For Your Best Chance at Success, Go Small

Recently, I enjoyed reading a blog post by Fiona Ferris, creator of and author of several inspiring books, including Thirty Chic Days and Thirty Slim Days.*  She shared her "favourite easy slimming tip" which is summarized by three words:  choose size small.

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small treat

Fiona explains:
Whenever you have the choice of a size to order, 
whether it's a coffee, chocolate bar, menu item, package size, 
or even the size of a piece of fruit – 
choose the smallest.
What I've found is that it's the first bites (or sips) of something
that are the most pleasurable.

This is one minimalist change that you may not even notice if you slow down and savor whatever it is you're eating or drinking.  It's a really effortless way to take in fewer calories and less sugar, fat, and whatever else you're trying to avoid.  Fiona adds, "The fun thing is that you can implement it today without any planning, fanfare, or deprivation!"

This is a good example of what on the surface appears to be something that is too trivial to make any difference.  But that's the beauty of it!  It is one simple decision – not a list of rules to follow or figure out for every meal or snack, not a tedious journal of calculations and trade-offs.

One decision one time and for every circumstance.

A small size, consistently chosen, over time makes the difference between maintaining a healthy weight and not.  Oh, how I wish I had figured out this simple idea decades ago!  And yet, although it is a simple idea, it's not how most people make decisions.

small cottage
Especially here in the U.S., we're always conscious of getting our "money's worth."  The large size is only 60 cents more?  Go big.  Two for the price of one?  Get two.  Buffet dining?  Fill that plate, and then fill it again.  Never mind that you're now full of discomfort and regret.  You paid for it – you're going to get what you paid for!

We make money decisions the same way.  If you can qualify for a $500,000 home loan, then you're going to spend all of it!  Never mind that it's just you, the hubby, and the dog.  That five bedroom, three bath behemoth will give you room to spread out.  And then you fill it with furniture and d├ęcor and other stuff, because an empty room or an empty wall would make it obvious that you don't need so much space.  That three-car garage is going to be filled with three vehicles too (or not – your stored stuff might force the vehicles toward the driveway and the curb).

We minimalists can buck the trend!  Narrow your focus and sharpen your gaze.  Can you make one decision one time and for every circumstance?  Make it a statement – your signature behavior.  For example:

"I always..."
  • choose size small.
  • add a vegetable.
  • park at the far end of the lot.
  • take the stairs.
  • save $50 (or another amount) automatically from every paycheck.
  • shop local and second-hand before considering other options.
  • write one sentence for my blog first thing every morning.

Or "I only..."

  • drink water with meals.
  • eat between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • eat meat on the weekends.
  • carry a credit card when I'm traveling.
  • shop on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • spend 30 minutes a day on social media.
  • wear a 33-item wardrobe.

Go small to meet your big goals.

When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want,
your approach should always be the same.  Go small....
Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow
you can make your focus.

Gary Keller, The One Thing

Updated September 2022


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