Big Changes Start With Small Steps

Rich Habits
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The key to transforming your life is taking small steps. Those small steps get the ball rolling. Eventually, those consistent small steps, over many years, compound into massive change.

In mid-October, 2015 I tested this small step theory.

Completely healed from a back injury sustained in mid-2010, I decided it was time to get back into running. So I set a modest goal, at first,: jog for 15 minutes a day for 1 week. That one week turned into two weeks and then three weeks. One day I felt I could run longer, so I did – 30 minutes. Five weeks later I ratcheted up my 15 minutes to 20 minutes a day, with a few longer runs sprinkled in there on non-working days.

I did this for 365 days in a row. Many years later, I am now running about 40 minutes every day.

These small steps helped me forge a daily running habit. As a consequence of this new running habit, my weight dropped from 197 pounds to 177 pounds. It took six months for me to lose that weight.

The key to forging my new exercise habit, was setting the bar low – 15-20 minutes a day. You can apply this habit-creation strategy to anything: exercise, reading to learn, studying for an exam or license, developing a new skill, etc.

I’ve noticed that so long as I kept the bar low, I would engage in the daily activity. Once the daily activity became a habit, which took about 3 months for my running habit, I was able to ratchet up my running because the habit was now permanent.

Small steps is definitely the key to forging new habits.

Big changes start with small steps.



  1. Shane on May 14, 2021 at 5:02 PM

    Inspiring, thank you

    • Mike A. on May 15, 2021 at 2:15 PM

      This is one of my favorite posts by far. Very practical advice that can be applied to anything in life.