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Bite-Size Chunks! The Power Of Daily Actions
There may be so much you want to change in your life to make it less stressful. You can do it all, just not all at once! Feeling in control is an important part of saying Yes to Less Stress. Breaking down any problem into small, solvable parts makes things less overwhelming; it also gives you the sense that you are taking action.
Nothing happens in one big action, it is all the small actions we take daily that make the difference. If you only do one thing different, take one small action every day, it will make a big difference in the long run. If you only implement this simple suggestion, you will see some changes in your life. It looks simple and it is.
Fulfilling an ambition of leaving a stressful job, Dave dreamed of having a thriving consultancy business. He wanted everything to happen at once: two days a week on the golf course and time with his family, as well as continuing with charity work helping the homeless.
When he finally decided to quit his well-paid job, he thought that clients would be queuing up to work with him. He overlooked the fact that he needed to be proactive in finding new clients. He started to wonder how he had believed this new life would be better. Every day he felt anxious and worried. In some ways he felt more stress than he had felt from the job he'd escaped - he had escaped the office politics but the stress of feeling a failure was much greater.
Dave became fearful that maybe the dream he was trying to achieve wasn't ever going to materialise. This stinking thinking was overwhelming him. On the golf course, however, he had a flash of inspiration. He realised that he had been thinking rather than taking action towards fulfilling his dream.
Dave had allowed negative thoughts to get in the way of his progress. Before he could start developing his business, he needed to identify his prospective customers. So each morning he took a simple daily action towards building his client base. He committed to identifying 10 new prospects daily. This rarely took him longer than 15 minutes each day. He had initially put this task off as the thought of compiling a list of 300 prospects overwhelmed him. He was creative in asking for help from his former business colleagues as well as his golfing friends, and he was amazed at how quickly his list grew as a result. Within the first week, he added a new daily action. He contacted 10 people a day from his list. Of course, not all of these turned into customers, but in time he was well on his way to success.
Within three months, Dave had not only developed his thriving business but also improved his golf handicap! How? He included golf practice at his local driving range on his list of daily actions! His daily practice not only kept him fit, but allowed him thinking time; a time when ideas freely flowed into his mind.
Are you are sitting there thinking "I'm too short of time"? The good news is that you don't need a lot of time and you don't have to do a radical overhaul of your life. Don't let a big goal overwhelm you. Every goal, no matter how large, can be broken down into small, manageable, bite-size chunks.
Whatever you want to do with your life, you stand more of a chance if you just get started. No matter how small a step you take each day, over a year that will add up to 365 daily actions. I am always amazed when clients agree how obvious this step is, yet it is the one they have often overlooked. Start wherever you are and take one step at a time - that is all you can do!
It doesn't matter what has happened to date. The only thing that counts is where you are now and what you need to do to move forward.
If you are starting to feel a bit clearer about what you want in your life, the only thing that will move you forward now is action. Once you've worked out what it is you most want to do, now is the time to do it. Daily actions help to break old habits.
Consider actions that require 15 minutes or less to implement.
The daily action you take may not always be the right one with the benefit of hindsight - don't worry, some doors may close but others will open.
Everyone has bad days - don't let them turn into a bad week, month or year. Tomorrow, or even later on today, you can start afresh, with a fresh daily action.
If you feel about to crack under pressure, break up your larger plans into smaller actions that are easier to manage. When your day feels heavy, take one step at a time. Just decide your priority for the next hour.
Change happens when we change our actions. If we constantly do the same things, we will constantly get the same results.
What simple daily action are you willing to take today to reduce the stress in your life?
Carolyn Matheson is a nationally recognized Coach, Speaker and Author of "Yes to Less Stress."
Carolyn is a Master Certified Coach, and works with executives and their teams across the world. She has pioneered an innovative approach to coaching, combining many years of high performance coaching with a holistic approach to work/life balance and has coached hundreds of leaders and their teams. Her experience as a presenter, both nationally and internationally, spans 20 years, with clients currently in Europe, Australia, the Middle and Far East, and the USA.
Her book, Yes to Less Stress is available online from http://www.areustressed.com
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