How Do You Eat An Elephant?
We are in the middle of moving, and my inner neat freak has blown a gasket. I loathe chaos with the red hot intensity of a thousand suns, and moving is all chaos. However, I told you guys last blog that it was time for a New Year’s Evolution, so I’m taking my own advice. For any goal, big or small, you must be patient and move forward incrementally. Like the old joke, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Those small bites are “Baby Steps.” I know we are talking about them again, but by definition, it takes a lot of Baby Steps to achieve a big goal.
If you are embarking on a New Year’s Evolution, maybe your goal is to be fit enough to run a 5 K without keeling over, you need baby steps. A baby step might be to set an alarm on your phone for 10 minutes and research fitness apps. When the alarm goes off, you’re done. If you’re feeling charged, take another baby step, just be sure and stop the second you feel resistance.
A baby step should be so ridiculously easy, that your inner resistance is quieted. The feeling of a baby step is, “this is too easy, it can’t possibly make a difference.” But it will. It’s the only way to achieve a big, multi-faceted goal. Unlike the cultural guideline of setting a goal and then marshalling your way forward with single minded focus, letting nothing stop you, baby steps actually work. That other thing will only leave you exhausted and feeling like a slug. No one can keep up a pace like that for long.
When I started my journey towards fitness, all I did was commit to 30 minutes of walking for 30 days. I played with My Fitness Pal and liked the recipes, so I added that in. That felt easy to me. If that sounds like too much, then cut it in half until it feels ridiculously easy.
With my goal of packing/unpacking my house, I used 30 minutes on, then a 15 minute break. At first, I didn’t need a 15 minute break. I’d read for 10 minutes, and I felt refreshed. By the end of the day, I pared it down to 20 minutes on 10 minutes off. I asked for help with the things I couldn’t do alone, like furniture, and I delegated things that I didn’t need to be in charge of, like my hubbie’s stuff. After a week and a half, I can see the bones of what my new home will be, and it’s lovely. I keep the boxes in the garage or tucked away until their turn is up, so the chaos doesn’t freeze me. And then I slowly move forward toward a home that feels like a hug when you walk in the door.
This is the power of baby steps. They keep you moving forward. They are so easy, you don’t give up, and you don’t feel like you’re being pushed toward a goal. You are in the driver’s seat. I wrote my whole book one 15 minute Baby Step at a time. If you want to take a gander at the results go here: http://bit.ly/FieldGuideToPIP , or just ask at the front desk of 850 Elite. Baby steps are powerful, try one and let me know how it goes at firstname.lastname@example.org .