Small Moves

Small moves, Ellie, small moves.
— Ted Arroway (Contact)

The temptation when trying to change a habit, develop a skill, or tackle that new project is to think too big. We fatally link what success looks like, with our plan to reach it.

So we tell ourselves we’ll finish that article by the end of the month or stick to the latest 21 day diet program. In most cases, these ambitions fizzle out after only a brief burst of enthusiasm.

Much better to find the smallest step you are confident you can make successfully. Then, after taking that tiny step, ask yourself if you can do it again. Then do it. Step by step. Inch by inch. Ratchet up your efforts over time. Change isn’t made in leaps, but in small steps.

The next time inspiration strikes, and you’re driven to act - ask not what you want do, but rather what is the smallest, meaningful step you’re certain you can make today, and do that.

Momentum > willpower.


If you want to learn more about behavior change, check out the Stanford Behavior Design Lab.