Step 2 of the Journey

The Year of Responsibility and Small Steps

Penn Sivvmann
3 min readJan 2, 2021


Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Step 2. Always the challenge. If I cast my mind all the way back to yesterday then I guess Step 1 was actually pretty easy. I’d made the decision to write daily, no matter how short the post, so all I had to do was to write that and to learn how to publish on Medium. Today is the important move forward.

I’m writing for a few reasons: a personal record of the year; to become publicly accountable for my actions and decisions; to show what can happen by following a plan and taking consistent, small, manageable steps.

I’m a track and field coach and former athlete, and a few years ago I published my weekly training diary every week for a year to show my group of athletes what could happen If you follow the plan. It worked phenomenally well: I had an amazingly successful year and provided my athletes with a proven training strategy. I would like this diary to help someone too, so I’m applying my track & field principles to my life to show what happens when you have goals, a plan and you follow the plan, little step by little step.

I’m excited about this year. The year 2020 has gone, never to return. In many ways I could say it was a bad year for me. I lost my job, I injured my foot (stress fracture) and elbow (chronic tendinopathy), I gained weight, I had a major episode of depression, I ate very badly, my health deteriorated, and the list goes on.

If I was still in 2020 I know I would be looking back and thinking of all the bad things. But it’s not 2020. I’ve decided to take responsibility. I accept that I made bad decisions but I have decided (and this is a good decision) to be responsible and to move forward with continuous small steps. I know I can transform my life. I know it will be challenging. I also know that if the steps are small enough then it is as easy to step forward as it is to step backward.

I’ve made the mistake in the past of trying to do too much too soon; trying to fix an injury too quickly (I quickly got injured again); trying to lose weight too quickly (I ended up gaining weight); trying to build a business too quickly (I went bankrupt); trying to learn a new skill too quickly (I abandoned the idea because it became too time consuming). Trying to do too much too soon is always a temporary measure that invariably leads to abandonment of the goal and subsequent disappointment.

So I won’t think “I must lose 6kg” and then starve myself for two weeks and go to the gym for 2 hours every day. This results in a quick drop in weight followed by an inability to maintain that routine. This inability results in a feeling of failure which leads to a rapid increase in my consumption of chocolate, late nights watching TV and before long, a realisation that I need to lose 7kg. And so the cycle begins again.

Instead, in my health, fitness, finance, business, work, language learning and quality family time I shall take tiny steps of improvement with the aim of hitting some big goals by the end of the year. I shall outline and record those steps in the coming days.

Day 2, job done.



Penn Sivvmann

50-something, on a mission… step by step