When I was younger I would set big goals for myself and think about the process it would take to accomplish that goal and feel a bit overwhelmed. As I became older and wiser I realized it is always best to set a goal and then set smaller ones that lead to accomplishing it. The small wins in life are what really add up to big success. I find this to be true in every aspect of my life.
I have recently tackled a project of cleaning up client accounts at my new job and it has been a bit time consuming and tedious. At the end of the day I feel mentally exhausted, which I believe can feel worse than being physically exhausted. I thought this project would allow me to reconcile approximately 30 accounts a day, at the least but I realize I grossly over-estimated my ability to balance other daily office tasks while tackling this project. So I had to adjust my timeline and set my bar a little lower, which is hard for me sometimes. I feel like I have failed in some way when I can’t accomplish everything I originally set out to do. This mentality is something I think many of us struggle with and I had to take a step back and ask….if I am still making steps towards completing the goal is it really a fail? No, it is not!
Just because we may not be where we want to be in life as quickly as we originally expected doesn’t mean we are a failure. I look at my life and if I judged by that yard stick I would be a very depressed individual. Instead, I have decided to look at the small wins in life. I did not go back to college to finish my degree until my late thirties. I did not find my wonderful relationship and love of my life until my late thirties either. Up until that point I was learning many lessons the hard way and my success was very slow moving. I knew I wanted more but I felt it was impossible to accomplish everything I wanted to do in life because I felt so far behind the curve. Most people by their late thirties are well establish in career and have a good relationship, kids, house and the American dream going (at least that is what I told myself).
I went back to college and worked hard while working full time and raising my daughter. I bought a home in that time and have steadily been remodeling it over the last 6 years, and recently made a career change that has complimented my education putting me on a faster track to my big goal. Through the whole process I just focused on each little win. Whenever I would look years ahead and think about all I had to do I would get anxious and feel over-whelmed. I just kept telling myself, I have to make it through this semester of college, keep paying my bills, and keep my relationships strong, nothing else matters. Keeping my priorities straight has been an important key but each day I make a list of what I need to do, things I want to accomplish and as I check them off I know I am still making those small wins that count towards the bigger goal.
Some days I may not feel good, I may just not want to exercise or I may choose the cheeseburger over the salad, some days I may not complete more than 5 accounts on my work project, some days I may just have time to send an I love you text to my friends, family or significant other….but every little positive effort counts no matter how small. So when you feel like maybe you are failing at life because you haven’t accomplished BIG things…slow your roll and think about the small wins of the day and know that its the little things that really matter.
With love, health, happiness….and the small wins of life,