Tiny Steps

Generally, when I don’t want to do something, it’s either because I doubt I can do it well or because I doubt it’ll be any fun.  Part of the  solution to both of those is to take tiny steps.

When most people think of long term goals, they try to achieve them all at once.  Today.  The thought of all that work is so sickening, so discouraging, that they shy away from doing anything at all.  On the other hand, all of us do hundreds, maybe thousands, of tiny routine things every day.  As an example, take driving to work.   Get in the car.  Get the car ready.  Back down the drive.  Stop at the end of the street.  Turn right…. Each stop, each turn, is a tiny step.  Each one seems so obvious, so routine, that after doing it several times, you can just think  “go to work” and it happens.

But our goals aren’t so routine, so practiced.   We need to think of each step, like the first day you went from the current residence to the current job.   So one trick to achieving goals is to think of them in tiny steps.  I want to plant some vegetables for a fall harvest.  The first step isn’t planting.  The first tiny step might be ask my friend Nathan what plants do well in the fall.  The next step might be look online to find a garden supply store.  Then next step is go to the store…. and so on.

Each tiny step seems simple and plain.  It makes sense to go ahead and do it.  Right now.   How tiny do the steps need to be?  It should be easy to say what the very next physical step is.  It should seem so abundantly obvious that it gives momentum to just go ahead and do it.  Then find the next step, and maybe do that one as well.  Progress!

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