Next Smallest Step

Do you have big ideas about things you’d like to do?  How often do actually complete them?  How about the things you REALLY want?  Is there a difference between the ones that get done and those that remain as ideas?

As we start the new year, you may be thinking about ambitious goals for 2023.  That’s awesome, but how will you get there?

While keeping the big picture in mind, it’s probably more important to take action and build the habit.  You’re now 18 or more days into the new year.  Are you considering giving up? Or maybe you just haven’t made as much progress as you’d like.  If so, consider trying this.

Figure out what your next smallest step is…and take it.

If your goal is to exercise, do it for 1 minute a day for a week.  Then increase it.

If it’s to get your degree or learn something new, find the first class.  Then sign up for it.

If your goal is to reduce clutter, get rid of 1 thing each day for a week.  Then increase it.

If it’s saving more (link), start with 1%.  Automate it.  Then increase it over time.

One of my former bosses gave all of his subordinate commanders his expectation letter and the one thing I still remember was his direction to “Start small, but scale fast”.  I still use that when I’m thinking about projects or new endeavors.

Starting small allows you to build those small wins and gain momentum.  While it’s usually talked about negatively, the sunk-cost fallacy helps you keep going because you’ve invested so much time.

Too many times in the past, my grand plans were overwhelmed.  I gave up before I started.  Focusing on the next smallest step to get going and build speed has helped.

I can’t guarantee that if you follow the next smallest step formula, you will succeed. But I can guarantee that if you don’t take any steps at all, nothing much will come of your idea.

If you’re looking for help with your finances.  Consider scheduling a call (link) to discuss your situation, goals, and how we can help.




  • 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.