is starting small.

I love to dream big. I love to dream period. I have been a dreamer my whole life, and I’m not the only one, according to John Lennon. My follow-up game is where I have more difficulty. I don’t, follow-up that is. At least I didn’t. I’m getting better all the time (yeah, I love The Beatles. They sing in my head constantly), and I want to share some of the key take-aways I have learned to help me accomplish more by doing less.

1 mile wide and 1 inch deep

There are so many distractions these days it’s hard to stay focused. At least it is for me. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, real news, fake news, local news, newspapers, emails, newsletters. You get the picture? And that’s only outside stimulus. Enter family responsibilities, friends and other engagements. It seems like it’s all made to keep us from what’s important, our true purpose. It gets to a point that when I have a goal in mind and all I see is the end result, I lose sight of the little steps that will get me there.

And that’s where the real magic happens, in the details.

Keeping the vision, the end game in sight is essential to maintaining your course and stay on track. Depending on who you are, that big goal might be too far off right now and just create more stress (I know it does for me). And when you do feel the pressure and the fear of failure sets in there is one thing that might help you greatly in these situations. Manage what you can manage.

Before I go into more detail about this I would like to take a moment.

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1 inch wide and 1 mile deep

Small actions build up over time. It doesn’t seem like it when we focus on the end result. We seem to be wallowing in sludge and not making any headway. Sometimes this is true. Most of the time it is not. I know I tend to compare my current state of affairs with my desires all too often. And when I do that, it seems like I’m way off my mark. When this happens, I have a new strategy. I don’t compare myself with where I want to be in the end, but from where I was coming from at the start. And if you combine this with the habit of journaling and tallying, the little wins start to add up very quickly.

You see, it is said that we can manage what we can measure. So I implore you, gather metrics to keep you motivated. As an example, when I started to do push-ups on a consistent basis, I wanted to be able to do 100 push-ups in one sitting. “Now that’s an accomplishment !!” I was telling myself. To make sure that I stay focused and disciplined in my training, I needed some metrics to stay motivated.

  • I started by doing as many as I could without stopping. Came to about 25 (I was out of practice).
  • Then I found an amount I could do consistently without too much effort. 10 seemed to be a good number to start with.
  • I set up my system, so that I need not think of motivation and only follow my schedule. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I would do my push-up training @ 1900.
  • And finally decided on how many to do each time. I decided on doing 6 sets of 10 and adding 1 per set each week. So effectively adding 6 push-ups to my training weekly.

Now, I know that doesn’t sound like much. And actually it isn’t. The good news is that the fact that it’s sooo easy keeps me motivated and assures that I will be celebrating constant little wins throughout my training sessions. And I will also be regularly seeing my progress every week, systematically. I will be putting in the reps and adding strength at a pace that will be sustainable for me and my goals. Add to that a visual cue, like a calendar on the wall, and cross off the day every time I complete my training session and I am on the road to success.

I have been doing this for 6 weeks now. So I have added 1 extra rep per set every week. I am now starting my 6 x 16 push-ups week and can say that I have added 36 reps per training day. And When I tested myself out, I was able to do 42 well formed push-ups without too much extra effort. And you know what, I’m very proud of that accomplishment.

Where to go from here?

Some have called this the power of the 1%. Progress need not be extravagant or momentous each time. In fact, it usually is measured in much smaller increments over time. My question to you is this. What 1% change can you make to get closer to your success? How are you getting just a little bit better today? 1% better every day makes for a 365% increase at the end of the year. Think about it.

Adding 2 minutes to your daily run every week, or 1 less cigarette daily, or even 1 extra minute of daily meditation weekly. Regardless of where you create that minimal change and maintain your chain on a consistent basis, you will start to see huge progress in no time at all with hardly any effort on your part.

It’s not sexy.

But if it works, who cares.

Your success is sexy.

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Be Well !!

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