Personal growth is the best place for using the Start Small method because of the complex nature of working through your emotions and beliefs. The more complex the situation is, the better the method works and it doesn’t get more complex than trying to work through decades of experiences that have brought you to the place you are today, both good and bad. Most of us struggle to make changes because we’re afraid we’ll be judged by others if we fail, so we choose to just keep going with what we have, just waiting for “the right time” to change.
By Starting Small, there’s less chance for failure because you aren’t taking on a monumental goal, just taking the initial step that puts you closer to the goal to build confidence in yourself. How many people want to lose 20 pounds? 50 pounds? They choose a date to start, roll out of bed 2 hours early, run 2 miles when they haven’t run in years, and eat nothing but kale and broccoli, only to find they didn’t lose 5 pounds that week, call this a failure and give up because it’s really hard and they aren’t making large gains. In other words, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. Maybe this works for you, great; but it hasn’t worked for millions of people looking to reach their personal goals so those people need another method.
With the Start Small method, I suggest those people don’t even focus on losing weight but on making small changes to behaviors they know contribute to the problem. If you’re drinking a soda every day with lunch, decrease the size a couple days a week for a month, then cut out soda one day a week. Soon, you’ll be losing weight without suffering through the pain of kale and running. You’ll begin to build confidence and making small behavioral changes will become a part of your life over time, ultimately allowing you to achieve success. Build off the small gains, and don’t let the end goal overwhelm your focus on positive daily activities.
The key to this working is to remain intentional about your goals and admit to yourself that going all out on a large goal isn’t sustainable for your personality and forgive yourself for failing, because you will fail from time to time. Accept failure as an opportunity to improve and get back to making small changes. Focus more on the behaviors than the goal itself so the failure doesn’t destroy your confidence. What small change can you make today to get you closer to the goal?
It’s amazing what you learn as you begin a project or goal. Many times you believe you have it all figured out and then as soon as you begin to do the work, you find it’s completely different than you envisioned and a major adjustment is needed. Sometimes this turns out to be a good thing because the goal turns out to be much simpler than you had imagined. Humans have a natural fear of the unknown and by Starting Small, we can bring some clarity to the goal and reduce the fear that existed before the project began.
Just this week, my team had a meeting to discuss initiatives we’ve been working on for a few months now. We gave two projects the green light to begin because we felt the best way to dial them in completely was to start using them and find out what needed to improve by experience rather than keep forming strategies around the ideas. There are limits to the Start Small method though and I don’t recommend throwing something out there if there are consumer or worker safety concerns. For the majority of personal and professional goals, it works out great to figure things out through experience rather than devote a ton of time to planning the whole thing out only to find it doesn’t work in the real world.
I recently had a customer who was dead set on purchasing an expensive product based on the specifications. Just to be sure, we decided to show the product in action at a different customers’ site and 10 minutes into the visit, the customer came to the realization that the product wouldn’t work with their material and they would need to continue researching alternatives. In this case, they were able to learn from experience without spending money or time to find out something didn’t work in their world. I’m willing to bet you have similar opportunities to learn by someone else’s experiences, Start Small and get out there!
Hi everyone, today I want to talk about the hardest part of achieving a large goal; actually getting started. How many of you have goals that are important to you but have been waiting for “the right time” to take action and get started on them? I’ve heard hundreds of excuses over the years and used quite a few myself so I know that many goals never make it past the “dream” stage. Let me tell you, life is short, and conditions will probably never be perfect, but that shouldn’t stop you from starting small. Don’t wait for the kids to leave the house, your spouse to win the lottery, or whatever is preventing you from achieving goals that will let you lead a more fulfilling life.
I’ve learned that starting a project or goal instantly gives confidence and feels like a weight lifted from your shoulders. Somehow the goal seems less intimidating after the initial step of just getting started. Maybe your goal will ultimately take some money to finish it completely, but you will benefit from reading and engaging with others who are on similar journeys toward the same goal and find there’s a lot you can do for free.
For professional or career goals, there’s never been a better time in history to get into an industry you’ve always wanted to work in because most industries are struggling to find help. There’s twice as many open positions in America as there is people looking for work which means employers are motivated to hire someone with a good attitude and a passion for the industry and teach them how to be successful in it. How awesome would it have been to start learning what you needed to do your dream job a few years ago so that in today’s economy, an employer would see that although you don’t have all the credentials, you’re definitely passionate about the work? Do your future self a favor, build some confidence, lift that weight, stop making excuses, and start today!