Thursday, October 16, 2003

Building On Small Successes

So now that you're starting to move a little bit or are at least thinking about it more than you may have been, I am reminded of something a lot of geek folks deal with... we tend to want to be perfect straight out of the chute.

Well, here's the deal: it doesn't work that way. Yeah, we tend to learn fast and that's probably our ticket to stardom, but you've still got to start somewhere when it comes to something new. This is especially true when it comes to physical activity when you may not have had much focus on that in the past. (Any?)

You can get this message many places and the concept is applicable to all aspects of life and work.

The first time I ran across it and noticed it for the good advice that it really is was in a book called The Runner's Handbook by Bob Glover. He writes about his Run Easy program where the amount of running (or even walking, depending on the level of fitness you're starting with) he advocates in the beginning is so small as to be downright embarrassing. At least that tends to be true for those of us Type-A folks whose natural inclination is to "get in there and do it right if we're going to bother to get in there and do it at all. The trouble with the Type-A approach is that it just isn't sustainable.

FlyLady knows that starting small and building up from there is where it's at too. I'm sure you're sniggering now - or will be as soon as you visit the site. One of smartest geeks I know, though, is out there shining his sink and doing the 27-fling boogie on a regular basis.

Many of the Eastern philosophies dwell deeply on the subject too. Don't beat yourself up if you're not "there" yet - work on where you are instead and begin stretching out from there when you're ready. If it sounds like yoga, you're not far off, given that it's where I heard the message most recently myself. Added bonus for the male-dominated field of tech-geeks: group yoga classes can be a great place to pick up babes.

On a related, but less physical note, there's even a book called Start Where You Are that takes the reader through at least some of the how of giving into what is happening with us right now and learning to accept and even use it to make improvements.

What stands in your way? What do you do to overcome that? Send your thoughts to me at and we'll discuss it.

For now, what is one small step you can take toward your goal? Are you willing to make that step?