Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Why you Need to Take One Small Step Forward Every Day

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Becoming someone different is an act of taking one small step every day.

We change not through a decision, but through the small work of daily decisions added up over time. There came a moment in my life when I chose to go to medical school. But that decision isn’t what turned me into a doctor.

It was the 4 years of college.

The 4 years of medical school.

The 5 years of residency.

The 1 year of fellowship.

14 years. 5,110 days. 122,640 hours of becoming. Just a little bit each day.

Instead of trying to take leaps all at once, we have to take little steps. But we have to do it every day.

photo by Alba Campus (creative commons)

Today is a chance to take that one small step in the right direction. Start there. Then repeat.

The alternative is to do nothing. To stay put. To remain the same. And of course, this adds up too. Just a little bit each day.

Who are you trying to become? What step will you take today?

Tell us about your step for today  in the comments.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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25 Replies

  1. My ‘one step’ today is to confirm to myself and proclaim to the world that I am a writer.  I am participating in the 15 Day Writing Challenge that Jeff Goins has put together.  You can learn more about it here if you’re interested.

    I completely agree with your one-step-at-a-time-approach.  In fact, I blogged about it just a few days ago here:

    P.S.  I sent a couple email messages to you recently.  Just making sure you got them.  Thanks!

  2. Jeff’ 15 day challenge is definitely a good step to take today. I recommend it to everyone. Thanks for sharing your post. Got the email and will get back to you soon.

  3. Donnie Davis

    Great reminder about how far small steps will take you!
    A great step in the right direction is to read God’s Word.
    You can even read the whole Bible in small steps. Just read about 4-pages per day. free digital Bible has several reading plans for you to choose from.

  4. YouVersion is a great resource and app.

  5. I love YouVersion, but GloBible has become my preferred online Bible software app. I decided to go for the paid version when they ran a special, and it was a great decision. The media and study notes are wonderful.

  6. Mike Zserdin

    Jeremy, I really like the way you framed the option, “The alternative is to do nothing. To stay put. To remain the same. And of course, this adds up too. Just a little bit each day.”

    Doing nothing and becoming nothing really stack up fast…life is to short to wait on anything.

  7. And not only did the Lord give me that gentle nudge this morning, but He used your post to make sure I got His memo. Yes Lord, I am a writer, and writers write. I promise to move the unnecessary out of the way, and create more quiet time to hear from Him and write.

  8. It happens before you know it. This is why we all need to encourage each other to keep moving forward.

  9. Is there something even more specific you can do? 

  10. It’s amazing doing a little bit everyday can add up:) Before January of this year I wasn’t doing hardly any writing…since January I’ve been blogging and will be finished my 1st historical romance novel by the end of June(of course then there’s editing).My 1st short story was just published in CFOM and  I’m also working on an ebook too. It’s so neat when God nudges you, compels you and then gives you confirmations in what He wants you to do. Thanks for this Jeremy…trying to learn and submit to God everyday…little steps 🙂

  11. Michaelholmes Mh

    A journey always starts with one small step. There  is one thing that I notice, when you work and only look at the time clock, the time seems to go slower. However, when you work and you are busy, time seems to pass by really fast. Maybe the same theory can be made that when you count your steps, the journey becomes a lot further. Just continue going and focus on the goal.

  12. This is a great example, Lorna. Mine is medicine, but the same thing applies to being a writer.

  13. I’ve become a writer who is on the path to becoming an author. It’s a little bit here, a little bit there. Eventually the books will be written. 

  14. Karij62

    Thank-you for your post. It really helps me put my purpose in perspective.
    One month ago I was taking step after step toward our 2nd adoption… then the roadbl0cks started piling up. I believe Gods message went something like this… – not right now child, focus on the family you already have. Love them with all you’ve got, support them and nurture them. Pay your bills- one at a time- a little at a time- as you can.   Be the best therapist you can be. Care for all your patients with all you have and take that extra step for them when needed. Don’t ever forget I love you and will take awesome care of you. The best is yet to come.

  15. Sounds awesome. I can’t wait to read them.

  16. Jeremy-good going on this one.  I thoroughly believe in the small, all-be-it tiny, incremental progress.  In the same direction over time…’ll surprise yourself how soon you will arrive at the destination.
    Good post.

  17. I often tell my patients that as long as there is progress, then we’re good. It may not seem like much, but it the key is some progress.

  18. All journeys begin with one small step.  At the turn of the year, I decided to intentionally begin building a platform.  In retrospect, you can truly see how the small steps add up, even if you don’t see it in the day-to-day.

  19. My specific goal is to carve out 1 hour everyday to write. I have two projects in the works, with a completion deadline for each. I also utilize my breaks at work to focus building my platform. Little by little I will get there.

  20. Jeremy, your post is so encouraging.  Life is all about small steps.  We put one foot in front oft the other, and we step one pace at a time into life.  Success in anything comes after significant hard work and I think it is important for us wherever we are on our journeys to remember that.  When we look around at other people, not necessarily comparing ourselves to them, we often forget that they too had to walk through some serious man hours of hard work to get to where they are.

  21. Joe, I am with you.  But we will get there, one step at a time!

  22.  Darn right we will! What are you writing about Nics?

    My plan is to have a book with leadership tips and a book with tips on getting hired.

  23. I agree. There is no such thing as an overnight success.

  24. It is “funny” that your wrote this today! Last night, before I fell asleep, I was remembering all the baby steps I took after my emergency hip revision to heal body and soul.  During the longest summer ever on being on a wheel chair, I started writing my thoughts, progress, set- backs, and preocupations.  When allowed to, I started with baby steps on the elliptical until I could do it close to an hour. Never gave up on both counts.  Now I am on my feet and running around the whole day.  Journaling daily also evolved into writing a “book” that right now  is in the editior’s hands. While waiting, I began taking baby steps towards opening to the possibilities of social media and within a small time I have connected and learned so much from so many wonderful people. Still a lot to learn and accomplish…working on it in …small steps!

    Thanks, Jeremy, for all your help and encouragement!

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