“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” -Colin Powell

It can take a long time to see the effects of habits play out in life. Someone who starts going to the gym for the first time will not see the weight loss or muscle gain overnight. They may not see an increase in energy the first few times either. In fact, what they experience for the first few days or weeks is usually pain and soreness as their muscles start working in new ways. Habits are difficult to start and can be uncomfortable. Changing up our normal status quo to stretch ourselves and build discipline in new ways is not easy.

For someone who is looking for quick results, it can be frustrating when nothing is seen immediately. When the pain and soreness set in, the temptation is there to give up and say, “that didn’t work for me.” The difference between the people who give up and the people who ultimately reach their goals and get in shape is the simple choice to persevere in spite of difficulty. Habits take a long time to build and maintain. They require consistency so that over time results will develop and be seen. Anyone who wants real results in life is going to have to be patient and wait for the results, while also remaining committed in the short term.

We often set big goals for ourselves while expecting to achieve them sooner rather than later. Big goals, though, often require immense patience and dedication until they come to pass. They require being able to wake up every day and get busy with the little goals that we know will one day help us achieve the big goal. Setting little goals in the short-term help us work toward the big goals in the long-term. It can be overwhelming to think about the big goals without breaking them down into smaller steps.

These little daily, or weekly, goals often become habits that help us get to where we want to go. This could be the habit of waking up and drinking a smoothie before working out instead of making coffee and sitting down to a heavy breakfast. The little changes are hard to make at first, but they are the ones that will show results over time.

Don’t expect the big goals to come to pass without your diligence in the little goals. It is the daily habits that build the discipline we need and that help us get to where we want to go.

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