A Little Bit a Day Goes a Long Way

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As with most thoughts and actions, the more we do it, the more it becomes a part of us–something we do without thinking. That can be  a good thing or a bad thing because it’s just as easy to make a bad habit stick as it is to make a good habit stick. But the good news is, there is no science or magic behind it. There’s nothing to study or prepare. It’s the just way it is. So how can we make a phenomenon that occurs whether we want it to or not work for us? By simply being consistent with the thoughts and habits that we do want to put in place. As they say, “A little bit a day goes a long way.”

Most of us want results right away. We want to see the pounds melt off as soon as we bring the treadmill in the house. We want our self-confidence to increase as soon as we put down the book we’ve been reading. We want immediate gratification and instant satisfaction. But life doesn’t work like that. The results we want–real sustainable results–take time. We don’t plant a seed one night and expect a flower to bloom in the morning. (Do you?) Instead, you give it time, water it and allow it to grow at its own speed and we take pride in our ability to take such good care of it as it flourishes.

Achieving our goals is the same process as planting a seed and we should give ourselves even more time, care and patience. When we plant a seed or say that we want to achieve something, we should not expect it to happen overnight. We need to do something each day to nurture the seed we’ve planted and expect to see it grow over time as we adjust our care accordingly. For example, if you set a goal to lose two pounds a week. Don’t expect to lose 2 lbs the next day because you starved yourself the entire day. You’ll only be disappointed when the 2 lbs of false weight comes back the next day after you’ve eaten a piece of fruit or drank some water!  Instead, take consistent small  steps each day–don’t drink the 120 calorie can soda, skip the 230 calorie cookie, have a full cup of  vegetables instead of the full cup of rice, do 20 minutes of cardio after dinner–and by the end of the week, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and encouraged when you see the first peek of your “plant” popping out of the ground and your scale has gone down two pounds of real weight loss.

The same thing can happen with saving money. Don’t say “I’m saving $1000.00.” As soon as I get it, I’m going to put it in the bank and save it. If you ever have $1000.00 on hand n a day that you can just put in the bank, you may not need to save a $1000.00! Instead, determine to spend $5.00 less each day. Take that $5.00 and set it aside. At the end of the week, you’ll have $25.00. In a month, you’ll have $100 and in 10 months you’ll have your $1000.00 without even noticing it.

If you take these actions–water your seed a little bit daily–at the end of a month, you’ll have lost at least 6-8 pounds or  have saved $100 without having made any major changes to your life. And that is the key-small changes made consistently add up to big changes over time. A week, a month, a year is going to go by anyway, why not come out of it  25 pounds lighter or 25 dollars richer than you started it?

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