You want life to be different, better or easier. What’s the best way to make that happen?
Everything starts with an idea.
Changing your life? That starts with an idea, too.
Ideas like that often come to me when I’m in a good place, with good friends or doing something I love where I feel excited and positive about the future. My energy is just right. I feel strong and motivated about this new thing I’m going to do.
And I readily commit to getting right to it – tomorrow.
Or next week.
Or in the New Year.
The When-Then Game
At some point it’s time to take the first step.
Procrastination can be a real bummer here. You know, that part of you that says, “when such-and-such is done/ready/behind me, I’ll start that new thing”.
Sometimes there’s a very real reason I can’t start but other times it’s because it feels to huge or that it’ll be too much of a slog. But the whole delaying thing usually makes it even harder.
So just begin it already.
Give it some attention. Don’t wait.
Having made a start, I want to feel motivated about keeping up my efforts.
Seeing that I’ve actually made some progress motivates me. No matter how small that first bit of progress is, it’s still progress.
Seeing that thing being underway means less overwhelm. The amount left to do is reduced and next steps, incidentally, become clearer and less scary.
The hard part, the beginning, is behind me. I’m on my way.
The next step is to stick at it, so for that to happen, making it as easy as possible to keep going is really helpful. By making it as easy as possible to pick up where I left off, I’m much more likely to stick at what I started.
Starting was hard and I don’t want it to feel that difficult every time.
So for this I need to:-
Grab tools for the Job
That means everything I need to hand and within easy reach. Whether it’s the right tools or a cup of coffee, I need to get all that in place before I start.
Give myself time without interruptions. Schedule this time for myself in advance. Don’t need my phone for the task? Turn it off. I deserve it.
Nuggets of progress
Be realistic about what I’m going to achieve – bite sized chunks, baby steps, petit a petit. Even a tiny bit of real progress is golden.
Plan next steps
Just before I finish each time, spend a few minutes to note down where I got to. Write down the next 3-5 things I’m going to do that will move me forward and decide when I’m going to do them.
Whether you’re looking to relax, get fit, conquer a backlog of filing, write a book, learn to play an instrument, stop smoking or change career, it’s about choosing a new direction and sticking to the path!
Knowing vs Doing
Me? I have a few things I really need to get sorted and, yes, I have been known to play the when-then-game.
While out walking my dogs, thinking about ways to tackle getting tasks done helped me put things in perspective. Most importantly, it reminded me that starting them really helps me stop feeling overwhelmed.
We all KNOW so much of this stuff, but actually DOING it isn’t always that easy.
Life’s a journey. I wrote this to help me navigate some of my own next steps and hope it helps you, too.
Take care, have fun and good luck.