I’m reminding myself of this today, and thought maybe you could use the reminder as well.
In my 37 years, I have found that I am much more likely to achieve a goal I set if I take small steps toward it consistently versus trying to take large leaps occasionally. Those large leaps begin to feel overwhelming, so it is easy to keep putting them off. Then, when I do make an effort at a large leap, it rarely accomplishes the largeness I was hoping for, leaving me disappointed, frustrated, or unmotivated to try again.
Or, I get really ambitious and try to take a bunch of large leaps in a short amount of time. This inevitably ends up in burnout and no accomplished goals.
The small steps feel like they take much longer to reach the goal, and maybe they do, but the difference is in their ability to actually reach the goal. Small steps are simple and require little effort, but when added together make a big impact. And just like we’re reminded by good ol’ Earl, “the time will pass anyway” so let’s make the most of it.
Here are some examples of small steps:
- Goal: eating healthier. Instead of changing my diet completely at one time, I began making small changes regularly. I changed to whole wheat bread, then brown rice, then introduced sweet potatoes into our diet, then stopped using margarine, etc…
- Goal: Be more active. Our five minute experiment (which we’re still doing). We took small steps each week, and are now more active than we were before, and feeling better for it.
- Goal: learn to read. Practicing reading (or math or any subject) a little each day and now all my children know how to read. (Some will understand this is a bigger deal than one might think. There are times when you wonder if it will ever click for your child.)
- Goal: get out of debt. Paying off debt by paying it down consistently each month (without incurring more debt, obviously)
- Goal: Learn French. Practicing a new skill for 30 minutes each weekday.
- Goal: write a book. Working on a project for one hour each morning.
- Goal: read Jesus: A Theography. Reading two pages each day until it’s finished.
- Goal: creating a home. Buying one decorative thing, or doing one decorative project each month for a new house until it has become a home.
- Goal: setting my mind on Jesus. Simply turning to the Lord each morning as I am coming out of sleep by gently saying His name.
There are a million more examples of small steps that lead to big goals. What are some of yours?
Here’s to reaching big goals by small steps, and never giving up.