Baby Steps: A Simple Guide to Doing Something New

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~Proverb

Two years ago, after hearing Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project, talk about setting up one’s own blog, I went home and did just that. It had been something I had thought of doing, one day, when I would get over my “fear” of technology and decide I can do this.

Her talk made it sound so easy that I sat down and went for it. And I did it; I set up my own blog on blogpost. I was quite proud of myself. Within the next couple of weeks I wrote a couple of posts. And then I got stuck. I didn’t know where to go from there, what to focus on, what direction to take.

Month after month went by and I didn’t post. I had only done three postings in total. It actually felt burdensome having it up there but feeling paralyzed about continuing to post.

After about a year, I decided to get it taken down. I felt relieved that it was off. My leap into the blogging world had sent me springing backwards. I was not ready for this. It required a commitment of writing consistently and with a focus, neither of which I had at the time.

But it was definitely something I wanted to come back to again, one day. I didn’t feel like I was barking up the wrong tree but rather I needed to backtrack and take more preliminary steps towards this goal. So I started reading lots of other blogs and posting comments on them, Tiny Buddha being one of them.

I’d even get comments on my comments, which was exciting to me. That gave me a boost. I wrote a couple of online pieces for newsletters. That was a win for me. And then I noticed the submissions statement on Tiny Buddha and figured I’d give that a try.

Lo and behold, my first piece was accepted. Another win. I am now up to piece number four on Tiny Buddha (and putting it into wordpress form—another step for me and a win; I’m working up to eventually learning to Twitter.)

I am now working with a copy person and designer to redo my website and create a blog. This time I feel ready. My small steps and “wins” have given me the incentive, motivation and confidence to go for it. I revel each time my piece is accepted and see this all as stepping stones and building blocks toward my creation.

Achieving goals requires taking small steps. Success reinforces success.

These are the simple steps I’ve been taking to reach my goals:

1. Break big goals/tasks down into smaller, doable tasks.

2. Acknowledge and revel in your accomplishments, however small. Feel the pride and joy of the win.

3. Take baby steps.

4. Succeed.

5. Feel the pride.

6. Take more baby steps.

7. Keep moving.

8. Know that each small win is an accomplishment unto itself.

9. Keep moving.

10. Open up to bigger things as you keep moving.

It’s easier to make a comeback from a little tumble than from a steep fall. It’s a shorter road back up. So, baby steps, slow and steady. Now start with one foot and go for it.

Photo by Cameron Cassan

About Harriet Cabelly

Harriet Cabelly, LCSW is a therapist specializing in grief, loss. and critical life situations. She's also a speaker, author, and group leader. Harriet works from the lens of positive psychology and existentialism. She has a private practice seeing clients both in-person and virtually. She is passionate about helping people cope and grow through critical life-changing circumstances. Harriet is the author of Living Well Despite Adversity: Inspiration for Finding Renewed Meaning and Joy in Your Life. Visit her at rebuildlifenow.com.

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