By Julie Quinn
Goshen Center School

Continuing in the same spirit of going small, how do you handle overwhelming projects, to do lists, and goals? Thinking BIG in these areas is good for getting inspired, knowing where you’re going, and seeing the big picture. However, as soon as you decide and realize where you need to go, it would be more beneficial to go back to small.

What does that mean?

We all know the advice, cliches and quotes about always moving forward and never giving up! But sometimes when there’s too much ‘advice’ about something, our brains tend to overlook the importance.

 “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one single step,” or “The man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones.”

“Oh, that’s nice,” we say and then continue doing the opposite of whatever the piece of wisdom is offering. Maybewe subconsciously believe it doesn’t apply to us.

Fortunately, it does.

Research states that when you get 1% better at something each day, it will pay off in a big way. To put it clearly, you’ll be 3800% better at the end of a year. It’s that simple but we hardly do it. So much of our time is spent doing things that have absolutely no influence on growth or improvement in any way.

Getting 1% better at something doesn’t mean passive, lazy practice. It’s more than that. Your practice time needs to be purposeful and meaningful.

For example, if you want to be better at playing the piano, don’t just practice the same songs you already know. Practice a part more challenging and do it over and over. 

If you want to get better at soccer, don’t just kick a ball around. Make sure you’re practicing specific drills that will improve your game.

The same goes for any sport. You don’t have to do it for very long. Just get 1% better everyday. Some activities require different amounts of time to get 1% better.

If you want to become more of a minimalist but never begin the clearing out process because it’s too overwhelming, start with one bag. Get one bag and fill it up with things you don’t need. Donate it, sell it, give it to someone you know who might appreciate it. How long will that take? Imagine doing that everyday? By the end of the week you’d have 7 bags! By the end of a month you’d have 30 bags!

How much time do you spend scrolling on your phone? Your fingers and brains were meant for bigger and better things.

Think about the bags when you are starting any new overwhelming endeavor. Imagine filling up your bag each day when you’re ready to practice. Make sure it’s meaningful so your bag really does fill up each time you get 1% better.


For Kids

How does your child handle overwhelming projects and assignments? How do you handle them?

For young kids learning how to read, this is a wonderful piece of advice to start them off.. Teach the value of tackling something big by going small and staying calm. For the very young or very overwhelmed, start with 2  minutes everyday. Then, increase the time to 5 minutes and go from there. Make sure those minutes are really spent practicing. Don’t spend them holding the book together and staring into space or trying to convince your child to tackle some words. If that time is spent really practicing and you are doing it everyday, things will happen.

And remember the power of momentum. Many times, once you start something it’s easier to keep going. That means you’ll often improve more than just 1% a day.

One of my favorite books on writing is called Bird by Bird. When the author was young and her brother had to write a report about birds, he waited until the last possible day to start. He was overwhelmed. Their dad gave him advice to take it ‘bird by bird’. Start with one bird and then go to the next. That’s the only way. Somehow we think we must be doing it wrong if it’s this hard and this basic at the same time. We’re not. Every human on the planet who’s ever accomplished anything had to do it bag by bag and bird by bird.


Posted by cescobar On 20 February, 2019 at 11:32 AM  

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