Feeling overwhelmed by making a big change?
Sometimes we can feel daunted and overwhelmed when we have a big task to complete. It can seem too huge to ever conquer and we keep putting it off. Sometimes we ditch it all together as we feel it will never happen and it's draining our energy.
A great tip for helping you to feel less overwhelmed and more able to complete your big task is to break it down into really small steps that you can accomplish in just 15 minutes.
You know that you have 15 minutes every now and then to complete tasks that will take you to your larger goal, so this will feel a lot more manageable.
By completing these mini-tasks, you will also feel like you are getting somewhere and will be able to reach your bigger goal.
So, here is how you can break down your big goal into smaller steps which you can achieve:
1) Write out your big goal - what is your aim for the future? Where will you be, what will you be doing, who will you be with, what will you be working on?
2) Grab a piece of paper and draw an arrow from the left side to the right side. On the right side, write 'ideal future' - and write what that is for you. On the left side, write 'now'
3) Break the arrow down into 5 stages by drawing vertical lines through it in even places along the arrow.
4) Start at the end and work out what would be the last step before completing your goal? If you wanted to become a teacher, the last step would be completing your teacher training, before that would be working as a teaching assistant, before that would be volunteering with local children's groups and before that talk to a teacher you know about the role and if you'd enjoy it. Work out what each step would be for you. I can help you with this if you are struggling - just ask in the comments below and I will give you some ideas.
5) When you have worked back to your first step, take a look at that. In the teaching example, that would be talking to a teacher you know about what teaching is like. Break that down into mini-steps that you can achieve quickly, for instance:
- work out who that person would be
- write out a list of questions for that person
- give them a call or an email to arrange a good time to meet
- meet them and ask the questions
- review the meeting in your journal to work out if teaching is for you.
If any of these steps seem too big for you, then break them down into smaller steps again. For instance, you might feel that writing out the list of questions would take longer than 15 minutes, in which case, spend 15 minutes writing out four questions and then spend another 15 minutes writing out another four questions.
6) Plan when you will take each of your 15 minute actions - where will you be, what will you need, who will you need to involve.
7) Make it realistic so that you can achieve it - it will feel great when you have taken the first step.
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