Micro-Actions Lead to Big Results

When tackling big, audacious goals, you don’t need big, audacious actions. All you need is the contagious magic of micro-actions repeated consistently.

Let me give you an example.

Some of you know that I’ve run a bunch of marathons.  Getting ready to do that doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes significant preparation.  The plans I used to get ready took between 4 and 6 months.

They’d start out with incredibly low mileage in the first week.  Depending on how much I was running it might actually be less than I had been doing in the previous weeks.  Starting small was the point.  It helped establish the habit and prevent injury.

Over the next 4 to 6 months the mileage would build.  What was interesting is that it didn’t build in a straight line.  Every third week, the long runs would be shorter than the previous week.  This provided a chance for my body to recover and hopefully prevent injury.

The small increments and step-back weeks continued to build and by about halfway through the program I could see this would have me well prepared for my ultimate goal.  That is as long as I continued to trust the process and follow the plan.

There’s a reason 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. The problem isn’t the goals, it’s the way we go about trying to tackle them. We try to go big and burn out, forgetting that “slow and steady wins the race.”  We also forget that progress is rarely a straight line.  There will be setbacks.  The goal should be to accept them and not allow them to derail us.  If you miss the workout or have a cheat day on the diet, get back to your plan as soon as possible.  Don’t the setback become the new habit.

The magic of micro-actions is in breaking down big, hard, sometimes even scary goals into attainable pieces. Find something small and attainable you can do, start there, and let the contagious magic of micro-actions do the rest.

Interested in how you can apply micro-actions to financial goals, check out this article on The Power of Increasing Savings (Link)


  • Mike Hunsberger, ChFC®, CFP®, CCFC

    Mike Hunsberger, ChFC®, CFP®, CCFC is the owner of Next Mission Financial Planning located in Saint Charles, Missouri serving clients across the US and wherever the military takes them. After 25 years in the Air Force he started his firm to support military, former military, and retirees through values-based financial planning enabling clients to live their best lives.