Chances are, we’ve all wanted to make some changes. Maybe you want to save more money, or lose weight, or earn a really hard certification. From a distance, when you haven’t even started to run the race, it can be daunting. Even once you’ve started running that race, there can and will be times when you are just getting overwhelmed. It’s normal, but it’s totally avoidable. Small habits, small things, can have big impacts on you and your personal and professional development. Here’s how that translates to you.
Before I dive into that, there’s a method to my madness, and it really got ingrained in me during college. I was blessed to work for a college basketball team as one of their student managers. During each game, in every huddle, the head coach would always deliver advice and instruction, but he would always say one line-win the next four minutes.
Why four minutes? Well, that was the amount of time between TV timeouts (approximately, based on play and stoppages). But the message was simple. Yes, the game is 40 minutes long. Each half is 20 minutes long. Forget about that, you aren’t going to win the entire game…but focus on the next four minutes.
Or, break it up into small chunks, so things are a lot less daunting.
Traveling 26.2 miles doesn’t seem so insurmountable if you do it one mile at a time.
So, a small chunk is a good thing, but so are small habits. Both can have big impacts.
What certification do you want to get? You need 8 required certificates to achieve a master's level, right? Sitting down thinking about it can be scary. But if you adopt some small habits, it Is not. Make a checklist. Practice good time management. Take good notes. Schedule study time, building it into your workday. By breaking 8 tests into 8 goals, each with chapter-based milestones, it becomes less overwhelming. And 8 milestones could become 40 (based on chapters). Being able to see each chapter checked off your list can have a very positive impact.
Want to get out of debt? Unless you inherit money or hit for a big jackpot, chances are you are not going to have the ability to get out of debt fast. That’s OK though. Identify ways you can save some money each week and month. Maybe you don’t need all your streaming services, or you could make coffee at home instead of always going to Dunkin’. Little changes, but that 4 dollar coffee each day, when skipped? That becomes 80 dollars in a month (if you only buy one per day, and only on weekdays). Imagine paying 80 dollars more toward one of your credit cards.. a small habit or change, but a big impact.
Are you one of us, who put on some pandemic pounds? The same ideas work here too.
You aren’t going to find a workout that you can do in a day that melts off 20 pounds. But you can prep yourself to get a good workout in, 20 to 30 minutes a day, for as long as it takes. Similarly, you can plan to eat better and diet with that effort. And while you won’t see immediate, overnight losses…if you watch, each and every week your goal will become closer and more achievable.
Small habits, small commitments, but when done right, they all can lead up to big gains.