SMALL STEPS MAKE FOR BIG PROGRESS

I think most people, like me, enjoy the ‘free’ things in life. Nature, Sun, good company. OK, that and a craft ale or two.. and during the summer here in the UK we have been faced with the strongest performance for many years: hardly any days of rain and maximum sunshine. Maximum sunshine, and maximum temptation to blow off the laptop time and get outside. 

I also reflect on Summer as a big challenge to my focus and application… as I get through halfway on a Saturday, that I can enjoy the sunset sun later but that I still have some work to do today whilst others are out there making the most of it all, I am making the most of it in another way – using my time wisely and working on myself and my business. Small goals, small victories I suppose. But, in these small victories comes a very BIG impact, and it is an important subject that I want to cover in this blog.

What do I mean? I knew you’d ask, so let me indulge you.

SUCCESS IS ALL IN THE MICRO

Big goals are made by making small, tangible and very meaningful targets that you can achieve quickly. Getting up on time, stretching every morning, spending 30 mins on your mental health and gratitude. Perhaps you tick off a tiny item on a ‘to do list’. Perfect. But when you achieve small, incremental goals – you are doing something else. You are sewing the seeds of positive habits and forward motion. It is not in the macro (i.e. the large) where true success is made, but in micro and small actions that are done in a consistent and persistant manner. And in these micro actions, macro impact starts to happen. Nothing happens from one action, but many many actions over an extended period of time. 

I am reminded of this today when it is 27 degrees of glorious summer, and part of me (my unconscious self) wants to ‘sack it off’ and get in the garden. But I know that the discipline of taking time to work through my study timetable (5 hours lecture on Supplements!!) is a micro action to give me a macro impact. Small victory, big impact.

So, next time you feel the weight of your goals on you, like the beating of the summer sun, just take a minute to look at the micro actions. Start there. Don’t worry about the rest, it will come in time. Focus on the small actions that embedd good habits, and the habits will lead to progress. Progress leads to impact and this is when dreams start to come true.

And in that there is another important lesson for us all..

LONG TERM GOALS REQUIRE A LONG TERM MINDSET

You know, just as much as I do, that fobbing off that action you know you need to take because there is a short term dopamine hit action that you want to do is never going to get you to your goals. I believe that it is a sad reality that the vast majority of people out there spend time getting frustration with their current situation, are desperate to change their lives for the better, but who unfortunately cannot see past the short term nature of the quick fix reward society within which most of us live. And it’s understandable – temptation is everywhere and never has it been easier to have easy and quick access but short term satisfaction.

But let’s not kid ourselves here. Deep down you know that you must sometimes look past the short term reward to see the long term goal. In order to achieve, to build, to grow and to go where you want to go, you need need to put the blinkers on to a certain degree and get focused on the long term goal. Realise this: that your actions today, now, can be the key difference between you achieving the things you want to in life, or continuing down the path of the same old same old.

More importantly, the point is this: Don’t for a minute discount the micro decisions and actions you take today, because everything great happens through a serious of individual micro actions that bind together into an unstoppable force. Greatness is made from a series of small actions taken every day, on repeat. Again and again. We cant just have a mantra and not follow through. The little things are the most important, perhaps more than you think.

MAKE IT ABOUT WHAT YOU LOVE

The other thing I believe a lot of people do out there, is look around at other people and think ‘oh well that’s what made them successful, so I will just copy them’. To some extent and perhaps in terms of focus, work ethic and application – this is a good thing. You want to learn from those people the habits, behaviours and disciplines that they use to reach their goals. There is loads to learn from people – it’s why gurus and mentors exist.

But the real issue with the ‘i will just copy you’ sentiment is a little deeper. The problem here is, that most people end up throwing themselves into something which they have absolutely no passion for. They do it because they think it will bring them money and success. But they don’t love it. How many times have you (or someone you know) started something really excited, loads of energy, maximum effort. But then by week 4 and when it get’s a bit tough, you back out. Another project put in the bin and more deflation and frustration. Admit it, you’ve probably been here once or twice before.

So the challenge is this: Find something that you genuinely love, and start there. Start investing in yourself in something you love and you will find that the work, perseverance and and mindset to stay the course will come far more naturally to you. And it is way more authentic. You will carry yourself both authentically and genuinely in this regard, which in turn means you will be far more happier (spending time on something that interests you will only be good for you!) and by the time to decide you want to share it with the world in some way, people will be able to relate to you so much more. And then you can reach out to the gurus and mentors and start to learn ways to perhaps monetise your passions and turn them into something else. But don’t copy others – be you, and trust that this is enough!

So, next time you feel the weight of your goals on you, like the beating of the summer sun, just take a minute to look at the micro actions. Start there. Don’t worry about the rest, it will come in time. Focus on the small actions that embedd good habits, and the habits will lead to progress. Progress leads to impact and this is when dreams start to come true.

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