Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tackling big challenges with small actions

"We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.
- Calvin Coolidge, American president

This is a perfect illustration of tackling big challenges with small actions. It also shows the power of focus. There's a growing tendency for people to want to have it all. Not wanting to sacrifice anything, they run themselves straight into the ground--sometimes literally--only to end up frustrated, unhealthy, and tired, with nothing to show for it. What they don't realize is that you can have it all (or close to it). You just can't have it all right now. Does it feel like you're always busy, but you never seem to get anywhere? That's because when you try to do everything, you don't do anything well. Your child may force you to learn this lesson anyway. Instead of living your life all at once, try doing one thing at a time. Choose one goal and, through some small "things" every day, focus in on it until you've succeeded. During the day, put your full mind and efforts on one task at a time. You'll be much more productive (and calm) in the long run. sparkpeople

Spend ten minutes planning that goal and some actions steps. Get a notebook just for your goals. Once you get started, you may not stop at ten minutes, but schedule that ten minutes daily or 4 times a week. That way it doesn't seem intimidating. Then how will you be accountable to yourself for making the time? Get an accountability buddy (a friend you will e-mail to when you've taken a step each week. If they don't hear from you, they'll be asking "What have you done toward ____ this week?"

Often if I say I will exercise for 15 min., if I get started, I have no problem stretching that to 30 minutes. It's getting started. I have a goal to book a vacation for myself to reward the last 3 years of school work and completion of my masters degree. So I've spent 10-15 min. several times a week looking at my options. Once I choose my destination and mode of transport, then I will start rounding up reservations and tickets. Hmmm...Hawaii or a cruise to a tropical island? More on that later!

Like the commercial says -- Just do it! Baby steps will get you there - No action won't.

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