"Pick battles that are big enough to matter but small enough to win."
I heard this quote at Plywood Presents last week from Kat Cole, who went from being a waitress at a Hooters restaurant to becoming President of Cinnabon and other affiliated companies. When she told her story, my ears perked up. This lady has been in the grit of it, made some intentional decisions based on patterns she'd seen throughout life, and come out the other side as a super successful business operator. Yeah, she might have something to say.
For this part of the story, she was leading a team in East Africa, trying to decide which village to focus on for community change efforts. The team came across a very small village, a large village and a middle village. At first, the small village seemed like a good start, but they wanted to see what else there was to make the best decision. When they came to the big village, the team wanted to work there, thinking they could get the most bang for their buck. Kat pushed back. It turned out that teams before them had tried to change the big village already. When they left, the village's practices went right back to what they were, enveloping the team's efforts in a sea of old culture. They decided on the middle village - teaching them hand-washing and other cleanliness standards. When they returned, the middle village had spread what they learned to the smaller village, and the big village had seen what happened and wanted to learn too!
Remember when I talked about goal-setting? We set one small-win goal - something easily attainable with some decisions and actions put in place. Then we set a challenge goal - something also within our reach but that would take some concentrated effort.
Whenever you're looking at your goals, ask yourself the following questions:
What will I have to give up to attain this goal? What will I need to hold on to?
(Give up: current schedule, junk food, toxic relationships? Hold on to: a good friend's encouragement, peace in decisions, self-worth?)
Is this decision really under my control, or will it take someone else to make it happen?
(Does the decision come down to you? You can enlist help, but you need to be able to own a new rhythm in order to make it work.)
What will it give me to attain this goal?
(Health, peace, rest, joy, time?)
Looking at the answers, prioritize the goals that are important to you, your family, your values or your community. Make sure your goals are small enough to win, but big enough to matter.
When I started WholeAugust, I thought I could never make it through a month without sugar, grains or the word "just." I'm still working on my "small" goal (the J word), but I'm much more aware of it than I used to be, so that's a win! Meanwhile, I'm 24 days in to the Whole30, and it's made a huge difference already in my sleep, energy, body composition and athletic performance.
What small/big battles are you fighting today? What difference have you noticed?