DOT - Do One Thing!
I like the “bits and pieces” approach – knowing that a little bit of momentum can start a cascade of events. I ask myself, what part of this can I bite off in 15-minutes, no more, no less? If I get this done, then afterwards, I ask myself what one thing can get done in the next 15-minutes? This is what I call my DOT technique – Do One Thing, rather than looking at the whole list and overwhelming.
Take a Look at the F-E-A-R!
- F – FUSION. You fuse with your negative thoughts (e.g., “I’ll fail,” “What if …?”) as if they’re true so you become paralyzed to move forward. Thoughts are neither true nor false. Until you try (behavior), you don’t know what’s possible (although it’s never certain).
- E – EXCESSIVE EXPECTATIONS. If your goals are too big, you’ll feel overwhelmed. You’ll need to break it up into smaller pieces and extend the timeline. And, give up perfection! You’ll make mistakes with anything new, so give yourself permission to mess up, course correct, and accept good-enough work.
- A – AVOIDANCE OF DISCOMFORT. Here’s the thing, if you’re making big changes, you’ll feel fear – you have to be willing to sit with this discomfort. If you want easy and safe, then just keep doing what you’ve always done (no discomfort, but also no change!).
- R – REMOTENESS FROM VALUES. Remember what’s important to you, what you value. If you’re struggling to move forward, perhaps you’ve bought into someone else’s (e.g., society’s, parent’s) values instead. If they’re not your own, you won’t be motivated – and, you’ll be heading down the wrong path anyways!
So take another look at your list and see what your next best steps are – seeing thoughts for what they are … merely thoughts – or – breaking your plan into bite-size pieces – or – being willing to sit with the discomfort of change – or – getting real that this isn’t yours to do!
Photos - Creative Commons (Allsha Vargas "One," Elizabeth M "Overwhelmed," respectively