Two approaches to getting started

4 08 2009

 This weeks message is heavily influenced by the work of Michael Neill. I’m delighted to be able to announce that I will again be assisting on one of Michael’s open events next month.

A day of transformational coaching with Michael Neill” is a one day masterclass event that is open to all. Michael is one of the most generous trainers I know and I have experienced first hand the powerful impact of his coaching. I highly recommend his work. 

This will be an amazing opportunity, not only for other coaches to see him at work, but also for the value of experiencing transformational coaching for yourself and the difference it makes to you.

Places are limited, so for more information and to book click HERE.

(If you are there on the day do come and say hello :)

Two approaches to getting started

“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”

(Albert Camus – Nobel prize winner for literature)

Have you ever had something on your “to do list” and you just can’t get started? Maybe you’ve been telling yourself that it’s a character flaw of some shape. That you are a procrastinator, or lazy. If so how’s that working for you? Is name calling actually encouraging you to get started? If it’s not, is it at least making you feel good in the process?

For reasons that escape me at the moment, I choose physics as one of the A-Levels I studied. I spent a lot of the time bemused about how the concepts were explained but a few seemed to be common sense to me. One of these was Newton’s Law of Inertia: “A body at rest remains at rest and a body in linear motion remains in motion with constant velocity until and unless an external force is applied on it.” I.e. if something is stopped, unless it has something to propel it forward (or backward), it will stay exactly where it is.

Most people find that calling themselves lazy or a procrastinator isn’t the force that propels them forward. Often when you are stuck getting going with a task, the secret is just to do one thing, and then another because once you get going, the easier it is to carry on. (It’s the law’s of physics – Sir Isaac Newton said so ;) )

I’m sure it’s not going to surprise you, if you have read a few of these weekly messages, that I’m going to suggest that to get started one way is to find the easiest and fun way of going about that. That may be to take a huge piece of action or maybe it’s something very small that just gradually snowballs into lots of achievement.

The other week there was somebody I knew I wanted to make contact with and after a couple of hours I noticed that I was managing to do anything but make that contact. So I decided to play. Braking it down into very small tiny chunks of things to do and told myself all I had to do was that one tiny chunk. First I just drafted an email, nothing else just drafted an email (using pen and paper) because I knew I could do that. After all I didn’t have to send it.

Once I was happy with the paper draft I decided that I could at least save it as a draft on my email – again I still didn’t have to send it, just save it.

Finally, the next step was to actually hit the send button – and I knew from the number of email’s I send that I could hit the send button. 

This may have been an extreme example but it got the email sent where in the previous few hours I’d just been saying I should send that email and not doing it.

Sometimes it’s about just doing very small steps so that it seems silly not to take the next one – not ringing someone you “should”? How about just dialing 10 numbers of their phone number and then checking if it’s ok to dial the last 1. Sure you may do that a couple of times but every time I’ve seen someone do this, they quickly realise that if all they have to do is dial one more number they can do that. From that the rest of the call quickly follows.

Other times it may be about taking much bigger action then is needed. So maybe the way to tidy your desk is to tidy the entire room (or building) and the desk tidying just gets swept along.

This week I invite you to play with something that you actually want to do but for whatever reason have not yet done.

1. What would be a huge thing that you could do that would involve completing this – Perhaps it’s organising the entire building instead of just tidying 1 desk. Maybe instead of going on an occasional walk to get healthy you want to commit to training for a marathon (obviously with appropriate professional advice) 

2. Looking again at your original thing that you are playing with – how can you break that down into very, very tiny chunks?

What is the very first tiny chunk of action?

3. Re-read what you have written. Which of the 2 options appeals the most?

How can you make it more fun?

4. If you want to and it is appropriate go and do that now.

Have a week full of steps, whatever size they end up being :)



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