We’ve talked about breaking things down into attainable goals to help us handle the overwhelm that comes with change. Now I’d like to expand upon that and look at some ways we can use that concept to make challenges seem like a piece of cake. When you’re faced with a big obstacle, you can tackle it much easier when you take on small actions, rather than thinking you have to do it all and make it happen right now. Let me demonstrate just how to break it down, from challenge to baby steps.
First, you need to take stock of your situation. Look at the problem. Write down exactly what you need most, what the end goal is. For example, if you’re going to be evicted if you can’t come up with three months’ rent, write down the amount of money you need and when you need it. Now that you know exactly what you’re up against, it’s time to make that major problem and turn it into something manageable.
The next step is to brainstorm. You’ve still got your pen and paper in front of you, so start jotting down any ideas you can think of that can make your problem go away or help you obtain the things you need to do so. In our scenario, you need money for rent. Write down what you can sell, who you can borrow from, legal help you can acquire, what odd jobs or services you can provide for extra cash and other such ideas.
After that, assess the solutions you’ve gathered. Write them down in order of which seem the most realistic and easily attainable. Throw out ones that are simply too outrageous. Stick the tricky ones at the bottom of your list.
Now it’s time to make a plan. Start with the first solution, and write out small steps you can take to make that idea a reality. The smaller the better. These tiny actions are easier to approach than your overwhelmingly larger goal. As you complete each one, you’ll start to feel more confident and see your goal coming closer to reality. In our quest for rent money, you may want to write down just what steps you’ll need to take in order to begin selling off your unneeded possessions. Start by making a list of what’s most valuable, and then gather the items. Next decide where to place your ads, such as in Facebook sales groups or Craigslist. Maybe you have a pawn shop near you that will give you quick cash. With each baby step you add to your plan, you’ll see that coming up with the money you need just might be doable, after all.
Finally, you’ll add each of these small steps to your date book or calendar. Then take action, marking each off as it’s completed. Before long, you’ll start to move closer toward getting the job done and seeing the positive results. In our example, your available funds will start to grow. Every little bit counts.
There’s no need to get stuck in overwhelm when faced with challenges. Breaking it down into baby steps will help you reach the goals you need to overcome nearly any obstacle.