North Texas Daily

Small victories deserve more attention

Small victories deserve more attention

Small victories deserve more attention
September 09
12:00 2021

As the new school year begins, there is youth and promise found among the buildings and their respective classrooms. Each year there is hope for what the future may offer students not only academically but also for their day-to-day lives. A common piece of advice for young adults is to “shoot for the stars,” but what does that exactly entail? While this attempt at enlightenment may be genuine and perhaps even spark a moment of inspiration, it is leading to a misunderstanding of what success really looks like.

Let’s begin with the root of the situation. We are put on this Earth with an unspecified purpose lacking any hints as to which path best leads to success. In addition, amid the confusion and unfamiliarity, there is a ticking clock that seems to be judging our every move. It is not long before we are pondering our very existence and things that are far beyond our control. Such emotions are inevitable but acknowledging our smaller advancements can go a long way.

In his book “Atomic Habits,” James Clear emphasizes the importance of marginal gains. His concept highlights the importance of building consistency rather than results, which will ultimately follow. It is the slow progression of results that often causes us to slip back into our previous routines, thus ending the attempt altogether. Likewise, if a student is too focused on getting a good grade on an exam, they could fail to realize the progress made by studying and reviewing the coursework.

The misunderstanding starts when we begin to believe the only version of success consists of attaining our highest objective. One small achievement per day leads to feeling more motivated about your end goal, according to a study by the Harvard Business Review. A person looking to get in shape will not find results on their first day of going to the gym. However, in the process of working out, they will likely start monitoring their eating habits, wake up earlier and create a more productive lifestyle for themselves. Shining light on these accomplishments will keep that person in the gym and make getting in shape that much more worthwhile.

Granted, there will be obstacles. There will be days when it will be easier to simply step away from your online assignment and flip on that show you’ve been meaning to catch up on. The aforementioned clock can be used to your advantage, but you’ll soon be made aware of its incessant tendency to leave you behind. Do not be discouraged. Despite data in recent years, it is persistency that is crucial when improving one’s approach to setting goals.

The next time you set out a goal for yourself, begin with pinpointing what the smaller milestones might be. It could be joining a club to become more social, designating days to study for a particular course or reading a chapter daily to pick up an old hobby. Do not feel pressured to “shoot for the stars.” Sometimes aiming so carelessly can prevent you from realizing you are exactly where you need to be.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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Rolando Medina

Rolando Medina

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