Starting Small

Posted on January 7, 2013



If you read the newsletter for this month, you know how important I believe it is to start small when it comes to any goals you have. If you’ve resolved to make this year the year you carve out your own personal path to happiness, then you’re going to want to take things one step at a time. 

I know how tempting it is to want to make huge, sweeping sea changes all at once. There have been several times in my life where I’ve changed my romantic partner, my job and my city and state, all within the same month.  

Very often, when you start to change one thing in your life, it shakes up some stuff inside. You change one thing and it feels so much better and all of the sudden you realize-hey, this life I’ve been leading totally sucks. It all needs to go…now!

So I understand the temptation to throw it all away and start brand new. I get it. 

However, too much change too quickly usually is overwhelming to the point of failure. It shocks your system and you freeze up or you burn out and then you decide that changing things is too much. And you go right back to the way you were before. (If you don’t believe me, just watch what happens at every gym in America from January-March. It’s not the lack of motivation that ruins goals; it’s trying to do too much, too quickly).

As a coach, I’ve seen this happen tons of times. The woman who finally frees herself from a crappy marriage calls me and wants to change her job, sell her house, buy a condo and the beach and have it decorated…by our next coaching session! 

That’s because big, fast changes are sexy. They’re glamorous. But they’re not realistic nor are they sustainable. In reality, real transformations take some time. They take daily, focused steps. They take patience. 

It’s best if you get to a point where you can accept this, before you even begin.

You’re not going to lose 30 pounds in 30 days (and keep it off); you’re not going to be able to quit your job suddenly and double your income next month by starting your own business and you’re not going to start meditating and then magically eradicate all work frustrations by the end of the work day. 

Everything worth having, every major, positive change is really just a succession of small, little changes.

Drop by drop, a jug is filled with water. So first, shift your belief about the huge transformation you have in mind. Accept that the sea change is no better than the smaller steps you have to take to achieve it. Do what you need to do (read January’s newsletter for some more ideas) to visualize and understand that each day that you work towards your goals you are, in fact, succeeding.

That’s how you start small. And that’s the real secret to success.