30 January 2014

Create Momentum By Taking Small Steps

image via ny daily news

I had a great morning yesterday doing some work on week four of Awaken To Happiness, an eight-week online course by The Chopra Center. I've enjoyed every week of inspiration, meditation and movement but this week was especially impactful for me.

I wanted to share this particularly inspiring thought with you about building momentum. Sometimes we just have no gas in the tank to move forward. But a tiny thing like opening a closet can start everything.

Start by thinking of the smallest possible action you could take – and then take it. Then choose the next smallest action, and do that. The action can truly be as small as opening your closet drawer to see if your gym shoes are inside. Then the next day you can commit to putting on your shoes, and the day after that you can decide to walk to your mailbox. Although such small acts can seem trivial, over time they help you build momentum and experience transformation.

This kind of inspiration is just what I need when I have a messy kitchen to clean or a desk that has a few too many papers stacked on it. What is it about desks that makes them into absolutely aggravating paper piles. I can't take that. It seems like it only takes a day or two of "yeah, just put that on my desk" before the surface of the desk is no longer visible.

Last night I had to do a desk clean. There were a lot of receipts to organize, along with a small mountain of medical/insurance forms/bills and other papers. I found a letter that I had intended to mail about two weeks ago. (It has now been mailed - baby step!) It all came together pretty quickly and soon I was enjoying well organized papers and a clean desktop. But I did find a few things I need to take action on, so despite getting some work done, I have still more things on my to do list now.

My mantra this week has been "Don't talk about everything, just take action on something." It has been a good guide. I don't want to talk about anything that needs to be done, I just want to be doing things that get done. That means no complaining about things, over-thinking things - none of that. Just get some little, important thing done.

Among those little types of things has been making sure all our insurance/medical forms are correct and paying a couple of bills, getting needed appointments set up, trying to get one load of towels and sheets done, mailing out one thank you letter, sending a reply to an email from an old friend who reached out after a few years, getting a few little flower blooms into my bedroom. I even sat down for a few minutes and played the piano on the keyboard we acquired a few weeks ago. It was the first opportunity I've taken and it was really fun, therapeutic and surprisingly after several years of not touching a piano I did okay figuring out one simple song.

Taking small steps leads to big progress with a little time and continued effort. I have to keep reminding myself of this on long-range big goals when I'm dying for big progress. But the satisfaction of small steps is encouraging and inspiring. Some days just going to the closet to see if your sneakers are there is all the progress you need to get you on the road to success.

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