I've noticed that when it comes to achieving my goals, I have a tendency to think I should "go big or go home." I want to work on my professional development, for example, so I create for myself a long laundry list of things I "should" do, elaborate plans with multiple steps that will result in a major overhaul. I've also applied this thinking to personal goals--weight management, for example.
The problem with this approach is that it's easy for me to just stop doing everything. I will become overwhelmed by what I've set in motion and after a few days or weeks of working my plan, something will come up and I will find myself chucking it all to go back to my former habits.
I'm coming to believe, though, that it is the mini-steps I take that really move me forward. Tara Gentile calls this "the bare minimum." We could also call them "baby steps."
Lately, instead of coming up with a major plan when I want to make something happen in my life, I'm taking a gentler approach, asking myself "What's the bare minimum I need to do today to make this happen?" Sometimes I'll ask myself "what is ONE thing you can do today to move you just one step closer to that goal?"
The bare minimum keeps me moving forward without making me crazy. It reminds me that any movement is better than no movement at all. This is especially helpful when I'm trying to integrate change into my life.
Of course your entire life can't be made up of "bare minimums." That's a recipe for mediocrity. But where I can, I'm seeing how the "bare minium" can keep me moving. I'm finding that eventually, all those baby steps get me where I'm going anyway. . .