It’s big, really big. You’ve prepped, prepared and done the big thing and on the other side there’s even more to do! Many of us feel this either after or just thinking about big events or projects in our lives. It feels overwhelming. We think the big thing is the hard part, but often it’s just the beginning.
Whether it’s attending a conference, like I just did, changing jobs, moving or even reorganizing our closet, big things of life often create more for an already endless to-do list. It can be daunting. It may feel easier to do nothing than attempt something big. But for your brain and over all wellness, please follow through.
When we tackle or continue to work through big life events or changes, we strengthen our brains. Not only does this help us, but often these big projects benefit others as well. If we never challenge ourselves, we may be missing the best of our lives.
Let’s push through those overwhelming feelings by implementing a few key steps to do any big thing.
- Focus in: whether it’s prepping before or processing after, identify key ideas or goals for the big thing. Once goals are established, a plan can be developed. Example: after learning something new, look at your notes and pull out key items to remember or focus on. If you’re confronting a big project, make a list of the most important elements and focus there.
- Make a plan: Look at your goals or elements and sort them in order of importance or a logical sequence. For most projects, some items need to come first. Once priorities are identified, you have a starting point to implement the change desired. Keep the plan specific, the tasks simple and in order. There may be numerous items that need to be done simultaneously. For each one, do these same steps of focusing and planning. Example: Making a master to do list, I have sections for each big thing in my life with specific steps. Action items are based on the highest priority for that day or week.
- Chip Away: I love the Chinese proverb “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” This adage applies to most things in life. If you can, block off sections of time to work on or process your big project and commit to it. If you can’t do this, do what you can do; carry small stones. Just start. Do something for even just a few moments and you’ll soon move mountains. Example: I have numerous projects, but some are more time sensitive. These take precedence, but when I can, I do small things towards other less time sensitive goals each week.
- Enlist help: There may be components of your plan that are not your strengths. Assess if you have the desire or time to learn these new things. (It’s great brain exercise!) If not, enlisting help from experts or others gifted in your area of discomfort is a good idea. Example: A few years ago, I wanted to update my websites. I knew this was not my strength and enlisted help from experts. The end product was so much better and my time was better spent on activities for which I was more suited.
- Review and Revise: Sometimes, projects take a lot of time to do or process. Or your day gets hijacked with other more pressing needs along the way. Don’t fret. The most important step is to stay focused on the overall goal. Your goal may change or need adjustment over time. Review all of the above frequently or at least monthly to see what you need to review or revise. Example: Recently a long-term goal quickly moved into a very short-term project. I shifted other things, enlisted help and it was a great decision. But it took reviewing and revising other goals to accomplish. Now, I’m getting back to the other things which were delayed.
Big things in life can be exhausting or make us feel overwhelmed and anxious. Everything big can be broken into smaller goals and steps which eventually can move mountains in ours and others’ lives.