Sangita Patel on the Power of Tiny Acts, Repeated
The child of immigrants, Sangita Patel watched her parents work incredibly hard to provide for her family. One thing that stood out is how generous her parents were. Her parents never became wealthy, so their generosity was not in the form of huge cash donations. Instead, it was small acts of kindness repeated over a lifetime.
An upbringing full of small kindnesses is what Sangita credits as helping her become the success she is today. It also drove her to continue the trend her parents started, consistently giving in small ways that add up to a huge impact. On the Joyful Sundays podcast, Sangita shared more about the power of small acts, repeated, and how everyone can get involved in this movement no matter your financial situation.
Do it for one person
In the South Asian community, women are not taught much about fitness. Instead, there’s an assumption that women should only focus on caring for their family and cooking. So when Sangita started her own fitness journey, her friends encouraged her to share some posts on social media. This led to Fitness Tuesdays, a movement that now has over 8,000 posts on the official #FitnessTuesdays hashtag.
Sangita initially planned for Fitness Tuesdays to be a short-lived fun social media experiment, but kept it going after connecting with a woman who direct messaged her. The woman had been struggling to lose weight and felt alone in that struggle, but told Sangita that her Fitness Tuesdays posts were motivation to keep going – the posts became her workout buddy. Sangita was moved by this, and continued correspondence with the woman. They virtually worked out together on Tuesdays, and that women ultimately lost 20 lbs over 8 months through trying out the workouts posted on Fitness Tuesdays.
Many other women of all backgrounds shared how Fitness Tuesdays helped them feel more confident and less alone in their fitness journeys, which showed Sangita the power of something so tiny – just posting a video or image on Instagram once a week – to have a massive impact.
A COVID story
When COVID hit, Sangita’s first priority was family. But she also realized that she was in a position of massive privilege. Both her and her husband could work from home and they didn’t have to worry about where their next meal was coming from. Many other people, ranging from those living in poverty pre-COVID to professionals who lost their incomes from the pandemic, were not so lucky.
In response to the pandemic, Sangita and a small group of friends came together to deliver food to local food banks. She also helped give out food to people who needed, which is when she saw the true damage caused by the pandemic.
She also leverages her brand and privilege to encourage other people to donate food and money to local food banks. By raising awareness of various food bank needs to her over 100,000 Instagram followers, Sangita not only shows the work she is doing but pushes others to give what they can.
Practicing gratitude helps Sangita push through the difficulties she faces, engage in difficult conversations, and continue to focus on helping other people with small acts, repeated.
For Sangita, the morning can be a tough time. She shared that some mornings, her mind is flooded with little anxieties about the day or concerns about a difficult task ahead. To combat this, she has a morning ritual of going through three things she’s grateful for.
Practicing gratitude each morning puts her into the right mindset for the day, meaning that she’s more able to tackle whatever comes at her while remembering to give back in little ways. It’s not always easy, but starting with gratitude is the best possible mindset (and occasionally adding a slice of cake, her favorite treat, for some extra encouragement).