Let’s call a spade a spade here, the most common issue people have with personal development and making a positive change is that it stays a daydream. They get excited and inspired by what they see or read, in places like this for example. But they bullshit themselves about wanting real change and those positive emotions fade…nothing happens.
Life as usual. Mental health, finances or your inner relationship stays the same.
I used to read about personal development in pretty much all important areas of life. It took years to get going with making those positive changes on a consistent basis.
Simply put, it was uncomfortable. Making significant changes felt too big, so it was easier to just kept imagining it.
So what do you do if you get stuck in daydreams? The best solution, from personal experience, to start making your dreams into reality is to go in baby steps.
Obviously big changes, stemming from huge ambitions, sound inspiring and motivating. You’re probably too scared to manage that in one go though. So the pivotal step to get started and to keep going, especially when you are new to personal development, is to remove as much pressure and expectations as you can. Don’t tell anyone about what you plan to do, just start doing it.
So how can you make this work for you? Here are a couple of ideas, but ultimately the action is in you hands:
1. Start with a small step.
This might sound a bit repetitious, but there’s good reason for it. It’s the most effective way to reduce the pressure and the expectations you put on yourself, and to start moving out of procrastination.
This can be used in all areas of your life. If you want to:
- Become kinder and improve your relationships then start small by giving someone a genuine compliment.
- Become a better listener then have one conversation today where your focus is on learning more about the person in front of you. For this to work, you need to focus on being in the moment and not elsewhere in your mind.
There is no better time in getting the ball rolling than today. ‘Tomorrow’ quickly becomes ‘Never’. Don’t keep making that mistake.
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.
If the first step seems too big, because it’s outwardly projected, maybe try an inward step instead. Be kind to yourself somehow and find a positive affirmation. The point is to make a move, and if you’re waiting until tomorrow to be kind to someone else, there is no excuse not to be kind to yourself today.
2. Take care of today.
We only have today anyway, it’s all that’s promised. Feeling tired and just want to quit? Want to keep up those negative habits and self-defeating beliefs?
Then sit down for a minute. Breathe.
Narrow your focus. Don’t look forward to all of the tasks you need to accomplish tomorrow, or the day after, or next week.
Take it easy, start smaller and just focus on taking care of today.
Nothing more. Nothing less. Don’t get caught in doing nothing though.
Tomorrow will come when it comes. Take care of that day too.
Keep this focus a core part of your daily routine and it’s hard to lose track of what’s going on. Granted, you will inevitably need to do some planning. Do that early in the week or day. Then narrow your focus again to make your work and life easier.
After a while, your focus on the small steps – from day to day – will mean you have traveled quite a distance over time.
If you have any suggestions on other ideas/methods that help you, feel free to share with everyone below!
“The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult.” – Madame Marie du Deffand