What I learned from my little sister

I have a ton of conversations with different people working towards different goals to become their best self. One of those people I spoke with today was my little sister. Now I say little because she is younger than me but the truth is we are both working towards goals. While the end goal is different, the route we take is similar and the conversation we had inspired me to share it with you.

The idea that we can learn from any one, any person, and any thing is so true if you are open to it. That’s the cool thing about being in community. We can often learn something about ourselves by talking and engaging with others.

These past few months I have been focused on the little things like they are the big things. And the most common issue I come to face is DOING the little things. They often feel unimportant and usually mundane. But doing them is just the goal. It’s the fact that I DO them consistently.

  • Working out. My commitment was simple. Workout twice a week. Anything above and beyond that would have been an overachievement.
  • Writing. This was a huge challenge for me to commit to but the goal was to sit and write anything every single day. Nothing more than make an entry.
  • Writing my goals daily. I have 10 major life goals. I write them as affirmations. Consider them done and then I started writing a prayer.
  • Reading 5-10 minutes. Of anything focused on self-development. No joke I have 5 different books I’m reading. I made the commitment to do 2 specific ones every morning.
  • Jump roping. I don’t like doing this one but it’s given me the most insight. Doing this 6 days a week has shown me that I don’t like doing it because I’m not good at it.

Which brings me back to the conversation I had today. What if the reason we don’t enjoy the unimportant or mundane tasks is because we don’t see the impact of them. We do the tasks as though they are work but we also know that at the heart of why we do them is because it will give us a certain outcome. It’s just like brushing our teeth, small task, big impact. I think we often lose sight of the big picture of what we are working towards.

I know that writing my goals down every morning takes me less than 5 minutes. And the results from doing this small task does not equate to achievement tomorrow, but in doing this it forces me to think about my goals from the moment I step into my office. It becomes that domino effect of choices.

So my challenge to you today is what little tasks are you not doing that has the potential to becoming the domino in your life. Jump roping 150 reps every day doesn’t necessarily make me fitter, it simply reinforces my ability to be active. The little tasks I’ve been focused on will eventually create compound interest. Because here’s the truth, I never thought I would have a routine or the ability to do all of these tasks and still get all of my work done as well as have the free time to complete DIY projects or write every day.

I know someone will ask how’d you write every single day. And here’s my answer. One day at a time. I know it sounds simple, and in theory it is but the truth is you have to decide what you can do and then make no excuses. The fact is, writing was hard in the beginning, I was nervous as to whether  or not I’d have anything worthy to say, or if I was good at it. But like my brother once asked me, “How do you expect to get good at something you don’t do?”

Yup my brother challenged me with that thought. So I challenge you to decide what CAN you do. Not what you should do. Start there. If working out consistently is your goal… what can you do today? No expectations of how long or what you do. Walk for 10 min? Great! Can you walk for 10 minutes every day, yes? awesome… no? can you do 5 minutes every day. Simplify the tasks without expectations. See what you can do and then ask yourself could you do that everyday? Do you want to do it everyday?

From there I’d encourage you to track yourself. Make it a game to prove the doubting side that you CAN and WILL do it. Remember the little girl I had to shut up about my ability to write… I’ve gone 52 days of proving that brat wrong. And you know what… it feels better and better every single day. I can almost see her cringing as I share the winning score!

Make the streak one week at a time. But then allow yourself to adjust the goal. I’ve adjusting my writing goal to another step, the core goal still being the act of writing… but the adjustment comes as bonus points. Extra points if my word count gets over 800. Just sayin’ that 52 day streak has bonus points in the double digits now. Build on the core goal. DOING IT.