Small Steps = Big Change

Are you the all or nothing type? Go big or go home? I’m a reformed all or nothing type of gal. For example, one year I made a New Year’s resolution to get in shape, so I registered for the New York City Marathon. Did I actually run the race? No. I was so overwhelmed at the thought of winding around New York City streets for 26.2 miles on my feet as a novice runner that I never even tried. I also figured, not only do I not know where to start, it’s not like I’ll win, so why bother?

Rather than experiencing the journey, I was so focused on the grandiose destination that I cut myself off before I even started. Much better would have been for me to start walking to work and build myself up from there.

This week, I challenge you to think about three situations in your life that you keep saying you are going to do but get so bogged down with the result rather than the steps leading to that result that you haven’t even started. Commit to taking one small step in each situation. You will see you achieve the ultimate goal much faster! You have broken a big plate into manageable bite sizes.

Seeing the end result can be motivating – what a thrill to cross the finish line – but it can also be frustrating if you don’t put a plan in place. When you become too future-focused, your mind can trip you up. You start to create self-doubt – “you’ve never run more than 3 miles, what makes you think you can run 9 times that distance?” Only thinking about 26.2 miles is a lot to chew! However, if you commit to a training program that breaks the mileage down into week-by-week goals, you become more focused on the present and every week have a chance to assess just how much progress you’ve made. Maybe you will run that marathon or maybe you’ll realize that you are not a fan of running, but you discovered another form of exercise that you love and gets your booty movin’. You’ll never know until you get off the couch!

I use the getting in shape example, which I think is very common, but this same mind game parlays into other aspects of our lives as well. Have you ever wanted to change jobs, but the thought of resumes, cover letters, interviews, and learning new people and skills at a new workplace got so cumbersome that you just decided to stay in your same ol’ job? Even if it meant you would be unhappy? Instead, one week update your resume. The next week, set aside a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to do an internet search of places you like, interests you have, causes close to your heart, and see of there are openings at businesses that resonate with you.  Many employers now have an online application, so you can apply right then. The next week, follow up with the places you sent your resume. See what transpires. Maybe you’ll land the job of your dreams or maybe you’ll discover a whole new job that you never even knew existed but peaks your interest. It might happen next week or maybe not for a couple months, but rest assured, it will NEVER happen if you never send a resume!

So, can you do the challenge? Are you going to do it? Share your three “I’ll get around to it someday” scenarios and the small step you are committed to take this week in each of the three.

Love Love Love