Start Small? Developing Habits to See Big Progress in Your Life

Have you recently set new goals or a resolution or two?

I have, and already I can hear the whisper of my inner critic getting on my case about how I’ve not consistently hit the mark on my goals. While I’m moving in the right direction, the steps have been small or inconsistent.

I get distracted. I got sick last week. Some days I’m just off my game.

As I tune into that harsh voice, I become agitated and anxious. If I don’t nip it in the bud, it can quickly spiral into overwhelm and procrastination. I get heavy with difficult feelings and anxiety, to the point that I nearly want to give up on the goal or resolution that inspired this spiral.

I saw a quote recently that made me pause in my spiral thinking. It’s from Mother Theresa:

“Do small things with great love.”

What does this have to do with goals, resolutions, and our inner critics?

I’m deciding that this message from Mother Theresa applies to my goals as well.

The outcome may be important, but this messy journey getting there is where all the growth occurs. Think of a road trip. You always have the destination in mind while you drive, but each mile of the drive matters. Some of the miles are beautiful, as you pass a flowing river or sky painted with sunset colors. Other miles are more ordinary, like those last few miles before you get to a gas station. No matter what the mile may look or feel like, each mile, beautiful or ordinary, is getting you closer to your destination.

An abundant mindset is required to acknowledge every single bit of progress and celebrate even the smallest victories.

Each mile matters. Each step forward in your progress matters, regardless of how small, big, ordinary, or wonderful it is. So let’s decide that small, even baby steps toward our goals and dreams count and are worth acknowledging. Why?

Because small steps in the right direction will eventually add up to big progress.

What goals have you set? Exercise? Healthy eating? Cutting back on social media? Decluttering your closet?

Start small.

You set the goal to exercise more? Go for a walk in your neighborhood today.

Healthy eating? Make fruit your mid-day snack.

Cutting back on social media? Set a timer for yourself when you hop on Instagram.

Decluttering your closet? Start with just your t-shirt drawer.

We don’t need to change everything about ourselves and our lives to meet our goals. Start small. And when you hit an obstacle. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Do one small thing with great love (toward yourself). Give yourself credit for any progress you’ve made. Choose to persevere. Cheer yourself on.

We’ve got this… one loving step at a time!

Oh… and don’t forget that God is on your team. Lean into His sustaining grace. If He’s called you to it, He will help you through it, one loving step at a time. After all, Love is the greatest motivator of all time!

To quote Mother Theresa one more time, “Do small things with great love.”

Start small. You got this.

If you are ready to grow in your abundant mindset and learn more about your abundant purpose that God has called you to, schedule a free call HERE to see if 1:1 coaching is the right answer for you.

January 28, 2022


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By Dr. Richelle Hoekstra-Anderson & Tom Ziglar