Baby Steps


No matter the goal you are trying to achieve-take it slow.  Whatever ultimate outcome you desire-break it up into smaller pieces.  There are a couple of good reasons to do so.  Oftentimes our goals may be large and challenging. This can be overwhelming.  So overwhelming, in fact, that it creates discouragement.  “This is too hard.  Why bother? I’m never going to be able to do this.”

However, turning a single large goal into many smaller ones will create a sense of achievement and reward after the accomplishment of each one.  This will enable one to build up momentum (remember that?) and remain motivated while moving onto the next smaller goal.

For instance, let’s say that your goal is to lose forty pounds. That’s your ultimate goal. It may seem a bit daunting.  But how about losing five pounds?  Or even three pounds?  Now, that’s not so bad, is it?  Set up these smaller goals and have a plan to achieve each one. With each goal accomplished, you will truly feel wonderful. And why not give yourself a small reward for each little goal you complete. It could be anything- a massage, a new outfit, a special night out, etc. You get the idea. That’s even more motivation.

So, let’s learn from those tiny infants.  When they’re trying to figure out how to walk, they don’t go straight from crawling to walking around the house. They stand and fall. Take a step and fall. Cruise.  Take a step on their own and fall. Two steps and fall. Three, four-fall down.  Then, suddenly they can walk across the room! And they did it in baby steps. Just as we should.


On Being Consistent

In my last post I wrote about the run that I really didn’t want to do. My legs felt so tired and all I could think about was stopping. But I kept going and built up momentum.  I ended up having a great run and feeling terrific afterwards!

When examining this more closely, it is clear that it all began with a choice. My choice.  It was my decision to keep my legs moving despite how fatigued I felt. I could have very easily chosen otherwise. I could have stopped. But I chose to keep going.  In life, everything about us ultimately comes down to our choices.

I wrote a recent post about choices.  At the risk of being redundant, I would like to discuss a bit further. This is because our choices are so important. There are two wonderful books that I would recommend for anyone who would like to read more on this topic. One is “The Slight Edge,” by Jeff Olson, and the other is “The Compound Effect,” by Darren Hardy. These books provide great descriptions of how consistent decisions affect our lives and our circumstances. Even those seemingly small decisions, when added up over time, can have enormous impacts in our lives.

The “added up over time” phrase is key.  Smoking a single cigarette won’t give anybody lung cancer. However, smoke a pack a day for twenty years, and your putting yourself at risk for very bad things.  Going to the gym one time will not get anybody into shape. However, go a few times a week, and over the course of several months there will be some positive changes noted.

I’m sure we’ve all heard about what’s been called the magic penny.  You know it-take a penny and double it every day. Doesn’t sound like it would amount to much. 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256, 512.  On day 10, all you would have is $5.12.  On day 20, you would have  $5242. Day 25-$167,772.  A nice chunk of change-but not rich.  But then, on day 30-$5,368,708. During the first 25 days, change occurred relatively slowly.  The last 5 days was really where most of the magic occurred.

So the moral is not just to make good choices, but to make good choices on a regular basis over time. If you do, you will see positive changes. They may seem small at first. But don’t get discouraged.  Stay patient and consistent. Enjoy the journey. The big breakthroughs may take longer to occur, but when they do it will have been well worth the effort.



I run a few times each week, and I can remember one day last week when I went out for a run.  Nothing out of the ordinary. However, for some reason it seemed extremely difficult. My legs felt so tired. I felt the burn of lactic acid build-up very early on.  With each stride, I felt like I wanted to stop.  Maybe I just was not in the mood to run.

However, I kept going.  I kept pushing through my desire to stop and the fatigue in my legs. I kept moving.  After a short while, I no longer felt tired.  It also didn’t seem to require as much energy to keep my legs moving. As a matter of fact, I was enjoying the feeling of my legs really pumping. My energy levels continued to soar, and there was a point during my run when it felt like I could continue for hours.  When it was over, I felt great!

That run reminded me of two facts I first learned way back when I was a student studying physics. First, inertia is the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest. Second, momentum (or impetus), is the tendency of a moving body to maintain its motion. I’ve also been reminded of these two lessons many times over while reading books on the subject of personal development. And like my run that day, I’ve been reminded of these truths many times over through my own personal experiences.

Many times when you’re not doing much, your inertia can make it difficult to start moving. It will take discipline and will power, but once you start moving you gain momentum. And the more you keep going, the more momentum you gain-which gets you going even more. It’s a wonderful upwards spiral.

This principle applies to any goal you have set for yourself- whether it is related to health, sports, fitness, education, career, finances or relationship. Momentum can help us do great things!

Back when I was in school, I can remember some of my fellow classmates saying that physics was boring.  If only they knew!