Recently I have been struck by how many small decisions make up a meaningful life. Yes, there are the big ones, like choosing a career or your life partner. But every day we all make small choices, habit-forming ones even, that determine our happiness and can effect dramatic and long-term results.
Think of the decision to exercise – it boils down to putting on your running shoes every day. Similarly, the choice of putting sugar in your tea; how many hours of sleep you give yourself; putting your phone down when you’re asking your children about their day or how much money you spend on your daily cappuccino. Countless small decisions that have an impact beyond just that moment.
Choosing to skip that daily teaspoon of sugar may be the start towards your target weight. Putting the phone down and looking into your child’s eyes when they talk about their day may be the start of you not feeling parenting guilt and your child opening up. Likewise choosing to not have that daily cappuccino has a significant result over years. That daily cappuccino costs you R1.5 million over a 30-year working career. It is the equivalent of a university education for your child or an annual overseas holiday in retirement. I wrote about this in my book, “Manage Your Money Living Your Dream”.
Small choices are the difference between health and sickness, loneliness or friendship, financial freedom or distress.
This year, I started doing ten minutes of exercise every morning, just to keep my flexibility and tone my ageing muscles. I am hooked. I now love getting up and doing my stretches. It is making a difference to my energy levels.
So, if there is something big you want to tackle, why not think about a small thing you can change to get there. When we’re faced with a big goal, it can be daunting, but if you start with a small step, it may just lead you to completing your goal.
Take the small step. It matters. It gets you to your desired future.