Starting Small

by Laura


It’s the beginning of a new year…the time when many of us think of changes we want to make…big changes.

We start out strong, energetic, and ready to make things happen.

And then it gets harder. We get sick. Tired. The unexpected happens and throws us off course. We’re so busy that we don’t have the time or energy to figure out how to do things differently.

And we feel like giving up.

Before throwing in the towel, I invite you to back up for a moment and start again. But this time, start small.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin… Zechariah 4:10 NLT

I’m learning to set smaller goals to work toward with shorter time frames. It lets me see the small steps leading to change and it gives me more chances for accomplishment…which encourages me to keep going.

Around the house, I include easy things on my to-do list that won’t take long just so I can check them off. I like the visual of working through my list.

I also make adjustments. If I tackle a project that was not on my list, I add it—and check it off. Sounds silly, I know. But seeing that I’m getting nowhere on my list, no matter how busy I’ve been, is discouraging.

Setting small goals can be applied to making life changes. It’s not settling for less, but instead taking steps and making progress toward those changes.

Author and speaker Holley Gerth writes…

“…a small goal that actually happens and can grow is better than the grandest one that remains a fantasy.” (from The “Do What You Can” Plan…21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better)

Small goals fit into our everyday lives and ease us through the transition of change. They give us time to adjust without being overwhelmed.

When my daughter was born, my plan of being a stay-at-home mom wasn’t financially possible right away. I went from full-time to part-time, allowing us to get used to less income. It also gave me time to adjust personally. I’d always worked outside of the home, so being home 24/7 was a huge leap for me, mentally and physically. Taking steps through the transition kept me from being completely overwhelmed.

What goals or changes are you hoping to accomplish this year?

Let me encourage you…don’t be afraid to start small. Small is good.

A few resources for the new year:

The “Do What You Can” Plan…21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better by Holley Gerth

Research shows it takes 21 days to form new habits. Let Holley encourage you through 21 days of taking small steps to new changes.

Finally Free by Kim Tabor

Start your year with a 6-week online Bible study. There are no meetings to attend, and only one chapter to read per week.

One Word 2013

Join me and a community of others in ditching the list of resolutions, focusing, instead, on one word for the year.

Email Author    |    Website About Laura

A daughter of the King, saved by His grace, Laura writes to encourage women in their walk with Christ. She is a wife and mother, and shares her heart as a regular contributor here, as well as LifeNotes and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. You can find Laura at Laura Rath - Journey in Faith, as well as on Twitter @LauraJRath and Facebook.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laurie Wallin January 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Loved this, Laura! I didn’t realize that there was an actual page/twitter feed for the OneWord365 idea. Looking forward to connecting with others who are needle-point focusing on God’s heart in an area for 2013! Glad to connect through Holley’s launch team.


2 Laura Rath January 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Thank you Laurie! So glad to have met you through Holley’s God-sized Dream Team. God bless!


3 Dawn January 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Perfect post for the start of a New Year, Laura- thank you. I am going to read Holly’s book as well and as you know I am very thrilled to be joining in on the Finally Free study! I check off lists of the smallest all working toward the bigger goals! I also love that verse!


4 Laura Rath January 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Thanks Dawn! I’m so glad you’ve joined the Finally Free study. I’m looking forward to getting to know you better through it. 🙂


5 Christine January 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm

This might actually work for me! : ) I have been celebrating my small organizational accomplishments…rather than beating myself up over the fact the whole house isn’t exactly right. A cleaned out junk drawer is better than nothing! (Not that my junk drawer has been cleaned out of course.) Like Laurie, I didn’t know about the one word page either…so cool! : )


6 Laura Rath January 6, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Blessings to you Christine! Thanks for your comment.


7 Denise J. Hughes January 4, 2013 at 3:11 am

“If I tackle a project that was not on my list, I add it—and check it off.”

Oh yeah, I can totally relate. I do this too.

I love this article. I always tend to “bite off more than I can chew” and then get discouraged and quit. Your encouragement to start small is so wise. Starting small builds momentum.

Small is good. I agree.

Beautiful article, Laura. I’m always so blessed by your words.


8 Laura Rath January 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Glad I’m not the only one. lol
Thank you for your kind words Denise! They’re always a blessing to me.


9 Justine January 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I like the One Word 2013 idea. I had heard of something similar but love how the blog laid it out. Thanks for sharing it!


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