It’s natural to believe that you need some grand gesture in order to turn your life around. That you need to throw everything away and start fresh. Lots of hard work. Massive amounts of unbelievably focused energy.
If you’re only thinking big and quick, you’re probably overlooking small and guaranteed options for long-term success.
You’re so busy hoping to find that one thing that will catapult you towards where you want to be that you’re ignoring the smaller stepping stones that lead you there almost automatically.
Take, for example, time.
There never seems to be enough time to get to everything that you want to do. You want more of it — but know that’s just not possible. No amount of scientific breakthrough will allow you to double or triple the amount of hours in the day.
But what if you got out of bed 1 hour earlier each day?
It doesn’t seem like much. In fact, when you’re groggy and sleepy it hardly seems like it’s even a smart use of your time.
But think about this.
That one extra hour of activity captured each day turns into 15.21 more days over the process of a year.
If you get even more nerdy about it and assume that you really only use 50% of an average day towards productive activity — the rest being spent on sleep, transportation, and meals — it’s easy to see how those 15 days equate to a month of extra productivity.
One whole month. Found in one hour segments for just a year.
Now do the long term math.
What if you were to do that for 2 years for 3 years, 5 years for even a decade? You’re not just adding hours to your productivity. You’re adding years.
Time doesn’t just heal all things, it delivers you the experience to do all things.
The same is true for fitness.
What if instead of chasing that new hip diet you just decided to eat one fewer Oreo cookie each day?
Just one cookie.
It hardly seems like much.
But over the process of a year that one fewer cookie makes a massive difference — slightly more than 19,467 calories.
That is the equivalent of 11 whole days worth of food. One cookie sacrificed each day turns into the equivalent of 35 fewer meals.
What if you kept with that cookie diet? How many calories would you save over 1 year or tw0, 5 years or a decade?
You might not ever have six pack abs or achieve that ultimate body you see in fitness magazines, but you’ll make a big difference in your own life.
The same is true for money.
What if you saved the money you spend at Starbucks and brewed your own coffee at home?
Assuming you only buy 1 cup of “expensive” coffee per weekday at slightly more than $3.25 you could save $70.42 per month.
That’s $845.00 over the course of a year. Or $25,350 over the next 30 years.
Which doesn’t seem like a lot until you do the math and figure out that investing that $3.25 per day for the same 30 year period yields $138,997.45 — or a net gain of $164,347.45.
Think about that the next time you think you “need” to have that extra awesome, super select cup of coffee.
You might be sipping away an empty future.
Stop waiting for the big things — winning the lottery, getting an unexpected inheritance, or getting that big paycheck bump — to guarantee that you live life awesome.
You don’t need to change the world to improve your future. In fact, you don’t even need to change much in order to improve your future a lot.
Better health, more money, happiness — they are all the result of making sure you master those stupid little things.