Focus on just ONE thing.
Humans often feel overwhelmed because there is so MUCH we choose to do. We just can’t fit it all in our heads sometimes. So pick just ONE, and focus on that.
Yes, you want it all. You deserve it all, and you can have it all.
But you can’t have it all TODAY.
So what can you have today? We need to start somewhere, so sit with that list of desires and decide which one thing you want to focus on first. Maybe you want a new job, you want to reduce your weight, and you’ve been meaning to start writing that novel in your spare time. Pick just one to start, and focus on that one goal. Focusing on all of them splits our energy so there is less of it to spend on anything! Choose the one that is most calling to your soul at this moment.
Then break that goal into bite-sized chunks.
Let’s use weight reduction as our example because it’s a challenge that many of us relate to.
What is one small step that you can take today that moves you closer to that one goal? Maybe there are two small steps you can take. Maybe the first step is to make a list of the steps required to complete your goal. Make that list and then prioritize it.
Things to do on this list might include changing the foods we choose, adding more physical activity, journaling, hiring a coach, food & activity tracking, and many other tools that may appeal to you to provide results in the weight reduction/health improvement category.
If we try to add all of these, it quickly becomes cumbersome to try to juggle all of these new behaviors at the same time. So pick just one step and focus on that piece. Let one of those new behaviors be your starting point. If we have been completely or mostly sedentary, then the most obvious place to begin might be increasing physical activity. Increasing physical activity will look different for each individual, so do not compare your own starting place to anyone else’s! Just start moving.
Pick an activity you enjoy and put it in the schedule on a regular basis (at least 3 times a week). Then show up for yourself!
Pro tip: If you hate going to the gym, don’t try to make that your keystone habit! There are a million ways to get active, so choose something you enjoy. Create a dance party indoor living room, even if it’s just one song each morning, or find a dance class near you. Swimming can be fun year round if you live near an indoor pool or in a warm climate. Walking with friends gets the blood flowing and gives us a chance to connect with someone.
Don’t judge yourself! If you tell yourself you are too old, or out-of-shape to move your body, your body will believe you and just sit on the couch!
We’re not asking ourselves to do ALL the things society is ‘shoulding’ on us. We have chosen one piece of one goal that is important to us, and we have committed to do it consistently until it’s a habit.
Once we have created that habit, we can return to our list of goals and decide which piece to add next. We evaluate the list to see which piece will provide the biggest shift toward our goal, or which piece sounds fun and exciting to embark on next, and we challenge ourselves to add that step alongside our new habit. So besides being more active in some fun way we enjoy at least 3 times a week, we are now also avoiding dairy, or reducing fat intake, or taking a nutrition class, or whatever the next right piece for YOU seems to be that moves you one step closer to where you want to be.
We can’t do it all at once. Our brains get overwhelmed when we try. Then we beat ourselves up for not doing more, and as a consequence, we tend to do less! So instead of ALL of it, just take the next one step that seems reasonable and achievable today! And instead of beating up on yourself for not doing every damn thing TODAY, celebrate yourself for taking a step in the direction of you goal.
You took action, and that’s not nothing! Taking action toward your dreams is a very big something that many MANY other people did not do today, so GO YOU!! You are awesome and amazing for being brave enough to take action!
Think about how we CELEBRATE when our child takes those first tiny steps. Do we berate her for not standing up straight and walking all the way across the room? Hell no. We praise her, and rejoice because we know this is just the beginning. She will walk independently and learn to run. But not today! Her baby steps are all she needs to give her the confidence that will carry her to her next steps.
Celebrate your baby steps. If you stumble, just get up and try again.
Make a list of what you MOST want right now.
Which of your dreams makes your heart sing more than the others?
In what ways is one of them crucial to achieving the others?
What steps will bring you to this goal? (If you don’t yet know all of them, list the parts you know so far.)
Which of those steps seems like the next logical one?
Which of these steps most inspires you to action?
How will you implement one of these steps into your life this week?
What might get in your way and how can you plan to overcome that?
If you are still feeling confused or overwhelmed, you’re not alone!
This is the kind of thing that people hire coaches for every day!
If you like my style and are considering hiring a personal coach, please contact me here, or by calling 707-515-8324.
If you think coaching may be right for you, but my style doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, here is a list of highly qualified coaches that I recommend with all my heart.