When a goal is so large that it’s hard to imagine its achievement we can often become overwhelmed into a state of inertia in which we take no steps at all. We feel literally frozen in place. Our mind spins and our thought process gets put on hold. This is frequently followed by a state of hopelessness and the urge to quit looms large. How do I know this? Been there and done that so many times I couldn’t begin to estimate how many times I’ve gone through this. What we do in the next second will determine where we go from there.
A second is a very small increment of time and yet it holds so much power. It’s the time it takes to make a decision. Grab the cake or grab the piece of fruit. Even if we grab the cake, it’s not all over. We can decide to take a bite or two and stop. There is always that split of the second that allows us the opportunity to retreat or stop.
This is our saving grace because it allows us the opportunity to see that the decision that we made might not be the best one. In addition to making the better choice when confronted with the same situation down the road, we also have the chance to keep the wrong choice from being a major setback.
But wait, a setback is also something we can recover from and turn it all around. After all, we now have even more information that will enable us to do better next time. Every person who has ever done anything great throughout history never did so on their first attempt. We are in good company… and I’m talking about the Masters of Failure like Edison, Goodall, Einstein, Jobs and Robbins. No, it’s not a law firm. It’s people who have taken steps forward, backward and fell down a lot.
It’s what you choose to do in the next second that will determine the outcome. No step forward is insignificant no matter how small it seems to be and deserves its moment of glory. I’m the Queen of Notebooks so it’s no wonder that I carry a pocket sized one to write down every thing I do that I feel kept me focused on my goal and moving toward it. Not just the things that I did that were the right decisions, but also the times that I made wrong ones, but regrouped and recovered. And I’m not too proud to say, I also got myself some of those little stick on stars to mark the steps that were particularly difficult so they deserve special recognition. I love to earn stars!!!
This is your private record of your journey so it doesn’t matter whether or not someone else might think what you wrote was ‘noteworthy’. If it’s a big deal to you, it’s a big deal. You don’t have to get too wordy or detailed, save that stuff for when you sit down with your journal…which is more like a ‘journey-all’ because it’s a map of where your heart takes you. So, if you scrawl ‘two bites of cake instead of whole piece…Bravo!!!’ that’s enough. If steps repeat themselves, that’s great too, because those are the ones that are becoming new patterns and habits so if you stop at two bites every day, write it down and soon you won’t even be tempted to have more because it will be an auto-response to stop. If someone asks why you always stop at two bites, without even thinking, you’ll say “I don’t know…I just do”.
The important thing is that you have a place that you can go to see how far you’ve already come so that you will be inspired to continue until you reach the finish line. All those small steps that will culminate to be your personal Rocky’s Run from the movie, that took you to victory at the top. How you visualize it is also up to you.
How many small steps will you take today? Look at your record the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning. Now, you’ll have a clear view of where you are going and how you will get there. One small step at a time.