Economic Multipliers (60)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

‘Starting small’ is an economic multiplier if you really want to get things done.


I have a philosophy that every decade or so I need to be prepared to make some changes in my diet and exercise patterns to account for the fact that my body is continually changing.

I grew up significantly overweight. For the most part since then I have always been 5-10 pounds above what I considered to be my optimal weight (NOT a scarecrow weight either). Today, the numbers are 15-20 pounds above and that has required a response.

I don’t worry about exercise: I get an adequate amount. But my eating patterns could be better and because I’ve thought about adding a bit of karate back into my exercise program to pick up the pace a bit, when I ran across a DVD/book called the Budokon Weight Loss System (Gaiam), I checked it out.

If I ever incorporate Budokon (See P.S.) into my current exercise routine, it will probably take me about three years.

But a tiny little tip in the eating section caught my attention: I am working on it immediately: Plan your lunches and dinners around vegetables.

This makes sense. If you fill your plate with vegetables first, it’s easy to add a bit of meat, starches, dairy and fruit around them. Vegetables are the hardest thing to get into any diet: The first thing that usually comes to mind (for me) is the meat or protein.

And why would it take me three years to add on an exercise routine?

I have a philosophy that the easiest way to get something (like exercise) done is to tell yourself that you can do almost none of it. The first couple weeks, you can add only one tiny thing into your routine (and that’s all … and you can’t do much of it). After you’ve managed to do that one tiny thing for a while, it’s OK to add one tiny thing more. After a while you’ve got a regular exercise routine and you’re not really sure how it all came together … but it did.

For Budokon, I’ll have to trade out some of my current routine for some of this faster paced exercise and will probably try to get a full routine in a couple days a week. (That’s the process that could take 3 years … or more!).

But first … the vegetables!


This ‘go slow to go fast’ or ‘do a little to do a lot’ technique works for a LOT of things:

    • Reading: You’re only allowed to read one paragraph or one page or one article and then you must go do something else (if even for only 5 minutes).

    • Cleaning: You’re only allowed to put 10 items away and then you must go do something else (if even for only 5 minutes).

    • Studying: You’re only allowed to study for 10 or 15 minutes or do one problem and then you must go do something else (if even for only 5 minutes).

    • Paperwork or mail: You’re only allowed to file 5 or 10 sheets of paper or take care of one or two letters and then you must go do something else (if even for only 5 minutes).


The reason that this works is because people usually spend the 5 minutes (or so) doing something else that creates value … even if it’s just drinking a cup of tea while relaxing and thinking about how much they’re actually getting done. It’s not that a person can’t do more if they want. But if they’re having trouble getting things done, sometimes it’s easier to focus on the best ways to do less.

I’m pretty sure that I came by this technique to address the attention deficit disorder parts of my personality (and to stop reading the same page 8 times because I went through the motions but didn’t connect to the content the first 7) but know that when I sit down at a computer, I usually think I need someone or something dragging me away every 15-20 minutes: I occasionally set a timer … but not enough.


And, as an extension to ‘starting small’ …

Enlisting volunteers: Volunteers are only allowed to do one small task and that is all: It’s actually easier to find volunteers if the ‘jobs’ are small, the volunteers are never made to feel guilty, and they are told that they won’t be called again until next year (or next month) but if they have any spare time, they can call you. The ‘untapped’ volunteer corp today are all the retired women and men who people don’t think to call because they haven’t been part of the ‘volunteer force’ in the past … but who (I believe) if they knew their time would be respected (small tasks), would show up in droves to get a LOT of many little things done.


P.S. Regarding exercise: Budokon is a combination of karate, yoga and meditation combined with healthy eating. Always pick things that fit with who YOU are … I’ve trained previously in karate and currently walk, bike and do meditative exercises combining Tai Chi and Qigong. Over the years, I’ve started (and stopped) numerous activities that provided exercise. Work, location, time, convenience, interest, equipment and facility needs, cost, and other people have all factored in.