Think Small for Big Changes


At the beginning of a new year, lots of people advise us to “think big. Don’t let limiting beliefs hinder your big dreams.”

I wrote recently about aligning yourself with God’s dream for your life. He’s the one who can think big. “Beyond all we can ask or imagine. . . .”

Big is God’s realm.

CC BY-ND by Shutterbug Fotos

And we certainly can limit ourselves from achieving God’s big dream by our own limiting beliefs.

Yet . . .  I don’t know about you, but when I think too big, I get overwhelmed. And that triggers the old “fight or flight” response to kick in, I’m in stress mode, and things do not flow.

When I get a glimpse of God’s vision for my life, what usually comes next is some small next step to take toward that vision.

What works for me is to think small, in the sense of “baby steps.” (Remember Bill Murray in “What about Bob?”) Small changes are what seem to lead to the biggest results.

Small, but let me add, consistent steps in one direction yield the best results. I love the title of one of Eugene Peterson’s book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. That is what a good life looks like: a long obedience–step by step, day by day–in the same (good) direction. Small, daily choices. Things we can do: smile at someone, express appreciation, choose the vegetables over the pastry, get up and move instead of watching yet another episode of your favorite Netflix show.

As God sets the direction and offers you the vision, he also gives you the next “baby step.” He shines a light on just the next step, lest you get overwhelmed. Isn’t that kind of Him?

That’s a sign to me, actually, that you’re in touch with God’s vision–when the vision excites you but doesn’t overwhelm, when the next small step is revealed and feels very natural and right, when you are peace with “creating as you go” rather than having to see the end goal clearly.

What’s the next “baby step” in God’s vision for your life?

If you don’t know it, there’s probably a block of some sort. If you would like assistance in finding and removing the block, consider getting some coaching from me at






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