Have you ever stared at an inchworm?
Did you know it gets its name from moving one inch at a time? The mind-blowing thing about that little inchworm is how far it travels in such a short time.
Seriously, if you turn away for a minute, you will be searching for it.
One fun fact about the inchworm is that it has three pairs of front legs and two or three pairs of rear legs, but no legs in the center. So, when it walks, it moves its hind legs forward, creating a loop in its middle, then moves its front legs forward. That's why it appears to take measurements one inch at a time.
Oh, and by the way, the inchworm is a voracious eater! (Not that you want to have inchworms eating your trees out of house and home!)
So, what can we learn from this little critter?
1. Slow and steady out paces quick and quit
2. Six legs working together create unbreakable momentum
3. The lead and the follow-up department are in sync—always
4. Small strides reap big rewards
These observations teach us essential principles for moving business and life dreams forward.
First, taking an incremental approach to reach a goal or achieve an outcome is key to creating consistency.
Secondly, you move farther faster when you build a team that moves together.
Thirdly, removing the big I's and the little u's in job descriptions creates a sync mechanism to keep the team on the same page—every day.
Lastly, building an incremental approach reduces burnout, stress, and miss-step. In turn, you consistently hit targets and achieve milestones that reap significant returns for you and your team.
My "increment" aha moment happened in March of this year, 2022; when, after consistently engaging in incremental exercise programs using the Peloton exercise app (i.e., beginner strength 5-week program, Total Strength 1 & 2 5/6 week programs, learning to run 10-week program, etc.), I noticed a total transformation in my strength and life.
After a year, I was running farther and faster—treadmill 10 fast. Then I freaked out when I could do a side plank—which progressed to lifting weights in a side plank. These exercises were impossible possibilities until one day, the year of incremental strength and endurance training started paying off! The impossible was now possible!
Too often, we start an idea, project, or goal in full-throttle out-of-the-gate mode. I have watched fitness instructors overload their students in their first session. A few days later no student. Why? Because for most people starting to exercise, the body has been in a state of "inertia (inactivity)," and the "mind" is like a member of a sleeper cell. It stops sending signals to activate movement.
Therefore, when applying too much friction before the body and mind have adapted, or shall we say before, "thought and action" are in sync, you'll find that your exercise goals (or any goals) will automatically default to the body's current state of "inertia."
Not to mention, the mind doesn't like signaling soreness and inability when you can't move the next day.
For this reason, before you run ten miles or lift weights for 30 minutes, you must learn to sync the signaling system between the body and mind. Or the next day, the body will tell your brain, "forget it, go back to sleep; I have no intention of working out today or any other day."
How do you sync "thought and action" using "increments"?
Here's an exercise for you.
Take a goal or an outcome you want to achieve. As an example, let's stick with something relatable like exercise.
Say you want to do 25 squats per day while holding 20 lb weights. If the last time you did a squat were one year ago, you would start with no weights and five (5) squats on your first day. Then, each day you increase the number of squats until you've reached twenty-five (25) squats at the end of the week. In week two, you would repeat this same squat process only with five (5) lb dumbells. In week three, you would repeat with ten (10) pound weights while keeping the 25 squats as your goal by the end of the week. You would continue this process each week until you're doing 25 squats with 20 lb weights over a 5-7 day period.
At the end of 5 weeks, you will have reached your first goal. So celebrate! And set your next GOAL.
This process translates to building your business and Influence Platform.
Working in increments also gives your company the best ROI because your workers are focused, making every move and moment count. In business, the practice of increments improves outcomes and workflows. In addition, it guarantees reliable execution of your services to your clients—it's a trust builder!
For example, building a presence on Social Media is essential to success. However, suppose you start over-posting on too many channels. By the end of your first week, you'll feel overwhelmed and unmotivated with posting burnout, not because of the disconnect between mind and body but because of a disconnect between skill, system, and brain. To achieve optimal Social Media presence, all three areas must be developed and in sync.
So what's a better way to start?
Pick ONE platform and start consistently posting ONE THING (a post, a blog, a podcast, or a video per week/biweekly). PICK ONLY ONE! Once you get a rhythm (a system) started, add one more post every week. Keep up this process until you reach 2-4 posts per day. Once you've created a consistent momentum, you can #growforward by adding another Social Media Channel or a second Influence Corridor such as a podcast program.
And before you know it, you will have hundreds and thousands of followers without the added stress of getting them!
Let's learn from the inchworm! If we move like one, we'll reap BIG returns!