The incandescent light bulb (RIP)
Getting an education
Writing a novel
Writing a blog
Running a marathon
Those are just a few things that are/were accomplished by taking very small steps toward big goals. Baby steps.
I am a giant-leap type of person. I tend to give myself more credit for big ideas than the small (difficult) steps it takes to get there. One day, I’ll do THIS. And THAT. And it will be great and feel so amazing! I’m going to finish this stack of library books before they are due! Accomplishment!
I take baby steps, but I don’t give myself any credit for them. That would be dumb, right? Because who gets anywhere by taking baby steps?
Well, just about everyone who has ever done anything, come to find out.
I’ve spoken before* of my flawed thinking when it comes to reading a book: you can’t finish books unless you dedicate large chunks of time to the activity. This explains why I was shocked when I finished a book (in pretty good time, I might add) by simply reading about fifteen minutes each day on my Metro ride to work. This also explains why it is so easy to make excuses like, “I only have twenty minutes, which isn’t enough time to read, so I’ll just watch TV and feel worse about myself for doing so”.
Of course, I know deep down inside that baby steps will take you places. That is one reason I love walking so much. Five miles sounds like a lot in your mind, but a succession of small steps WILL get you there eventually. It’s science.
But you know what isn’t science? Excuses. Excuses are just easy.
I think the difficulty I struggle with is not the logic of getting places, but that it is simply easier to say, “well, you see, I have this giant road block and not a lot of time right now”. But even on busy days, I have a few fifteen-minute increments. And if I read a book or worked on a project or did jumping jacks in those fifteen minutes instead of scroll through my iphone, chances are I would finish a book, a project, or getting amazingly toned, eventually. Mostly I would just feel better about myself.
I know my own tendencies, and I am focusing on taking baby steps to counteract my flawed reasoning. See? Baby step. Do you want to take baby steps with me this today? I hope to take lots of baby steps from this moment on. BUT! I am not going to make big promises (leaping), I am simply going to do the work (baby stepping).
Are you a better baby stepper than I? Or do you struggle with this, too? Do tell.
*I wrote that post almost three years ago. But I am not going to let that discourage me… oh boy.
Which reminds me… baby steps in relation to writing.