It took a hugely traumatic event in my life to get me to make the changes I so desperately needed to make. Like most people nowadays, I’d be running myself into the ground through working too hard and trying to be a ‘perfect’ mother at the same time. When I finally managed to realign my priorities and started my own business helping people to relax and enhance their wellbeing, I started looking into what stops people from making important changes without a huge and possibly tragic trigger event to make them do it. A major factor was making big changes are hard and people get dispirited very quickly.
I read an article in Forbes recently called ‘To Make it big, Think Small’ and it was all about breaking big goals down into manageable chunks. We’ve all been there. We’ve all set goals that were too big in an unrealistic time frame and got demoralised. “I’m going to lose two stone before my holiday in six weeks’ time” or “I’m going to start my own business this summer” or “I’m going to start practicing yoga everyday starting tomorrow”. Any of those sound familiar? Getting started on any of those things feels like a massive challenge and if you’re stressed out and busy, like I was, finding the motivation is almost impossible.
The trick is to start with small achievable tasks, or baby steps as I like to imagine them, towards your final goal. There’s no feeling quite like the feeling of getting things done. Accomplishing small tasks spurs us on to do more. How does ‘I’m going to research different personal trainers this week and find one I like the look of by the weekend’ sound? Not too much of a biggy but it’s the first baby step towards that weight loss goal. How about ‘I’m going to buy a book about starting a business this week and start reading it’? Or ‘I’m going to ask my local yoga studio about which yoga style would most suit me this week’? These are all totally manageable steps to take and persevering with small steps like this will lead to that bigger goal eventually.
If you want to de-stress and improve your overall wellbeing, there are so many different baby steps you can take to begin that process. One really small thing I like is to spend just five minute each day disconnecting from the outside world and focusing on my breathing. You don’t have to do it anywhere special or put on relaxing music or have total silence. You can do it anywhere and at any time. Just close your eyes and listen to your breath, feel it going in and out without trying to change it or make any judgements. It’s a great way to give your brain a tiny break from stress. By doing this every day, you’ll find it easier to do it for longer each time until you are really effectively destressing.
I can’t tell you which baby steps you need to take to improve your wellbeing. I can only tell you that the smaller and more achievable you can make them, the better.