Lifelines: Take a small step

It’s that time of year when we are full of good intentions and keen to make major changes in our life: eat healthily, read more, exercise regularly, get organised…

That’s where the difficulty lies.  We set a large, ambitious goal and then feel overwhelmed and the doubts set in.  Where do I start? How I am ever going to do this?How will I find the time? How will I keep it up?Consequently, we give up before we’ve even begun.

Alternatively, we leap into our resolution with boundless enthusiasm: we do an extensive shop and spend two hours cooking from scratch, we order a pile of books from Amazon, we sign up at the gym and hit it every day for a week, we empty out all our cupboards and wardrobes. And then we hit a wall: it’s completely unrealistic to maintain this level of commitment. We give up.

My advice to you is don’t focus on the end result; by all means, keep it in the back of your mind but instead focus on the first or next small step. And make it a small step: buy some apples, grab a book off your bookshelf and put it on the coffee table, do a 20 second plank, move one item off the kitchen worktop and put it in the cupboard.  Then the following day, take the next small step: eat an apple, read 10 pages of your book, do a 30 second plank, move another item off the kitchen worktop and put it in the cupboard.

If you start with small steps today, by the end of January, you will have eaten 28 pieces of fruit, read a 280 page novel, be holding a plank for a few minutes, have cleared 28 items off your kitchen worktops. Imagine what you will be able to achieve if you keep this up for the whole year!

Start small, start slowly, and the results will come because you will be setting a target that you can achieve with ease.  This in itself is a huge motivation.

What is the next small step you can take in achieving your ambitious goal?


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