I love when I find articles that back up what I have been saying for years. I found this great article by Carolyn Matheson that backs up what I have been saying, “it is the small steps that count.” You can do it all, just not all at once. You are better off just taking small steps than trying to stress yourself out by taking big leaps. Actually you will get further in the long run by taking the small and steady route than trying to rush at full speed and risk burning yourself out.
Did you know that if you saved $50 a month for 20 years you would have more money in the bank at the end of 20 years than if you saved $600 once a year for 20 years. It is all about Compound Interest. The same is with Action. You will actually get more done and get further along in life if you take one or two actions a day verses trying to do it all at once. I call that Compound Action. The small actions will build on one another and add up to big results.
Here’s to taking action,
Bite-Size Chunks! The Power Of Daily Actions
By Carolyn Matheson
There may be so much you want to change in your life to make
it less stressful. You can do it all, just not all at once!
Feeling in control is an important part of saying Yes to
Less Stress. Breaking down any problem into small, solvable
parts makes things less overwhelming; it also gives you the
sense that you are taking action.
Nothing happens in one big action, it is all the small
actions we take daily that make the difference. If you only
do one thing different, take one small action every day, it
will make a big difference in the long run. If you only
implement this simple suggestion, you will see some changes
in your life. It looks simple and it is.
Fulfilling an ambition of leaving a stressful job, Dave
dreamed of having a thriving consultancy business. He wanted
everything to happen at once: two days a week on the golf
course and time with his family, as well as continuing with
charity work helping the homeless.
When he finally decided to quit his well-paid job, he
thought that clients would be queuing up to work with him.
He overlooked the fact that he needed to be proactive in
finding new clients. He started to wonder how he had
believed this new life would be better. Every day he felt
anxious and worried. In some ways he felt more stress than
he had felt from the job he’d escaped – he had escaped the
office politics but the stress of feeling a failure was much
Dave became fearful that maybe the dream he was trying to
achieve wasn’t ever going to materialise. This stinking
thinking was overwhelming him. On the golf course, however,
he had a flash of inspiration. He realised that he had been
thinking rather than taking action towards fulfilling his
Dave had allowed negative thoughts to get in the way of his
progress. Before he could start developing his business, he
needed to identify his prospective customers. So each
morning he took a simple daily action towards building his
client base. He committed to identifying 10 new prospects
daily. This rarely took him longer than 15 minutes each day.
He had initially put this task off as the thought of
compiling a list of 300 prospects overwhelmed him. He was
creative in asking for help from his former business
colleagues as well as his golfing friends, and he was amazed
at how quickly his list grew as a result. Within the first
week, he added a new daily action. He contacted 10 people a
day from his list. Of course, not all of these turned into
customers, but in time he was well on his way to success.
Within three months, Dave had not only developed his
thriving business but also improved his golf handicap! How?
He included golf practice at his local driving range on his
list of daily actions! His daily practice not only kept him
fit, but allowed him thinking time; a time when ideas freely
flowed into his mind.
Are you are sitting there thinking “I’m too short of time”?
The good news is that you don’t need a lot of time and you
don’t have to do a radical overhaul of your life. Don’t let
a big goal overwhelm you. Every goal, no matter how large,
can be broken down into small, manageable, bite-size chunks.
Whatever you want to do with your life, you stand more of a
chance if you just get started. No matter how small a step
you take each day, over a year that will add up to 365 daily
actions. I am always amazed when clients agree how obvious
this step is, yet it is the one they have often overlooked.
Start wherever you are and take one step at a time – that is
all you can do!
It doesn’t matter what has happened to date. The only
thing that counts is where you are now and what you need to
do to move forward.
If you are starting to feel a bit clearer about what you
want in your life, the only thing that will move you forward
now is action. Once you’ve worked out what it is you most
want to do, now is the time to do it. Daily actions help to
break old habits.
Consider actions that require 15 minutes or less to
The daily action you take may not always be the right one
with the benefit of hindsight – don’t worry, some doors may
close but others will open.
Everyone has bad days – don’t let them turn into a bad
week, month or year. Tomorrow, or even later on today, you
can start afresh, with a fresh daily action.
If you feel about to crack under pressure, break up your
larger plans into smaller actions that are easier to manage.
When your day feels heavy, take one step at a time. Just
decide your priority for the next hour.
Change happens when we change our actions. If we
constantly do the same things, we will constantly get the
What simple daily action are you willing to take today to
reduce the stress in your life?
About The Author:
Carolyn Matheson is a nationally recognized Coach, Speaker and Author of “Yes to Less Stress”, available online from http://www.areustressed.com