In all of my research into productivity, personal and professional growth, and coaching, I’ve found two general schools of thought when it comes to making progress on something:
But the more I work with my own coaching clients (and honestly, the more I experiment with and tweak my own methods of reaching goals) the more I have come to realize that there is a (forgive the “overused in 2021” term) Hybrid option that yields better results.
You see, for a lot of people, if they take the slow and steady approach, they will waste their time on all of the tiny, inconsequential things first. Making them feel like they are moving forward, when, in fact, they are still treading water.
And then some clients go for option no. 2 before they have any kind of long-term vision or clarity.
The first group is never going to get off of 1st base, and the 2nd group is going to burn out before the end of the 1st inning.
This magical unicorn of a 3rd option?
The first step is to lay out what you want to accomplish. That’s the easy part. [Editor’s note: if this is where you’re stuck, there’s a worksheet for you at the end of this post that will help you gain that clarity!] Once you have that, write down the top 3 things you need to have in place in order to succeed. These are Big, Giant Things.
Let’s take me writing a book as an example. What do I need to have in place for my book to be a success?
None of those are tasks I can do quickly, but if I move too slowly in any of those areas, the project will never launch.
The next step is for me, right now, from where I am, to ask myself: What is the immediate next level up in each of these areas? In other words, what would take me significantly closer to those 3 goals in say, 1-2 weeks?
I can break each of those into smaller bite-sized tasks. But they all have a clear goal and deadline attached to them.
2 weeks later, I ask myself what the next leaps will be:
If I went with option 1 (slow and steady) it might be YEARS before I make any worthwhile progress at all.
But if I went with no. 2, I’d probably write the book overnight, (only to be unhappy with it later) spend WAY too much money on the wrong kind of coach who promises me the world, and when it’s out there in the world, not have anyone around to buy it.
Using The Mini-Leap Option, I have put myself out there. I have had to do things that felt scary and outside of my comfort zone, but I did them one thoughtful and purposeful step at a time.
This works for every aspect of your life, and it works with loose deadlines and with fixed deadlines (like an audition!)
Part of my work as a coach is to help my clients learn to figure out what their next mini-leap is–to help them find the balance of too much vs. too little, and of course, to be there, holding a space of encouragement and accountability for them.
What about you? What’s your next leap going to be? Where are you going to be in two week’s time?
P.S. Is it that very first step that you’re getting stuck on? Not knowing exactly what you’d like to do? Grab this (free) worksheet that will help you gain clarity around what you were meant to offer the world and who you’d like to serve.
P.P.S. Are you enjoying these blog posts, and want more? Join my mailing list and get my Friday morning newsletter with additional tips, tricks, things to think about, and each week there is a new curated list of articles, books, podcasts, and things that I have been enjoying.