• Ralph Monroe

Marginal Adjustments Approach

Have you ever gone through life like this: Internally thinking: “Okay, one step…good! Now another step…yeah, I’m going to accomplish this goal! I can accomplish this goal if I go faster! Skip the baby steps, let’s ruuuuun!


I have been there. You want to get things done as soon as possible. We want to the result without the discipline it takes to get there. I like playing simulation management games because I can get to the desired goal without having to undergo years of work. If only life was like that right!?


Nah, I don’t think that would be fulfilling. We like to hear the stories of how someone has overcome a tough obstacle to accomplish their goals. We like the testimonies of achievement because it’s something we may relate to. These encouraging, uplifting, and challenging stories can ignite a desire in us to complete our personal mission.


However, once we are encouraged and feeling passionate again, how do we press on during the mundane times? How do we build up the fortitude and discipline needed when antagonistic situations disrupt our journey? I think one way incorporate marginal adjustment approach to our decisions.


At the time of this writing Stephen Duneier’s TedTalk has almost 11 million views. He talks about how making marginal adjustments to his decisions making process help transform his life and allowed him to accomplish his ambitions goals. I encourage you to watch it!

Okay, so what are marginal adjustments?


The marginal adjustments approach is about accomplishing your goals or task in little increments. Are you familiar with these phrases?

- “Little by little”

- “Take baby steps”

If you have then you are familiar with this concept.


Let’s take an example to drive this approach home. If we have a goal to read a 500-page book in 50 days there are several ways to break this down into smaller specific, measurable, actions that are realistic and timely. In other words, we are going to make a SMART goal. In the table below you will see three ways how I would accomplish this goal.

The goal: Read 500 pg. book in 50 days.


It all involves doing a little math to make sure we break our goal down to something more manageable for us. If you can read 10 pages a day, then go for it! The awesome thing with marginal adjustments is having the mindset to be okay with accomplishing smaller goals. The smaller goals, as we know will have a compound affect and before you know it, your larger goal will be met.


You may feel like, the little task you have are not amounting to much. You may feel the urge to skip the baby steps and run again. I understand this all too well because I am like a locomotive when it comes to finishing a task. However, when you have times of being in a slump try to remember the marginal approach mindset. It can help you get back on track.


 

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