Using the Slight Edge to Achieve Your Goals

“The slight edge cuts both ways. Used productively it carries you up to success. Used carelessly, it pulls you down toward failure”.

Jeff Olsen in the The Slight Edge

Using the Slight Edge to Achieve Your Goals

The Slight Edge of What? In a nutshell, the Slight Edge is the law that small actions done consistently over a period of time leads to a massive differentiation in results. You see, success and failure isn’t about how hard you work towards your goal. Instead, it’s about how well you can use your mind and reinforce habits on a daily basis. These actions will reinforce your habits which will move you either towards your goals or away from them. The actions though are small. They may seem so small you think that perhaps they are insignificant, but they are not.

As the great British poet and theologian C. S. Lewis wrote, "Good and evil increase at compound interest. That’s why the little decisions we make every day are of infinite importance."

As C.S Lewis points out, success and failure are separated by a very thin line. Over time, all your actions create good or bad habits and they will compound.

Once momentum starts to pick up and incremental change starts to kick in, the success and failure curve quickly shoots off into different directions and it’s very difficult to resist momentum. Small positive daily actions will reinforce good habits which will take you towards your goals. All positive actions, no matter how small, are a step in the right direction. However, this is also true for not taking action or taking the wrong action. After all, once the curve starts to build, it’s very difficult to resist momentum.

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Slight Edge Deviation Curve 

As Jeff Olsen says in his book, The Slight Edge, "The slight edge cuts both ways. Used productively it carries you up to success. Used carelessly, it pulls you down toward failure”.

So if you are at a crossroads do you think, “I can skip exercise this morning" or do you realise the power of small daily actions adding up so you start making a small shift towards getting what you want? Well done if you are thinking the latter. Here are five quick tips to help you.

Alice Dartnell Life Success Coach reads Slight Edge by Jeff Olson  A great book.

Alice reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. 

Tip One: Read The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson 

This is a brilliant book. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson is a about making daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. It is all about how you can improve in life and reach your goals by doing a little bit each day and finding success through simple actions.

As Olson explains in his book, “Simple daily disciplines – little productive actions, repeated consistently over time – add up to the difference between failure and success”.

Do not underestimate the power of small consistent actions, because those daily habits (good and bad) do add up! 

Tip Two: Make Time For That One Thing Every Day 

What is the one thing you can do, no matter how small, on a daily basis that is going to help swing the barometer in favour of your goal?

Whether it is walking an extra ten minutes a day, making one more sales call a day, making your own coffee for your morning commute because Starbucks has taken enough of your money this year. How do you make time for these long-term important yet non-urgent tasks? Read my blog, First Thing You Should Prioritise for Successful Time Management to understand my top trick of always diarising your “non-negotiables” first. 

Tip Three: Raise Your Self-belief 

Self-belief is the key ingredient to achieving any goal, but it is often overlooked. If you don’t believe in yourself and that you can do it, how do you ever expect to do it! Believe that you have it in your power to make a positive step toward your goal, no matter how small it is. 


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The best way to stop self-sabotaging is to start to raise your self-awareness

Tip Four: Find an Accountability Partner 

Finding an Accountability Partner who can hold you accountable for working towards your goals will help you achieve them quicker. As Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People explains, “Accountability breeds response-ability.”  I like the idea of “response-ability!” It is up to you who your accountability partner is. Perhaps it’s your spouse, partner, parent, neighbour or work mate etc. However, make sure it is someone that isn’t going to let you off the hook, is rooting for your success and will help you keep your commitment to stop procrastinating. An accountability partner is not a human version of an app. It is well-known that when we tell someone else our goals, we are more likely to keep them, which is another reason coaching is so powerful by the way.

If you are looking for support in your goals and would like the added benefit of accountability, get in touch via to see how my coaching, courses and programmes might be of value.

Tip Five: Write a List of Everything You Can Do

When you feel like there is no point in trying anymore, it can be really demotivating and cloud your thinking. This means you won’t be able to think of possible solutions and you’ll be blind to opportunities. If this happens, write a list down of all the things you could do today and this week to move one step forward to your goal by the end of the year. Just write down everything you can do. This simple act helps unlock your brain, improve your awareness of what is possible and can reignite your motivation.

Further Reading

Are you stuck in your comfort zone? Read my article, How to Expand Your Comfort Zone to Achieve Your Goals to understand what a comfort zone is and why it is important to step out of your comfort zone in order develop new skills, experience new things and fulfil your true potential.

Do you procrastinate?  Procrastination negatively impacts on your precious time and also creates enormous mental anguish and stress. In  my article, Procrastination: A Brief Guide on How to Stop Procrastinating,  I explore practical solutions to stop you procrastinating so you can improve your time management and productivity. discover why you procrastinate and following my tips and techniques that provide practical solutions to stop procrastinating so you can improve your time management and productivity.


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Have You Ever Thought About 1-2-1 Coaching?
What is 2021 bringing you? Muddling through but wanting that extra push and support? Or perhaps you’ve no idea what you want, let alone how you are going to get there!

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I initially signed up with Alice to help me with my time management and productivity in my business and everyday life. Alice is a fantastic coach. She is very supportive and kind. I love her honest and straightforward approach. Since working with Alice, I have discovered so many new ways of doing things. She has helped me uncover the root of some of my habitual tendencies and transform them. The amount of care and support she offers is priceless. I highly recommend working with her. 

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This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.

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