I was way behind this year—behind where I wanted to be getting the taxes for our business and our personal life pulled together.
Usually my goal is having everything wrapped up by Valentine’s Day, but this year I could see the end of March on the calendar, and I still wasn’t done.
During the best of times, I hate doing the taxes, and without even breaking a sweat I can find a million reasons to procrastinate, but getting behind like this…well, the not doing was becoming more unpalatable than the doing.
I knew I had to get started, and as much as I try to get rid of it, I experienced a lot of “should” thinking, as in “I should really get started on this mess!”
Then one day a couple of weeks ago, I asked myself two simple questions:
- Do you want to get the taxes off your to-do list and out of your brain space? Yes!
- Would you be willing to spend just a few minutes organizing the paperwork? Hmmmm. I thought for a few moments, and realized that Yes! I was willing to organize some paperwork. Sorting papers into piles didn’t sound too hard, so that’s what I did.
As I got all my materials organized — tax forms from clients over here, bank statements over there — I decided it wouldn’t be that much more work to do a couple of other small tasks.
Before I knew it, the organizing was completed, plus I had another couple of items on the list done as well!
Yup! When I stood up from my desk, I did so knowing this project was underway, and once it was started, it could be finished.
By the end of the week, I could breathe easier knowing I was able to put a check mark by this task I’d dreaded.
Talk about a relief!
When I’ve got an big undertaking that lies ahead — particularly if it’s something I’d rather not do, I’ve gotten in the habit of asking myself if I’d be willing to do some little task, just to get myself going on a project that seems really big or intimidating.
Whether it’s sandwiching a quilt and getting it basted (hands down, my least favorite part of any quilting project), starting my next book (that one’s fairly intimidating), or something simple like putting away the laundry (blech…laundry!) — one of the best ways for me to begin is by taking one small step.
If I want other people to respect me, it means, first and foremost, that I need to respect myself. That’s what One Small Step is all about — treating myself with respect and not forcing myself to do things
If I don’t want other people to try to force me to do something I don’t want to do, then I shouldn’t force myself to do things I really don’t want to do.
Unfortunately life isn’t always a big bowl of sweet ripe strawberries. Sometimes being the grown up means certain things have to be done…and it’s my responsibility to do them.
But One Small Step helps me key in to the values that lead me to want to do those things, rather than being forced to do them.
For me, One Small Step makes One Big Difference in the way I approach large, intimidating, or undesirable projects.
Next time you’re staring down one big project in the face, take One Small Step and see where it leads you.