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What happens when we do 1 small thing each day

No matter how daunting projects can feel big or small, doing 1 small thing each day can make a difference. Read on to find out how to start!
1 small thing
 If you look around you and your home is sparkling clean as you admire perfectly straight vacuum lines in your living room carpet please exit the page now. This post is not for you.

The messy bed.  The papers on the desk.  The trash we keep cramming on top of trash because changing the bag just seems like a lot of work.

Heck, we’ve all had those days where making mac n’ cheese in 10 mins seems daunting, so we spending an hour going to a restaurant to get food. It doesn’t make sense, but it does at that moment when our laziness outweighs the logic.   

We’ve all had those moments where we look around and just plain “don’t feel like it” when it comes to completing tasks large and small.  Even a small thing such as changing the garbage can feel like a 5-mile hike when you’re mental load is at capacity.  We’ll “lazy” isn’t a feeling here, so we are going to overcome that and get going at reaching goals big and small.  

Let’s do this!

 The Mess:

First, we must acknowledge what is in front of us that beckons our attention.  Our homes today probably look a lot different than last year with us working remote, homeschooling, and drinking all those quarantinis.  We’ve traded cleanliness for stray pizza boxes, tangles of tech chargers…is that chocolate or something else on the floor?  Yup, our homes, and brains are a mess when we look at it all at once.

It’s easy to see a mess as 1 giant thing, that eats away at your thoughts and motivation.  

Yes, just looking at a mess can suck the life out of you.  We are going to change that, and it first starts with perspective.

 

The Solution:

The solution is not to think of 1 thing as a large, daunting task.  We have to look at it as a bunch of smaller steps to get what we call a “small win.” A “small win” is simply that 1 small thing of completing 1 step towards your larger goal.  So let’s say you want to make your bed. A small win could be putting the sheet on rather than the completed large win of making the entire bed.  

That small thing you do is important because it’s the first step to reaching your goal.  Woohoo! 

Here’s how to focus on the small steps so you can easily know what they are and get going:

To make this more real, take out some paper now and write down a goal for this week.  Don’t complicate it, make it something simple.
  1. Believe it: The first step is imagining what it would be like to have that goal completed.  If your goal is a clean desk, imagine the desk completely clear.  
  2. Feel it: Ahhhh…feels good doesn’t it?  All those papers have been handled and now you can focus your energy on something else.  Take that feeling and run with it to step 3!
  3. Break it down: What do you have to do to get that desk clear?  Break it down into no more than 5 steps.
    1. Throw out the trash and unnecessary papers
    2. Organize other papers
    3. Complete quick paper tasks
    4. Place longer tasks in a folder
    5. Put away other objects
  4. Make it happen: Start with that first step.  Remember, you believe it, you can feel it!   

See, it’s not hard at all.  You can make a list of 5 or fewer steps to reach your goal.  

Once you do 1 small thing, it will motivate you to keep going and the more goals you complete, the more you will feel accomplished. 

Each small thing will begin to build an amazing momentum that will spill over into other areas of your life. Trust me, use the steps above, and  BAM! Shit gets done and you’re left feeling like a superhero.  Rinse and repeat for future projects that seem like a grind. You got this!

What you can do today to get started:

Here are a few things you can do today that are easy “small wins” in the larger picture of life to save you time and feel good…

  • Throw laundry in on your way out to work so it’s done when you return later (yes, even if you are working from home).
  • Load plates into the dishwasher as they become dirty.
  • Put out clothes to wear the next day the night before.
  • Bag groceries in the store according to where they are going (i.e. fridge, freezer, pantry, etc.).
  • Double dinner recipes and freeze one for later (I use the instant pot that cooks freezer meals in 8 minutes! Forget that slow cooker. The one below has a built-in air fryer that cooks chicken nuggets in 5 mins, parent lifesaver when you have ravenous children!):

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1 Small Thing: 

 1 small thing isn’t just for completing tasks.  It also can be applied to relationships and acts of kindness.  1 small interaction can brighten someone’s day.  1 small thing like holding the door for a mom with a stroller can be a huge help.  All those “small wins” you do today and tomorrow and soon to be yesterday are going to change your life.

One. Day. At. A. Time.

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