The Compound Effect~ Why Setting Small Goals is GREAT & Consistency is KEY

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

George Bernard Shaw

As I have written before here I am not a woman of patience. I am trying. Starting my own little business from home has forced me to find some skills that were not genetically bestowed upon me…one being patience. Another skill I am working on is what I like to call “stick-to-it-ness”. I have also written before how Im pretty good at giving up, quitting, stopping, etc. Well, when you have a business and people are depending on you that is not really an option. My previous blog was about how I have made an art form out of giving up. I was good at it. I could burn a bridge and walk away and never look back. Yes thats a metaphor for many things in my life not just business stuff.

Ive never been obese so I could give up on a workout program and not worry about it. I’ve never smoked (well ok not NEVER but themed frat parties where I was dressed in a trash bag and rode home in the back of a truck do not count). Man I hope my kids don’t read these. Anyway- Ive never had to give up smoking, never had to break a really bad habit, never had to really really really stick with anything. So giving up on stuff was never a big deal to me. Until now.

I read a book recently called “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. I’ve told so many people about it that I truly feel Mr. Hardy should send me commission. It was recommended as reading by Beachbody and has a great message. It’s premise is that consistency is key to success in EVERYTHING you do. Whether you are starting a business, trying to save money, trying to lose weight, trying to quit a bad habit, whatever it may be…consistency is key. There’s a story about a guy who quit putting creamer in his coffee for a year. That’s it. One small change. And he lost 20 pounds that year. There’s a story about someone who saved a penny a day for a year and when invested it turned into a million dollars. It was a real eye opener about how tiny changes that are implemented consistently make HUGE differences.

Setting big huge ginormous goals can be overwhelming. When you set a big giant goal it seems so unattainable. I mean I know the title of this blog implies that Im against setting big goals. I am NOT. Big goals are great…for some people. For me they are a bit overwhelming. I get obsessed with the BIG picture and lose sight of all of the little goals between start and finish that are required to get to your big goal. I have a customer who needs to lose 100 pounds! That’s a lot of pounds. If she were to get up everyday and say “damn I need to lose 100 pounds” that would suck. Instead we discussed setting smaller goals. Lets shoot for 10 pounds. And after she loses 10 pounds we set a new goal, etc. There are little victories at each goal you reach. And why not? Id rather feel great about myself and victorious every few weeks than wait a year to celebrate. How disheartening would that be? But you know what? Eventually a year has passed and the weight is gone. IF you have committed. I mean….the year’s going to pass whether you commit or don’t.

The book helped me realize two things: smart & successful people work consistently.They don’t give up. They never give up. They have stick-to-it-ness. They set little goals and reach them, then set new little goals, then reach them, etc. The other thing the book helped reiterate to me was that tiny changes can make a HUGE change over time. When I started with Beachbody a few months ago I knew that it would require COMMITMENT from me. So before I started I told myself that if I was not willing to be consistent then there was no reason to even start. It would have been super great to sign up, make a million bucks and float. Who wouldn’t want that? But that is not realistic. The reality of it is that you get up each day and commit again to working hard for what you want. Its a daily thing. Its a consistency thing. Its a slow, steady process. I believe I could insert a little anecdote about a tortoise and a hare….its true. Slow & steady (and consistent) wins the race.

Because I am immersed in weight loss stories everyday I get to read about all kinds of different people. They are inspiring and heartfelt and sad and happy and joyful stories. They get me pumped each day. These strangers turned customers turned friends give me a reassurance each day that when you stick to something, when you believe in something, when you commit to something it always pays off. My little goal recently was to hold “crow” (a very difficult yoga position) for 5 seconds. I fell on my face no less than 20 times in the past few weeks. But I kept trying. I kept trying. Everyday I practiced a little. And guess what?

Don’t. Ever. Give. Up.


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