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Small steps are better than no steps

  • Agility

Have you ever felt confused or overwhelmed in front of a new objective?

If so, I can relate. It is often the case, as we usually do not know yet how we will achieve this goal. Our brain does not like discomfort and change. It will do its best to make you want to stay where you are = safe.

You have a load of negative thoughts like “I will not be able to make it”. “I don’t know what to do / where to start”. “I am not qualified”.

These negative thoughts are triggering negative feelings like resigned, confused, doubtful, fearful.

The issue with these negative feelings is you will not take action, or very little. You are most likely going to procrastinate with easier tasks.

Break out the tasks

One thing I like with Agile is the will to break the work into small pieces. In practice, you can make each task as little as possible. So, if you have a goal to go back exercising, instead of putting a task like: workout for 30 min each day, you can list:

  • find a cool app for working out
  • install it
  • prepare a bottle of water
  • dress up for sport
  • put your shoes on
  • take your mat
  • do 5 min exercice each day on week 1
  • do 10 min each day on week 2
  • add weight to your routine
  • etc.

All these steps are little to-dos. Each can be done separately, and, combining one after another, they will make you do it.

It works because your brain will be better at ease with small pieces. It will be less confusing or overwhelming if you have a list of small tasks in front of you.

What really matters goes first

What I also like is that, breaking the big goals into tiny tasks, allows you to prioritize to only focus on the ones than are the most important.

It is like you are going to eliminate the “waste”. In my previous example, the list is easily prioritized. Obviously you want to dress up before you workout. But maybe you already have workout sheets printed and you can eliminate finding and installing the app in the beginning, because it can take time and might prevent you from starting immediately, if you land into confusion about selecting the perfect one.

(PS: if you’re in this case, just select the first one, install it, try it on day 1 and see if it’s a match. If not, uninstall it after workout, install the next one on the list, etc. until you find the right one for you).

Use this opportunity to create routines that stays for long

There are many other advantages to it, and I will mention one last in this article: this technique makes it easy to create a new routine.

Indeed, if you want to be successful at creating a new routine, it is always better to start small (the 5 min I mentioned) and associate it to another routine you have.

In our example, you might have a routine to get up and watch the news. Instead, get up at the same time and watch & do the workout.

Once you have practiced this additional routine for some time, consider extending it to a longer time, and so on, until you reach your goal of 30 min workout a day.

Et voilà! Basically, you can use this technique for anything in your daily life or at work that currently seems too big! You know have the keys in your hands to start (small) 😉

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