How many times have you held off on starting a project because it just seemed so large and ominous?
Even though your job, your family, your peers and your own mental well being needed you to step up?
Well, the reality is… every one of us has faced a similar challenge. Some might have jumped a little faster than others to get started. Others may have procrastinated until the last minute to get going. And many others are somewhere in the middle.
The suggestion here is… get started by Moving The Needle… even just a little bit.
The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.
~ John Burroughs
Using MTN Thinking to Reshape Mountains
Where MTN means Move the Needle. The act and effort to Move The Needle is often enough to keep us going to do so again and again and again. Especially if there is a reinforcement and support system in place. It can be something as simple as a small reward or a pat on the back. More on these later.
Have you ever heard the expression… From Mountains to Molehills? Probably not. Usually it’s phrased the other way around as “Making a Mountain out of a Molehill” and it is intended to highlight the ability of someone to create a big issue out of a small one. Well, I want to turn that around and use it in an optimistic way. A way that utilizes Move The Needle thinking to turn those Mountains into Molehills. By Moving The Needle every day you can and will Reshape those Mountains into Molehills. Consistency and Persistence are the keys.
Have you ever heard the expression: How do you eat an elephant?
The answer is… One Bite at a Time.
As displeasing as this thought might be to some, the idea is to point out a bit of logic. Big problems can be addressed in small chunks. By Moving The Needle these big problems and challenges can be brought down to bite sized chunks (pardon the pun) so they can be handled more effectively.
MTN Activities – Do them Daily for maximum effect
Every day you should look at your list of priorities. No matter what they are… personal, professional or a mixture of both… and think about one thing that will Move the Needle. Just One Thing! Then do it!
Once Begun it’s Half Done.
~ Mary Poppins
Some steps may need to happen in a specific order. Some steps will require the time and effort of others. Some steps will be a lot harder to accomplish than others. Plan accordingly. Account for time delays. Put in some cushion time if you think you’ll need it.
It all starts with identifying one step. Ideally one step per day. Sure, you can do more than one step per day, but the goal is one per day. You’ll be surprised at how fast you start to make progress. Pick that One Thing… anything that makes progress… and do it.
Move The Needle!
A few tips to get you started, to keep you on track, and to identify those steps that can help you Move The Needle:
- Make it SMART – SMART Goals force you to think through the steps and can help you break your goals into Bite Sized chunks so that you can identify specific steps.
- Write it down – A written goal has a much higher chance of being achieved. Write down each step, the chunks, that you plan accomplish daily. Side Bonus: Enjoy the satisfaction of crossing them off your daily to-do list.
- Tell someone – A Goal Shared is a Goal Accomplished
- Share a Goal (a joint goal) – Get someone else involved and committed with you.
- Delegate a Task – There is nothing wrong with handing off a step (or multiple steps) to others that have the time, the subject matter expertise and perhaps the shared commitment you do. Delegate wisely to maximize your combined efforts.
Entrepreneurs do it. Start ups do it. You should do it too. Commit to Move the Needle daily.
Even when that project seems insurmountable you can break it down into chunks such that you can accomplish something everyday. When you make progress make sure you report it to those that need to know. When you do, you will be building your authenticity as well as flexing your leadership muscles. While this may seem like a simple soft skill that anyone can master the reality is most people will not keep up the effort required to accomplish something every day (even on weekends – when necessary). Those that do will Stand Out in their Career.
So, what have you done to Move The Needle today?