Posted by: Brian | April 12, 2010

Small Steps can turn into Big Changes

Over the past year I have tried to make changes in my life that have crashed and burned a few weeks after I started. I would tell myself on Sunday, “Today I am going to bring my lunch to work everyday and start saving money doing it.” I break out the collapsible cooler, the re-freezable ice, and start dreaming about the lunches I’m going to bring and the $50 per week I’ll save. Monday comes and I pack my lunch, Tuesday is the same as Monday, and cycle goes good for a while. Then I hit a bump around workday 8: I brought my lunch in my nice collapsible cooler but its in the office fridge and I am in the field, so I buy my lunch. no biggie, right? What’s one day? Well one day turns into another a few days later, and another, and another, and soon I no longer even bother packing my lunch anymore. This is my problem and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I finally realized an answer.

I have posted before on refocusing your goals as life changes, and there are others talking about making changes for the better. I was looking to change something I didn’t like (spending money on buying lunch) by doing a new activity (brining my lunch to work) that yielded the desired results (saved money). Right off the bat, I was designing a failed system because I was expecting too much too soon. I relied on my will power to get me through and my will power is only good for short bursts not prolonged sustainability.

I like to think of a soccer player when it comes to changes. The soccer player will sprint after the ball (will power) but he can only keep that up for a short bit before he has to pass the ball. But a good soccer player doesn’t stop running after that, he keeps running just not at a sprint. He might jog a little, walk a little, run a little, or even stop completely for a little bit. These little steps are what helps the soccer player become a good player because when needed he can apply his will power and sprint after the ball. I hope this makes as much sense to you as it does in my head. (I’m still working on this writing clearly thing)

My point is that in order to make a big change in your life, whether it be paying off debt or bringing your lunch to work everyday, it’s the small steps that matter. Whatever you aim to do, no matter how big or small, break the task up into obtainable steps and do one at a time. Like Dave Ramsey says, “It’s all in the baby steps.”

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