A marathon starts with the first step. A book, the first word.
My dream is writing a best-selling book that changes the world. And that still starts with a single word even though it’s a colossal pursuit.
Do you also have big dreams that seem overwhelming? Sometimes just the idea of them can drain you, and at times the biggest ones may only seem just that—a dream.
And then sometimes just getting outside and exercising seems like a big effort.
But what if you didn’t focus on your big dreams or exercising? Instead, you just focus on putting your shorts on. Then, use just enough willpower to get on your shoes.
Afterwards, do the next, small action. You’ll find that the impetus propels you forward until you find yourself outside. Until you find yourself taking the first step. Or in my case, until you find yourself writing the first sentence.
You may have heard that starting is half the battle, but don’t just start—start small.
Start so incredibly small that the task takes minimal effort. Make it very manageable so that it doesn’t require so much work. You’ll find motivation follows not in the proportion of an action, but in your thoughts where the momentum grows.
Your mind naturally follows the next logical step. As you make each step forward, your motivation will follow towards the overall goal because you are already on your way. Not only that, but you will most likely also do it it better because you concentrate on just a small initial task.
Believe it or not, this all ties into some of the best advice I’ve ever received for motivation. It is something small where in the first 30 seconds of my day I already achieve something. Making my bed.
When I look at my neat bed in the morning I feel slightly better, slightly clearer. It’s a small ripple effect that starts that small step towards a successful, productive day — a day that gets me closer to my goals.
So make your bed. Break big tasks up and start the first step or the first word. Then do it the following morning. And then the next, until it becomes habit. Start the cascade by starting small and you’ll gain motivation and momentum to move forward.
You’ll find doing something small like making your bed could help you start achieving your dreams.
Stephen Passman is a Graduate Public Health Researcher and author of the blog “The Life Study”. His blog encourages “More meaning, More Motivation, More Life.” Visit him on Twitter.
– What are some “small steps” you have used to propel you forward on to bigger things?