A couple looks at a man in the sky

Stop Thinking Big, Start Doing Small

We all have big goals, we all want to achieve something substantial in life. The “wanting” part is always there, but unfortunately the same cannot always be said for the “achieving”.

Back in the day, I spent a formidable amount of my waking hours playing computer games. And only after I stopped playing them did I realise one of the main reasons for my habit. You slay a monster – WHAM – level up, pretty graphical effects, a triumphant fanfare. It was way easier to gain a sense of achievement in-game, as opposed to in real life.

The problem with a really big goal is that it’s daunting. It can be scary. Feel overwhelming. The fulfillment lies too far in the future. Big is just too big. That’s also one of the reasons why people procrastinate so much. We delegate these goals to our Future Selves. Because Future Me will surely be able to tackle this big project of mine. Right, Future Me?

(On that note, I’d like to point you to an excellent blog one of my dear friends introduced me to: Wait But Why?)

So, how do we bypass the inactivity and procrastination, and actually get closer to achieving our goals?

Start doing small

We need to break those goals up. Identify the individual parts/components/steps that lead to the larger accomplishment.

Smaller steps are usually easy to make, and because of that we don’t have to persuade ourselves as hard to start working on them.

It takes some time to believe that the small parts add up. But they do, trust me on that. Piece by piece we get closer and closer. Seeing this gives us momentum and energy. It’s basically a perpetual motion of sorts. We just need to kick-start the process.

I’d like to point out one thing that is crucial for success. It’s consistency. It is easy to lose motivation for the whole process without it, but is it just as easy to keep taking one little step at a time…

A couple more tips

Don’t strive for perfect

You learn the most by “Just Doing It”. Stop waiting for perfect conditions, or when you have all the knowledge necessary to start. Start anyway.

Don’t do too much

This will start to look tempting once you build some momentum. Do not overwhelm yourself! Only add more when you know you’re ready. Take it easy and you’ll be fine.