Have you heard of the Power of doing just One Thing? If not, you should check out the book “The Power of One Thing: How to Intentionally Change Your Life” by Randy Carlson. The premise is that doing one small thing with intention and having a plan will move you forward in life and create positive change. This being a common trait of those who succeed and reach their goals consistently. Also that making changes in our life is easier than we think but we make it so complicated and get in our own way.
I wanted to talk about this from my Coaching experience as I also believe that to move the needle a little or a lot starts with just ONE thing. May sound simple enough, but it will require commitment, establishing new habits, having a plan and taking intentional action – and, a positive mindset won’t hurt!
Have you been procrastinating on completing a project?
Do you feel overwhelmed just thinking about the tasks ahead?
Have you fallen short of your goals and then beat yourself up for it?
Will you get excited about a goal but lose the sizzle because you don’t know where to start?
When you take on a project do you feel it has to be perfect or you take on too much?
Is doing nothing easier than taking action?
Are you constantly restarting the process to reach your goal or make changes?
Feel like you lack direction or give up easily?
We have all been there and you are not alone. You may relate to just one or all of the above, but I would bet at some point and time you have tried to do too much and it has derailed your end game making the positive change you seek seem out of reach. Not to mention it creates frustration and a vicious roller coaster ride of emotion. Getting lost in the feeling of overwhelm can be paralyzing which of course is an obstacle to moving ahead.
How do I know what the one thing is you ask?
I hear you! I’m going to breakdown my take on how to identify your ONE thing when it comes to setting goals in the following steps and tips. I have created a Life Design Template you can also download here.
Step 1 – What is the goal?
I love SMART goals. If you are already familiar with this concept – great! If not, I’m going to share more about this concept in a future blog (you can email me as well and I’m happy to share with you). Basically, you want to be very specific about your goal so it is measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. In otherwords, just stating I want to lose weight is too vague. However, if I say “I want to lose 5 lbs. by June 15th, by doing a clean eating cleanse and I will weigh in each week” – this is very specific.
Step 2 – What is your intention?
Why is this important to you? I believe the more we are aware of our true intention and “why” it adds greater value to the goal. You know… we have more skin in the game!
Step 3 – What’s The Plan?
Once you know your goal (again, the more specific the better) and by when you would like to accomplish it – we need a plan to get there. If I’ve given myself 1 week to clean out a closet, then I probably want to schedule time daily to work on this, or plan 1 full day, clear clutter on my calender, etc. If I have no plan on how to accomplish this within the timeframe determined I may or may not get it done. Even if I decide to do the cleaning out in one full day, every day leading up to that I can do one small thing to move forward.
Step 4 – The Empowering List
Make a list of the variety of small action steps that can move you toward your goal. Think outside of the box and be creative. So again, taking the cleaning of the closet example… My list of small actions could be:
- Get bins to separate items, goodwill, sell, trash, etc.
- Buy a closet organizer
- Organize a clothing swap
- Remove all items and stage in another room
Making a list is a great planning tool. Having intentional options readily available (especially when you have no idea where to start) can help keep you on task, reduce the feeling of overwhelm and move you forward with intention. Keep in mind, this list can include self-care, spirituality, working out, etc. Just ask how the items on the list are connected to your desired outcome.
Step 5 – Your One Thing
Every day do just ONE small thing that is aligned with your goal(s). The key here is the connect between your One Thing and your goal. It is easy to create stuff to make ourselves feel busy but ask yourself if the one thing you commit to with intention is aligned with your goal. Then commit and be consistent.
While we are focused on specific goals in the above steps, there are obviously many other areas in our lives we may want, or need, to move the needle. Such as,
- Starting or growing your business
- Finding a partner
- Career shifts
- Going back to school
- Life transitions, i.e., divorce, marriage, having children
- Family crisis or conflict
The Power of One absolutely applies in all situations. Major life transitions can cause stress and anxiety. When we feel overwhelmed, it is easy to get stuck and not make the positive changes we desire – or even give up. When speaking of broad life goals or situations, every day we can still do ONE thing to keep moving forward.
They may seem insignificant at the time, but remember every intentional (key word) small thing has the ability to create lasting transformation and allow you to live your life by design.
Always so much more beneath the surface, but hopefully this will take some of the pressure off and get you excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. You got this!
So, what’s your one thing today?
Your Coach for Living Well,