During 2016, I thought a lot about small steps and the impact of single decisions.

Sometimes it has been small events that bring my attention to it, such as realizing what my team at work had managed to produce in a few months, or finally sorting that drawer just from taking it one object at a time.

Other times, it has been major events, such as Brexit in June, or the US elections in November.

Small steps and single decisions matter. A lot. It seems to me that big change happens rarely because of a huge, overarching cause, and it has more to do with small, successive steps in the same direction, whether it leads to better or to worse. I believe that in the case of the Brexit and US elections, it led to way, way worse. Yet it only made the lesson all the more powerful.

We are where we are because of the single steps and single decisions that we make (and don’t make) every day. We did not live all our years at once but one day at a time, one hour at a time.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed I try to remember what my mother told me one occasion she saw me drowning in stress (aren’t functional adults expected to do this?): “You cannot see the whole road when you drive at night, but it is enough that you see a few meters at a time”.

This is my wish for you this year: Find the peace and the courage to look at a few meters at a time, a day at a time. And trust that small steps and single decisions matter, so make sure you take the ones that lead where you want to go.


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