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Many of us have this “all or nothing” mentality, especially when it comes to accomplishing our goals. In fact it is this “all or nothing” thinking that leads most people to quit their goals entirely, since being all in at all times is extremely difficult. Most people cannot sustain such a pace. The unexpected happens, other priorities take over, and our goals can get pushed out of being in first place while we have to put out fires. We can also have weak moments, or times when the motivation / will-power elixir just isn’t there. And once we are off the “all” track, we give up entirely. We’ve been conditioned to go at an intense pace and expect immediate results. When we don’t see instantaneous outcomes, we get impatient, throw in the towel, and give up. When that happens, essentially what do we get? Nothing. Doing nothing creates more regrets and excuses.

The habit of living in extremes which says, “I’m either all in or all out,” can cause us to miss out on so much in life and it puts us further behind in getting what we really want. “All or Nothing” thinking is the enemy of success! Society has trained us if we can’t do it all, then we shouldn’t even try. This can play out for example, when someone at work brings in Timmies. In our weakness we jump off the “all” train. Now that we’ve already had a doughnut (or two) early in the day, we think we’ve “blown it” so we should probably just gorge on pizza and ice-cream for dinner because the day is wasted. When we’re either hot or cold, on or off, there is no in-between. It may sound something like this:

  • If I can’t run every day, then I might as well not run at all.  

  • If I can’t stick to my diet every day, then I might as well eat whatever I want.

  • If I can’t get out of debt in a month, then I might as well enjoy life and blow my money on …

An alternative thinking pattern is – Some is Better Than None! In order to reach our goals such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, losing weight, or achieving financial freedom, we must look at the numerous small choices and steps towards the big goal. Results are important and we can’t expect them to come overnight. By changing your perspective, you can celebrate and focus on your progress and the fact that you have done something. If you keep taking consistent actions (even if they are small ones), the results will show up and provide extra motivation to fuel your goals. Taking action will inspire you to take more action. By keeping the long range picture in mind of where you want to go you will realize that SOME is always better than none!

Think of it this way:

  • A 20-minute walk is better than not going for an eight mile run.

  • Ten minutes of exercise is better for your health than sitting on the couch for those 10 minutes.

  • If we get off track, eating only 2 cookies is better than eating a dozen.

  • Saving $50 better than spending an extra $50.

  • Some progress is better than none.


  • Establishes habits – By doing something you are on the path of creating a habit. You are building new grooves in the road ahead of you and creating stronger neurological pathways in your brain. When habits are formed we act on autopilot and it is easier for us to take these actions in the future.

  • Decreases the Overwhelm – Taking action (no matter the size) helps you see your goals as surmountable. When you scale back on your perfect / black or white / all or nothing expectations, it makes it possible to succeed.

  • The Snowball Effect – By taking small actions (rather than no actions) your motivation will increase and it will be easier to do the next time because you have momentum.

  • The After Glow – You have accomplished something! You feel great about yourself and have something to celebrate! This is completely different from having negative feelings and regrets by doing nothing.

  • Prevents Blocks - Doing something and taking action often clears out the cobwebs and stimulates your creativity.

  • Builds Your Confidence – Through taking action you are actually able to trust and depend on yourself more and more.

  • Makes Progress - You will be exponentially further ahead by consistently taking small steps compared to if you did nothing.

The things we desire the most are usually meant for the marathon of life, not a sprint in time.

"The man who removes a mountain

begins by carrying away small stones."

-- William Faulkner


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