When I signed up for my first 10k I wasn’t excited; I was filled with fear.
I had no idea how to run six miles.
It seemed like an impossible task.
At the time, the longest distance I’d ever run was four miles and the gap between four miles and six miles felt like an ocean.
But I did it. I ran six miles and finished the race.
It didn’t happen by magic. It happened by focusing on one day of training, one mile at a time.
I go back to this lesson time and time again.
I love starting things and often get so excited about what’s to come that I jump in full boar and overcommit to what’s possible in the present moment.
I want to do it all from the beginning. I want to run six miles on the first day of training and I want to do it while improving my 5k pace.
While my initial excitement creates powerful momentum, the downside is that over time, it creates feelings of overwhelm and doubt.
I find myself wanting to give up on important goals, simply because I’m forgetting the lesson of one step at a time.
When you sign up for your first marathon or your first 5k, if you start by focusing all of your energy on the end result, it will likely start to feel impossible.
So start where you are.
And give yourself the time to take it one step at a time.
Sometimes that step will be running four miles, sometimes it will be just getting out the door, but before you know it, 10 miles will feel doable. And then 14. And then 26.
Yes – it helps to have a plan. To know where you’re going in advance and have a map of how to get there.
But don’t let the final destination overwhelm you and stop you from focusing on the steps you need to take in the present moment.
Step back. Start at week one. The first run. And build from there.
The same is true in life.
If you have a dream to start a business. A dream to travel to India. A dream to pay off debt or lose weight and the gap between where you are today and where you want to be feels like an ocean.
Create a plan.
Identify the steps that will get you to the destination.
And then focus on the very first step.
The first step will often feel painfully small.
Research realtors who can help you find space for your business. Find friends who have been to India, go outside and walk.
That’s how you build momentum. That’s how you make it to the finish line with your sanity, your dreams and your body still intact.
Right now – I’m remembering this as I plan a last minute trip to see my grandmother in KY, planning logistics while getting work done and the house in order.
When I think of everything I need to do it starts to feel like too much.
So I remind myself: One step at a time.
I ask myself, what one thing can I do right now?
And then I do that. Slowly, it’s coming together. Everything is getting done. I’m making progress by focusing on the present moment, on what needs to be done first, and building from there.
Identify one area of your life that feels overwhelming.
Remove any pressure of getting to the finish line before you’ve even started training.
Repeat the mantra “One Step At A Time” and then ask yourself: What one thing can you do right now to make progress? Do that.
In the comments below – share your big goal and one step you can take that is boring but effective.
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