In yesterday’s post, I presented a writing prompt.

What is a recent idea or concept you’ve encountered that has made your life better?

I’ll set the clock for 5 minutes…and go!

A big idea I have embraced this past year is the value of small habits. We often think in terms of “big breaks”. Sure, these are glamorous. And naturally, the overnight success attracts the most attention. Because we’re impatient. We want results, fast. The assumption too, is that things that take less time are also easier. That is certainly untrue.

In fact, the overnight successes and big breaks are often a facade. Usually, they are hiding years of incremental and consistent hard work. So while there are certainly the occasional big break, or major improvement, it is typically built on the back of lots of minor improvements.

Even though the actions themselves seem small, maintaining them over a long period is the hard part. But the efforts compound. Just like writing, or meditating, or practicing something 10 or 20 minutes a day.

Beyond the compounding effect, I have noticed one of momentum. I noted to myself the importance of not have “zero days”. We typically judge ourselves by the maximum that we can possibly squeeze in, but just as important is to set a floor: what’s the one thing that I can do today to make today a success?

So even taking one small action can get things going on the right track. It becomes easier to take the next one, and the one after that, and things snowball in the right direction.