Habits Parenting Teaching Motivation

Winning in Increments

winning in increments

Years ago, I read an article at Sparkpeople.com that talked about setting realistic goals in increments. The article was about weight loss. They gave the example that a woman weighing, say, 170 lbs, will aim to lose 40 lbs. That’s almost 24% of her weight.

When she loses 10 or 15 lbs, she feels like she’s failed, so she stops trying. They suggest aiming to lose 10% of whatever you weigh and giving yourself a reasonable amount of time to accomplish it. Once you have the first step done, aim for the next 10%. The energy you get from the win keeps you moving.

I’ve heard clients say that they won’t start something they can’t win. Wow. Depending on the definition you hold for “winning,” you could miss out on a whole lot.  If our kids are watching us (and they are ALWAYS watching us…), this can lead to horrible habits, constant feelings of failure and procrastination because they won’t even start if they can’t win!

Winning in Increments
(No elephants were harmed by this blogger.)

An Indian colleague of mine, Mr. Hundekari, once told me, “you cannot eat an elephant in one bite.” This was an ah ha for me.  I understand that it’s the same thing as the 10% rule, yet I can’t always assimilate analogies across subjects. (If you’re a picture person, you get where I’m going.)

When it comes to goals involving numbers, the 10% rule helps me keep goals in bite sized pieces. In our super-sized world, we inadvertently think in big chunks and leaps and “pantry packs.” It takes conscious choice to be reasonable with, let alone gentle on ourselves.

So what kind of Sam’s Club goal have you dumped on yourself this month? Are you doubling your sales? Remodeling a whole floor? Revamping your entire marketing strategy? Are you teaching your 2 year old to read AND use the toilet?

What goal could you dive after knowing you can win?

After you’ve “won,” how do you celebrate? 


Julie Ford is a certified life coach, speaker, trainer, and author of Creating Time and Energy.  Individuals hire her to trade their “badges of busy” for intentionally full lives. Organizations hire her to attract, train, and retain our next generation of leaders, the Millennials.

Based on the foundation that when things are running smoothly at home, amazing things can happen at work, Julie uses one-on-one and group coaching to help her clients to define what matters most in their lives and to realize what is and isn’t working. Collaboratively, they move through a customized plan to implement habits that serve rather than sabotage their intentions. Her clients find more joy and less chaos in every stage of work and home one habit at a time.

Need a tip for reducing the “crazy busy” in YOUR life? ASK Julie!

Leave a question in the comments or just talk with her.

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