When I was a graduate student studying clinical psychology at the University of Virginia, my apartment lease in Virginia was up one month before I was scheduled to begin my pre-doctoral internship in Memphis, Tennessee. So I moved to Memphis early, rented an apartment, and found a part time job in the evening typing for a law firm. During the day, I decided I would finish writing my dissertation. I had already written the introduction and literature review and had collected my data before leaving Virginia. The only parts remaining were the Results and Discussion sections.
I worked on my dissertation every day before 5 pm and then went off to the law firm at night. Writing several hours each day for the next 30 days paid off! By the time I started my internship, I had completed the first draft of my entire dissertation.
The lesson was clear: Small, consistent effort adds up. While I applied this strategy to successfully completing my dissertation in just one month, it can easily be applied to practically any area of your life. Are you trying to lose weight? Start out by exercising just 15 minutes a day. Do you want to learn to play guitar? Practice at least 15 minutes a day. Looking for a way to improve your relationship with your spouse? Commit to having a daily conversation for 15 minutes where you focus on truly listening. The possibilities are endless, but the point is the same. Small, consistent steps will eventually help you to reach a bigger goal.
Learn more about my 21 Day Challenge and how focusing on one small change for 21 days will help you to start a new habit or break an old one. That one small change can be accomplished in as little as 15 minutes a day. I hope you’ll give it a try!
©2011 Peggy Mitchell Norwood, Ph.D. | All rights reserved