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Mastering the Art of Incremental Progress: How to Take It One Step at a Time

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Have you ever wondered why slowing down and taking things one step at a time actually allows you to complete something faster? How is this possible? Because it shifts our mindset.

Instead of getting overwhelmed at all the future challenges that may come our way, we focus on one challenge that is currently in front of us. For instance, let's take weight loss for an example. Your goal is to lose 50 pounds. To reach this goal, you start by pushing yourself to new extremes. You exercise for an hour or more a day and begin an extreme diet with the mindset, I want this done tomorrow. BUT, what you find happens is that you push yourself too far. You try to outdo what you did the previous day to see results faster. And, eventually you get frustrated. Your anxiety increases. You may even become depressed and yes, eat more, gain more weight and spiral downhill. So, how can you better approach your goal?

Take things one step at a time. Honor where you are and start from there.

1. Start Small. For example, if you are struggling to go to work then step one is to get out of bed. If you are struggling to exercise then step one is to start with 10 minutes a day and work up from there. If you are struggling to eat healthy then step one is to add one vegetable to dinner. Ask yourself, what is within my control that I can do right now? Sometimes this will be one inhale of fresh air without the nicotine or smoke from your cigarette - and that's ok. If that’s your starting point then that is your starting point.

2. Stay Present In Self-Talk. I can do this. I will do this. I am doing this. I did it!

3. Stay Grounded. We have five senses to absorb the beauty in this world, but when we worry our senses shut down. Release your fear. Let it go. It will be ok. Turn your senses on. What can you see around you right now? What can you hear right now? Identify five things you can feel. How do your shoes feel on your feet? Your shirt on your back? Your body sitting in the chair? The breath as you inhale through your nostrils? Your chest as you exhale through your nose or your jaw as you exhale through your mouth. Feel your sensations!

4. Smile. Think about what you want and smile. Think about what you are doing to achieve your goal and smile. Think about the progress you made and smile. The more you enjoy it, the more you will do it.

5. Focus. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. You will excel in areas others do not. And, others will excel in areas you do not. Focus on YOUR strengths and work WITH them.

"Little by little one walks far."


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