Life Lessons – baby steps

Footprint, Sand, Child, Beach, Little

I had an idea for a few posts and realized I could categorize them into a series – hence Life Lessons was created.  Check out more life lessons on the menu.

I’m often telling friends to break down projects into baby steps. One friend is too tired to do housework during the week and ends up exhausted by the end of the weekend when she tries to cram it all in.  My suggestion is break it down. Toss a load of wash in Tuesday evening, clean your vanity Wednesday after supper. The majority of us have 10-15 minutes of energy in the evenings.

So why not apply our baby steps to our creative endeavours? Don’t start with I don’t have the time or energy to write my novel, start a blog today, this weekend or this season.  A huge project is overwhelming and yes the majority of us don’t have the time to write a novel or paint a series of pictures in a weekend or month. We do have the time to get a notebook out and jot down ideas.

Break down your project and take baby steps.  Over a coffee write an outline for a story. Check that Pinterest board you have of craft projects you want to make. Pick one and write down the supplies needed.  If you want to paint but feel you don’t have the time to paint your large masterpiece what about painting cards for now?

Take a baby step in the direction you want to go. Don’t put things off as too tired, no time or no money. Let’s be serious those three things might never change if you don’t at least start somewhere.  Baby steps, break a project down into what is manageable (right now) and start.  Do not look at the big picture. Look at what you can manage and start small but start.

PS let me know if I can help – bounce ideas off of, offer encouragement, start a conversation and maybe hold each other accountable for our baby steps. We can so do this.

You can always start now !

 

79 thoughts on “Life Lessons – baby steps

    • Amelia says:

      Agree. I think we often don’t start things because we feel we don’t have the time to finish it right there and then. When we often have the time to start if we break it down. Thanks for stopping by! Winter storm coming this afternoon here.

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    • Amelia says:

      Thank you. You are one of my cheerleaders! Had another nomination early in February so going to combine them and link to both blogs. At the moment I’m trying to think of Q & A about me. Your Q & A were great. Travel wise put east coast of Canada on your list!!

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  1. Oriana says:

    Yes, baby steps are the key to anything in my opinion ! My boyfriend also tends to do it all at once, even though it would be obviously less exhausting to do it little by little. Thanks for sharing 😊

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  2. The Style of Laura Jane says:

    This is a really motivational, uplifting post! It’s so true what you wrote. It’s far easier to break down tasks into more manageable steps throughout the week. Cleaning especially; there’s no way that I would be able to do it all in just a weekend, and have time to blog, write and see friends.

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    • Amelia says:

      I am so with you. Plus who wants to spend all weekend doing housework! I am never too tired after work to put a load of wash on or clean the vanity. Less to do on the weekend.

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    • Amelia says:

      Breaking things down into smaller chunks can also give you a sense of accomplishment soon, which leads to wanting to tackle the next thing. I think!! thanks for stopping by.

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    • Amelia says:

      thank you. I try and support and encourage people and I think the first thing is getting them to start. Just start. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  3. Karalee says:

    I agree with you! When I’m starting a new project, I often get overwhelmed b/c there seems like so much to do, but when I take the time to break it down into smaller steps, it is much more manageable!

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    • Amelia says:

      Yes to breaking it down. We often have time to finish a smaller project or piece of a project so should start with that. Like you said more manageable (and doable!)

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  4. Losing the Plot says:

    Absolutely right, break everything down into bite sized chunks, and deal with them one at a time. Definitely the best way to move forward. Good advice!

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  5. Kerry LifeandLoves says:

    I think you are so right, and its a lesson I should take on board! I am one of those all or nothing people, and get frustrated if I cant get everything done in one go. I am going to try to break it down as you suggest, great post xx

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    • Amelia says:

      I work full-time so often tired in the evening. The thing is I don’t want to do housework all weekend so even 10-15 minutes during the week I can get a bathroom done. 10-15 minutes can draft a blog post, check what is happening on Bloglovin and answer comments. Try taking a larger project and just break it down. Maybe an outline, a chapter, just smaller pieces and you will be moving forward.

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  6. April Munday says:

    That’s very good advice. When I was still at work I wrote my novels on the train, in my lunch break and whenever I could sit down with a pen for a few minutes. There was never enough time to sit down and write for an hour or two.

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  7. thebigmoneysaver says:

    This rings so true. I’m tired all the time, and if I put things off because I’m tired, nothing would ever get done. I agree that things need to be broken into smaller, bite-sized pieces. A great way to do this is by time-blocking. Dedicate a certain amount of time to a task, then move on to something else.

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    • Amelia says:

      So true. I am a list person and if I write it down and break it down I am more likely to do it. I have a bullet journal which keeps me on track with certain things during the week. Dedicating a certain amount of time is a great idea. Even 10-15 minutes to clean the bathroom you’d be amazed at what you accomplished.

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    • Amelia says:

      I take baby steps during the week to just get my bathroom cleaned! Monday vanity, Tuesday floors. All good if it leads to less to do the weekends and I can blog and visit friends (BUYB!!).

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    • Amelia says:

      It does! I think feeling overwhelmed along with trying to be perfect often stops us in our tracks. Just start, break it down, celebrate wins and you will move forward.

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  8. drallisonbrown says:

    I have such a hard time with that! When I start a project, I want to go full speed ahead! Interestingly, I just read a new weight loss philosophy (I’m not dieting, but I it caught my attention because it goes against conventional thinking), and that is, instead of trying to change your eating habits AND exercise, focus on only one of those things at first. Then, when you have it under control, and don’t have to think about it, start to tackle the other. The feeling is that trying to do both of those things, which require lots of effort, brain-power, planning….is simply overwhelming and we give up. Anyway, your post reminded me of that scenario.

