Why Thinking Small Can Help You Achieve Your Bigger Goals
You don’t need to know how to do everything, just how to take the next step and the next. That is how all journeys happen.
Do you ever think small when you want to reach a goal? Sounds mad but it’s a method which works very well.
If you could look back one year ago, what was going on in your life?
Were there any goals you had which you thought — “I’ll get round to that”, “I want to do that” or “I really need to do that”?
Did you have some kind of buffer — “Once I “ABC” then I will be able to “XYZ”?
And was it truly something you needed to do first or was it a cleverly disguised excuse not to move forward?
Where are you now in relation to that goal?
Have you moved forward, are you still stuck where you were or have you gone backwards?
It’s so common for people to want the conditions to be “right” or to feel more “ready” but often I find it’s this which causes more problems. The reason it happens can often be fear of change, or just simply not knowing. It can be hard to change our habits and coping mechanisms that keep us comfortable and safe.
It could simply be that you are unsure of the next step, and that’s OK.
But if the long term plan you have for yourself is not fitting with your current behaviour and habits then how are you going to feel next year when I ask the same question?
Every day is another day. It’s another chance to make one small improvement in something you want to do.
What can you do for 5 minutes today that can help you move forward? And what can you do for 5 minutes tomorrow that can help you move forward.
Or what 1 thing can you do differently today that you can practice daily going forward?
Most of my clients admit to being perfectionist. And most of my clients have a super power — the power of being able to make perfect plans. But where they fall down is that they can spend days or weeks making these plans. They leave no stone un-turned.
However they do also have a kryptonite. Feelings of failure.
I often have clients drag out old plans from their kitchen drawers to show me then when I ask how it went they say — well I just didn’t do it, or couldn’t stick to it.
When we give ourselves a huge amount to do and it looks good on paper, we rarely take into account actual daily lives and what can trip us up. The reality is that even the most perfect plan cannot account for everything that can come your way in the future, especially how motivated or capable we are feeling on any given day.
So I ask you, how about planning to be better, rather than perfect?
Wouldn’t it be easier to just give it a go? To start small, take one step without fear of failure and then just try the same again tomorrow…… one small step?
You’re probably thinking that your goals are so huge yo need to do more, but trust me, less is often more when we look at the cumulative effect.
I find that the clients who take on the small steps but show up every day and work on their goals daily are the ones who make giants leaps. The ones who just slowly start to change what they need to, and accept it might be a long road. Those who take a small step every day are much further ahead in a years time than they could even have imagined, because they employed consistency over perfection.
Imagine you had to build a wall around your front garden and you decided to plan it all out and take the weekend to do it. You had asked some builders how long it would take, and you found out what materials you needed……. You drew up your plan and got it checked and were told it would definitely worked. Now… come Saturday, you get out there and you get 50 bricks down then it starts to rain.!! NO!!…… I’ll never get the wall done this weekend, I can’t work in the rain.
So, you cover the remaining bricks and head back in the house, looking out your window at the failed attempt. Sunday rains too and the whole project is off. Next week is out the window, coz you are off to Nans, the following week is a mini break you booked ages ago and the week after that you just don’t feel like getting it done because you had late night parties with friends celebrating birthdays…. this trend continues and you think…. once I have a full weekend I will get this done!
Before you know it a year has passed and a facebook memory is telling you that you were going to have this wall done all by yourself. You remember feeling too proud to ask for help because you know you can do it yourself, yet there is sits……. looking back at you every time you look out the window, and the bricks now have moss and dirt growing on them and need cleaned as well as having been knocked over, the garden is a mess and you just know the grass under those bricks is dead!. You are even dreading all the insects and bugs that have made it their home. It’s now worse than it was and you wished you had just found the time to get it done. You can’t face dealing with the extra problems on top of the hard work of actually building the wall.
Now imagine you had instead decided just to go out every day and lay down one more brick. How would that wall be looking now? You could probably manage to get one down in the rain if you had to — that wouldn’t be so bad. But even if you didn’t, it would be such a small change that it’s barely noticeable so wouldn’t make you fee bad. You just promise yourself to get back to one brick per day.
Imagine once you started to see how the wall was coming on and 1 brick became 5 and on good days you did another 50….. How would it look then??
Much better right?
You’ve also exceeded your plan to do one brick per day and that’s a great feeling when you finished months earlier than expected.
So today I am asking you — are you going to start thinking small with your goals or are you keep going to try the impossible?
I would love to hear what you plan to do to tackle any big goals ahead of you so please comment and let me know. The accountability might also just be the boost you need to get started.
I’ll champion you all the way.