As complicated as we all try to make it out to be, successful results depend on just three things: Small steps, focused energy, and consistent action. Permit me to share a real life story with you about this.

Almost a year ago, my husband and I went to a baseball game with a couple from his work. I had met them before, but didn’t really know them. In talking with the woman, she mentioned that she felt bad because she didn’t have any extra money to do something nice for her sister’s birthday.

As we talked, she began to tell me how she often felt guilty and even resentful about not being able to do nice things for other people. It was important to her. Sure she could pay the electric bill and the mortgage, but to her, a happy life meant being able to use the money she worked so hard for in other ways too.

The game was about to start, and it was getting noisy in the stadium, so I knew that our talking time was coming to an end. As a Life Coach, I don’t try to solve people’s problems – after all YOU are the expert on your own life -- but my job is to help you identify the actions to take that can help you solve your own problem. At this point, I casually asked her if she had an extra $1 per day.

“Sure”, she shrugged. “What if you took that $1 every day and put it away in an envelope or cookie jar, not spending any of it for a whole year?”, I asked. “I’d have $365”, she said. “And after that year, if you continued to add that $1 every day, but began to use it as well---?” I trailed off, but noticed a thoughtful look in her eyes.

The game began, and I never really thought about the conversation again.

Recently, I had the opportunity to see her again at a company function. To my surprise, she brought up the conversation we had, and told me that she went home that very night and put a $1 bill in a pair of shoes that her sister had given her. (shoes? Her sister had given them to her, she wanted to be able to freely give as well -- yeah, you get it!)

She had continued to put in $1 (sometimes $5!) in the shoes every day since then. “I now have ($xxx)”, she smiled. Her plan is to continue to add the $1 every day as she has, but she also began to use the money for birthdays and special occasions for her friends and family.

“If you remember, it was D’s birthday that I was bummed about when I talked to you last year. Her birthday is coming up, and she’s the first one I’m going to use my special fund on.” She was beaming.

If she had done *nothing* a year ago, she’d be bummed again this year, with exactly the same old problem. But instead, she took one very small step every single day over and over and over ---

--- and now she had what she wanted.

YOU CAN TOO! Maybe your goal isn’t about money. Whatever your goal is, from losing weight to taming the clutter, from time management to graduating from college, success is not an accident. Author Martha Beck used this same strategy to write her doctoral thesis paper. I had a client who wrote her novel, one page a day.

Whatever you want more of in your life, do it every day, one day at a time. One day at a time, practice small steps, focused energy, and consistent action. It will work for YOU too.

Author's Bio: 

Professional Life Coach Kathy Gates is the author of several e-books and e-courses designed to help people live happier, healthier, easier lives. Sign up for her ezine, “Make It Happen” at or call 480.998.5843 to discuss the happier life that YOU want to life.