Compounding growth, what I learned from a road trip
I happened to be thinking back on my road trip to Indiana last year, when I went to the winter classic. When thinking back I realized something I learned that was a pretty good metaphor for fitness, weight loss, pretty much success in general. The small stuff matters but it's difficult for us to see in the short term, we only see success when we focus on doing the small things over a long period of time.
We were following directions on a GPS of course, and remember thinking how crazy it was the time you chop off on a long road trip. I didn't really put it together at the time but think about it, when you are going somewhere that's 100 miles away, you put it into your GPS at 10:00 am and it say you’ll be there at 11:30am (90 minutes). So then you get in your car, and you get on the highway and instead of doing the speed limit of 65 miles per hour (what that gps is basing it taking you a half hour on) you do 75 mph. You do 10 miles per hour over the speed limit the course of the entire trip, expecting you’re going to shave a ton of time and when you pull in it's...wait for it...11:27...you went well over the speed limit for the entire trip just to arrive 3 minutes before when you thought you would.
Now let's expand that, like I found with our road trip, to a thousand miles. I was amazed at how going 10 MPH over the speed limit and just watching the arrival time drop, every couple of minutes the GPS shaved 5-10 minutes off until we had shaved off 2-3 hours of time (based on the GPS’s calculations of course, this isn't including stops, bathroom breaks, things like that). In thinking back I realized a real life example of what compounding growth/success looks like laid out in a very helpful way. You won't see the impact from the small things over a short time, a day, a week, a month. Those small things add up though, so that over a year it ends up bringing much larger change. That's why not only does doing the little things matter, but it also takes time for them to create major change. Just stick with it!