Here’s a quick look at this episode, Creating Tiny Habits for the Win!
- Can you have big goals?
- How focusing on big goals gets you stuck
- The benefit of creating tiny habits and starting small
Well hello there! Welcome back to the redefining Bold podcast. You're listening to episode number 11 and I'm your host Gwen Whitfield from theboldabode.com, where I guide warm-hearted women in their quest for a more organized, cleaner home and a more productive and vibrant life.
Today I want to talk to you about tiny habits. It's this idea that creating small, habits that help you from getting over overwhelmed, which we actually talked about a couple of podcasts episodes ago. In episode #8 actually. And for me, it's very easy for me to get stuck when I'm thinking about trying something new. I have this tendency to really look at the big picture and think, there's no way I'll ever be able to achieve that. And it's incredibly frustrating and some thing that over the past six months, I would say, that I've really worked on.
This idea of, not not having a super big goal because if you don't have any big goals then what's the point, right but it's more about taking those big goals and breaking them down into small steps.
So for instance, with this podcast, I wanted to do a podcast for years and years and years. I had a few ideas in the beginning, I bought a course to learn how to put everything together, I even created a website for my first podcast idea. I spent a lot of time on this without ever being able to actually create and record the actual podcast.
And I chalk it up to thinking about the end goal too much. You know I'm comparing myself to the other big podcasts or bloggers that were actually teaching me what to do. And thinking that how could I ever get to that point where I have a huge audience or millions of downloads and making thousands of dollars a month in sponsorships… It was just too much and I totally got paralyzed and was unable to move forward.
And I have done that loads of times with lots of ideas. Maybe it's that I am more of a dreamer which tends to go in line with my enneagram personality type, which we talked about in last week’s episode, but being a dreamer is not going to actually get me to where I want to go in the end. So I've had to figure out how to drill down and focus, not on the end goal so much but more on what I need to do every day, tiny habits, tiny goals, doing the very little things that will move me forward. Not get me to the end where I have a hugely successful business making loads of money, but what can I do today to get just a little bit closer to where I want to be.
And to narrow that down, to really think about the day to day, what do I need to make sure I do every single week, that is really getting me focused on the little things.
So about 2015, I think, I signed up to take Marie Forleo’s B-School. If you're not a blogger, or a small business that has an online presence, you may have never even heard of Marie Forleo. Basically, she’s a life coach, that has created a hugely successful online show helping entrepreneurs. And her main program is called B-school. It is a very expensive program, so it's not something to take lightly, but basically it teaches you a little bit about branding, a little bit about the techie stuff, a little bit about communicating with your audience and generally building your online business.
So, I definitely learned a lot, but I was always so focused on being successful, I couldn't ever get anything done because I was mentally stuck. And so the business that I was really wanting to do, with my Wordpress coding skills, never materialized. And that was really sad for me, and frustrating. And it took me a few years to mentally get to where I am now. I know sometimes you have to go through some stuff, and grow, and learn and change.
So I'm really happy to be where I am now talking with you about these really important topics.
This idea of breaking these big goals down into the every day, creating tiny habits, is really really making a huge difference. Not only with my blog, but just mentally. I no longer feel this giant fear about doing the things that Marie taught me. I've stopped comparing myself to other bloggers and business owners, because I have things that keep me busy, things that I'm doing to move forward.
So these tiny habits, let's talk about just the every day life and not business stuff. Like you know we want to, as people, as a mom, as a homeowner or home dweller if you don't own your own home, we want to have a beautiful well organized home. But thinking about this beautiful, magazine worthy home, and what it will take to have your home to look like that, can be overwhelming, too.
So breaking that down into the little things can be a huge help to getting where you want your home to be. It's starting with one, tiny thing that you can do every day, that will really change things. Instead of diving headfirst, and doing everything all at one time in a marathon cleaning session (like when you have to crisis clean for unexpected company), picking one little thing like keeping your sink free of dishes, can help you create a routine that will get you moving towards your bigger goal.
There really is no sense in having this enormous to do list. Like, when you look at it, you just want to run and shred it, and not worry about it anymore. But if you just have one thing on that list and one thing only, and do that consistently until it no longer becomes stressful, then you're really truly building habits and changing your mind about them.
If I haven't talked about it which I think I have, that's where bullet journaling has been incredibly helpful for me. It's just a simple system using a simple notebook that helps me keep organized and helps me to consistently do the little things. And by having a smaller list, and focusing on just a couple of things every week, I have a different mindset towards the things that used to stress me out.
And so with the bullet journal, if you don't get something done, you can just migrate it to the next day or the next week and not worry about it. And if you find yourself just not getting something done, you can move it to the next month and try again. Because if you're just avoiding something that's on your list, what is the point of having it on your list all of the time. You're not going to do it, you're going to get angry or frustrated whenever you see it sitting there undone on your list. So stop putting it on your list for now. Pick something else, somewhere else to start.
When you start small, you give yourself somewhere to grow. When you start small, you create space for yourself and can create a foundation that is strong and simple. When you start building a house you lay a well constructed slab first, you don't start with the fancy, hand painted bathroom tile, right?
So, this week, I want you to look at one of the big goals you have for yourself, and think what can I do today, what simple tiny thing can I do, that will move me forward. Not catapult me over all of the hard stuff, but will inch me towards achieving that goal.
And I want you to take some action too, I want you to send me an email at [email protected] and tell me first, what your big goal is, and then what tiny thing are you going to do right now to inch you closer to it!
Thanks so much for listening and I will talk to you soon!
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