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Do Small Steps Really Add Up?

You can probably come up with many examples of this idea that small steps, or slow and steady progress, is what really gets you where you want to go:

The tortoise and the hare.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

From tiny acorns might oaks grow.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


But in “real life,” does this pan out?

Can those small steps really add up and create something great?

Let’s consider some of the areas of life where this comes into play:

Learning how to drive.

Starting a family.

Building a career or business.

Getting through school.

Reading a long book.

I'm sure you can come up with many more examples from your own life, but you get the idea - small steps adding up to big results happens all the time.

In any of these cases, you probably didn't go from 0 to 100 immediately.

You didn't get to "the end" right away.

You likely took a series of very small steps over a very long time.

Even with obstacles and setbacks, in the long run, those small steps kept you moving in the right direction.

In my own life, my recent jaw surgery and recovery has been a perfect example of how tiny steps add up.

It’s been almost six weeks since my surgery, and while I’ve made a ton of progress from week one, the day-to-day changes are almost imperceptible.

Each day is only a teeny tiny step forward, and from my perspective, nothing even seems to be happening.

But I know that in a few months, or even a year, I’ll look back on this time and it will seem like the blink of an eye.

The minute amount of progress from each day will have added up to a full recovery, even if I don’t notice it at the time.

That’s the challenge – when you’re “in it,” you can’t always see the evolution taking place.

It’s hard to zoom out and see how what you are doing today – and what you did

yesterday and will do tomorrow – will all connect together to create the larger whole (this is where tracking and/or some kind of progress measurements can come in handy).

And even when you know that those little things are helping you move forward, when you don’t see something tangible, your brain wants to give up.

Focusing only on the next small step – whatever little thing you can do TODAY – allows you to stay on track and make progress, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

Of course, it’s not as fun or exciting as huge leaps or major wins (and those may happen from time to time!).

True progress is not the linear path we imagine it to be, but rather a winding road with twists and turns that ultimately gets us to our destination.

Rome was NOT built in a day, and a journey of a thousand miles DOES begin with a single step.

Or, as Martha Beck wisely sums up in her book Finding Your North Star:

“Slow and steady is better than paralyzed and inert.”

You just gotta keep on walking.

And if you’d like guidance along the way, I’ve got your back! I’ll help you clarify your goals, simplify the steps, and create an action plan to get you from where you are to where you want to go. Send me a message or schedule your free consultation call to get started!

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