That’s right, not the biggest step, the smallest. What is the one tiny, smallest, littlest thing you can do today that seems almost silly it’s so easy? But if you do that one thing it is moving in a direction that will put you a little closer to achieving your life vision.
Do you want to write a book? Go back to school? Start your own business? If you wanted to write a book, maybe the smallest thing you could do today is buy a book about how to write a book. Tomorrow the smallest step might be to read the first page of that book.
If you want to start a business maybe the smallest thing you can do is pick out one business in your competitive space to do research on. Don’t actually do the research; just pick out the company you are going to research.
You might be saying to yourself, really Wendy? If I only the read the first page of a book, I won’t ever get done. But the reality is you will get done, because you’ve gotten started, and getting started is the most important part of creating your vision life!
For those of you wanting to a new career, we are talking about pretty ambitious goals, right? We’re talking about changing our lives, discovering what we really love doing and building our lives around our passion! Obviously you’re going to love life a lot more if you’re spending your time doing what you love.
Unfortunately, I know for many of us we have so many obligations: kids, spouses, parents, family, work, mortgages, bills, etc., that it seems almost impossible to make radical life changes! After all, we’re so busy and exhausted just getting through the day how in the world are we going to have time to develop and implement an action plan for doing what we want in life? It’s just too much, right? Maybe it’s easier to just keep doing what we’ve been doing? After all, we’re getting by aren’t we?
Don’t buy into to that lie your mind is trying to sell you! There is a reason you are reading this; you want more for your life. You want to live a life of passion but maybe you don’t know how to take that first step. Well you’re not alone. It wasn’t long ago that I was having trouble getting started myself in making part of my vision a reality. I had seen a global yoga community; helping millions lead a Yoga Life. I was so busy working though that I couldn’t think straight. I was moving so fast and realized I was creating too many big goals. I didn’t know how to start. Well, then a coaching partner shared with me a concept called “Kaizen.”
This one concept has had a profound life altering impact on my life, and it’s what helped me take the first step to living the life of my dreams. If you aren’t familiar with it,Kaizen is the Japanese technique of achieving great change through small, steady steps.
There are lots of good books out there that explain Kaizen in great detail if you want to venture to the book store, but the essence of the concept is something we’ve all heard a million times: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with the first step.”- Lao Tzu.
The problem with this old saying is it really doesn’t help us in our everyday lives. Let me give you a specific example from the book “One Small Step Can Change Your Life,” by Robert Maurer, Ph.D. One example from Dr Maurer’s book really blew me away. One of his clients had been overweight all her life and had tried every diet regimen known to mankind. Unfortunately, nothing had worked for her or if it had it was only temporary and she put the weight she lost right back on (sound familiar?).
The problem was that like most of us, this person wanted immediate change. She looked at magazines, watched the pretty models on the television commercials and wanted to look like them. When her body didn’t morph to satiate her need for immediate gratification, she became discouraged and gave up. She thought and planned in large chunks and did not break down her goals into small achievable tangible steps.
This is where Kaizen makes all the difference. Dr. Maurer reset her expectations. He told her not to think about losing the weight, but he asked her what was the one smallest thing she could do every day that would be different than what she was doing and would be a step in the right direction.
They agreed that while she was watching television in the evening that during one 60 second commercial instead of sitting down, she would stand up and walk in place. Not run, not walk for 5 minutes, but just walk for one minute. He asked her to do this for two weeks, nothing more. At the end of two weeks she had no problem moving to two minutes. At the end of four weeks she had no problem moving to five minutes. You can guess the rest. That’s right, at the end of a year this client had totally changed her lifestyle and she didn’t even notice the difference! Her steps were so gradual she snuck right past any thoughts of resistance that might ordinarily have held her back.
If you’re having trouble getting started, don’t give up, scale back the size of your steps and make your steps so small that you can barely notice an effort. According to Dr. Maurer: “when the steps are small enough, the mind will usually take over and leapfrog over obstacles to achieve your goal.”
So, back to the beginning. What is the smallest thing you can do today that is a step towards your vision life? Make it so small you can’t help but accomplish it. Get started on your journey today!
Wendy (Adrenazen Coach & Co-Founder Yoga Guardian™…YES, my global yoga community has come to life!)