The Power of Small Steps
Our minds need to see success before it will attempt to complete tasks. This “stop or laziness” is self-preservation. If the minimal brain is not getting results from completing a task, why continue with work? We need to understand how our fight and flight system works to hack it and get stuff done.
So what happens when you write tasks down and then keep avoiding them. Well, first off, it might be that the task is tedious, and second, it might be that the task is too big. Big tasks scare the hell out of everyone. The smart people who do them anyway have an advantage over the people who can’t get them started.
Smart goal completers usually understand how to break down a task or goal into smaller steps. Smaller steps are not as arduous or scary. When you break down larger tasks into small manageable steps, you can complete those small steps and then give your brain the little bit of adrenaline it needs to do more.
Small steps can get us into a zone of flow. This flow is required if you want to get stuff done and if you want to achieve life satisfaction.
Understanding Your Fears
As I said, big tasks are scary. We tend to avoid scary things, and that is usually what shuts off our motivation down. So how do you get out of that fear so you can get into a productive zone? Plan your tasks.
By planning your tasks, you can see which ones make you feel overwhelmed and break that further down. Write each step of that task and approximately how long it will take to complete. Then begin with step one, and so on. To ensure you continue to feel motivated, give yourself a little break or a small treat. A reward after completing tasks completes the task cycle that your brain needs to feel accomplished.
You can disarm fear if you acknowledge that feeling and create a plan. All you need is clarity to begin to disarm that fear.
Calming Your Mind
A calm mind is highly underrated and overly complexified. Anyone can train their brains to disconnect from overreaction to external stimuli. Less stimuli, more calm.
One method is to refocus your mind whenever you notice your mind wandering. When you bring your mind back to the present moment, learn to keep it there by noticing sounds, smells, sights, and feelings of things around you. It might take a few times of forceful redirection before you get the hang of it and start to do it automatically.
A second method is to take the worry and stress and put it into a hypothetical bubble. Watch the entrapped stress and worry float away. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. As you exhale in, say in your mind, “That worry/stress is no longer mine. I release it”. The more you allow yourself to let go of worries and stressors, the more you realize that they were petty or that you genuinely never cared about them. Staying calm helps you focus on the real stuff in life.
Five Steps to Get Shit Done A Little Bit At A Time
1.Write a List Of The Steps
Finding clarity is the first step to creating some form of organization. Writing things down always helps lay things out so you can see what needs your attention.
2. Break That List Into Manageable Steps
Sometimes the only difference between a task that gets done and a task that keeps getting pushed aside is how BIG it seems. So take the scariness out of tasks and break it down into manageable steps. A manageable step is something like mop floor; how about mop kitchen, then mop hallway, then mop laundry room. By breaking down those big tasks, we tend to feel less overwhelmed and more willing to attempt them.
3. Begin With the Most Reasonable Step
If you feel unmotivated, dangle a treat in front of you, Play music, or even watch a show. If you are at work, try study music (check YouTube or Pandora). It’s not cheating, really! It doesn’t matter what got you to do something; what matters is that it got done.
It’s more important to get things done than to feel “perfect” because perfection will kill motivation. You don’t want perfection; you want a repertory of completion; thats what will give you confidence. The only difference between a person who gets things done and one that doesn’t is that one did one thing, and the brain believed she could, so she did. Be a half-asser; it’s okay; what you need is that history of doing to get you to believe that you can.
4. Every Time You Complete a Step, Tell Yourself,
“I am capable of completing things, I am a task completer, and it feels good to be me”
Affirmations are not about simple “atta-girl’s”. Affirmations are about rewiring the brain to believe something that is good for you. Positive beliefs like those above will help you retrain your brain that the old trauma stuff is not real, that you are worthy, you are becoming the voice you never had.
Remember, this is only a small step to rewiring. You can’t lay down a foundation on poop, so go in for trauma healing. Get rid of old subconscious programming from your childhood. That is the stuff that keeps you stuck in your current small-child state.
5. Revisit Your To-Do List Every Day
Try to rewrite your to-do list every day, imagine yourself feeling happy and content with each task being done. Attaching good emotions, even if they haven’t happened yet, is a good trick to help you visualize success. Focusing on what you want your day to go as instead of just letting it happen is a form of preventative measure. You choose what kind of day you want.
What to Do if You Keep Stopping
If you notice, you keep stopping say, “I love me, and I am safe,” “I am capable of doing these tasks,” “I am worthy, I am safe, I am lovable.” You will be surprised how our subconscious constantly beats our self-worth and makes us revert to lazy and unmotivated.
In my years of working on myself, i couldn’t figure out why new habits did not stick. I would begin gun-ho and rearing to go but would stop progress around days seven. Once I have made it to day 21, but by day 35, I had lost hope again. I thought that once you reached that magical 21st day, that your brain rewired.
Letting The Poop Out
But it’s not the case. If you had hidden trauma, that is what rules you; without unlocking and letting that poop out, you will only be laying flowers on top. That does not sound clean nor good to me. Please do the dirty work, get into your tiny child-like self and ask what is causing you to feel unimportant, unworthy? Find a trauma therapist or a book on healing trauma and do the work.
Seriously, I am the queen of stopping and going. I have had more failed to-do’s, goals, and college credits than I can count. Now that I can look back I wish someone would have told me that I was not broken, that I just needed to heal my trauma.
You see, trauma is the boulder that stands between you succeeding and you reaching your highest self. Without first working on deep trauma healing, you will only stop and go. Believe you are worthy, you were born perfect, and it’s only other people in our lives that made us feel otherwise. It was the voices in our lives that made us feel less than and recoil back into a safe cocoon.
I leave You With A little Self-Love
No one is ever born bad. You are not your unkept car, your dirty floor, your hard job. You are that person underneath it all, that kind child who loves beauty enjoys birds and rainbows. Accept that somehow you just got lost and are now finding your way back.
A little progress each day adds up to big results whether you are tackling your to-do’s, starting a business, finishing school, or simple healing deep trauma poop.
You got this. A little at a time is what will get you there.
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