“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
That Sherlock Holmes quote is one of my favorites, and not just because I’m 5 feet tall.
I’ve always been detail-oriented, and I prefer looking at the nitty gritty aspects of life rather than the big picture. True, you do have to understand the big goals you’re working towards, but the tiny steps along the way are what really get you there.
This microscopic viewpoint influences how I run my life coaching programs. First, my clients talk about their enormous hopes and dreams (Start my own business! Lose 50 pounds! Leave this soul-sucking job! Move somewhere exotic!).
Once a client has a specific goal in mind, we go about breaking it down into smaller and smaller action steps. What needs to be done this month, this week, or today? What itsy bitsy task can you do to move yourself closer to that dream?
Honestly, most people don’t find pleasure in looking at all the little things that need to be checked off before a goal is reached, and I’ve had numerous clients fight me when I try to get them to think smaller.
Fantasizing about wearing your skinny jeans is fun—yay! Waking up at 6:00 in the morning to haul yourself to the gym every day for 3 months is not—boo!
I get it. It’s hard to keep plowing along when you feel like you have so far to go. Working on the little things does get easier over time, usually after the third day or so.
But it’s those people who put in the effort and pay attention to the little things who actually achieve the big things in life.
Want to work on the little things in your life? Download my free printable worksheet, The Ultimate To-Do List.
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