Big Wins: Small Changes That Accumulate Over Time

This is a big win (making a very small change in your routine that you don’t even notice after a week but that adds up over time) disguised as a small one (taking the stairs.) I am more concerned that you get the big lesson here, but I think that a story about a small application of this lesson is the best way to explain it.

Two years ago, I went on a hiking trip with my friend Ben Stafford out in Rocky Mountain National Park. I knew about the trip for about 3 months, and I was worried that my legs wouldn’t be able to handle the long hikes (16 miles some days) over the rocky terrain. So, I started taking the stairs as often as I could. I noticed that I wasn’t actually building my legs up, though. Taking the stairs was easy. So, I resolved to take them two hat a time for the next three months. It was difficult for the first week, I’ll admit. You’d be surprised how much easier it became after that, though. It quickly became a habit and it is now it feels unnatural and tedious to take one stair at a time. In fact, after about a month, I stopped noticing that I was doubling up on the stairs. (Two years later, it is still a habit!) As a consequence, my legs are stronger and I now get up the stairs with speed and ease. (In the short term, my hikes were much easier!)

I didn’t take a gym subscription, changes to my schedule for more workouts, no time on a leg press, and no aching muscles to build up my legs. Just a very minor change to my daily routine that took no additional time (but a little additional effort, at least at the beginning.)

What minor change could you make to your daily routine that will add up over time and help your achieve a significant result?

I don’t care how you walk up the stairs, but I do care about you making small positive changes that accumulate over time to something much bigger.

One response to “Big Wins: Small Changes That Accumulate Over Time”

  1. StaffAction Avatar

    Good stuff, Chuck! I’m a strong believer in this. A couple examples:

    -Reading a chapter of a book (or for a short, set amount of time) prior to bed. One will be amazed how much they can read and relax and destress in their life by habitually winding down like that with just a small adjustment in their schedule and routine.

    -Spend 10-15 minutes a day memorizing Scripture. I wish I was that disciplined… I probably average out to 5 minutes and it’s neat to see over time the Scripture “hidden in my heart” really add up over time. Entire chapters and portions of books start to accumulate. Of course, the benefits of this are practical and eternal.

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