More than once I’ve counted my steps. Be it the 10,000 steps I’m supposed to try and achieve daily for the benefit of my health and wellness or the numerous times I’ve run up and down a flight of stairs because I had too many things in my hands to carry all at once and had to make multiple trips to and from my destination.
But I’ve also been aware of various ‘step’ programs (4 steps to reach the unconverted audience; 7 steps of problem-solving; the 12-step program, etc.) – all claiming to be the cure or solution for something.
So, I started to think about how many different step programs I partake in during a single day to be productive and successful. Maybe you can relate.
One to three steps to get out of bed in the morning sans, an alarm clock. Just my internal clock, dictated by my bladder, or perhaps reflective of how tired I am. Another three to five steps are relative to my desire to shower, wash my hair, take care of general hygiene, pick my clothes, or put on makeup. Then there are the two to three steps involved with deciding whether to eat a healthy breakfast before I head out the door, grab something to eat in the car, or what to pack for lunch. Once in the vehicle, the steps to safety are pretty much on autopilot – seatbelt, rear-view mirror, seat adjustments, maybe checking on contemplating the amount of gas I have in the tank, etc. For the most part, I don’t veer too much from my travel path to work either so the steps here are limited and likely dependent only on traffic congestion or similar.
Now, if you’re anything like me, your ‘workday’ presents the greatest opportunity to explore how many steps it might take for you to identify, implement, and realize success. From what task to tackle first to which meetings to attend, assignments to complete, people to talk to (or avoid), etc. But there are also larger-scale decisions (like where to buy a house, whether to change jobs, how to invest your money, etc.) that can also take your focus away from those everyday decisions.
The reality is that most people need to break down tasks into sizeable components (or steps) to be realistic and achievable. For example, instead of focusing on an exponentially large amount of money you need to save for the down payment on a big purchase, perhaps start by making smaller goals of simply reducing your spending in other areas and putting that money instead into a savings account, or similar.
Additionally, try not to let the stress of making decisions or counting steps hinder your progress. Give yourself some time to think through your goals and objectives and remain open to various possibilities on how to achieve them. If one step forward and two steps back are the only way for you to measure progress, then measure it by the experiences you’ve had and the lessons you’ve learned along the way. But keep at it. You’ve got this… one step at a time.