Sweat the Small Stuff

..I know.. the title of this blog seems backwards… and maybe it is. But I was thinking today about how much the “small stuff” matters. And by “small stuff” I mean daily activities, everyday choices, small tasks, etc.

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

For a lot of my life, I would only play sports that I knew I was good at, take classes that I knew I would do well in, and if I couldn’t solve a problem almost immediately, I would give up. But I started very purposefully identifying these automatic thoughts and challenging them head on.

I see this kind of mindset in a lot of my clients as well. If they are depressed or anxious, or using too many substances, they think, “If I can’t do it 100% I might as well not do it at all”. This mindset is common in people trying unsuccessfully to lose weight. They may think, “I already had one donut today, so the day is already ruined. I might as well have three more.” Or, “I only worked out two days a week this week but my goal was four, so I’ve already ruined everything.”

I can tell you 100%, in my own life, and in the lives of my clients, that once you learn to identify this mindset and seek to dig your way out, you will accomplish your goals.

From now on… Everything counts. Effort matters. Small stuff adds up.


  • Watch that happy movie
  • Take those deep breaths to calm yourself down
  • Have 5 beers instead of 7
  • Stop at just one donut
  • Add another layer of lettuce to your sandwich
  • Take the stairs even though it’s just one flight

From now on, your mindset focuses on the process. The process is the product, not the outcome. How you overcome mental road blocks, “you already had one donut might as well have three more”, is how you reach your goals. Your goals and your future are made in day to day decisions. When you finally get that body or that promotion or give up drinking or whatever, everyone’s going to ask you how you did it. And you’ll know that it doesn’t just fall in your lap.

If you want to learn more about how mindset shapes your life, work, parenting, sports, etc., then check out Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. It’s a life changer!

Happy weekend!

Published by annkendig

I am a mental health and addiction therapist in Cincinnati Ohio. Happy exploring and may all beings be well.

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