The Value of Small Steps
“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts.”
Small steps are much easier to fit into your already busy schedule. If your goal is to reduce the clutter from your home and become more organized, begin by picking up after yourself when you leave each room and resolve to leave it neat and tidy. Slowly but in good time, all the items in the house will be given a home or be eliminated, and the overwhelming task of doing it all in one day or weekend won’t zap all of your time.
10 Amazing Results Possible by Taking Small Steps:
What I’d like to show you now are a handful of examples that not only will enrich your life, but will endure due to the patient approach of making small steps thereby creating habits throughout your daily life that help create a more serene, balanced, and fulfilling life.
1. Healthy, pleasurable eating
There are many amazing meals, foods and treats that are available to us to enjoy, but if we indulge too often, they become our Achilles’ heel. By choosing to welcome healthful habits into our daily eating habits, reducing/eliminating processed foods, cutting out soda/pop, eating mindfully, and listening to what our body needs versus what it wants, we gradually begin to fuel our bodies efficiently resulting in more pleasurable living without eliminating all that we love.
2. A healthy body
Reaching our ideal weight can cause some to try drastic measures that will help them those weight immediately, but if one don’t create habits in their daily lives that can be followed regularly throughout the rest of their lives, the body, and therefore, one’s mind, will never be at peace. Work to find an exercise regimen that you can regularly stick to – simply walking 20 minutes every day can produce amazing results after an extended period of time. And while many may say, “I can’t wait that long!”, know that once you begin to see results, you will have fully formed your habit, enabling you to be more likely to stick to your schedule and incorporate it into your daily way of living for years to come.
3. A bountiful and beautiful yard and garden
Beautiful things take time to create. And because they take time, they are appreciated that much more. Like a home, a garden/yard takes time to reach its full potential. Plants need time to mature and be pruned, trimmed and carried for, climbing vines need years to cover the trellis that will welcome guests into the garden, and perennials take years to reach their potential size and foliage. By tending to your garden/yard each year, eventually you will be surrounding by the bounty that Mother Nature is capable of providing.
4. Strong relationships
Emotions can expedite some relationships, but that doesn’t necessarily make them strong. Relationships which are given time to develop, grow and reveal to either person involved the true character of the individuals, stand a far better chance when tumultuous storms come rolling in.
5. Elimination of debt
The benefits of having good credit affect so many aspects in our lives that we take for granted we deserve the following: a roof over our heads, a means to begin a business, a job, a healthy relationship, etc. By gradually paying down your debt and getting into the fiscal habit of only spending what you have in your bank account, not what remains on your credit limit, you put yourself in control as much as possible to create the life of your dreams.
6. A life full of blessings and appreciation
Quite some time ago, Oprah suggested having a gratitude journal and writing down a handful things we are grateful for at the end of each day. Some of you most likely already do this and are well aware of the benefits, but for those of you who are contemplating welcoming this practice into your daily life, consider after having done this for one full year – 365(6) days of three things you are grateful for leaves you with more than a thousand things to reflect on. Imagine how blessed you would feel. Imagine how much you would have to appreciate. And wouldn’t such a life be something to revel in as you realize you have an amazing life?
7. An organized home
An organized home, especially when you share it with others takes time to create, but it is possible. First, gradually begin tackling each room and eliminating anything that is not useful or beautiful. Then create a place for everything – keys, newspapers, dishes, mail, dirty clothes, remotes, phones, coats, etc. Create habits when it comes to cooking. When should the dishes be done, how should each room be left when it is done being used? Where do toys go when they aren’t being played with? Where do recyclable items go? Coupons?
Gradually, once you begin to create systems for your home that help its inhabitants function better and feel more relaxed, these systems will become habits, but it all begins with small steps.
8. Retirement savings
Compound interest. That term alone should be reason enough to begin slicing $50, $100 or more off of your monthly paycheck to a 401K, Roth IRA or TSA account (speak to your human resources department to see what is available at work, as well as a financial adviser to determine what is best for your situation) . The sooner you begin and the younger you are when you begin, the more opportunity you give your money to grow, and it all begins by investing a little bit each month. Before you know it, you will not miss it from your paycheck, and you will thank yourself down the road for the peace of mind it will provide as you plan your retirement with excitement in your step, instead of dread.
9. Beautiful skin
The best time to begin taking care of your skin is when you think your skin already looks fabulous. In other words, begin yesterday. And since no one can go back in time, begin today. Beautiful skin in our thirties, forties and certainly in our 50s, 60s and beyond doesn’t just happen. While yes, our genes have a small hand, we have more control than we realize by choosing to take care of our skin every single day – reduce sun exposure, use 30spf or higher (I use 50spf) when you do go outside, moisture, weekly at home facials, salon facials when you can afford them, eat well, don’t smoke, drink in moderation, get good sleep regularly, body massages, reduce stress and exercise.
10. A hopeful, optimistic attitude
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi