I was recently at a conference with my coach, and she was talking about taking action by making consistent, imperfect, small steps, every day, toward a big goal.
Imperfect steps? Small steps? When she used the words “baby steps”, I felt a shudder of repulsion crawl down my back. Baby steps? I don’t have time for baby steps! I’m way too busy and have too much to do!
While I was trying to think of a way I could take moon walking steps and hit my big goal by next week, she said the following words that changed my way of thinking. She said “accomplishing any big goal takes consistent, small, imperfect steps. For example, you don’t get up and have lost 100 pounds overnight. It is impossible, even though that’s what you might want. You can’t be a sedentary person, and expect to run a marathon after jogging around the block a few times. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to lay the proper foundation by getting clear on what it is you really want, then find the steps you need to take you there. Don't wait for things to be perfect - just take action. Understand, big goals take consistent, small, imperfect steps.”
Her explanation was a freeing, teachable moment for me. Being a high “D”, doing anything slow and small doesn’t sound inviting. But, like the tortoise and the hare nursery tale, even though the tortoise doesn’t have the excitement or “fun” the hare had, the tortoise wins! And I want to win, too.
So, with the heart of the tortoise, I am taking small, consistent steps every day. I’m focusing on the things I have bothered me but I’ve tolerated, and am addressing them one at a time. This week was deep-cleaning my closet and throwing away much of the wardrobe I “might need” someday. I said goodbye to things that no longer served me. If something didn’t fit, or I didn’t love it, it went in the Goodwill pile. Today, I walked into my closet, and notice it was no longer jam packed. I took a deep breath, because I felt there was room to breathe. I took this one project in my personal life, and did small, imperfect, daily steps, and it worked! I feel like a bit of my load has been lifted. I’m now looking at the light bulbs I walk by daily, knowing need to be changed, and have been intending to “get to it” for the past month. One more small step done. I’m doing the same with business. I’m making my calls daily, and getting the tasks I most need to do (but don’t feel like doing) out of the way first. My business is showing the results. Small steps do add up!
I want to be like the tortoise, and take consistent imperfect steps. See you at the finish line! Who's with me?