264. On the Importance of Start Small


Those are two very small words.  So small it’s easy to forget them – to overlook their significance.  However, despite how small those words are on the outside, they are truly epic words.  Small starts, small changes, add up to something epic.

Somewhere along the lines I forgot the importance of starting small.  Of making little changes and building on those changes.  Maybe it was because I had built a momentum.  I had a solid base of small starts.  All those small starts created something larger and got lost.  It’s like pointillism – A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte – all those dots create something beautiful while getting lost in the bigger picture.   

In my rambling and meandering epiphany regarding my weight loss (or lack thereof), I made the decision to go back to basics.  I made the decision to start small though I didn’t really realize it.  And guess what, so far I’ve had a lot of success.

Today I realized the mistake I’ve been making all along in my efforts to get back on track.  A mistake I wasn’t truly aware of until I stopped making it.  All of my previous attempts to get back on track were me diving right back in.  Yes, that can be an effective method…after a bad weekend.  The more time that passes, the harder it is to pick right back up where you left off. 

Sometimes you just have to start over, although I don’t look at it as starting over really.  Starting over implies I’m back at square one that all the progress I made is lost.  That’s not true at all.  I’m looking at it as picking back up at a slower speed.

When I made the decision to get back to basics I was starting small and it has led to bigger things.  I decided to take the small step of eating more veggies, and in paying attention to my veggie intake, I started paying closer attention to everything I was eating.  I decided to start a food journal – an old school, pen and paper journal.  And I decided not to write down just the foods I was eating but the details as well – was I hungry, eating out of boredom, did I eat too much, what factors might be effecting my appetite.  Keeping this detailed log has led me to paying more attention to my calorie intake – I’ve been using SparkPeople to keep track of calories (generally after the fact) on almost a daily basis.  And since I always already writing all this other stuff down, I went ahead and started keeping track of my workouts in there too – what I did, how I felt. 

I’ve had more success in getting back on track this time than I ever have before.  I feel really good about it.  I know I can make more small starts – like setting a single goal for myself each morning.  I’m writing it in the top margin of my journal.  It could be anything.  Today’s goal: 50 wall push-ups.  Tomorrow’s goal might be to buy ink for my printer.  (Seriously, it probably will be.)  I’ve talked about how I’m terrible at seeing things through when I set goals.  Setting a single daily goal seems like a good way to start small.

It seems that it all boils down to one thing: Start Small, Finish Big.

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