I just dropped off my boys at school and thought I’d stop by the beach and take a walk. I’m learning how to do the little stuff that eventually adds up.
Sometimes we try to take action so massive that it is beyond our initial ability or capacity. Many people go this route and end up so discouraged that they give up.
I was listening to a training by about follow through. The trainer stated how, often, the problem people have is not starting a new idea or implementing it. It is following it through to completion.
And you always hear that it is not how you start. It is how you finish.
But I want to add to that, and challenge it a bit.
I don’t think many of us lack ambition or desire. We sincerely want to make changes in our life that can have major impact.
I think the true issue lies in what your start is. How do you start? A lot of times, we start out with big ambitions and even bigger excitement. We rush headfirst in, but then lose steam before we get to the finish line.
Why is that? We’ve got all this excitement and initial energy, but we haven’t established the habit or consistency that will get us to our goal and to completion.
I will be completely honest with you — I have been so guilty of this.
I’m great at starting and implementing, but there are certain parts of my life that have always been such a struggle, such as physical health.
A big turning point for me was listening to the Success Talks CD. Success Magazine sends out monthly DVDS or CDs with their subscription. These Talks have been giving me a fresh perspective, and have become a pivot point in how I shifted my mindset for getting started on things.
I was listening to this particular talk about legacy with Tony Robbins as a guest. He was talking about how it is not enough to be happy, to establish great relationships, to grow our businesses, to look for success. This is all the important stuff we’ve had drilled into us over and over.
He shifted to health. Now obviously, we all know health is important. How often do we say wealth is pointless without our health? It’s totally true, but it just never clicked before like it did as I was listening to him.
He talked about having more energy FOR life, and that is when it hit me. You can work on your marriage, your relationship with your kids, growing your business, all the usual “right” steps in life, but what is that worth if you have no energy to maintain it, or even just enjoy it?
Without energy, you can’t build multiple businesses and diverse income streams, let alone one.
Without energy, you can’t enjoy that great relationship you have cultivated if, after a long day of work, you too zapped to spend time with them.
Don’t get me wrong. This is a busy season of life, and there is a level of energy that naturally gets zapped, even in the best health.
However, having good health helps raise the baseline.
This was just a lightbulb moment for me. I had never looked at it that way.
Here I am, spinning my wheels, ambitiously building multiple businesses, care for my children, and improve relationships in my life, and just always tired. My ambitions were being seriously undercut by just how tired I was.
Health is important. Working out is important. Nutrition is important.
So here I am, starting a “new” journey.
I’ve started this journey before. It isn’t so new. I have tried many times to get back in shape and get healthy.
I have the same excuses as everyone else. We get busy. Things come up. I travel a lot. Those things become barriers and hold me back.
But I think the biggest issue has been setting too high of a goal right out of the gate. Think about it. Often, in the first week of a new diet, we cut everything out and go cold turkey.
By the end of the week, we are cranky, burnt out, and just over it. We haven’t been practical, evaluated where we are at, and set smaller, attainable goals to build upon.
We haven’t built the habits and consistency necessary to work up to that overall lifestyle change. We haven’t built the discipline up. Don’t get me wrong. Making changes often isn’t fun. It is a lot of work, and sometimes, mental and physical discomfort go along with it.
But when you make small changes that add up, you don’t burn yourself out, and you set a foundation that gets you to the finish line.
Let’s say you drink soda seven days a week. Make a goal to cut one. Be intentional. Get through that goal, and then cut two days out.
Yes, it will take you longer to get to the end goal, no soda at all. But you have set yourself up to win with small, maintainable steps. You will make it to the finish line this time.
That is where true progress starts – progress that has longevity.
Before, I would spend an hour in the gym doing a hardcore workout, complete a session, and then feel too overwhelmed to return for the next session.
So I’ve changed my method. Every opportunity I get, I’m taking a break to go take a walk around the beautiful neighborhood I live in, or even riding bike.
Sometimes, I drop my kids off, drive to the nearest beach, and take a one mile walk on the beach. How motivating is that? I’m content on these walks, and am definitely noticing changes in my energy already.
The takeaway here is this – when implementing major changes in your life, new projects in your business, or even new businesses, break them up into smaller, achievable goals.
This will get you to the finish line, where barreling like a freight train into something will have you burnt out and losing steam.
Build the habits and consistency that will set the foundation to scale whatever you want to do. All of us have accomplished what we have accomplished by being consistent. It is never one big thing, but a series of little things that add up over time.
I’d love to hear about some major goals you have gotten through by maintaining consistent little steps. Tell me your story in the comments below.