Success in any area, whether it’s your career, health, relationships, finances, or spirituality, all comes down to taking small daily steps again and again. In contrary, most people assume that success — no matter how you define it — is the result of one big event or one monumental action.
Instead, success is about showing up every single day. It’s about those small things done daily (or weekly or monthly, depending on their nature) that add up significantly over time. This is what author Darren Hardy calls ‘The Compound Effect.’
Small steps repeated again and again over a long period of time lead to big results.
The problem with this method is that it’s simple and obvious — which is precisely why most people ignore it. They look for something new and exciting. Something ‘sexy’.
A magic pill…
Repeating small actions daily is almost too boring to believe. But it works. It’s how the most successful investors, entrepreneurs, musicians, athletes, and writers got to the top.
How Small Consistent Actions Lead To Big Results In Your Health & Fitness
Let’s say that your goal is to lose weight. Most people are pulled towards a fancy diet that promises massive results in just a few weeks. It promises a ‘quick fix’ for your problem, and who doesn’t like that? However, it turns out that these diets are often not sustainable as the weight returns as quickly as you lost it.
Instead, the simplest and most obvious solution to lose weight is to limit your calorie intake (by avoiding unhealthy foods, sugar, and saturated fat) and to get some form of movement daily.
However, the effects of this method aren’t immediately noticeable. It takes time and repetition before you notice the changes in your own body. If you’d repeat these small actions daily for about a year, you would have an entirely different body and a lot more energy a year from now.
The problem is that the latter method, despite being highly effective, offers delayed gratification instead of instant gratification. Unfortunately, we’re hardwired to lean towards instant gratification because it makes us feel good right now.
Choosing delayed gratification over instant gratification often means the difference between success and mediocrity.
Building muscle mass comes down to the same principle. Going to the gym once won’t make much of a difference — you won’t see any muscle growth. Even going five times doesn’t do much.
It’s only after consistently going to the gym for a few months in a row that you start to see significant results. Do it for a year, and you’ll be in a completely different shape. It’s the little decision to consistently show up that determines the success in your fitness.
How Small Consistent Actions Lead To Big Results In Your Finances
The same goes for investing. Investing just $200 per month in an index fund for multiple years isn’t that exciting. In fact, it’s quite dull. Yet, it’s the most effective strategy for the average person to gain significant levels of wealth.
In fact, investing $200 per month for 30 years at an average of 7% annually leads to a total amount of $245,417. That’s a quarter of a million dollar by just investing $200 a month!
However, most people wouldn’t even bother, because they assume that investing $200 per month isn’t going to do much — consequently missing out on $245,417 of potential gains.
Even worse, they assume that financial success can only be gained through one or two ‘lucky’ investments. So, they fall for the rush of an exciting and promising start-up — only to lose 80% of their investment a few years later.
Again, small, consistent efforts repeated over a long period lead to significant results. It may be slow and steady, but it wins the race.
How Small Consistent Actions Lead To Big Results In Your Personal Growth
Your personal growth is based on the same principle. Reading a book or following a course once isn’t going to do that much. But instead, if you’d only read ten pages per day, you’d finish about 13 books per year. Now that makes a difference — even though you only read ten pages per day.
It’s the small daily actions that eventually turn you into a wise and highly skilled individual.
How Small Consistent Actions Lead To Big Results In Your Relationships
Your relationships are another example of where small daily actions lead to big results. For example, expressing love and gratitude for a loved one only on Valentine’s day or their birthday isn’t going to lead to a successful relationship.
Expressing it consistently, however, is going to lead to a much stronger and more fulfilling relationship.
Another example is building your network. If you’re looking to expand your network, you could go to a networking event every once per few months and talk to as many people as you can. In reality, however, you’d only have many shallow conversations that are likely going nowhere.
Instead, if you’d resolve to introduce yourself to just one new person each day (or week), you’ll have a massive network a few years from now.
Again, small actions repeated consistently throughout time lead to big results — whereas a few big actions here and there don’t even come close to these results.
How Small Consistent Actions Lead To Big Results In Your Goals & Career
Maybe your goal is to write a book. At first glance, this looks like an intimidating project. However, if you’d focus on writing 500 words per day — which is less than half of this article — you’d have a finished 50,000-word manuscript (the average length of a non-fiction book) in less than four months!
Maybe your goal is to build a successful business. In that case, focus on doing important work daily. For example, growing your list of prospects with just 0.5% per day equals list growth of about 6x in a year — which results in a significant increase in profit. Again, it’s the small actions repeated daily that eventually cause the most significant results.
Now Do It
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day — and neither is your success.
Consistent repetition of relatively simple actions over time will determine your success. There’s no short-cut, magic pill or hack that will ever replace this formula.
The next time that you feel intimidated by one of your goals or aspirations — or the thought of success — refer back to this principle. Focus on taking small actions and repeating them daily. Compounded over time, they will lead to big results.
I know, I know. It’s not that exciting. But it works. So, stop looking for the next big thing and start doing small things daily.
To Your Personal Growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab