I read an article called Why Thinking Small is the Secret to Big Success by Lewis Howes. The premise was that in order to have success you should consider starting small.
Howes doesn't suggest breaking down big goals into the smaller pieces. This writer suggested beginning with a small unrelated goal. Why? To build confidence and momentum.
This article intrigued me because in order to live BRAVE sometimes we need to debunk the common cliches and common ways of thinking.
Howes gave this example. We say we need to lose 50lbs and conventional goal setting philosophies would say focus on losing 1 to 5lbs first. But this writer suggests setting a smaller goal of eating a healthy breakfast first. That way, by 11am that day you have already reached your goal. The psychological benefit of doing so will propel you to take the next step.
This concept makes sense in weight loss and makes sense in relationships too. Often time we continue in poor communication habits because the idea of changing seems so insurmountable and we question whether it will work anyway.
You want to tell your co-worker that his incessant complaining just gets on your nerves. There is a way to do that, and I can help you prepare for that conversation, but start with a smaller goal first. Why not begin with a small unrelated goal like "The next time I'm irritated, I am going to pause and take 3 deep breaths."
This excercise not only helps you maintain control by giving you a positive way to deal with negative emotions, it also helps build your confidence. You just proved to yourself that you are capable of initiating a better way. Relishing in the success of not blowing your top, is a foundational step to help you prepare for more intense difficult interactions.