In our culture we tend to think it’s all about the quantum leap; an abrupt, extreme change. You know what I’m talking about…it goes something like this: one day when I have…..or, when such and such is over…or as soon as I get a different schedule, more time, different shoes, when the baby is older, etc. The truth is that the perfect circumstances never come and we seem to commonly believe that “one day when” will come and suddenly some big break will happen. It really just isn’t so.
Contrary to these popular beliefs, it is always way more about the little decisions that we make and the little things that we do that all add up to BIG positive results! Real progress and success in anything we do come through a principle coined “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson in his best-selling book. Research and countless examples have proven that little things over time add up!
You may have heard this old Oriental Proverb:
A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step!
It’s true!! Then you just keep taking more steps, keep showing up, keep making the positive healthier choices consistently and you will achieve the results you want! Remember the old movie, What About Bob? Baby Steps!!
Little things make a big difference and showing up is often half the battle!
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to get great!
The best part is that your efforts will begin to multiply by an amazing force called momentum. It’s kind of like a domino effect, but in a positive direction! There is a plant called the water hyacinth that has baffled scientists for years with it’s amazing ability to duplicate itself. You find it floating on ponds in warm climates across the world. The crazy mind-boggling thing about this plant is that on day one of the month you may not even notice it, on day 15 it may cover about a square foot, and even on day 29 half the pond is still open water, but on day 30 the entire pond is entirely covered by the Water Hyacinth’s phenomenal ability to double itself and you will not see any water at all!!
So, do not be discouraged when you don’t always physically see the results right away! They are coming I promise! Keep baby-stepping and slight-edging your way to better health with the right decisions consistently over time!
Remember that these little things are usually easy to do, but very easy not to do!
Maximize the time and energy that you do have!
Here are some practical ways that you can put these principles to work:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park further out in the parking lot
- Make an appointment with yourself 2-5x/week to exercise
- Get a fitness tracker to track your steps
- Choose healthier options at meal time, even if it’s just part of the meal
- Decide before! (In the moment we tend to make more emotional based decisions)
- Tell Somebody!! (Letting others in on your goals brings accountability and encouragement)
- Mentally go over your reasons why you are striving for these results every day!
**The Slight Edge principle isn’t just for fitness!! You can apply the slight edge to any endeavor to ensure consistent, lastly success!**
Lisa M. Jones
Certified ACSM Health Fitness Instructor & AFFA Personal Trainer
BS in Exercise Physiology, BS in Coaching