In the beginning, the little things don't mean shit.
It's hard enough to lace up your shoes and get your ass moving. The weights are heavy.
You may be sore for days at a time.
This may discourage some & reaffirm others that a hard effort had been given.
You can half-ass workouts, skip them, do them hungover…
Nonetheless, along the way, you assimilate the work & begin adapting to it- you learn lessons.
Progress becomes rapid.
The feedback- overwhelmingly positive, and you wish to hold that feeling forever.
More positive feedback & tiny wins follow until quite suddenly, one day, you begin to reach the upper tier of your performance. A level that demands everything from you just to keep up with your new & improved, high performing self. The thrills of positive feedback & speedy progress rapidly fade. You remember it, but cannot seem to recreate it most days. Every day you show up seems infinitesimal and more often than not it feels like you have to kill yourself with effort just to maintain your place.
Congratulations & welcome to the tip of your fucking spear.
The closer you come to your potential;
The intensity & focus required for the workouts are a given.
The details will make or break you.
This is where & when the real work gets done.
This is where you break through your plateau, or you get broken off by it.
None of it will be as easy or satisfying as it was in those first few weeks, months, or year when every effort resulted in demonstrable progress. This is when some efforts produce infinitesimal improvements, but a lot of them don't. And it will take some hard discipline to keep plugging away. This is a long, dark period when, although the result of the work may be satisfying, the “tiny wins"- [however that is defined] are accomplished by the ragged edge of your own potential.
This is when the little things begin to matter.
You bank an extra hour of sleep each night. You accept the power of cold immersion. You shift your social focus to those who improve you and ignore those who drain you. You change your training environment to one more suited to your temperament and objectives. You examine your diet and make the small changes necessary to speed recovery, and you do so consistently enough that better recovery results in better performance. You change your training times to match your daily rhythms of life, your psyche improves- as does your training…
This is the so-called “small stuff” that we are encouraged not to sweat over,
the seemingly unnecessary shit will make a huge impact.
Whoever believes the small stuff isn't worth sweating hasn't maxed out the big stuff meaningfully enough & flown close enough to the sun that the small stuff begins to make a difference.
The effect of paying attention to the little things increases only after you have truly come close to your full capabilities with the big things-
You don't need to worry about fancy new shoes if you move like shit & don't move enough in the first place. Don't bother with organic food or fiddlin’ with macronutrient profiles if you can't even quit drinking alcohol. And there's no need to waste your money on supplements until your daily diet is as fine tuned as the fancy new sports car you wish you had.
When you have handled the original big things, then the little things become the new big things. It's that simple.
But, it's also where the slight missteps start to have greater consequences.
If little efforts matter then little mistakes matter just as much. [love it or hate it]
Precision fucking matters.
If you're feeling stuck on a plateau maybe it's time to start sweatin’ the little things.
Respect them. Deal with them. All of them.
Unless of course you're comfortable there.
If that's the case- reduce your expectations to match the effort you are willing to give.