I think you'd have heard this many times…. Every new year, you should start planning something big for yourself. Create a new year’s resolution and make this year different.
New diets, new exercise regimes, a new way of working…
It sounds great… but here's the thing: most people tend to give up on doing it. They get excited easily but they drop it when they get too busy.
So, I suggest to you, forget New Year’s Resolutions.
Don’t make any decisions impulsively.
Before you think this is a ‘de-motivational’ post, I want you to focus on this instead: rather than make rash resolutions, just think about what you really really want in your life. Absolutely.
Focus on what can be different. And focus on the small steps you need to take towards it. This is what my book, Small Steps To Big Changes is about.
You see, I don’t particularly fancy BIG steps. This is because most people can’t achieve big things consistently. When changes are too drastic, they tend to revert to their old habits quickly. Because it is comfortable and safer that way.
Here’s the secret
To create big changes, you need to always focus on the small steps ahead.
When you can do something small and succeed at it, you start building self-belief. Self-belief is only developed when you consistently win.
When you keep winning small, you realize that you want to win more. I have noticed that people who win consistently don’t need to be motivated.
Once you have a certain consistency in winning small, focus on the next small step forward. This is an iterative process, where you are encouraged by your own small success and hence want to do more.
Why small steps? Why not big steps?
Taking big steps is difficult. Not everyone can sustain big changes. But everyone can take small steps forward. Even the most resistant person in an organization that I work with can agree to do small things.
The whole idea is to set yourself up for success. You need to condition yourself to win small and you will start to grow in confidence. This will lead you to want to do more.
Do not under-estimate the power of taking small steps forward.
Here’s my story in the growing my training and speaking business to organisations.
When I first started the business, I could only run small-scale team building programs. I had small ambitions and was happy earning a little money doing such programs.
However, after a few years, I realized that to improve team effectiveness. I needed to work with their managers and I managed to acquire the skill sets to do this.
When I worked with managers, I realized that some of the problems could not be solved unless the Head of departments were involved (sometimes they are contributing to the problems).
After some time, I developed capabilities to work with the senior ranks - the management teams, the leaders. Eventually, I get to affect the organization as a whole.
The work got more complicated but the leaders were looking for ways to improve business results and not just training programs.
This was the time when I was engaged to speak at numerous conferences around the region on creating change and a habit of winning. So far, I have travelled to 10 countries.
Just recently, I released my first book on "Small Steps To Big Changes" teaching people how to create sustainable change for themselves and the organization. This book also focuses on creating small wins consistently.
All these things happened from taking one small step at a time to move forward.
I do not allow myself to get overwhelmed by all the thousands of things to do. I just focus on what needs to happen to move myself up one level higher.
The problem is that too many people just think too big and get paralyzed by the immensity of the dream ahead and just refuse to do anything.