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I said I’d do this video thing, even though it’s uncomfortable and frankly, I feel a little stupid. 🙂 So here we are!
Today I ran 3.5 miles with my dog, Lillie, and thought about 2 things: how small, consistent habits add up; and how we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others.
Small habits. Small moves. Let’s not be afraid of them.
Afraid? Sounds a little silly, right? But that’s exactly what happens. We think the little moves won’t get us anywhere, so we blow them off in favor of focusing on giant leaps. Yet anyone who’s gained a measure of success will tell you they got there through consistency … often, the small, consistent actions that come from discipline and focus.
Later in the day, I read a blog post from Nick Loper’s Side Hustle Nation on this same idea. He talks about micro habits.
Nick describes it this way: “Where I believe the magic is, is in the tiny feeling of accomplishment in having done them. It’s like a mental hack; I said this thing was important to me, I said I’d do it, and I did it.”
I also had a conversation with a friend today about the simple habit of making the bed. I will admit, I was never much of a bed-maker, even in my adult life. Either my room was upstairs and out of sight or I lived alone and figured it didn’t matter. I neatened the bed up a bit, but I didn’t go to the trouble to make it super tidy.
But then I read an article or a section of a book (I don’t remember) that talked about small things you can do in your life to take control. Everything around you can be totally out of control, it said, but at least you can always make your bed.
That resonated. Things were feeling kind of crazy in my own life, and I liked the idea of something I could control. And then I soon discovered that I actually like to make my bed! It’s become a little morning routine that does indeed give me the feeling of having ticked something off of my to-do list immediately. And the room looks better.
Compare Yourself to No One
There’s a quote attributed to Mark Twain that goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
I have to remind myself of this one constantly, and I think those of us who are recovering perfectionists tend to do this a lot. On my run, we came across a woman who was beautiful and light on her feet and who had great form.
“Man, I wish I looked like that,” I thought. And then dismissed it.
I was in the middle of a 3.5-mile run that didn’t kill me. This is a big deal in my life! I once viewed a 5k as the longest thing ever, and now it’s a distance I run on an ordinary day. I did a personal best for distance this past Sunday. It’s nothing compared to what “real” runners do … but what’s a real runner, anyway?
Comparison is the thief of joy. Sure, I’m a little jealous of that other runner, but Lillie the dog and I had a great time today. The weather was beautiful, my playlist was fun, and my body felt great — no nagging injuries and strong lungs. Time to celebrate!
What do you think about small steps and comparisons? Feel free to comment!
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