Every now and then I find myself procrastinating on taking even small steps towards my goal. Maybe it’s the same for you?
Sometimes it’s because the goal seems like an insurmountable obstacle. It just doesn’t feel like I’m making any progress if I take one or two small steps. So why bother, right? Other times there’s too many steps available. I don’t know where to start. And then there’s the dread of “what happens if I don’t like the goal when I get there?”.
Limit the time for introspection
But taking small steps is the key to making progress towards your goal. No amount of introspection can do that. Don’t get me wrong. Introspection is great. I use introspection a lot. Probably too much. But I love planning and trying to discover what I want.
What often happens is that I get the answer of what actions I need to take after an hour of introspection. But then I continue to introspect. Just to make sure I’m right in my decision. But who am I kidding? I’ve yet to change my mind after those extra hours of introspection. If that isn’t enough. I seldom take any small steps towards the goal. I want to plan out everything in detail. And procrastinate on taking action.
Marketing is a great example from my life. I don’t know how much I’ve planned what I should do to market the game I’m developing. I’ve developed plans without doing any research. I’ve made goals. But I’ve not taken any action.
Today that’s different though. Because I’m working on marketing this blog AND taking action. Today I do it more by trial and error than trying to get everything right the first time.
A new perspective
The true power of taking small steps is that you gain a new perspective. Sometimes one small step can be that magical tipping point.
Imagine standing a step from a crossroads with tall buildings on all sides. You are looking for your tree of passion. You have no GPS. But it doesn’t even matter because you don’t know its location. You stand still and look for it, but cannot see it.
What happens if you continue to stand still and dream of how the tree looks like? You won’t ever see it. As long as you’re standing in the same place you will see the same trees.
As you take a small step forward you can see past the corner. There it is, 2 minutes away, your tree of passion. You didn’t know you were only one small step away from seeing it.
I got this powerful metaphor from a great speaker, whose name I sadly can’t remember. And this is the power of taking small steps.
How small steps can you take?
Now that’s a good question. A small step can be anything from doing research, experimenting, inviting others to take part, to enrolling in some sort of program.
Let’s say you want to start a business. You have no idea how you do it. One step could be to google “how do I start a business in X”. Or you can invite others into your business if you want to have business partner. But you can also ask if anyone else is thinking of starting a business. Then create your businesses separately and share lessons and insights. Or you could google “startup groups in X” and then enroll in that group.
There’s a lot of small steps you can take. Just by googling “startup groups in X” might show that there’s a startup group 30 minutes from where you live. Only the fact that there is a group so close opens up a lot of opportunities you didn’t see before. Not to mention everything you’ll learn by enrolling in that group.
This is basically what I’m doing with my blog now. I’m taking lots of small steps I think will lead me into the right direction. They might not be the fastest, best, or most efficient way. But by taking small steps all the time I gain lots of knowledge. What should I do more of? What should I avoid? And in the end I get there a lot faster than trying to take the best, most efficient, or biggest steps.
If you want a detailed example of taking small steps, you can read my Earn $2200 From Blogging In 6 Months Series.
Adjust your goal
But what happens if you notice that your goal isn’t what you imagined?
You happily make your way towards the tree. There are some obstacles in the way. Sometimes you lose sight of the tree. But you always know it’s there. You’re 20 steps away from the tree… 15. 14. 13. 12. 11. 10. You stop. Something is off. You can’t really tell what it is. You take another step. And another one.
You can see it clearly now. It’s not the right tree. It’s not your tree of passion. Sadness and melancholy overwhelm you. All this for nothing. All is lost.
After the sadness you remember everything you’ve learned throughout your journey. And if you had taken the path of inaction you know you would’ve regretted that. And now that you think of it. You know what type of tree you are looking for. You look around, unable to see it. But you now what to do. A sense of pride, enthusiasm, and motivation overcome you. You take another step.
Maybe I’ll notice down the road that blogging isn’t for me. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. I’m having fun on my way there and I’m learning a lot of skills. Marketing online, improved writing, and taking lots of action. Skills I can put to use in future endeavours 🙂
What smalls steps will you take?
I urge you to take one small step right now. Not later. Don’t have the time? Think of a small step that only takes 2 minutes to take. If you’ve had the time to read this whole article I bet you can spend another 2 minutes taking a small step. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for me.
I would love to hear from you what small step you’ve taken. And what you think of the article. Please comment below 🙂
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