One of my favorite things Mark and I do together is go on loooong walks.
We chat about life, our wedding, finances, business, goals, dreams. And I always, always ask my favorite question at some point in the conversation, "What are you most excited for?" :)
Last night we were chatting about how small successes add up to BIG success.
Sometimes - actually, most of the time - it can seem very underwhelming to do the 'small', day-to-day, non-glamorous work that's required of us to reach our goals.
But instead of being so black and white all the time, today I want to chat about how moving the needle and making progress (no matter how small) on ANY goal, adds up more than we think.
Today's Note from the Universe (so fitting, always):
Please tell anyone who wants to know, Julie, that a dream not followed by consistent action, however humble or small the actions may be, points to either a huge contradiction or a gigantic misunderstanding.
Because when people are clear and they realize just how powerful they already are, wild horses can’t stop them from taking baby steps, every day.
The Importance of Moving the Needle Toward Your Goals
I'm going to break this down into a few examples. Try to relate these examples to your own life to see where YOU need to be moving the needle.
Side note: by 'moving the needle' I mean moving toward your goals, even if it's just an inch!
Example 1: Fitness
I have an online coaching client who is literally wonder woman.
She has an amazing job, a great relationship, runs a side hustle on the weekend, travels a bunch, yet STILL makes her health a top priority.
As you can probably guess, this lovely lady is a bit of a perfectionist, like the rest of us. And we've had to do a lot of mindset work while working together about her all-or-nothing mentality.
For example, because she's ambitious, she'll set a goal every Sunday to work out 6 days this week for an hour.
And what ends up happening? She works out maybe once or twice.
She falls short of her goal, which not only decreases her confidence and makes her less likely to follow through with anything self-care related (her meditation practice, taking walks, eating well)... she stays stuck because she feels like if she can't do a full hour 6 days per week, why do anything at all!?
What we've tried to start incorporating is SHORTER, more intense workouts.
Even if she works out just 10 MINUTES just 2-3 times per week.
No, it's not 'sexy.' No, it's not 'extreme.'
But extreme and hardcore only last for a short period of time.
Balance and moderation - as 'unsexy' as they may be - actually move the needle much farther along in the LONG RUN because it's much easier to be consistent with it.
Ever heard of the tortoise and the hare analogy? Who wins? Yep, the guy who takes his sweet time and doesn't come out of the gate hot, only to fizzle out a few miles down the road.
So if you're running into the same problem: you can't commit to working out 5-6 days a week for an hour at a time... try working out at home - 10 to 20 minute workouts.
Start with 2 days per week. Be consistent with that. Build your confidence. THEN add on from there.
As a type-A person, 10 minutes may not seem like it's worth your time. I get it. But if you really push yourself during those 10 minutes (and even if you just go for a walk!) the feeling of accomplishment that you'll feel will FAR surpass that of just sitting on the couch, wishing you could spend an hour in the gym.
Example 2: Business
This one's for all my boss lady business owners out there. HOLLA. (even if you don't own a business, this can apply to your job, too.)
You have to walk before you can run.
What does that mean?
There's a LOT of grunt work that goes on behind the scenes - perhaps for YEARS - before you can run a successful business on your own.
For me personally, that means every. single. day. I have to show up: write these blog posts, make Instagram stories, post on social media.
I spent years neglecting these 'small' things because they seemed, well, small and insignificant.
I'd tell myself, "I'll just wait til I have a larger audience of people who are listening. THEN I'll blog more.'
1. How does that make any sense?
2. Even if I only have 100 followers, I have to treat those 100 followers like GOLD and give them the best of what I got.
Imagine if those 100 people were in a room in front of you. Would you tell them, "Oh... sorry. Just wait here for 3 years until this room grows to 1,000 people. THEN I'll give you the good stuff."
Give away the goods now. Get yourself out there. Commit to creating content.
You're moving the needle every day you show up and create content, do paperwork, deal with accountants, etc.
Example 3: Debt
What's the best way to get out of debt?
Pay off your debt. (duuuuh. Simple, but not easy.)
I've made the mistake in the past of having some extra money, yet not making a dent in my debt.
Let's say I had $1,000 left on my student loan, for example. And I had $300 of 'extra money' that month. Because it wasn't the full $1,000, I would automatically think that because I didn't have the full amount to pay it off, I would just keep making minimum payments instead of adding that additional $300.
Here's the thing: WHY WAIT until you have the full amount? Why not attack that MF debt with every extra penny you have?
Pay down the interest. Make a dent.
ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING HERE.
Dave Ramsey is a great resource if you want to learn more about paying off debt, because I am by no means an expert here.
My expertise is making the simple mindset shift of moving the needle.
So if you have a little extra money this month, even if it's 'not enough' to pay it off fully, make a dent. It moves the needle.
I hope you found some of these examples helpful!
Often us perfectionistic, type-A personalities tend to see things black and white: 1 hour workout, or none at all. Pay off all the debt, or none at all. Speak to a crowd of 1 million people, or not at all.
But until you start showing up for the 'little' things in your life, the big things will never come to you.
You got this.