I think it is safe to say that we are probably the BUSIEST generation yet. Fitting everything into our schedules each day, each week is a grueling task in itself. This is precisely why, when looking at large tasks, or the big picture of what we want to accomplish, it is SO daunting that we actually look at it and get so overwhelmed that we don’t do ANY of it!
Not only that, but getting STARTED.. now THAT is truly the hardest part. You guys know my ethos - small steps to BIG change. This is a crucial part of that ethos, with trying to fit everything in and also getting started on a potentially daunting task!
For example, suppose you are trying to fit a 50 minute workout into your day. You get SO overwhelmed trying to fit it in that you cut into the workout time, and by then you are actually so frustrated you won’t be able to make the whole thing and you end up blowing the whole thing off. How frustrating!
Imagine you approach the situation differently - a SMALL STEPS approach. You commit just 5 minutes to mindful movement - whatever movement that you think your body needs. Chances are, once you have gotten started with the movement, you’re more likely to continue. A body in motion stays in motion, so they say. What do I mean by this? A cold winter day, when all I want to do is stay snuggled up in my warm bed, I have two choices - stay comfortable or get out of my comfort zone and hope for the best. Once I have gotten myself to the gym, I promise myself I will do 5 minutes of walking on the treadmill, but by the time 5 minutes passes, I’m already in the swing of things. I’m warmed up, mood is beginning to elevate, energy rising… the 5 minutes I promised myself turn into 40.
This is an approach that I use for EVERYTHING - not just workouts. Tackling small steps create BIG change. Instead of approaching a chunk of work with a big picture approach, take small, methodical steps to break it down helps you to focus on the individual tasks that all add up to the big picture.
Hearing all over the place that you need to do 20 minutes of meditation? Start with 5 minutes and see how you go! Tackle the small step and you will reap the benefits. Maybe 5 minutes is YOUR key to success, not 20 and that is perfectly A-OK. If you want to extend the 5 minutes, you are welcome to do so - listen to your body, what you want and work within the time constraints you are given.
My “5 minutes to win the day rule”, is my best way way to keep progressing and moving forward. Once you have committed to those 5 minutes, no matter if it is a walk, a workout, or a big project at work - commit your WHOLE self to those first 5 minutes. Chances are, once you have begun, you will be more likely to continue. Tackle the small tasks that make up the big picture, and you will be more likely to set yourself up for success.