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Small Steps that Can Add Up to a Big Result


You crawl into bed with your alarm set for 4:30am. Tomorrow is going to be the day that you wake up early and get to the gym before work. You will also prepare all of your food for the day – because that is healthy AND fiscally responsible. It’s going to be great… but then the morning comes and the snooze button is so much closer than the gym. And, since you didn’t go to the gym, you might as well skip making lunch. I mean, what’s the point, really?  The whole day is shot… actually the whole week!  Might as well wait until next Monday.

We have all found ourselves in this “all or nothing” mentality. Unfortunately, sometimes in our attempt to make huge life changes, we actually end up standing completely still.  What if, instead of trying to go from zero to Jillian Michaels, we started small?

For instance, let’s say that we make the commitment to bring our lunch to work four days a week.  That simple act can save the average person about $10 per day.  If they were to bring their lunch to work over the course of a year, it would save them about $2,000!  As if cold hard cash were not enough, a homemade sandwich is on average 200 calories less than one bought at a deli. So, if you were to eat a sandwich from home four days a week, you could potentially lose over 11 pounds in one year.  Who wouldn’t want to kick off a new year 11pounds leaner and $2,000 richer?

The key to having these small steps add up to a larger impact is consistency.  How can you ensure that you will do something consistently?  Start small.  I mean really, really small.  If you think that you can’t realistically fit in 20 minutes of exercise each weekday, commit to 10 minutes. Switch your coffee with cream and sugar to a naturally flavored hot tea. You don’t have to give up all of your coffee, just switch one cup to tea. Or, instead of buying a bottled tea to sip after your workout, “unbottle” your tea by brewing your own iced tea with tea bags at home and bring it in a reusable bottle. It’s better for your body, your wallet and the planet. (There’s a great iced tea tutorial here:

Your first instinct may be that 10 minutes of exercise seems like nothing, that cutting out a little coffee is easy and that avoiding one sugary drink for an all-natural one is completely doable. That’s the point! You want your first step to be so small that it is impossible to come up with an excuse. Just remember, a single step won’t get you too far but if you string them together with consistency, you will be surprised at the distance you can travel.

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