Success Happens One Step at a Time

I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes. One thing I love about the gym I workout in is it has inspirational quotes posted all over the place. This is one of my favorites (strategically placed in front of the cardio section)…


When I saw this I couldn’t help but think about how true this is not only for fitness goals, but any goals we have in life. Including marriage/relationship goals.

It’s easy to see how this applies to fitness goals. For example, last year I set a goal to run a half-marathon. At the point when I set the goal, I felt like I could barely run 2 miles. Just the thought of running 13 miles at one time without stopping was exhausting. To be honest, even though I had that goal in mind, I procrastinated for several weeks before committing to it. If it weren’t for a friend who agreed to sign up and train with me, I might still be procrastinating.

I was having a hard time making any movement toward this goal because the only two things I was focusing on was where I was in the moment (barely running 2 miles) and where I wanted to be (running a confident and swift 13 miles). This felt daunting and ultimately de-motivating. But when I looked up a training plan and focused on Week 1, I began to think, “I can do this.”

Hal Higdon Novice

I started off focusing on having to run 13 miles and in doing so I almost gave up before ever trying. But when I decided to focus on making a little progress each day, I quickly gained the confidence and motivation I needed to keep going and pursue my goal. I’m happy to say I stuck with it and accomplished the goal.

Perhaps your marriage isn’t where you want it to be right now. You have a clear vision and goal for what you want your marriage to be, but it feels like you’ll never get there.

Like me when I first set out to run a half-marathon, if you focus too much on the big result, you will feel overwhelmed and be tempted to give up too soon. But when you focus on the small steps it takes to get there, you will gain the confidence and motivation needed to stay the course.

The Only Way to Get Anywhere is One Step at a Time

Remember, in order to reach your goal you have to take steps to get there. I think most people forget about the steps. We see where we are and we see our end goal and that’s it. We think we have to make huge sacrifices all at once and do really big things to achieve our goal overnight. The truth is lasting success is achieved by taking steps, not leaps and bounds.

Some of the most common “steps” I observe couples needing to take are way more simple than you might expect… saying “I’m sorry” or “I still love you,” offering a smile or a hug (or both), asking for time together for just the two of you, picking up dinner on your way home, giving a compliment, choosing to withhold a criticism, etc. You get the point. Steps are small and simple, but they are also more significant than you can imagine. If you remain patient, you will be amazed to see how far these steps will take you.

The adage, “a little goes a long way” proves true. So don’t get bogged down with the big stuff.

Don’t give up just yet. Put your head down and start working on the single step right in front of you. You can do it, and if you’d like, I can help.

What’s your next step? If you feel like your next step is to talk to a counselor, give me a call at 251-625-0118. Reference this blog post, and I’ll give you a free 10 minute phone consultation.

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