The Smallest Viable Step

art of encore living personal development Nov 21, 2022

Making progress in your pursuit of making a better living while you make a bigger difference requires making decisions and taking action.

Of course, it helps to make deliberate decisions (ones that are weighed and considered) and to take action with intention and integrity.

It also helps if you acknowledge and accept that decisions are not outcomes

And work on the next necessary “smallest viable step” that gets you closer to your goal. Dan Nicholson calls this a “solvable problem.”

Define your next smallest viable step.

It should be specific, measurable, and scheduled.

The point is to take the right (AKA “necessary and essential”) steps. At the right time and in the right order.

For instance, if you want to lose 30 pounds, the first goal is to lose one pound.

Say your current health regimen includes 3500 calories/day, two glasses of water, and no exercise. 

Reducing your calorie load to 3200 calories/day, increasing your water consumption to three glasses, or taking a 10-minute walk around the block daily are all worthy smallest viable steps to consider.

Weigh your options, choose what appears to move you the farthest and fastest into the possibility you imagine, take that step and repeat that thing until it becomes a habit.

Then choose the next smallest viable step.

Put another way, set a goal, establish your strategy, and define a tactic you can execute daily until your goal is reached or the deadline is met.

Rinse and repeat.

Progress in any worthwhile endeavor is made through daily deliberate steps into a more fulfilling future more often than giant leaps of faith.

What’s the smallest viable step you’re taking into possibility today?


Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at The Art of Encore Living

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