“Think big” is the type of advice you’d get from your business coach if they thought you were afraid to pursue your ultimate goal. Most of the time, thinking big is solid advice. Why be an unknown blogger with only a few fans when you could be a famous author revered by millions of people? The truth is, even those who have “made it big” started small.
Here are three ways going small actually serves your larger vision in life.
1. Live In A Small Home And Save More Money
If you want to get rich, you need to invest. You couldn’t possibly work enough overtime to generate financial wealth, let alone sustain it. Living in a small home is the perfect way to free up existing cash flow to put toward investments.
Today, the average American home is 1,000 square feet larger than in 1973, doubling the living space per person. In 2015, the average new home was 2,687 square feet – a 62% increase since 1973.
The Downside To ‘Living Large’
Larger homes come with larger responsibilities. It costs more money to heat and cool a large home, and if you don’t want to clean it, you have to hire somebody. Provided you don’t want an empty home, there’s the cost of furniture and drapes and all the other aesthetic components of interior design. Don’t forget maintenance and repairs – each additional bathroom adds to the potential for plumbing problems and other breakdowns.
Maintenance and repairs aren’t the only problems that come from large homes. Bonnie Kristian describes how large homes affect our relationships. “I’d argue all demographics suffer a loss in quality of life when their house is too big,” Kristian says. “That’s because big homes isolate us. They separate us from each other within the house, and they encourage us to treat our home as our personal fortress, our bulwark against the broader community.”
She has a point. Unless you’ve got an unusually large family, a large home can easily become a point of distraction from the important things in life.
2. Buy A Smaller Car
Just like having a large house, driving a large car can be an unnecessary burden, financially and otherwise. A big car makes sense if you have to haul equipment or a large number of passengers around. However, even if you have three kids, a small car can work just fine.
Car manufacturers market their larger cars as having more leg room and larger aisles, which sounds great, but your kids don’t really need to be able to stand up and walk through the aisles in a car.
To give you some ideas here’s a convenient list of the top-selling small cars of 2017. You’ll find some familiar models that have been staples for American families for decades.
3. Incremental Change Helps You Reach Goals Faster
If your goal is so large that you can’t see any way to achieve it, you need to set smaller goals you know you can achieve.
It’s not that incremental changes are faster than radical change. On the contrary. Incremental changes are slower. However, reaching for incremental goals is faster than standing still. If radical change is too much, incremental changes will help you get going.
Incremental Changes Are Cumulative
CBS News describes incremental change as “making small and consistent progress toward a desired goal.” In this context, incremental change would be paying $50 per month toward a $3,000 credit card bill; investing 3% of your salary in a 401(k); or walking for 20 minutes per day.
Taking these small actions will result in a cumulative effect that eventually meets your goal. However, the results can be frustratingly slow for many people. To speed things up, increase the stakes of your incremental changes.
For instance, increase your credit card payment by $5 to each month. This month pay $50, then $55, then $60, then $65, etc. Increase the amount of money you invest in your 401(k) each month, even if it’s just ten dollars. Instead of walking for 20 minutes a day for 40 years, walk a little longer each day, or vary your terrain to get a better workout.
Although motivational junkies will disagree, bigger is not always better. Sometimes what looks like downsizing on the outside is actually supporting the birth of a bigger dream.
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