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    • Amelia says:

      A friend is tackling weight loss and becoming healthier period. She emailed this week to say she is trying something different she read about – which is taking it one meal at a time. Preparing and eating a healthy meal right now. Not overthinking it. Just enjoying the prep and meal right now. What you said makes sense. Focus on one new habit at a time – I think that is why people get discouraged and overwhelmed. Break stuff down into what we can manage now. It is not all or nothing. It is taking it step by step. Just keep stepping! (if that makes sense!!)

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  9. angelanoelauthor says:

    I so agree. Trying to tackle things all at once often leads to me tackling nothing at all. But if I see the effort as a series of small efforts, each a discreet “win” or a box I can check off the list, I see the progress and it feels doable. Great reminder of the power of “just do it.”

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    • Amelia says:

      Maybe we put too much emphasis on the finished project. Maybe we should be putting more weight to enjoying the journey and like you said celebrating our wins along the way. The biggest thing is to just start. I’m trying to live with fewer regrets, so that means “just do it!”. ie. love letter!! xo

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  10. hotmessmemoir says:

    This is soooo important. As I grow up (I feel like I’m still not 100% adult), I am starting to make baby steps. All my life, if I couldn’t tackle something 100% at the beginning, I just left it. This is so true!

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    • Amelia says:

      I don’t think we want to ever be 100% an adult if it means we can’t play and explore!! I think we miss out on things with unreal expectations. If we break stuff down into more manageable pieces we just might start projects we never thought possible. Thanks for stopping by.

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    • Amelia says:

      WOW thank you. I hope it helped her. Baby steps just start, reward, move on. All good. I often think we should not put so much weight on the finish project either – it should also be about the journey to get there and enjoying that.

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  11. Unbound Roots says:

    I love you ideas here. I homeschool my two children and I find the time I can devote to my hobbies is so cut-up. It does make it hard to get things done at times. And, as you commented above, starting projects that you know you can’t finish makes getting started a little more difficult. Great post, Amelia!

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    • Amelia says:

      Thank you. It can be overwhelming to look at the finish project, but if we break it down into smaller projects it seems more manageable. I know not everything can be broken down into smaller pieces but a lot can like housework and some craft projects. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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    • Amelia says:

      just breaking down a project can help it not seem so overwhelming. I think we often have unreal expectations of what we can get done. I know I do my “to do list” alone.

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  12. kaybe610 says:

    Great advice!! I have given this advice myself so many times to other people and yet I often fail to implement it into my own life… Reading this is another reminder for me to start doing it 🙂

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    • Amelia says:

      You can so do this! Yes to breaking it down into spending X many minutes on editing or a chapter. You rock this really. I am always visiting your blog thinking “she rocks!”.

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  13. J | thenellybean says:

    I find it so easy to get put off doing something just because I get overwhelmed by how much work/time is involved. Baby steps are the key to actually making a start and doing it, even if scaled down a little. xx

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    • Amelia says:

      True. Just starting is a sense of accomplishment. Had conversation with friend yesterday over boxes and cabinets of stuff. She is overwhelmed and just doesn’t want to start. I said just do one box or shelf. No one is telling you to do every box or cabinet in one sitting. Usually when you start with no box you do more as you get into a groove and it feels good (at least for me).

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    • Amelia says:

      I’m glad. I try and break projects down into manageable chucks. I use a bullet journal so it is satisfying to check the box when even a small part of a project is completed.

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  14. Gloria says:

    This is how I’m getting through my novel. Rather than over-thinking the whole finished project and how long it’s taking me, I’m just doing what I can and whenever I can. Small goals…..one at a time.

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  15. Gary says:

    So true and often used in CBT therapy for people that get overwhelmed by things. Chunking large projects into smaller units often eases stress of underachieving. Big pictures aren’t helpful to everyone. I use lists daily to stay on track with chores, often with a project goal for the end of the week. Approaching social media with a similar pattern might prove more productive too methinks. Same with writing. Without objective lists I am a terrible procrastinator.

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    • Amelia says:

      I’m on the same page. I’m a big list person – keeps me focused and on track. I enjoy taking a lunch hour and just sitting in a coffee shop and writing out my week “to do” list. I feel better and more on track. Plus breaking it down lets you celebrate small wins!

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      • Gary says:

        It’s why we get on lol. I’ve just done tomorrow’s!! One of the hardest things for me is having loads of totally different things to catch up on. Not just bigger projects, but unrelated little ones. I find lists help me move through them and create a semblance of sequence. Small wins as you rightly say.

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      • Amelia says:

        I so a list person. Just published Blog Battle like 5 minutes ago. Plus validated NaNo last night. So ending the month in good space. Enjoyed writing fantasy – story still not done so have to keep focused and writing. Hope you are checking your boxes also!!

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      • Gary says:

        Well done re NaNo. It’s a huge commitment and usually leaves a few chapters to reach a book length ending. Am going to read the BB entries today and set up the next prompt for my blog too! Didn’t manage an entry this time, but then again been pushing The Crux Anthology as…I’m in it!!

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  16. arv! says:

    Baby steps mean that you will not be overwhelmed and is always a good idea. That way you can stop and take stock of situation. Apply any corrective action, if needed. It is a good idea.

    Like

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