We tend to think big. We prefer big steps to small ones. We undervalue small steps and mostly consider them of having low value.
I juggled my mind to find a visual metaphor to show practically the value of additive small steps. The metaphor that I found is the periodic table.
If you look at this table you shall find that as we go across a period from left to right we add merely a proton to the nucleus and just an electron to the outer shell with each subsequent element. This small addition upon repetition produces big differences. We have elements that form ionic bonds till we reach carbon and silicon that form polymers. Next, we find the transition elements with their unique properties.
The periodic table teaches us that the continuous addition of small changes may produce huge effects.
How I applied this to my personal life?
As a chemist, my realization of the value that the periodic table taught me in going in small steps was my guide.
Where to start in small steps? One example is building my savings. I decided that for the first month I would save a dollar per day. For the second month, save two dollars a day and three dollars a day for the third month till the end of the year. I did. After two years I decided to buy a small piece of land that was cheap because of its remoteness but had future prospects. Ten years later the neighborhood of the land was populated with lots of economic activities. My investment proved to be very rewarding.
The beauty of going in small steps is that you do not feel that it disturbs your pattern of life. Saving a dollar a day was easy. Just eat less outside. Simply look for savings that do not disturb your life and work on them.
Do you want to change a habit? Most likely if the disturbance in your life is significant you shall fall back into the comfort of your habit. Going in small steps helps in accepting a little disturbance.
Do you rely on junk food? Try to cut the frequency of eating junk food. Be persistent. Small steps add and suddenly their effect spikes. Later you shall gain a new habit of not eating junk food.
Small steps together make change happen.