Last week, we dove deep into the process of goal-setting and finding the method that works best for you. Now that we’ve honed in on our goals, it’s time to focus on creating a plan to help us achieve them.
It would seem like attempting to check a lot of boxes at once would help us progress more quickly, but that’s actually not the case. Bigger steps can be mentally daunting, which may trigger internal resistance and breed procrastination. The more mentally overwhelmed we feel, the more likely we are to experience feelings of failure or discouragement. We may find ourselves with a desire to abandon the goal altogether.
Fortunately, there’s another approach. There is an awesome Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching principle called Small Steps and it’s one that I always refer back to when setting my own goals. Because they are typically simple and to the point, small steps are easier for our brains to accept and put into action. We know we can accomplish these tasks with ease and confidence and we are able to walk away feeling successful. Each subsequent success helps build momentum and leaves us wanting to take another step forward.
That sounds great, right? But how do we know what our next “small step” should be? I’d love to invite you to try a small step clarity meditation. Give yourself a few minutes to take a breath & reflect. What small thing do you need in this moment? If you find yourself wanting to expand on the outcome or if meditation isn’t your style, I put together a few other suggestions. They all center around one important thing: staying in touch with yourself.
- Journal: Taking time every day to write down what you’re feeling can help you stay connected to your inner thoughts and focus on what brings you joy. Have a quick journaling moment every morning when you wake up. Sit down in a quiet, peaceful space with your coffee and take a moment to really feel.
- Ask Yourself: “What is a small step I can take that will get me one tiny bit closer to achieving my goal?” Put up post-it notes all around the house with questions like this one. Not kidding, there are post-its all over my apartment right now. Here’s why: Our brains naturally like to answer questions. Write down some answers that come up and before you know it, you’ll have a list of small steps to get started on. This is a really great thing to do when you’re feeling stuck.
- Be Inspired: Take some time to be inspired by creatives you look up to and their unique creative processes. How do they begin and work through a project? How do they keep themselves on track? How do they receive inspiration? See if you can take some of the information you discover and apply it to your own experience. I love being inspired by creatives that I look up to and whose work I admire. More often than not, I discover parts of their creative processes that really work for me. I encourage you to learn from and be inspired by other creatives whenever you can.
What is the moral of this story? Focus on small steps to see bigger progress. Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching small steps can be smaller than you might think. A small step could be: a five-minute walk around the block to clear your head, asking a question you’ve been curious about, or even simply sitting down at the piano in hopes inspiration will follow. Small steps are intended to take the pressure off. They are meant to take you one teeny step closer to where you want to be.
There’s an old Chinese proverb that you’ve probably heard before. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Doesn’t it apply so well here? We have a journey of creativity before us! It might feel daunting if we think about how far away we are from our intended outcome. But we can start taking those small steps today. You can take one right now. Simply take a minute, close your eyes, and envision your ultimate goal. What’s the first thing you can think of that will move you in that direction? Great. Now go do that.
For more tips like this, sign up for my FREE course! See you there 🙂