If you’ve been reading along in my last few posts, I’ve been breaking down the components or action steps the research indicates are important as we look to overcome obstacles, induce personal change, function at our best, and lead a more (a)Live life! Like anything deemed for success, planning is key…..but before we could move on to the “How” of planning to achieve goals or change in our lives, we had to first understand and outline who we were planning for, what we were hoping to achieve….and why (see previous posts).
Enter Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) and Bob Wiley (Bill Murray)….if you’ve never scene this 1991 satirical comedy that captures an obsessive compulsive patient’s (Bob) journey to overcoming personal obstacles through “Baby Steps”…be sure to check it out….hilarious!……….and ironically, ample research conducted by the best-selling authors of “Influencer: The Power to Change Anything” would indicate “Baby Steps” are not far off the mark when it comes to achieving goals or change.
Translation to plan English – focusing on the small baby steps, or consistent actions (also called “Vital Behaviors” in “Influencer”) that support the greater Who, What, and Why, has proven time and time again to be an effective planning and strategy for accountability and success. A few examples that I’ve worked through in my professional and personal life below:
- Small Business Growth – fortunately or unfortunately, the reality is that the “big corporate advertising budget” just doesn’t exist in small business…so shelling out cash for advertising time and time again isn’t something consistently realistic….but delivering all I can in a customer service experience day in and day out, with the confidence that the word of this small consistent action will get out and come back through a referral – that’s something I can focus on….it’s a baby step…it’s slow and steady…but it’s winning the race thus far
- Weight Loss – know someone who wants to lose weight and has tried every “diet” on the planet…totally confused by the magnitude of conflicting info out there, and jumping from one “magic” formula to the next…only to be totally stressed out when they have to “get on the scale” because they’re so focused on the end goal number that they’ve lost sight of the consistent action it takes to get them there….and eventually it’s overwhelming and too much? The consistency here is non-existent. Instead, those who are successful identify and focus on a few simple unchanging principles or actions that lead to weight loss: 1) know how much your consuming (i.e. logging) 2) consistently burn more than your consuming (i.e. exercise) 3) Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you possibly can 4) regularly monitor your progress and reflect. I challenge ANYONE to put these “baby steps” into action consistently (at least 90 days straight) and prove to me that they don’t work for you.
- Marathon Training – 26.2 miles in a row by foot, without rest is difficult, painful at times, but extraordinarily rewarding. But don’t be confused….the way to run 26.2 miles isn’t to just go out one day and say….”What the heck, I’m pretty fit….let’s give it a shot”….there are probably people who can do this…but I’d bet they won’t find it “extraordinarily rewarding”…..instead we need to break this lofty goal into small consistent and progressive action (i.e. a training plan) where we focus on they day’s training task…..or “baby step” instead of being overwhelmed by the end goal. Some days it’s slow and steady mileage to focus on to build muscular and cardiovascular endurance, some days it’s anaerobic (max intensity) training with less distance but more exertion (speed, resistance, hill, etc.) to increase aerobic / anaerobic threshold, and some days it’s simply active recovery (cross train, stretch, ice, sleep!).
I encourage each of you to take a look and consider deeply what you really want…..why you really want it…write it down in a place you’ll view at least daily, then research / think through 2-3 simple actions that you can do each and every day to support it….schedule time in your day to actually do these 2-3 actions…and a brief few moments to reflect on if you actually did them….tell someone you care about what you’re going to do….and then tell them when you do it….and if you have an extra moment…share your progress with me by posting a comment on this blog…you’d be amazed at how others (including myself) will celebrate in and be inspired by your success!
Not too complex….but not always easy….consistency is key….best of luck as you take action to be LIVE!…and oh yeah, feel free to contact me if you could use a helping hand.