The magic of starting small

One quick look at social media these days and you’ll find countless morning routines and trendy healthy habits to try out. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already attempted to include about 10 new rituals into your day and then fail to stick to them in the long run. But what if I told you that by doing less you can actually accomplish more?

A famous author and former monk once wrote that to reap the benefits of meditation, you needed to practice breathwork for at least 20 minutes each day. Meanwhile, 18 year old Emi was super proud of her five-minute-a-day streak – what a loser right? Well, not quite. With time and experience, I learned that I was in fact headed in the right direction, I was just starting small. 

Let’s put it this way: when you plant a seed, you must water it daily. If you overwater it, the seed will not grow as it’s supposed to. It might not even grow at all. If you spray the soil lightly instead, with time and consistency you’ll have a beautiful, strong plant. See where I’m going with this?

Now is probably a good time to admit that there’s really no “magic” in starting small, it all has a very logical explanation. By watering your seed (AKA the habit that you wish to make part of your life) every day, you’re taking tiny steps towards a bigger goal instead of rushing the process and getting frustrated shortly after starting. 

I used to feel ashamed for not running 5K in less time and for having to bend my knees in nearly every yoga pose. But all this time I was overlooking the most important part – I had showed up. No matter what happened, I kept showing up and doing the work. And I didn’t give myself the credit I deserved. 

Am I a marathon runner or a pro yogi already? Nope, I’m still very much in the process. I definitely am better than 18 year old Emi though, or even last year’s Emi, all because I’ve been watering my seed daily. 

Want to meditate for 20 minutes? Go for five today. Looking to become a fast runner? Go on a walk first. Want to start eating healthier? Try to go for one healthy meal a day. Quick fixes won’t stick around for the long run, so just focus on making small progress every day instead of pressuring yourself to overachieve. 

Quick reminder before I sign off: Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s retouched photos. Put your head down, focus on yourself, and start making baby steps towards your goals. 

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