Happy New Year! How do you feel? Are you pumped up to start 2017? Maybe you are excited because you understand your passions better than you ever have, but aren’t sure what to do next? Or, maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by another year and another set of goals and resolutions… maybe a little defeated by goals and resolutions that are hanging around from the past that you just can’t seem to make happen?
Regardless of where you’re at… super excited and ready to dive in, ready but unsure of where to start, or feeling defeated by changes you’ve wanted to make for a while… there are steps to take. When you think of taking steps do they seem huge? Do they scare you? If you answer yes you are not alone… whether we’ve got big dreams or personal challenges that we’ve been unable to overcome, focusing on the outcome can paralyze us… how do we get there?
Small things… I’ve talked about small things before and you’ve probably heard about small things from others… big dreams are great but it’s the small things that get us there. This has absolutely been true in my life. I remember a lot of “big dreams” coming true… things that I thought about and worked towards for years in some cases. I imagined these big dreams coming in grand fashion with tons of excitement and celebration. However, when these big dreams became reality they just felt natural. Sure, I was grateful and happy to have reached a milestone, but there wasn’t much excitement or celebration… I had been building the foundation for the big dreams for so long that they were part of my life when they arrived, and I was “living the dream” and onto the next dream.
Why have I been able to make my dreams reality? Why have they seemed so natural when they arrived? When I’ve worked with and observed others who are able to continuously convert dreams to reality, how do they do it? What’s the secret sauce?
Though we hear a lot about “small things” that make big dreams real, we don’t hear a lot about what this means… maybe some talk about habits and the morning routine, but there’s not a lot about the nitty gritty, which is what makes or breaks our ability to do the small things.
When we talk about “small things” we assume these things are easy… if they are small they should take minimum effort. Right? While this can be absolutely true with a mindset that facilitates small tweaks and adjustments, oftentimes our mindsets don’t support even the smallest adjustments. We are stuck in a routine, various habits, and a specific outlook on life.
So what’s the nitty gritty? Two things: mindset and action. We need to have a mindset that is open to adjustments and the gumption to act. We need to allow ourselves to break free of every little intricate way we live and do the small things. Even those of us who are most open to change can fall into patterns and habits that are stale and need to be revamped…
So what’s the first step? Looking at our lives now. This may seem basic and really mundane, but it’s critical… what we’re doing each day is indicative of our mindset and is dictating our action. To get started ask yourself the following questions. Don’t rush this… take some time and think about it. Raise your awareness as you go through each day and add things to the list as you identify them. Next week we’ll have some fun with what we’ve come up with…
· How my life operates…
o What are the routines I follow each day (or majority of days)?
o What are the habits I’ve formed that I do without even thinking?
o What schedule do I follow each day from the time I get up to the time I go to bed?
o What parts of the schedule are set by others (i.e. school start time, work start time) and would be very difficult to change?
· What I do with my uncommitted time…
o What do I do when I have free time?
o What do I do when I have meal breaks during my work time?
o How do I spend my time in my car alone?
o How much time to I spend on social media each day? Is this for leisure or work?
o What do I do first thing in the morning as soon as I wake up?
o What do I do last thing in the evening before I go to bed? To sleep?