Do you plan to take one big step, then get cold feet at the last minute and end up doing nothing? If this state of doing nothing ends up dominating most of your job hunt efforts, you will get very discouraged with the job hunt and with yourself. There may be many motivation tactics on the internet to try to “positive attitude” you into success, but you may be feeling too negative to try or stick with them. We suggest that you praise and utilize the power of baby steps.
Do you find yourself saying the following phrases a lot?
I’ve been meaning to do so and so for days.
I’m going to do ______(fill in the blank with a big, impressive thing)
I missed the deadline/appointment again.
I am so behind.
By taking baby steps, you can start saying phrases like:
I did so and so.
I started working on so and so and I’ve done the following steps.
I got the thing done on time.
I have done half of the things on my to-do list(or most of the things).
Taking baby steps isn’t a cop out. In fact, it is applying the popular goal-setting techniques that successful people talk about. The best goals have an end result in mind with set steps to reach to ensure that the goal is achieved. By its very nature, good goal-making requires breaking down your big goal into smaller steps.
Imagine you want to go back to school to improve your career and you say, this Tuesday I’m going to do the entire financial aid process at once, including finding the necessary paperwork, signing up, and filling out the form. Some people seem to happily do this, but many balk or find it tortuously stressful. The worst crime in trying to force ourselves to do the financial aid form in one day is that it isn’t necessary.
Instead, find the paperwork one day, sign up the next, then set a certain number of pages of the form to complete each day until the entire thing is completed. To be the most productive, you can set specific days to do this, but if it stresses you out, don’t put a time limit on it. By yourself a little leniency by starting tasks early. For example, if you start filling out your financial aid form months in advance, you will have plenty of time to complete it in steps.
Sure, baby steps take longer than jumping right over a hurdle, but when we always think we have to make the big showy move we often end up doing nothing. What’s the phrase, “No matter how slow you go, you are still doing laps around everyone on the couch”? Don’t assume you have to be a master at something right away or mimic move for move the number one most successful person you can think of. Start where you and improve yourself at a pace that works for you.