Small Gains Daily Will Lead to Success (I Made a Mallet!)

Erik Personal Development and Lifestyle, Projects, Thoughts of a Mastermind 4 Comments


Two weekends, I started a new hobby.

Over the past few months, I’ve been looking to live a more simple life. In my opinion, simplicity involves becoming more responsible for what I do, what I use, and how I spend my time.

Also, with a simpler life, I probably will have to rely more on my skills and abilities than relying on others.

In a simpler life, I want to spend less time on the computer, spend more time in the world, and do more myself.

I started woodworking because I love building things, and wood is used in so many ways (construction, furniture, utensils, etc.)

When I started woodworking last weekend, I sucked. My cuts weren’t straight, I didn’t know how to use my chisels or planes I had bought, and I was not confident in my abilities.

Over the past week, I’ve spent about 8 hours learning, reading, and doing stuff at the work bench. I’ve been learning a ton and I’ve completed my first project!

A lot of my focus with this blog, and in my life, is how taking action will lead you to getting what you want in life.

I want to share with you my recent win, and talk about how small daily gains will lead to success.

My First Woodworking Project: a Joiner’s Mallet

When thinking about my first woodworking project, I figured I should start somewhat simple.

I’m starting slow and simple with just hand tools, and right now, I’m working with saws, chisels, planes and glue.

Since chisels are in my tool belt, a mallet made sense to make. Also, the cuts and instructions seemed pretty simple to make, as I read online.

I got some oak boards from Home Depot and got to work.

My first cuts were not great.

I wasn’t cutting straight and it wasn’t good. (I didn’t end up using the cut from above)

After practicing some more with my saw, and watching YouTube videos on how to cut straight, I got back to it.

After making some of the initial cuts, I had to figure out how to use my chisels the right way.

On the mallet handle, I wanted to round the edges and smooth it out. That way when I held it, it would be comfortable.

It took a little bit of time, but I finally started to understand out to pare with the chisel.

I was learning!

I spent a few hours this past Thursday night, Friday night, and finished off the mallet on Saturday night.

Here’s the final product:

woodworking mallet

Still have all my fingers!

All in all, this project took me about 8 hours (from start to finish). If I were to do it again, I definitely wouldn’t need to take that much time, and also, now I actually understand how to use my tools.

Small Efforts Will Add Up to Success

Whenever I start something new, I dive head first into it. It’s in my blood (or something like that).

While I spent about 8 hours on this project over a week, I’m guessing you don’t have that much time in a week to devote to something new.

Here’s my challenge to you: how can you break your project into 8, one hour sub-projects to get to the finish line?

Maybe you don’t have 8 hours this week, but what about 8 hours spread out over 8 weeks? Could you get it done?

Small daily, weekly and monthly habits will result in success. What looks like baby steps actually are steps towards your goals.

Think about when you were a kid. You barely could crawl, but within a few years, you were sprinting.

It’s human nature to grow. It’s human nature to get out into the world and GET STUFF DONE.

Simple daily disciplines will result in massive success.

What are you working on?

The role of personal development in my life is ongoing. There is always something to work on and do.

While I’m looking to create a simpler life in the future, I want to always be pushing towards something better. I want to become more and do more (and I’m going to do it). 

Along the way, I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn. Also, I’d love to hear about what you are working on and how I can help!

Thank you for reading!

What are you working on? Any recent wins?


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Comments 4

  1. Good job on the mallet. It’s great that you have the patience and focus to try new things. And many new things at that.

    Sometimes my issue is that I don’t find the right way to learn something new. I lose interest because I’m not finding the process very engaging. I think I found the right way to focus on piano, which I’d like to learn, but I need my own space (and some furniture).

    1. Post

      Thanks for stopping by Mrs. Groovy! It was fun, and I’m loving it. Now, on to the next project!

      You are so right… learning what’s important is almost more important than just trying and learning. As I’ve become a better learner, this has been so critical.

  2. Great mallet! If you want to increase happiness, create something. Back in Charlotte, I had a small workshop in the garage and I always had little wood projects competing for my time. Most of the things I made sucked the big one, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to try something new, something that stretched my abilities. Right now we’re waiting for Groovy Ranch to be completed, so my workshop is currently defunct. But once Groovy Ranch is operational, the first thing I’m doing is making my workshop in the garage. I have a few projects in mind to keep me busy for a while. But what I would ultimately like to do is build a tiny home. Haha! We’ll see if Mrs. Groovy will allow that. She has complete veto power on any project I propose. Ah, the cost of marriage! Great post, my friend. Cheers.

    1. Post

      Thanks for stopping by Mr. Groovy!

      We are basically twins. I want to build a log cabin at some point in my life… but need to learn a lot more in the coming years to get the confidence to do so!

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