Tag Archives: small steps

The power of a streak

One very intensive day of language training can teach you something, but in general, it will not improve your knowledge significantly. However, consistent 15-minutes a day is sure to bring results.

One very intensive day of sports training can teach you something, but the same as with a language, it will neither significantly improve your sporting abilities, nor your condition. However,… you guessed it right! Consistent even only 15-minutes a day exercises will render much more sustainable results.

I have been talking about the power of small steps for a while, but here is an important add-on to it —

coupled with the power of a streak, you will be surprised how far you can get.

The most important caveat here is consistency. When I say “every day”, that means “EVERY day!”. With all capitals in “every” and an exclamation point at the end. 🙂

No excuses like “I will skip today because I am so tired…” or “I will have to skip today because we are going to that party”. Nope. That doesn’t work like that. If one day is lost, the streak is lost. As simple as that.

In the language app I am using (Duolingo), my streak recently crossed 200 days mark. That means that for more than 200 hundred days EVERY single day I spent at least 15 minutes doing exercises in Dutch. I can tell you, it got me far! As far as being able to have a fluent conversation in Dutch at a party we attended last month. For the record, Duolingo is of course not the only source of learning for me, as the app is more for practicing and — which is probably the most important — for streak-keeping.

Now, the last part is actually very important.

It is a pure psychological trick — a “satisfaction-banana” for our “monkey-brain”. If we see the counter and it is consistently increasing, after a very short while it is kind of sad to lose this streak. For instance, you have already the proverbial 21-days (needed to form a habit), you would not want to go back to zero and start all over, would you?

(Even more, if you do, there is a big chance that you will not pick it up again).

Keeping streak helped me make the learning of Dutch into a daily habit, but it likewise worked for 5 minutes of meditation, a daily plank, and some other small habits – my small steps – of improving my life. Thus I wholeheartedly believe that streak-keeping is an important power working together with the power of small steps towards getting to any big hairy audacious goals you can come up with.

How to boil a frog?

I believe almost everyone knows that story that if you put a frog in hot water, it will jump out, but if you put it in cold water and start slowly boiling it, eventually you will boil a frog. Subtle changes slight inconvenience, acceptable discomfort… and a frog is boiled dead. But even without going into fatalistic mode, small soft steps are efficient if you need to deal with any opposition.

Long time ago I had the “conflict” with my mother over a car. Continue reading How to boil a frog?

Managing your time for success

I am sorry, I really wanted to prepare a presentation for today, but I had absolutely no time for it. My son needed to go to a doctor, my daughter had some sort of a school event to prepare for, my husband needed some help with his work stuff as well. I simply didn’t have time to make a presentation. But on the other hand, why would I even need a presentation if here is no screen to show it on anyway?! And here I already start talking about a fundamental question of time-management.

This was more or less the beginning of my speech on time-management last Saturday. Continue reading Managing your time for success

The power of small tweaks or How I lost 15 kilos in a year

I am a big fan of small steps – those tiny things that you can always find a way to do and which combined softly get you where you want to be. This is the approach I follow in respect of everything: weight loss included. I will not talk about some magic pills or about extensive fitness routine or about counting calories. In this post I will share the small tweaks I made to my daily routine which allowed me to get to the end result – minus 15 kilos in a year (went down from 75 kg to 60 kg). Thus, what did I do?

Continue reading The power of small tweaks or How I lost 15 kilos in a year