When You Realize How Small Baby Steps Are

Taking Baby Steps Toward a Big Goal

So you set a goal. You knew it was big, that it would take a lot of hard work and perseverance. Maybe it would even take a long time to get there. You knew that going in.

So you jumped right in, giving it your all, doing your very best. Working hard, praying hard. Getting accountability and support where you could find it. Trying new things so this time would be different.

And for a while, you were making progress. Little by little, you began inching toward that goal. This isn’t going to be so hard, you thought. I can DO this thing! you shouted.

You were psyched, pumped up, ready to take on the world!

And then . . . something changed.

Maybe you slipped up, made a misstep or miscalculation. Maybe you just got tired. Or maybe you kept doing all those same awesome things but, for some reason, that goal of your stopped getting closer. Maybe it even moved a little bit in the opposite direction.

And that’s when it hit you: Taking baby steps toward a big goal takes a REALLY LONG TIME.

Today I weighed in at Weight Watchers and despite choosing SALAD on date night (at a Mexican restaurant, my favorite!) and VEGGIES at small group (when someone had brought warm chocolate chip cookies, are you kidding me?) — I had not lost a single ounce.

I also hadn’t gained an ounce. And making those choices felt really good. So, there they are: BABY STEPS.

But I don’t want to take baby steps! When reaching my goal weight is already going to take at least a year, I don’t want to spend a single week spinning my wheels. But I know my goal is more than a number on a scale. It’s new habits and tastes and cravings and all the good choices outweighing (ugh. no pun intended.) the not-so-good ones.

So, baby steps it is.

Some of you have shared that you’re on the same weight-loss or health-related journey I am. But many of you are on completely different journeys, taking tiny steps toward different goals. Tiny, determined, strong, motivated, AMAZING steps toward important goals like…

…writing that book.
…starting that business.
…running that marathon.
…planning those meals.
…cleaning that house.
…raising those kids.
…building that orphanage.
…adopting that child.
…helping those people.
…making that difference.

If it seems like you’ll never get there, like any progress you make is occurring at a glacial pace, take heart. You can DO this thing! You can! WE can. It might take longer than you’d like, but keep at it. We can do it together.

Adrienne has been taking her first solo steps the past couple of weeks. Everything about it is SLOW.

Her decision to finally start walking? Slow. (Why bother walking when it’s hard and, HELLO!, she can crawl crazy fast?!?)

Her steps while holding my finger in a death grip? So slow.

Her progress from walking-with-help to walking-on-her-own? So stinking slow!

But she’ll get there. She is so very busy (too busy to learn to walk, apparently) and climbs like a monkey. Obviously walking is not far behind. It’s just going to take longer than I’d like – and probably longer than she’d like, too. After all, she’s a busy baby. She does not have TIME for this! She’ll walk, though – and then run and then run me ragged. But that’s another post.

Those goals we’ve set? We can meet them. We can do it. One little step at a time. (Baby steps work for me.)

What are you taking small steps toward?

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Works for Me Wednesday :: Giving Up on Perfect

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24 Comments When You Realize How Small Baby Steps Are

  1. Stephanie May 5, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    I am the Queen of starting out like gang busters. And then I die hard. One thing that I am taking baby steps on is organization. For years, I have considered myself to be organized. I have come to the realization that I’m not. I’m just not. But it’s been an awesome revolution. Now that I embrace the fact that I’m not organized and never have been, I’ve been taking simple, basic baby steps toward this goal. I have learned to LOVE and EMBRACE my daily calendar. I’m on my way. Slowly.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 8, 2015 at 11:18 am

      I love that you had to realize you aren’t organized before you could start becoming more organized. It makes sense that we have to get to that point before taking our baby steps!

