“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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 email@example.com to see how my coaching, courses and programmes might be of value.
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.
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.
Remember, it is always good positive habits that are going to get you success and move you towards your goal not willpower or education or anything like that. It simply is just good daily habits. So, there you have it! Four easy ways to start creating good habits!
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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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If you are serious about wanting to make life-long changes and positively transform your life, then I would love to hear from you to see how I can support you.
I have helped a range of people on a huge variety of goals – from suffering with confidence loss, to publishing a book, to enabling a change of direction in life, to small business owners struggling with staff – but my main focus is to support the busy professional who is trying to juggle it all.
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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.
For more information please see www.alicedartnell.com.
Copyright 2021 Alice Dartnell Limited
This blog is published solely for educational and entertainment purposes. The author and publisher are not offering it as legal, accounting, health care or other professional services advice. While best efforts have been used in preparing this blog, the author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind and assume no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be held liable or responsible to any person or entity with respect to any loss or incidental or consequential damages caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained herein. Every person and company are different, and the advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. Alice Dartnell or Alice Dartnell Limited is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in this blog. You should seek the services of a competent professional as appropriate. You are responsible for your own choices, actions, and results. Always consult your own General Practitioner if you're in any way concerned about your health.