“Action leads to insight more often than insight leads to action.”
– Dan and Chip Heath, The Power of Moments
In The Power of Moments, the Heath brothers have some great ideas about breaking big goals into small parts – and rewarding yourself along the way. They compare this to video games where you feel accomplished each time to go up a level.
Let’s say you’ve always wanted to learn to play that guitar you’ve had hanging around for years. In a standard scenario, you know to break big goals into small parts so you make a plan to:
- Tune up the guitar.
- Find a great book on how to play.
- Find some online class options.
- Commit to practicing for a half-hour, 3x a week.
- Block out time this week and get to work.
This plan works great for the first week or two, but then it gets a little boring and you start to skip practice time. And before you know it, the guitar is banished to its case, collecting dust at the back of the closet.
What if instead, you added fun levels along the way?
Then your planner note the first week might be, “Learn the chords to (a specific song you love to sing.)” Now when you sit down to practice, you’re just concentrating on one song – pulling up that music, learning those specific chords, and watching just the YouTube videos that help you play that piece.
It may take you a week to learn the chords. Or two weeks. Or three weeks. But by concentrating on one piece, you’ll eventually know those chords and can sing along to your heart’s content. You have now accomplished Level 1 which is joyous. You can stop, or are you interested in Level 2?
In this case, Level 2 might be to learn specific fingering for a guitar lick you really like. And you work on that until you sound good. Done! Congratulations! Want more?
Level 3 might be to play the above for friends or family.
Level 4 might be to play with a group.
And who knows – Level 5 might be to play in a Pub in Ireland!
What I love about adding levels to your plans is that you feel joyous and accomplished along the way. Feeling love for what you’re doing makes you want to do more. And as you know, joyous people are a joy to be around.
So what can you level up on at home or at work? Do you have a “love to do” list handy? Is there one thing on that list you can prioritize to get to work on? What fun levels can you add?
My sister-in-law is fostering an animal shelter kitty. Here’s Cleo with her brood of 9 at 2-days old. Is she thinking, “All this momma work and they don’t even look like me?!” 🙂
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