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  4. Emily May 6, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Such a great reminder! We are such a generation of “we want what we want, when we want it.” I have to constantly remind myself that patience is a virtue and everything will happen in God’s perfect timing. Thank you for this today!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 8, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Patience, patience – I need more of that, for sure! :)

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  6. Jenny from Mommin' It Up May 6, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Ahh this is so true. I’ve never been the patient type…especially not with myself. I’ve been having chronic sore/tight muscles in my back and glutes (yes, MY BUTT HURTS) and so I’m taking baby steps toward flexibility, doing yoga. It is SO hard. I’ve never ever ever been flexible, all the other girls could do splits and straddles and stuff, not me, not even as a little kid when everyone is flexible. So it is really hard and slow and discouraging for me to coax my muscles into just being NORMAL. But I am getting there…today I just couldn’t make the time to do a full 20 minutes of stretching so I did 5. Better than nothing, right?? :)

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 8, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Five minutes is absolutely better than nothing! I need to work on flexibility, too. Annalyn has gotten interested in yoga as exercise and wants me to do it with her. I tried last week and laughed so hard at how COMPLETELY inflexible I am!

  7. Jessie Weaver May 6, 2015 at 11:11 am

    This last year I have tackled a lot of things I thought I would never do: publish an e-devotional, survive and even thrive through whole Zumba classes … it’s been an adventure. Both happened a lot more slowly than I would like. I’ve found my best frame of mind is to remember no one else really cares how fast I am doing something (like keeping up in Zumba!) … it’s all in my head. So I just keep going.

    (Exercising three to four times a week and realizing I STILL am not losing weight? AAAGGGHHH.)

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 8, 2015 at 11:14 am

      So awesome!!! (Both the ebook AND the Zumba!) And great point that it’s all in our head. Now to remember that… ;)

  8. Yolanda McLean May 6, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I enjoyed this and shared it with my best friend. We are on about week five of Weight Watchers. I kid you not – I scrimped and ate air and lost .8 and the next week I gained .6 and went home and pee’d .6. The next week another gain and the next week a 4.4 pound loss! I danced and celebrated and this week I’m afraid because I enjoyed myself at a few functions and I hope that I haven’t gained back any of that 4.4 but I learned new tricks and cut a few cravings. Baby steps!!

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 8, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Yolanda, THANK YOU for sharing your experience! Hearing about it was so encouraging to me this week!!

  9. Brandi May 6, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Small steps toward publishing a children’s book. Spent a few years trying to go the traditional route, but that wasn’t getting me anywhere. Thankfully, after a what seemed like such a long time, God brought me an illustrator so, hopefully, I’ll be able to publish a children’s eBook soon. :)

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 8, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Brandi, that’s awesome! Congratulations on a big step with an illustrator – and all the baby steps that go along with this process!

  10. Robin Dance May 6, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    We want to sprint, don’t we? But most of everything worthwhile is a daggum marathon. I’m PROUD of you, Mary. To encourage you, I made the decision to change both my eating and exercise habits at the first of the year; my motive was entirely HEALTH…but I have to fight the frustration of no movement on my scale. My body IS different; people have noticed. But the scale hasn’t. BUT MY MOTIVE ISN’T WEIGHT, it’s wanting to feel good as I get older! Grands are in my future…I hope, anyway, one day, and I want to feel good.

    So…I’m paying attention to what I eat. I’m getting up before dawn three days a week–STILL. Because my motive is HEALTHY, not based on superficial reasons.

    You WILL start to feel better; you’ll eventually see a change. And I’ll be cheering you along all the way :).

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 8, 2015 at 11:12 am

      You and your boot camp commitment is so inspiring, Robin!!! Being around for our families and feeling better – THOSE are excellent goals. Thanks for that reminder and the cheers! :)

  11. Kali May 6, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    This is an area where I have also been struggling in my weight loss journey. I have to constantly remind myself that it is not about a number, but about making right choices for me. Thank you for the encouragement to keep choosing what is right no matter how small the steps.

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 8, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Yes, yes – the right choices are the goal! (Now to remember that…) :)

  12. JessieLeigh May 7, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Great post, Mary! Sometimes I think what feel like baby steps to us probably look like normal strides to everyone else.

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 8, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Very good point, JL. I know I’m definitely harder on myself than anyone else is, so it makes sense that I’d judge my steps as smaller than others would, too!

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