Do you sometimes get overwhelmed with exuberant goal setting people, go getting people, perfect life, perfect body people, those who appear to have everything organised and are consistently overachieving?
We live in a world in which goal setting and continually striving for life changing accomplishments are superficially seen as something we should all be seeking. Be it completing marathons, meditating for four hours a day, going for jobs with six figure salaries, or having a waist no bigger than a supermodel, the push for perceived perfection is relentless.
We are encouraged to complete a list of 100 things to do before I’m 25 or 30 or 40 or dare I say it 50 or 60. Couple this with the endless year on year round of ‘what are you goals for 20….. (Insert appropriate year). It’s enough to make many of us feel somewhere between inadequate and just plain exhausted at the prospect.
I constantly hear the mantra ‘we can all have an amazing life’! Well that may be, but what if your amazing life is actually really rather ordinary. And I am confident that ordinary is amazing.
What if all this achieving is not your desire, what if you are at a stage in life where just getting to work in the morning is an achievement, or if all the kids are sort of clean and fed by bedtime then hell, you’ve done your job.
If this January you are sick of people telling you to dream BIG, then this strategy is the one for you.
We all have things that we want to do, regardless how mundane those things seem to others, each one will be a big deal for you.
Some of the things that have been on my (mundane) list year on year have been the following:
- Wash up after dinner every night
- Keep the car tidy (ish)
- Walk round the block three times a week
- Put up the washing line in the garden
- Learn to speak a bit of French
- Put my clothes away every night (rather than having a chair that looks like a messy modern art installation)
This is just a small selection, but you get the idea.
So what’s the strategy?
Rather than thinking in terms of goals, we can think in terms of habits.
Many of the changes people want to make in their lives are actually achievable by just tweaking or creating a few new habits.
Starting small can allow you to build up your habit muscle and build on your achievements. It is often said that people overestimate what they can do in a week, but underestimate what they can do in a year. Changing habits and creating new ones is no different, it’s what we do on a daily basis that gets us nearer to the results we want.
So this is your permission to take one of the smallest habits you want to have in your life and start to work on it.