Like the old saying “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” The little things add up!
From a posting I did yesterday a friend commented on using a “FitBit” to track her daily calories. Activities like dancing, parking further away when shopping, etc. Tracking these little items, over time, turn into a much larger result. When we take the time to track data we can really see how the little things can mean a lot.
When we focus on the big picture we can easily become overwhelmed. It is wise to take large goals and break them down into smaller more manageable chunks. What is achievable in the short term that will help us progress towards a goal? When we break things down into manageable tasks it makes it that much easier to get started.
One of my goals is to become a better writer. Taking this goal it would be easy to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Need to finish college. Take literary courses. Sign up for workshops. Study languages… Many great ways to become a better writer. Looking at such large tasks, this would make it seem almost impossible and insurmountable. A great way to keep me away and allow me to procrastinate.
Take that goal and break it down into a more manageable chunk. How can I become a better writer? Write more. Write more frequently. Become more disciplined.
What is an easy (easier) way to work towards the larger goal using these manageable chunks? Exactly what I am doing this month. which explains this goal a little better: “Through the month of November I will write blog posts daily.” I didn’t even wait until November 1st to get started. I started right then and there when I made up my mind to work towards this goal.
Make a decision -> Act quickly
This is a paradigm shift for me. Usually I will think about things, research, review, set aside to work on later.. and later never comes.
I have been working on this change for some time. Some goals and challenges work out better than others. Staying challenged and motivated is always tough, another reason to break things down into manageable tasks.
On the flip side of this is breaking things down into such a small focus area we cannot see or notice any change. From this perspective we need to step back a bit and look at the big picture.
Many times I will look at my progress towards a goal and get caught up in the day to minutia and then get overwhelmed. Over analyzing things to the Nth degree.
There is an old saying: “Measure daily, analyze trends.”
For my writing exercise, I am writing every day. I only take a look ot the larger picture on the weekend. Look over what I have written for the week, see what I did well, look for areas of improvement.
A key component is having the data to review. Another area I am using this is with the goal of working out 5 days a week through November. I am using an online tool (Strava) to log my workouts. It doesn’t matter how good or bad each day goes (today was not a good day) I still log what I did. At the end of the week I can review my progress and look to modify my plans for the coming week.
Measure daily – log results. Analyze trends – review my performance for the week and modify my plans / schedule for the following week.
Working these processes into my daily living will bring me towards the larger goals of becoming a better writer and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I am trying to do this in other areas of my life. Slowly I am taking little steps along the way. Cleaning up the garage – I don’t need to do the whole thing at once, just spend a couple of hours a week. Getting better!
Organizing my office. This has been a huge task. For the better part of the summer I made little progress, kept feeling overwhelmed. Lately it is just a little piece at a time – take a 1/2 hour and work on something. Getting better!
Daily tasks – start writing lists. Not of all the things I want to accomplish, maybe just 4 or 5 things I want to do today. Many times this list gets done before noon. Other days only a few things get done. Still – the little things are getting done and adding up to a lot of GREAT things happening!
As always.. Truly Blessed!
P.S. – Nice.. forgot to click “publish” Lol… went to go check on something and noticed I hadn’t posted yet today. That is fixed now!