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Making the Hard & Scary Doable

Updated: Mar 24

Getting big things done by doing what it takes, "little by little, bit by bit."

One of my favorite mantras is just do it now and I talk about the concept often with my clients (below is a link to what I wrote about it)...

But as I wiped part of a counter down the other day, it hit me that I often don't do it ALL now - instead, I do little bits at a time that move me closer to my goal.

Whether the goal is to have a decluttered house, a clean space, a new skill, a healthier body, or, my biggest goal right now, to write and publish my first book, I do it in whatever chunk of time I can manage.

Sometimes I can manage 5 minutes, sometimes I can manage 5 hours, but by choosing to do something, no matter how seemingly small, I choose not to manage regret that I didn't do it at all.

Rather than spend aalllll day either feeling guilty because I'm not doing something OR spending aaaallll day decluttering or cleaning or learning or writing or cooking, I use another mantra to help reach my goals:

Little by little, bit by bit - and sometimes in big chunks

"Little by little, bit by bit," is what the teacher in my meditation courses said. He was talking about moving attention over our body, but the saying stuck with me.

I added 'and sometimes in big chunks' because it's extremely valuable to allow time to get in the flow and really DO something, you know what I mean?

But even when we're doing things in big chunks - cleaning the whole kitchen, doing all the laundry, training for a new thing - we still do everything one step at a time, one moment at a time, one decision at a time.

Sometime I'll tell about a dream I had when I was 19 that opened up my life, but the distillation of it was that I learned:

Every moment we have an option to choose what we're going to do with our time, mind and energy.

We can choose to focus on not doing it all, on thinking, "I don't know how," or "I'm bad at that," or "I should be doing that..."

OR we can move right past those thoughts and actions and move straight to figuring out the next tiny step we can take to do it, figure out how to do it, or learn how to do it better.

Empty the dishwasher.

Pick up the clothes.

Put the walking shoes by the door, ready to go.

Make the phone call.

Put away those two things.

Make a nice pile out of the mess.

Clear 100 emails.

Read a few pages of the book.

(The list is endless)

At the end of this weekend I want to have:

  • a cleaner, less cluttered house

  • clean laundry

  • a few pieces of my book rewritten

  • all my ripe cucumbers turning into pickles (my Future Self will LOVE this)

  • pesto made from our fresh basil

  • some meals planned and maybe made for the week ahead

And this evening I'm going to see Barbie (have you seen it? did you like it?), so there won't be any of this happening after 5:00 today...

Am I going to spend my whole free Sunday cleaning and doing laundry and cooking and writing?

No, but I will do a little of all of these, and finish some of them in bite-sized chunks.

I want to give my Self who climbs into bed a feeling of delicious satisfaction.

My house won't be all clean, my book will be far from finished, all my meals won't be ready, and I may or may not get my laundry put away (check in with me tomorrow about whether this happens!), but I'll move forward on all of them.

Today, every time I go into the kitchen, I'll put a few dishes in the dishwasher or wipe down an area or pick up and put away a couple things that don't belong there.

Later, when I'm outside, I'll pick a few flowers and put them in the kitchen as a gift for my tomorrow self (and my husband).

Between times in the kitchen, I'll play with these words and share them with you, and I'll work on my book for a couple hours. (I started the book little by little, too - I dictated thoughts into my phone in a Notes folder called "Mum." A couple minutes here and there over the course of two years has turned into fodder for an entire book.)

Little by little, bit by bit, we can do hard things.

What goals do you have in your life that will give your Future Self beautiful satisfaction?

What is one super simple step you can take to move toward it? And another step?

Are there any steps you want to put on your calendar so you remember to do them?

Is there anything you want to do right now to move you forward?

Is there anything you'd like help with? I'm here for and with you :)



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