hearing about 52 Small Things now. Is it too late to join?

Not at all! Just because we’re starting in January doesn’t mean you have to. You are welcome to join at any time. You can skip a month and come back later. All we ask is that you do what feels best and manageable for you.

Does it have to be 52 things?

Fifty-two is the number of weeks in a year. Do you have to do 52 different things? No. Can you? Yes. Can you do more or less than 52? Also yes. The number of things you do is not the most important part of this challenge. The most important part is breaking down your goals in a way that feels doable.

If you find yourself fixating on the number, change the way you think about it. Instead of planning for the year, take it one week or one month at a time. Ask yourself, “What’s one small thing I want to accomplish this week?” or “What are four small things I can do for myself this month?”

Why “small” things?

We recommend keeping your things small because it makes them easier to do. Whereas cleaning your entire house in a week might seem overwhelming, cleaning just one room or spending 10 minutes a day cleaning likely feels less stressful. If you reach the end of the week having accomplished your goal, you’ll feel more empowered and more likely to keep building on your good habits. Maybe the following week you’ll say, “This week I think I can clean two rooms.”

Do I have to do one thing a week?

We recommend sticking to one new thing per week so you don’t overwhelm yourself. It can be easy to look at your list and say, “Wow, these three things seem doable in the same week.” But then life happens and it’s Friday and turns out juggling three things wasn’t as practical as it seemed. If you are sick or unable to accomplish the task you picked for that week, you can skip a week. No one is here to make you feel bad for needing to rest. Rest is part of self-care. That’s the beauty of a weekly challenge: you can come back strong when you feel ready.

Alternatively, you can use an off week to focus on something fun. Have a show you’ve been wanting to watch? Make that your small thing. Stuck in the hospital? Use that time to read a book on your list if you feel up to it.

Can I change my list throughout the year?

Totally. Things change, life gets hectic, where you thought you might be in April may not be the case once April rolls around. Your list shouldn’t be set in stone and it shouldn’t be something that makes you feel bad or stressed. Like salt in a recipe, adjust as needed.

Where do The Mighty’s Small Things suggestions come from?

Right now, The Mighty’s weekly suggestions come from Mighty staff members. However, that won’t always be the case. We’re looking at what the community is doing and will be asking people to share their small thing and host a week’s challenge. Hosts get to pick the topic for the week and lead the discussion on The Mighty’s platform. You can also apply to “host” a week by filling out this form.

Want to participate? Click here to join 52 Small Things.