Many Small Steps Will Take You Far

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

True enough, but if you don’t take the second, and third, and so on, you’ll still go nowhere.

Problem; Getting Side-Tracked

Yesterday I wrote about getting off track, and using the idea of taking one, small, easy action to get back on track. Giving yourself a little win, getting the endorphin hit from it, and stoking the desire for more. I also cautioned about doing too much, burning out and stopping again.

So, what was MY small step? What was MY small win? Ummm, yesterday’s post about giving yourself a win. One of my goals in this Lung Pao Sicken crisis is to habituate myself to providing consistent content. That is, publishing regularly, i.e. at least once a day. There have been times I’ve achieved this, but I’ve always gotten off track.

Goal: provide daily content

If my goal is to provide daily content then I need to:

  • Generate ideas
  • Produce content
  • Publish,
  • Do it consistently, i.e. every day.

But how?

The same way I learned to floss (at age 50). The same way I learned to fix my posture (after 4 decades of slouching). The same way I learned to overcome my back, hip and knee problems.

  • Consistently apply small steps, until they become habitual.
  • As they become habitual, increase the level.

One of the more famous examples, and the one I myself used, was to learn to floss by flossing 1 tooth, every day, for a week. Then add another, flossing 2 teeth a day, for a week. Lather, rinse repeat until you have developed the habit of daily flossing.

Does it work?

Short answer, yes. I now feel I’ve let myself down if I don’t floss.

This also happens when I stop writing. After a few days, the itch to get back into it becomes unbearable, and I write something. It might be short. It might be rambling and semi-coherent, but I write something, and after I do it I allow myself a small reward.

But what does this have to do with surviving the Kung Flu?

I’ve written a bit on the topic of surviving, and thriving through the Flu Manchu. I’ve listed a few of my personal improvement goals. And I’ve gotten side tracked, and lost a week and a half getting nowhere with any of them.

Or did I? The thing is, I have pushed forward on a bunch of things. They’re just not things I’ve written about. On those things I write about? Yeah, I lost a week. But I realized something, I’ve been trying to do too much. Yes, I broke the cardinal rule, I bit off more than I could chew.

So I’m returning to basics. Pick ONE thing. Do that. Do it every day until NOT doing it becomes harder than doing it.

My one thing is writing.

What’s yours?