Episode 33 – Think Big, Act Small

Your Sports Resource

Sometimes we approach a goal or new habit as an all-or-nothing situation. Small steps help you avoid fatigue, not only in the way you manage yourself with tasks but also in ensuring you have the headspace to make progress along with everything else you have going on. It’s also important to have little victories, so you can see your progress and feel good about what you are doing.

In this episode, we talk about breaking your goals into small steps.

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TRANSCRIPT

00:00:03  Introduction

This is the Your Sports Resource podcast, where each week you’ll learn actionable strategies that you can implement so the operations of your club support your coaching staff and the direction of your organization. We are committed to excellence in youth sports leadership. Let’s get started.

00:00:25

Hello and welcome to the Your Sports Resource podcast.

00:00:28

My name is Renata and I am so happy you’re here with me today.

00:00:32

In this episode, we are focusing on taking small steps to achieve big things.

00:00:38

This can be for developing a new habit or achieving a goal.

00:00:42

A lot of times when I go to work with clubs and we are trying to solve problems or create a more efficient workplace.

00:00:49

The main emotion that I read is being overwhelmed when coming up with a solution.

00:00:55

There’s always a lot to do, and often when you start to have one thing that’s creating a rug, you end up starting to see that pattern in many things.

00:01:06

Some can be pretty big, but mostly it’s because it’s a lot of little things and finding a path to a solution can be, well, overwhelming.

00:01:15

I also feel that our nature is that we want a complete resolution right here and right now, which is sometimes achievable.

00:01:23

But if we look at things logically, that’s often not the case.

00:01:27

You have to create a plan and move things like responsibilities or people around.

00:01:32

Sometimes the solution, for one thing, creates a problem with something else.

00:01:36

Then there is the effort and the patience for waiting for the resolution to take place.

00:01:43

I don’t typically tell my clients this, but my approach is always to be methodical and, in an effort, to use time wisely.

00:01:51

Again, we tend to be time-poor, but I think that’s mostly due to our own doing, so I try to approach things one step at a time and what I do tell them is that you may increase your workload up front, but when things smooth out you’ll be happy you made the effort.

00:02:09

So, what I mean by your workload might increase is that sometimes we need to quit doing things ourselves and we need to delegate when the increase comes in is, you know the documenting of that process if needed, and then the training of others of how to do it.

00:02:26

Then you might need to be available the next time they do the task, just to ensure that they’ve got the hang of whatever you’ve delegated.

00:02:34

But when it’s handed over then you have that time back, again it’s not a miracle move.

00:02:39

It’s just being methodical in the process. So that’s the easy part.

00:02:45

Let’s talk about breaking things down into small steps.

00:02:49

Small steps help you avoid fatigue and the way you manage yourself for tasks.

00:02:55

Also, in the way that you ensure that you have the headspace to make progress along with everything else you have going on.

00:03:04

It’s also important to have little victories so you can see your progress and feel good about what you’re doing when we attempt things as an all-or-nothing and don’t have the patience to wait for the results to happen, we tend to abandon our path, even though we might be doing the right things so small victories help with this.

00:03:25

Let me give you a couple of examples.

00:03:28

If you’re talking about creating a new habit like ensuring you’re connecting with your swimmers a bit more than just when you’re coaching, then maybe the first step is to be at practice 10 minutes earlier to greet them.

00:03:40

Which means you either have to be at the pool earlier or you if you’re already at the pool, then you need to stop doing your admin or dry side work by a certain time to be available.

00:03:52

Achieving the first step is to leave the house 15 minutes earlier or setting your alarm to remind you to close up your computer and step away 15 minutes earlier. Once you have that down and you’re doing it regularly, you might decide to add something else into the mix to create that connection.

00:04:10

But what you’ve done is created a small victory of an extra 10 minutes on deck with your swimmers to create that connection. And now you can move to the next step.

00:04:19

The same might be true for a board member who never seems to get their board report in on time, right?

00:04:25

You know it comes up at the same time every month, so maybe your first step is to create a template that you can use over and over again, to help with the process.

00:04:34

Then it’s to set a reminder 3 days prior to when it’s due as a trigger to start writing the report.

00:04:41

You may even break it down to where you spend 15 minutes a day for those three days to get it done, so it’s not such an overwhelming task.

00:04:49

The most important part is that you do the steps right, so it doesn’t do you any good to set your reminder and do your template if you still don’t commit the time to do it, but you can see how when you break it down into small steps, you know the small victory is that hey, I’m actually gonna write my report.

00:05:05

So before we move on, I wanna ask you, have you ever heard of a Not-To-Do List?

00:05:11

Seriously, often we get stuck into doing tasks that really someone else can do, which frees us up to take on tasks that align with our skill set or value.

00:05:21

If you go to http://www.yoursportsresource.com and look under tools, you’ll find a worksheet called the Not-To-Do List.

00:05:28

It helps you work through what you can automate, delegate, or eliminate. It might just be the game-changer you need.

00:05:37

Alright, going after your goals is very much the same process as establishing a new habit.

00:05:43

If your goal is to eat healthier and you are not the type of person who can do things cold Turkey, let’s face it, not many of us are.

00:05:53

Then maybe you break it down into chunks. So maybe the first month you get rid of eating at fast food restaurants.

00:05:59

Then the next month it’s making more meals at home and not using processed food. Then maybe it’s dropping the sugar.

00:06:07

All of these small steps help you with achieving your overall outcome or your goal and having the wins along the way give you the confidence and builds momentum.

00:06:18

One of the issues that I come across with the coaches is having enough time to upskill or offer development to the rest of their coaches, they tend to think about just getting training from USA Swimming.

00:06:33

ASCA when usually there’s, you know a plethora of knowledge standing on deck around them. You know that’s the head coach themselves or the rest of the staff.

00:06:42

Then it becomes the problem of devoting the time, you know, we’re already in all kinds of meetings we just don’t have the time to do it.

00:06:50

So where I often target 1st is their staff meetings. What do those look like and how often are they? If they’re mostly administrative, well?

00:07:00

I don’t know that that’s always the best use of time, and I’d be willing to bet that staff dread these meetings because they meander, and they say the same things over and over again.

00:07:10

Instead, the basic admin stuff can be documented, and staff just need to be accountable for reading it right.

00:07:16

Then you can discuss the important admin items and leave the rest of the time for upskilling.

00:07:22

Whether it’s just 20 minutes of talking about strict technique or how to communicate to parents, it’s all opportunities to learn and grow.

00:07:30

And that’s what you need to make time for. Again, be methodical and do small steps. But there’s always a way to buy back time and solve a problem.

00:07:42

I think the biggest takeaway for today is that when you look at developing new habits or achieving goals that you need to break them down into achievable parts.

00:07:52

You’ll have the headspace and realize some small wins that encourages you to build momentum towards achieving that goal.

00:07:59

Also make a big deal out of those small achievements. Because mentally it solidifies you that, you’re on the right path.

00:08:07

Instead of, you know, feeling disappointed because you didn’t achieve your big goal in an unrealistic time frame.

00:08:13

All right, you got this, so thank you for listening and please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast so we can reach more people.

00:08:21

You can always find more resources on www. yoursportsresource.com and thank you for spending time with me.