The Value of Small Steps


At the end of 2012, in the midst of celebrating the change of the year, I could not stop thinking about my resolutions and goals for 2013. I had the same difficulty back in 2011. I always asked myself why resolutions only seem to be thought of at the end of a year? Why could not we start at the moment we wanted a change. Maybe it is easier to have a benchmark, so when we reach the resolution, we can see the progress we have gone through during the period of time. To me, setting goals for the new year is quite difficult because we are always so enthusiastic about the new year, which in turn make our goals be a bit too enthusiastic too. Maybe some of us set a goal to lose weight, to earn double the salary, buy a house, whatever it is, we like big goals. When these goals are not achieved, we get disappointed and lose the drive for the rest of the year.

Before we can start walking, we have to learn how to fall and get up again. Before then, we have to learn to crawl. We often forget the little steps we went through, but like a baby, I prefer to work on a goal through small steps.

Small things can help us everyday to get closer to our bigger goals. For example, I want to lose weight. To get to the weight I am aiming for, I would have to sign myself up to a gym and eat less. But because I am so enthusiastic in losing the extra fat quickly, I force myself to do these two things, however it only lasted for 2 weeks. After that, I would continue making up excuses to not go and as days go by, we are further and further away from reaching that goal.

Instead, consider this. If you dedicate 15 minutes of your morning everyday to run around the block, would not that sound easier? Before last year, I never joined any run competitions, but I set a goal with my sister to jog every day. At the end of the 5th month, I was able to run 10km in 1 hour 8 minutes. It’s not a very impressive time, but this success was what I needed to help me be more excited to continue the training. 


We can also achieve great things from small steps, like:

  • Learn a new skill. Learn something new for 15 minutes, whether it is by reading an article, or play an instrument, or a new language.
  • Bring happiness. Help a child learn to read by reading him/her a bedtime story, give alms to the needy, lend your umbrella to a coworker, visit an orphanage. You never know how much a few minutes of your time mean to someone.
  • Exercise. Cannot go to the gym today? No problem. Get to your office by taking the stairs, walk further, do push up at home. Every movement counts.
  • Create something. Read a book every morning while you take a sip of your tea, write a story in the midst of the traffic, make a birthday card. Open up your creative mind and enjoy your creations.
  • Save up. Want to travel or buy a new electronic? If we withdraw a big sum of money from the bank right away, then it becomes a heavy burden. Instead, we can save up, $5 everyday for example, slowly that would add up, but you would not feel the “loss” as much.
  • Be thankful. Write 3 things of everyday things that made you happy.
  • Nurture your relationship. When was the last time you call your grandparents, or sing for your siblings? Put aside sometime to make your special ones’ day as special as they are.
  • Create change. We often think that our vote would not make a difference, but we all know it takes many individuals to make a change. Support things that are important to you and join in signing petitions for a good change.
  • Save the earth. Turn off the lights in a room that you’re not in, recycle your papers, put the trash in the bin. So many little things that can help save our planet earth. 

Use the list above to get you started to think about what small steps you can do everyday. There are millions of other ways you can do to make this year more productive without forcing yourself. Be sure to reward yourself every time you achieve something.

Write in the comments below the things you are hoping to achieve this year and your plans of how to reach them.


*** This post was originally published for StartupBisnis:


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