If you want to transform your life, I always advise to Dream Big and Plan Small.
That may sound contradictory. What I mean, though, is that it’s good to have big dreams, to allow yourself the freedom to imagine what you would most like to achieve, even if it’s something that may take a while, or that could be a challenge. That distant goal, like a far-off mountain peak, can be the thing that inspires you to keep moving forward.
Yet, while you might stop now and again to gaze towards that mountain, in the moment you need to keep an eye on where you’re actually putting your feet.
You need to plan small, to assess what your next step on the journey is.
To take the metaphor further, there might be a river to cross, or a little hill to climb, or somewhere to stop for a rest. If you’re looking at the mountain in the distance, you may stumble, or miss the opportunities around you, or lose your way when there is nowhere to cross the river and you have to go back to find a bridge.
Bringing this to a more practical example, consider how you could apply this if you are trying to change an unhelpful pattern in your way of being.
It’s great to imagine how you would like your life to be, all that you could achieve if you broke that bad habit. Picture the best possible scenario, what you would like to do and feel if you could wave a magic wand and achieve anything you want. That’s your big dream. It doesn’t have to be entirely realistic or easily achievable, it’s a dream, after all!
Next, though, it’s important to come up with steps you can take now, today or tomorrow, or at least this week.
In terms of breaking a habit, one of the most helpful things you can do is to substitute the unhelpful pattern with a different habit. For instance, you could start drinking herbal tea when you would normally have reached for a snack. Yet, establishing a new habit takes time and consistency – most people agree at least three or four weeks of doing it daily. You need to make the new pattern something you can achieve for that length of time – make it as easy as possible, even ridiculously easy.
After all, it’s better to take a baby step forward in a way that you can maintain and build on, than to try something more ambitious, fail, and give up on the whole thing.
So, instead of saying you’re going to meditate for 10 minutes a day forever (or even for a month), you could commit to meditating for 2 minutes a day after breakfast, for a week. Or instead of going to the gym for half an hour 5 times a week, you could do 10 sit-ups in your living room every day for a week. It’s best to set yourself a small target, and to be specific – when and where are you going to do it.
This is what I mean by the call to Plan Small: that way you are setting yourself up for success. If you outdo your plan, great, you’ve taken a bigger step than you set out to take. And if you only achieve that small step, well still great. You have now proved to yourself that you can make changes, you can enjoy them, and you can build on that first step with another and another.
Now, what big dream inspires you? And what little steps could you take in the next week to bring it a tiny bit closer?
If you’d like some help figuring out your dream, or planning those baby steps, why not give me a call or drop me an email: 07561 231 281 or firstname.lastname@example.org