Motivation Articles

Starting Small is No Bull

Start Slow for BIG Results

Imagine you’re in Pamplona, Spain, in July. You’re sightseeing, shopping through downtown for that perfect souvenir for your spouse back home (hey, someone had to watch the kids, right?). You notice a crowd. Then a commotion. Then, right in front of you, an avalanche of panicked, spirited men and women sprint by, followed by a dozen confused, snorting, larger-than-you-ever-expected bulls.
It seems that you’ve stumbled onto the annual Running of the Bulls--20,000 pounds, 40 hooves and a cloud of bovine dust running full throttle not six feet in front of you. You’re the eager type, so you happily jump in to join the fun.
And you’re promptly trampled before you can take five steps.
You can’t expect to jump in the middle of something and be up to speed right away. Like the "brave" people who run by, it’s best to be moving at the same speed as the bulls. Yet, sometimes we think we can go from standing still to full speed in an instant and big things will happen.

Even a launched rocket doesn’t start off going 37 times the speed of sound. At liftoff, it starts at just 1 mile per hour. Forget about becoming a workout warrior for now. That will come. Just concentrate on not getting run over by the bulls. Concentrate on having some success along your first path. Concentrate on picking up some speed.
Of course, society doesn’t like the slow start very much. Everything’s gotta be fast and furious. From the couch to kickboxing in one afternoon. From griddle to your middle in five minutes. People who won’t go to the dentist will jab needles in their face for a fast way to look good.
Continued ›
Page 1 of 2   Next Page ›

Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

About The Author

Mike Kramer Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.

Member Comments

  • This is the absolute most important thing I've learned from SparkPeople. And it's funny because I just built myself a motivating playlist on my Slacker. - 9/2/2015 4:59:35 PM
  • Rome wasn't built in a day. The problem I encounter is sticking to the workout plan . - 7/9/2015 3:23:12 PM
  • I starting walking last May 2014 two miles every other day. Now I am doing 4 miles every other day at a walk/jog. You just have to keep going. If you start out small and work up to it, it can be done. - 1/12/2015 1:06:42 PM
  • This is one of the best articles I have read on Spark. I am a yo-yo dieter and have lost weight over and over again. It is only now, years later that I understand that SLOW and INCREMENTAL is much easier on your body and leads to longer lasting success. Everyone should read this! - 1/2/2015 12:23:31 PM
  • Such a relief to be told to start small! - 11/23/2014 6:25:37 PM
  • So well said! Thank you for reaffirming that wisdom that says: one step at a time. - 9/3/2014 1:07:50 PM
  • I'm the Queen of Gradualism and baby steps and proof it works both in weight loss and fitness. Recently I added the rowing machine to my exercise routine. My first try I did exactly 1 minute. Yes, I could have done more, but I didn't. I added ONE minute each workout and now 15 minutes is no problem. If I hurt myself I would have to quit and I'm in this for the long term.
    Great advice in this article. - 9/3/2014 5:25:44 AM
  • I like the simplicity of small steps...not so daunting. Thanks. - 5/20/2014 10:51:41 AM
  • What an awesome article! This is exactly what I started doing when I "re-started" my healthy lifestyle. The weight is coming off slowly and it's much easier to stick with the changes I've made this way. 3 months later, I'm down 20 pounds without barely any effort. That's what small changes can do! - 5/20/2014 10:31:21 AM
  • This is such a great reminder because this is a lifestyle change not a diet and I don't want it to end !!! - 2/8/2014 9:15:13 AM
  • This is so great . I'm going to do this - 12/26/2013 6:28:26 AM
  • Goal by goal is the way to go! - 12/3/2013 10:19:11 PM
  • I printed this to keep a daily reminder. Excellent challenge. - 9/19/2013 9:14:11 AM
  • A great and very inspiring article! It is surely true that sometimes small things can work big on the way to success. These simple bits of advices are very helpful. Thanks! - 5/30/2013 9:46:24 AM
  • Great use of visualization in the article. Thanks for the encouragement. - 4/11/2013 8:58:47 AM

x Lose 10 Pounds by January 6! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.