How many times do you read a good book, one full of ideas that really seem to hit home and spark loads of those exciting ‘ahas’ that we both love so much? And you get all fired up and start thinking about how this time you’re actually going to make use of that thing you just read.
And for a little while you do. All those good intentions. And then life happens and you sort of tail off a bit?
Yep, me too.
And I’m not just talking about the usual suspects like weight loss or business goal setting (although, in my world at least, those two seem to feature fairly often in this cycle!)
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve promised myself that I’ll absolutely, definitely drink the recommended eight glasses of water, only to get to about 3pm and find I’ve fallen woefully behind.
So when my dad told me about a book he was reading about little things that get the big stuff done, I bought a copy immediately (Thank you Amazon Kindle. I love you so, so much!) and started reading it the same day.
It’s called The Slight Edge and the basic premise is that everything anyone has ever achieved, any time, ever, any success they had or triumph over adversity; all of it happened because the someone decided to do one little thing, consistently, repeatedly, cheerfully and without giving up.
There are loads of stories scattered in there and some two hundred pages of expanding on this point but that’s the Facebook status update version (just in case you’re not really a book person or you’re one of those people who’d rather skip to the last page to find out if it’s a happy ending or not.)
Thinking about my 8 glasses of water quest, I decided to tweak it, based on this new found learning and, instead of trying to drink two litres of water, today I simply chose to drink one small glass of water every hour, on the hour.
I forgot a couple of times but by the end of the day, my 2 litre bottle was nearly empty. Result!
The trick will be doing it again tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and …
I got to thinking … what else could we tweak and apply The Slight Edge principle to?
You remember I mentioned yesterday about how Mondays are the day for getting really intentional about the week to come?
Well this is what I was talking about. Picking the little things that, added up together, over time, make a massive difference. Both in your business and in your day to day life.
Are you one of those people who, every January, makes a promise to yourself that this is the year that you’re finally going to read the whole bible? How far did you get?
What if, instead of trying to read the whole bible, you simply read one chapter per day? And what if you didn’t wait for January to roll round but instead, started right now, today? You’d have nearly got to the end of Numbers by Christmas morning. Not too shabby!
You see? It works like a charm for just about anything in life that you want to do.
Want to finally write your book? Commit to writing 500 words per day, every day, and you’ll be the proud owner of a fifty thousand word first draft in little over three months.
Want to be able to do 100 sit ups? (Really? Are you sure?) But yes, if you really want to, you can commit to just one and then one more and then one more again and before you know it, 100 sit ups. Easy.
The real trick is choosing your thing, and then doing it, every single day.
And that’s where the accountability in The Itchy Soul (http://theitchysoul.com) really comes into its own.
There’s something magic about writing stuff down plus, when you know that someone’s going to be asking you later in the week, it has this rather lovely tendency to give you a swift one up the behind. Just what you need to keep yourself moving forward. Sweet!