Do you constantly find yourself having the same items on your to-do list for months, not being able to cross off things you truly want to accomplish, and somehow can’t get that jump start motivation to do so? I’m not talking the boring life stuff like schedule your dentist appointment or get an oil change… I’m talking large goals or new habits you want to take on that will enhance your life, but you never even make the move to begin. I’ve definitely fallen victim to this and when I’m caught in this pattern there’s something I try to remember to get motivated: slow progress is still progress.
I think a major reason that it can be so hard for us to start reaching for our goals is because often times, we get overwhelmed thinking of every step we anticipate we’ll need to complete to reach this end goal. When I realized this, I started taking each thing I wanted to do one step at a time, and realized the smallest change to my routine or the tiniest added effort goes a long way. The old is saying totally right.
For example, a few goals I’ve had for myself lately (and still have today) are to:
- do more yoga
- cook more meals at home, and
- write more.
While these may seem like simple things to get started, literally months went by without me doing one yoga class or writing a blog post. This is because whenever I did have the time to work on these things, I would think about the total end result of these goals (for yoga: get back to a much more flexible and in shape body; for home cooking: cook 15 meals a week or for writing: accumulate 30 awesome blog posts) and this would overwhelm me to the point that I would give up starting. It’s almost like I felt I couldn’t start without already being at the finish line (what sense does that make?) So, instead of being hung up on these huge end results, I decided to just focus on one thing I can do each day that feels right. It is amazing how much motivation you get from small efforts towards your goals after a week, or in some cases even a day. Doing a 6 minute yoga flow 2 times a week quickly gave me the motivation to do a 20 minute yoga flow 5 times a week, and each time I write for just 5 minutes I feel more inspired than before I started. Starting out small, and not forcing it, is something has made a huge impact on my life, and hopefully it can for yours too.
A month will go by whether you do nothing, you do everything, or just a little bit each day.
So start off slow, and you’ll be amazed at what comes of it! You don’t have to be great at something before you start—almost all people are great at things because they practice them so much! And remember, the journey of enhancing your life is the goal, there really is no determined end result of happiness.
BONUS TIP: As I was writing this, I stumbled upon a video on a YouTube channel I follow that analyzes a theory close to this “perfection=paralysis”. (Basically, we don’t start working on our goals because our obsession with perfection stops us from doing so.) Definitely check it out if this post interested you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chb5xU03FbU