Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Positive Thinking Series - Taking it one step at a time

When I started this blog, it was to record the weekly activities of my yearlong challenge.  Fifty two challenges in fact; from weight loss to de-cluttering, and zip wires to novel writing competitions. 
Setting such a challenge would make anyone feel overwhelmed, I know I was!  Coping with any change in our life can also feel overpowering, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, redundancy or health issues. They all set up a mammoth task that can feel like it’s too much to handle.

To enable me to succeed in my fifty two challenges, I had to break this huge goal into small chunks.  I took it one month at a time.  January was all about weight loss.  In February, I concentrated on fitness.  March was a creative month, and so on.  Adopting this principle helped me see my goal as more achievable.

I could also break each month down further.  For weight loss, I concentrated on my diet and healthy eating for one week at a time.  This is something I still do today.  After a recent health issue, I put on two stone in weight (28lbs/12.7kg) and went up two dress sizes.  Instead of looking at the whole amount, I broke it down into small chunks and aimed for a one to two pound loss each week.  So far I’ve lost over eight pounds, and I’m still committed to my goal.

When faced with a challenge that seems too huge, it becomes almost instinctive to fail.  We set a challenge or have a test thrust upon us, and then we start to doubt our abilities.  All we are doing is setting ourselves up for a fall.

Focusing on small chucks, or single steps will help you to cope with any task, big or small.

When my children, who are big Friends fans, talk about an issue at school, or a project for college that is quite large, I like to refer them to Chandler and Monica’s wedding day.  Getting married was too much for poor old Chandler, so he ran away.  When best man, Ross, finds him, he tells him to break this scary experience down.  ‘Just go home and take a shower’, ‘Just put on a suit and tie.’ 
Try to think of something in your life that would benefit from the one step at a time approach. 

I’d love to hear your stories of how this has worked for you, or if you are going to give it a try on a challenge of your own.

If you would like to read all about my fifty two challenges, then grab a copy of my book, How IChanged My Life in a Year, available in eBook and paperback from Amazon.


  1. I'm doing a mindfulness course with Futurelearn at the moment and we have just been discussing procrastination and how we use it to stop us tackling those seemingly huge task. I've been applying this to the job of doing up our house. We can't afford to do it all, so it's easier not to do anything. However, step 1 has been done: locksmith booked. Step 2 is underway: roofer coming to give us a quote; and that roofer is helping us the Step 3, finidng someone to fix the cladding on the house. Baby steps.

    1. I love how achievable everything can be if you apply the baby steps process. Your mindfulness course sounds fabulous x