How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Change requires discipline, consistency, and patience. It is a difficult endeavor and one we all seek. Yet, think of how many people complain about not being able to sustain real change in their life. Diets and gym memberships sky rocket come the first of January and die off by March. Yoga studios, mindfulness courses, and guided meditation channels get an influx of people who are dealing with a crisis, yet most quit before they even get started. When your bank account drops to zero and you are worried about feeding the family or paying rent, we all search for new opportunities or hit the nearest book store to find the answer to our problems. No matter the route you decide to take, the outcome is the same if you lack discipline, consistency, and patience; more money blown and another failed attempt at change.
I believe the issue is the point at which you focus your energy. Too many spend time dreaming about the millions in the bank account, the perfect beach body, or the joy and happiness once you get over the traumatic event. These things should be a focus and always a part of your vision, but the bulk of your energy should be focused on the little things.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to change, but the big changes are simply an accumulation of the little things. The little things, done with discipline and consistency allows one to be patient in waiting for the results you desire. We all know what the little things are but we don’t put enough importance on them. There are moments, every day, where we face the challenge of overcoming the little things.
Starting our day, we can either put our feet on the ground or reach over and hit the snooze button. We could get that workout in, meditate, and journal or we can check our emails and social media. We could make a healthy breakfast and smoothie or hit the drive thru on the way to work. We could yell at the other drivers, be annoyed, and frustrated at traffic or listen to a podcast to learn something new to enhance our lives. We could find the joy in our work and our colleagues or gossip about our boss and that one guy we don’t particularly like at the office. We can come home and engage with our loved ones or we can bring home frustration and take it out on our loved ones. We could make a healthy dinner and drink water or we could eat that greasy fast food and slam a bottle of wine before bed time. Ending our day, we could go to sleep at a reasonable hour to get a good night’s rest or we could stay up to watch one more episode.
Can you see how your day forms? Can you see the small moments where you could win or lose? This is the focus. This is where the energy should primarily go. I am not saying you don’t deserve a “cheat day.” I am not saying it won’t be difficult. In fact, we don’t win these moments for that precise reason. Change is hard. Discipline, consistency, and patience is tough, but it gets easier each time you win the small moment. Most would rather dream or visualize about the big picture, the desired results, the dream or vision we set for ourselves than actually put in the necessary work. To work at something, to put energy into it, is to grow that thing. Whatever, whomever, or wherever you place your energy, things will grow, whether positive or negative. Why not place your energy, efforts, and time on winning these moments?
Win at life by winning the years. Win the years by winning the months. Win the months by winning each day. Most importantly, win the day by winning the moments. This is where success is created. Winning these tiny moments is where we strengthen discipline, enhance consistency, and embrace patience. These moments add up. Accomplishing the little things, build up the motivation and momentum, the encouragement and zest to keep going, to believe in yourself, to know you can do anything. Each moment, you have a choice, a decision to make. Will you succeed or peril at your own hands? It’s your call.