Author, Robert Collier, once said, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
Oftentimes, we hope for some miracle that will make us an overnight success but anyone who has achieved any noteworthy success will reveal that they became successful because they consistently did things to move closer to the success they wanted over a long period of time.
Even though we are bombarded with “instant benefits” messages like a new miracle pill that will help us shed weight quickly or a new income opportunity that will make us a lot of money fast, the truth is it’s the small things we do today that will lead to a better tomorrow.
If we want to create a better future, we must do the best we can today.
Over the past couple of years, I made a commitment to improve my health and fitness after neglecting it for a couple of years. Like the start of every new year, there were a lot of advertisements to join gyms or go on a healthy meal plan, where all meals are delivered depending on the options chosen.
I knew that if I got tempted by any of those “quick results” marketing campaigns, whatever benefits I would have gained would be lost quite quickly. Instead I chose to focus on developing new daily healthy rituals, which included making minor changes to my diet and becoming more active each day.
I decided to exercise daily for the first month just to see what difference it would make, and I was able to shed about a kilogram (2.2 pounds) per week, which was a pleasing result. Since then up until now, I have done something physical everyday, even if it is for 15 minutes on some days. It is by doing something small daily that I have been able to release over 17.5 kilograms (38.5 pounds) over an 18-month period.
While other people have lost significantly more weight in much less time, the biggest benefit I have gained is developing the habit of paying attention to my overall well-being. Now, instead of finding reasons why I cannot exercise, the question I ask myself is, “Why should I exercise today?” The answer to that question has kept me committed to continuing the habit.
Sometimes when we do things, we will not see results straight away but we must believe that it is in the process of happening. All small things we do daily will either create a better future for us or they will prevent us from achieving what we want. Here are five little things we can do today that will make a big difference tomorrow.
- Do something for your mental, emotional and physical health. While we tend to give more attention to our physical health, our mental and emotional well-being is just as important. Looking after our physical health may involve eating the right foods and exercising, while doing something for our mental and emotional well-being may involve allowing ourselves to be silent and still daily, or releasing negative emotions.
- Reflect on your day at the end of each day. The higher side of our being expresses itself through reflection. One of the most powerful ways tools for self-improvement is reflection because we put ourselves in a position to look back at what we did, and how we could have done things better or differently. One technique is to journal daily, where we ask ourselves specific questions about our day and where we are heading.
- Have one meaningful conversation each day. Ultimately, it is the relationships we form in life that gives our lives real meaning and purpose. Most people go about their day just focused on immediate needs and issues, without taking the time to really connect with people that matter most. Real meaningful conversations help us get to know others on a much deeper level instead of on a surface level.
- Focus on one thing at a time. In today’s world, the ability to stay focused is really about removing distractions. We have so many things that compete for our attention that it is very easy to lose sight of what matter most to us. Focusing on just one goal or one new habit will allow us to give it more energy, which will help speed up its achievement.
- Give yourself an extra hour of sleep. Most of us are sleep deprived, which affects our ability to focus and get things done. Lack of sleep affects our decision-making ability which means it will affect everything we do each day. By giving ourselves more sleep, we give ourselves a better chance to be at our best more consistently. We should aim to get between seven to eights hours of sleep every night.
Small things done each day will compound over time and lead to big results. All it takes is a willingness to get started and a commitment to keep going no matter how difficult it gets. If we do, we will have a better quality life.
Question: What is another small thing we can do each day that will make a big difference in the future?
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