What if I gave you a mandate to think small? Like, really tiny. Eensy-weensy. Small, small, small. I know it’s counterintuitive. I know that big-picture thinking gets all the glory. But grand goals and master plans can cause major frustration. They become reminders of everywhere we’re not already at.
You eat an elephant one bite at a time, so they say. And so too with anything that you’re trying to figure out—one step at a time. So, you have to learn how to fall madly in love with small plans and even smaller steps. Because that’s how you tap into the most confidently expressed version of yourself.
Starting always begins with something small. But somewhere we deemed small not good enough. Because if we’re not there, then we don’t want to be here. And, well, that’s a recipe for going nowhere.
Everything you eventually do in your life happens because of tiny moments. But for some reason, when it comes to creating your future, tiny is no longer acceptable.
Think about what it takes to go on a dreamy vacation and how you get to the point of experiencing it. You made a chronological and meaningful series of small choices in order to be lying on the beach. You researched a location. You booked a flight. You confirmed accommodations. You checked the weather. You packed a bag. You got yourself to the airport. You boarded a plane. You showed up. This small plans thing . . . you know how to do this. You do this every day in myriad ways; you just need to start doing it with the unknown that is your future direction.
Building a deep sense of belief in your path and allowing future goals to unfold both require that you show up for yourself every day. You must let your small steps mean something. You must allow day-by-day plans to feel as worthy as the grand ones.
Reconnecting with the value of little wins will bring your power back. Do you know how many of the most successful Team USA swimmers train for the biggest competition of their lives? They train to reach competency and satisfaction in minor achievements, which in turn gives them more confidence to go after even more small wins each and every day. These small wins build on each other until the one win that really matters: the Olympics.
Olympians are using this strategy to confidently create a possible future that holds the biggest accolade of their lives. Why should we be any different in creating our future dreams?
You only get there by starting here. Let your choices be good enough. Let the small steps be worthy to you.
The deal with small plans, though, is not only that we don’t deem them worthy enough, it’s also that we don’t want to sit in our discomfort without the glory. We want the immediate satisfaction that this thing we’re doing is definitely going to get us where we want to go.
You’ve got to drop your obsession with recognition like it’s hot. And trust yourself, that you’ll get that glory eventually, that you’ll get to where you want to be. You have to allow today to count. Today is what matters most of all, even if it is nondescript, boring, and mundane.