Savour The Small Steps

By April 6, 2022Equipping

Do you see them? Yes, they are going up already. Election posters with your local members face smiling at you while you wait in traffic. And then you’ll see, either on the nightly news (OK, I’m showing my age, who watches the evening News anymore) or on your internet news feed, all the big, wonderful, amazing promises our politicians will entice us with if we vote for them.

Everything is going to be BIG for the next month or so.:... read more

But it’s not sustainable is it. I don’t mean the election policies (I sure hope they are sustainable), but the BIGGNESS. Most of us will turn off very quickly and all we’ll hear is Blah, Blah, Blah.

That’s because most of us are practical people. There are things we need to get done. We have work to do. Objectives to be met. We can’t live in the “Everything is BIG” world all the time.

That’s not saying that we don’t all have “big things” which are important to us. We do and we must attend to them. But very few of us can take “the big thing” by itself and complete it quickly. We have to break it down. We have to make it into smaller parts that we can manage.

So, how do we practically approach the big task our Lord has given us to take the gospel to the least reached people of the earth? We start small. In his book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”, John C. Maxwell puts it well, “Small disciplines repeated with consistency everyday lead to great achievements gained slowly over time”. These small disciplines lead to small wins which are worth celebrating because they lead to big achievements. Small wins help us track all the incremental steps involved in achieving much larger goals.

Regardless of the type of goal you set, it’ll take time to achieve it. If you wait until you’ve reached the end to celebrate your accomplishments, your day-to-day progress may be impacted because you don’t recognize the improvements you’re making. We all want to shoot for the end goal, but I have found that shooting for large goals can bring about anxiety and even lead to feeling depressed about your progress.

There’s a better way. How about stacking up some small wins? Small achievements that work as a source of motivation and build confidence toward the greater goal. Our progress is best when it’s made up of measurable and completed small steps. Cumulative small bursts of action toward making the BIG goal a reality.

As we look at the task ahead, preparing ourselves and being equipped for the task our Lord has given us, here are few things that might help.

Find someone you can be accountable to.

Don’t keep your BIG goal, or your small goals to yourself. You can share your goals with a friend or spouse or even broadcast your goals with your wider church community. Other people can provide support and encouragement, as well as motivation. You are more likely to keep working toward your goals knowing that someone else is cheering you on to complete a task.

Set achievable micro-goals.

When working out what your small steps will be, consciously note what exactly you need to do to achieve your BIG goal. Then, break it down into daily or weekly micro-goals that signify progress. These are the small wins you can stack up.

As you progress through your Connect training, this might mean taking a module and committing to finishing it in 2 months. This smaller goal can then be broken down further into the micro-goal of completing 2 tutorials each week, and even smaller micro-goals of watching a tutorial video one night, reading over the PDF transcript another day and then completing the discussions questions another day. Create a “micro-goal routine” that works for you.

Manage your expectations.

As a Military recruiter for many years, I often see candidates with wrong expectations of what lies ahead for them. This can lead to disaster if not managed properly. Having realistic expectations sounds like you’re settling for the road to mediocrity and less optimal productivity, but that disregards the cumulative effect of progress and the power of small wins. You can dream as big as you want, but the most sustainable, feedback-rich way to achieve greatness is to keep things small.

Don’t forget to celebrate

Here’s the fun part. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you stack up a small win. When you complete and micro-goal or a small step toward your BIG goal, have a small reward. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Whatever works to motivate you and keep the momentum moving forward toward the bigger goal. For me, that’s chocolate, but I’ll let you find your own motivation.