From snowballs to softballs: how to succeed at anything in life

Wondering what I mean by “snowballs and softballs”? Let’s start there. Everyone knows what a snowball is. A packed ball of snowflakes that we loved to throw at each other when we were kids…or even still might love as adults! (No judgement here. I still love chunking snowballs when I get the chance!)

However, I’m not referring to this pleasurable activity. I’m referring to something called the “snowball effect”. I first heard it years ago as a way to pay off your debt. The idea was to focus on your lowest debt balance (credit card, loan, etc) and then pay a little extra (whatever you could afford extra) to pay off that sooner than later. Then, once paid off, you take what you were paying for that balance and apply it to the next balance in line in addition to whatever minimum payment you were already making…and just like a snowball rolling down hill gets bigger and bigger as it collects more snow…so would the amount of money you were applying to pay off your debt!

This idea is also loosely related to the basic idea of compounding interest…but not quite. 🙂 As it applies to success and achievement in your life and day-to-activities or job, it is this:

When you want to create change or make progress toward a goal, as you start out, even in small or easy to accomplish ways, that helps you build momentum.

Speaking of small and easy (…too easy to insert a joke here so I won’t…), this goes into the “softball” portion. You have big dreams or goals. It is one of the unique things about humans that sets us apart from all other animals on the planet. We can dream and imagine a future that is bigger and brighter and bolder than our current circumstance. Sometimes that is a double-edged sword if used in the negative.

Lets say you have a dream of being beach body ready to be shirtless and confident in your bikini or swim shorts. You have the dream and image. You know diet and exercise are key components. In this situation, instead of focusing on overhauling every meal and food choice and working out 7 days a week…start small by making easy changes.

How “small” is relative to your current level of overall health/fitness and knowledge about health/fitness. If you aren’t sure what to do, start by simply researching diet changes you can make for 15-30 minutes per day for 1 month. Just research. Consider this a goal on the path to achieving your dream. Write it down daily to track what you’ve learned. Put it on your daily to-do list and check it off daily.

While this won’t burn any extra calories, the exercise of writing things down, checking things off your to-do list IS working out and rewiring your brain and habits which is fundamental for ANY change you want to make in your life. This is work. This is effort. This is required!

From here, you slowly add time-bound goals that are relatively easy to achieve. This is building momentum and confidence. Once you get that sense and Aha! moment on internal recognition that, “Yes…I can ACTUALLY do this!”, you can then use that to expand and stretch your goals more.

Just be sure to not stretch too much too fast or you will be met with disappointment…which isn’t a bad thing unless you don’t have the mindset to see disappointment/failure as not BEING A FAILURE, but rather as BEING A TEACHER and take the opportunity to learn.

Norman Vincent Peale is quoted as saying, ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.’ That is true, but only works for someone with a GROWTH MINDSET. If you tend to see things from a point of lack or failure, you have to put in the work and build up to a growth mindset. Once you truly change your mindset and view of things and get some goal completion under your belt, you can then ‘Shoot for the moon’ and be grateful for your new neighborhood among the stars!

For more information or to see about personal, 1-on-1 coaching, please use the contact form and reach out. I’d love to serve you in anyway I can to help make your dreams come true!

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