Defining Success as Less

By | March 11, 2022

Back in 2020, I maintained a 100-day workout streak. Each day I would find time to ensure that I don’t break the chain. My fitness improved and I felt great. 

Then life happened, had other responsibilities to take care of and as a result, I took a long break from exercising. Consequently, I put on weight, felt lazy and developed revulsion to the idea of working out. 

I wanted to break out of it but just found it so hard to restart. 

Whenever the thought of working out crossed my mind, the idea of being my old fit self where I could run 5k under 30 min felt too daunting, too overwhelming. And I used to give up. Again and again. 

This used to be a recurring pattern with my other habits like reading and writing too. The longer the break, the harder it became to restart. 

Then something changed: I changed my definition of what a successful day looked like. 

I redefined success as less. 

On days I didn’t feel like running, I defined success as walking for 10 minutes. 

On days I didn’t feel like reading, I defined success as reading 10 pages. 

On days I didn’t feel like writing, I defined success as writing 10 sentences. 

This shift in my thinking toward doing hard things helped me restart. 

The best part was when I walked for that 10 min, read those 10 pages, wrote those 10 sentences, I usually kept going for some more time. Even if I didn’t, I was fine with it. I felt content knowing that the day has been a success. 

I realised why the idea works. 

When you are in a slump, two horrible things happen. One, you don’t do the work you should be doing. And two, you are overcome with guilt that you have wasted yet another day. Guilt turns into self-criticism. Criticism turns into self-pity. Self-pity turns into sadness and then into despondency.  

By defining success as an easily doable task, you make it easy for you to restart. You don’t spend your time finding fault with yourself and wallowing in self-pity, but feel good because you have taken steps towards your goal. That feeling of fulfilment is powerful. It’s the fuel you fill for doing the task the next day.

When you are feeling overwhelmed and find yourself unable to do something you ought to do, define success as less. 

Never forget that achieving big goals begin with small, incremental steps.

60 thoughts on “Defining Success as Less

  1. Anonymous

    Just the kind of post, I needed to read! Thank you for sharing your experience and insights. 😊

  2. Anonymous

    Useful way of daily self motivation and maintaining consistency. I start doing it from the moment itself. Thankyou sir.

  3. Anonymous

    Wonderful thought which you used here

  4. Anonymous

    This blog reminds me a book- “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.He also expressed the same pattern to stick to a habit.

  5. Nikshitha Neelagiri

    It happens atleast once in everyones life,but your thoughts are inspirational.

  6. Anonymous

    It is the best example of small startups in hardwork makes ur success more easier. And it is well explained it here.

  7. Anonymous

    The way you express your thoughts, makes it more interesting. Thanks a lot Sir for sharing this.

  8. Anonymous

    Feeling overwhelmed by my oldselves and stop doing my Chorus is what I am all through. 100% relatable.

  9. Unknown

    Never make any goal. Because I think that without goal life is beautiful

  10. Santosh Singh

    First step is thinking about it.
    Bcoz thinking is the seedlings of realities..
    Consistency of any action no longer till start restart process doesn’t exist..

  11. Anonymous

    Your insights always teach us something valuable.. Sometimes we start to forget these important lessons and blame circumstances.. We also forget what we can do in that situation.. Then start to remind your lessons , your findings you have shared with us ..those help me a lot to rejuvinate myself.. Thank you so much sir.. Respect for you from West Bengal ..

  12. Anonymous

    You have developed great skill to connect with your writing

  13. Chetana A Poleshi

    A must needed article… Seriously this thing can be applied and i can work on it…thank u sir

  14. Anonymous

    This happens with everyone but when it said by u ,gives more confidence to follow this way

  15. Anonymous

    Sir how much time do you get to practice vipassana meditation on daily basis..?
    Are you able to attend 10 days course once a year..?

  16. Neyawn

    You made my day ! This was one of the best posts you have written in a long time !

    – Neyawn

  17. Anonymous

    Thanks for the idea of redefining success. Most needed idea of the present time.

  18. Samiksha

    Samee. It happens with me.. You said it right begin with small.. thankyou anudeep sir.. Amazing blog..
    “Growing everyday”🌺

  19. Priyanka Barnikala

    Soo motivational and neeeded article ❤️some Times I think the same way u mentioned in the article…but I have to improve it a lot..Tnq sir


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