A Little Bit Of Progress Adds Up To Big Results

Posted August 19, 2022 by Prairie Wife -

big results

NOTE: “A Little Bit Of Progress Adds Up To Big Results” is Part 2 of a 2 part series of posts, so you may want to read Part 1 before you keep going.

When I decided that I was going to take a three week trip to England, I knew that to make my dream a reality, it was going to take some dedication and hardcore planning.

But I was up for the challenge!

I made little decisions like skipping buying the new shoes and that dress I wanted…because I knew that would add up to one night in an Airbnb cottage in the British Countryside.

I took extra speaking gigs and even emceed at four events in one weekend because I knew that would add up to my plane ticket. I worked out as much as I could that winter so that I would be in shape for all the walking that I was definitely going to do in the Malvern Hills of England.

Over and over, I made a little bit of progress toward my goal, hoping that it would add up to BIG results.

One morning (when I was a SAHM and had five kids under eight years old), I was driving home after dropping my two oldest kids off at school, and  I saw the lady happily jogging along the sidewalk.

Right then and there, at the stop sign, I started to cry because I was so envious of her alone time and physical fitness.

At that exact moment, I couldn’t take the time to tackle my feeling of envy, but I filed it away for “future goals” and have now run three half marathons.

But that didn’t happen the second the baby was weaned…A little bit of progress was made each day, each week, and it all added up to BIG results.

A mile here and there, moving my weekly schedule around so I had childcare during long runs, saving money for nice name-brand running shoes and gear. Reading articles on how to become a distance runner….

A little bit of progress was made each day, which all added up to BIG results.

big results

All because I was envious of another woman’s morning run.

Alright, story time is over.

Now it’s time for you to do some work…and it’s going to be uncomfortable, so be ready.

Below I have a series of thought starters and examples to get you going on tackling some of your own goals.

I hope that you take the time to actually sit down and write your answers out so that you can refer to them later and check back on your progress towards your goals.

That being said, if you don’t have time to dive deeply into this topic, it’s still going to be valuable for you to keep reading and at least spend some time being thoughtful about where you’d like to see your life go over the next few months.

I want you to think about these three categories.

  • Me, Myself, and I
  • Work, Career, Education
  • Love, Friendship, Connection

 

I want you to think of one thing you want that is in each of those categories. And don’t be afraid to use those feelings of envy to guide you towards what you want.

*Time to write your answers down

Now I want you to pick the area/goal you’re struggling with the most, and I want you to break it down into small tasks that need to be done to accomplish this big goal.

Example: Being more focused at work

  1. Put phone away
  2. Finish one task before I begin another
  3. Don’t get lost in your email
  4. Stop avoiding making phone calls
  5. Get more sleep the night before
  6. Take steps so getting out of the house in the morning is less rushed

*Time to write your answers down

big results

Now pick three of the smaller tasks and break them down even more

Example: Don’t get lost in email

  1. Check at set times each day
  2. Set 5 minutes to delete useless ones
  3. Set a timer for 15 minutes and only answer emails
  4. Pick 3 times a day to check your email
  5. Once a week, unsubscribe and sort answered emails

*Time to write your answers down

Do you need a reward?

Sometimes the result and process of the end goal is enough, but sometimes we need mini rewards along the way!

Example: Goal is to work out three times a week

  • Mini Reward: After four weeks, you can get a new outfit
  • After eight weeks, take a road trip and run somewhere new
  • 12 weeks later, buy brand-new sneakers

 

FINAL GOAL first race ever! And HECK YES, post the crap out of it on social media, and celebrate your hard work with people that love you!

*Time to write your answers down

NOTE: No one else will ever care as much about your goals as you do, and if they do, then you’re doing something wrong.

It is not fair or right to rely on someone else to help you get where you want to be. Cheerleaders are great and appreciated but that alone will not ensure you get the job done.

It’s up to you, so get on it.

Also, be aware of the meh that can come after meeting a big goal.

My trip was my focus for years, and then REALLY the focus for months.

And I went on it, and it was amazing, and then I was like…huh.

What next?

I felt a bit adrift, not let down, but meh.

That feeling of peace, joy, and accomplishment didn’t last as long as I thought.

Author Donald Miller recently wrote about the meh that can come after meeting a long worked for goal, and he said, “It’s okay to rest. It’s good to rest. But you cannot stay down for long. Even after a great adventure, we must all dream up something new.”

So, by all means, soak in the glow of your little bits of daily progress, and be proud of the big results.

But don’t get complacent, don’t get stagnant.

Be on the lookout for new ways to live a life of grit and grace, and take little steps each day towards creating a life you love.

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Photo Credit: Willie Petersen Krystal Brewer Photography

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