It’s a big week for us in the Marshall house. It’s Chinese New Year, my daughter’s turning 7, and it’s Pancake Day and the start of Lent.
Lent always holds a special time for me, partly because pancakes happen to be one of my favourite foods, but I’ve also found that making a commitment to do something different – however small – for a sustained period of time, can create some powerful shifts.
In other words, baby steps can indeed move mountains.
One year I gave up alcohol for Lent and inadvertently became permanently tee total! Another year I quit having sugar in my tea, and it’s been ‘milk, no sugar’ for me ever since.
Four years ago, I ran my first 40 Days of Baby Steps, an accountability programme for people who wanted to make something happen without putting life on hold. It’s how my first book 21 Ways to Manage the Stuff that Sucks Up Your Time was written, in just 40 days.
This year I’d like to invite you to experiment with your own 40 Days of Baby Steps.
What’s one productivity habit you’d like to cultivate? What if you committed to putting that habit into practice every day over the next 40 days?
- Saying no – doing one less thing each day, to make space for what you really want to say yes to.
- Starting the day well – checking in with yourself before you check in with the rest of the world, or being deliberate with what you’re choosing for each day
- Switching off with some screen free time
- Making a commitment to yourself and showing up for it, just as you would for someone else.
- Practising gratitude, or writing a ‘ta-da list’
- Doing 11.5 minutes of exercise daily
- Doing one thing that recharges you
- Taking a proper lunch break, away from your desk
- Eating a frog for breakfast
- Delegating one decision a day
- Or making one decision a day instead of delaying it
- Reframing your perspective
- Transforming overwhelm into opportunity with the words ‘I get to’
- Banning yourself from saying ‘busy’ or ‘I can’t’
- or something else…
So often people say to me: “I know what I need to do. I just need to do it!”
So here’s your chance to do it.
I’d love to know what you decide to do. I find that declaring your intention publicly and sharing your progress daily is the best way to keep the momentum going. This is where it changes from being ‘what I’d like to do someday’ to ‘what I am doing today’.