I promise this won’t be a post trying to motivate you to make more happen for this final quarter.
It won’t be a post that reminds you that there’s still lots of time to make progress on the work that matters (even though that’s true).
And it certainly won’t be a post telling you go ‘Go Big!’ and take on the one monumental project that’ll turn the tides (although if you’re up for it – go for it!).
This is a post about keeping things small. Really, really small.
Because small can be mighty.
And small breathes.
Small leaves room for possibility without pressure, and progress not perfection.
A few of my clients have experimented with this over the year with amazing results. One client was so stuck in the ‘bigness’ of her own business potential, she was bumping up over and over again around overwhelm, deservedness and sustainability. And so, nothing was happening. Week to week, the needle would move a tiny hair forward, or three hairs back – and nothing was getting done with any consistency. It was discouraging for both of us.
Until one day, we scrapped the big plan and decided to go small. Really, really small.
Her commitment was to write a weekly blog post and send it out via her newsletter every week. That was it (other than serve existing coaching clients). No more workshop planning, no more worrying about the online program or signature system. No more outreach, hardcore marketing etc. JUST one post and mail-out per week. That was it.
*And it’s worthy of note that before this decision, that blog post and newsletter were not sent with any consistency.
It’s now been about five months, and she has not missed a week. Not one week.
This may seem small, but it’s actually pretty amazing. Not only is she connecting with her community every week, but she’s also been re-writing a story along the way about what she’s capable of. And now, we’re starting to layer in a couple of new pieces — pieces she actually feels capable and ready to take on, not like this looming, daunting should-do.
And just recently, another client made the commitment to allocate four, 10-minute windows per week, to a project she cares deeply about but hasn’t made the time for. We opted for the lowest barrier to completion – the amount of time that would feel like a no-brainer and feel easy. What’s even better is that in 4, 10-minute windows, there’s no room for perfection – just doing. Because the pressure is off – nobody expects a masterpiece in 10 minutes – so she has permission to just play and do.
If there’s something that’s been itching and niggling away at you for far too long – that thing that you’ve consistently put on the back-burner, and that come 2015 you’d be seriously choked if you still hadn’t moved the needle forward on, then I invite you to identify the smallest of small actions that you ARE willing to commit to in support of it.
These actions should be so very small that they almost feel ridiculous. You may almost laugh at the notion of their seeming insignificance, and feel like they don’t really count.
But oh how they do — in mighty and powerful ways.
Because it’s the small actions over time that yield the greatest results. As you start to create new habit grooves, it all feels easier and more doable, and then you’ll naturally up the ante, layering in bigger actions as you go. And the greatest benefit in my mind is that you’ll begin to trust yourself more as you demonstrate that you can actually do what you say you want to do. It’s pretty powerful.
So let me know on Twitter — what is the smallest of small actions you’re willing to take in support of a project or task you’ve avoided/resisted/floundered on?