Make It Happen 2020 Over 50s Lifestyle

Got Two Minutes? Overcome your ‘scarcity mindset’ & start kicking some goals

January 17, 2020
The Scarcity Mindset

Do you have a ‘scarcity mindset’? I know I do at times. Keep reading and I’ll explain what it is and how you can overcome it to #makeithappenin2020.

We all want to make changes in life at some point: eat healthier, lose weight, exercise more, more ‘me’ time, reduce stress, get more sleep, reduce financial debt, travel more or [insert your goal here].

These are just a few examples of changes people want to make and usually they start as New Year Resolutions, which unfortunately are broken by mid January.

So what if I told you, that you can achieve your goal using less time than you think?

Overcoming the ‘Scarcity Mindset’

In his book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change everything, B.J. Fogg suggests that time pressure results in a ‘scarcity mindset’ where

“We believe there will never be enough time, so it becomes an automatic reflex to say ‘no’ to changes … Thirty minutes of exercise a day? Cooking a healthy dinner every night? Starting a new business? Forget it. Who. Has. The. Time?”

“Tiny allows you to start right now,” It meets you where you are – whether your life is in a desperate spiral or you are stressed-out but otherwise fortunate.”

The ‘Two-Minute’ Rule

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones explains, if you are having trouble with achieving your goals, the problem isn’t you it is your system. His ‘two-minute rule’ is all about working up to the goal rather than trying to achieve it all at once.

“Whatever habit you’re trying to build, scale it down to two minutes or less,”

James Clear

“The secret is to always stay below the point where it feels like work,” he says. “Find a way to master the way of showing up and manage that complexity of life and once it’s part of your new normal you can optimise it.”

James Clear

Microstepping Your Goals

Microsteps are another way to describe ‘Baby steps’ to change habits and achieve our goals. I love the term Micro – meaning small, Steps – meaning moving forward. Last May, I introduced Microstepping in May a process to achieve your goal one microstep at a time.

That means setting your goal and the timeframe you want to achieve it using the S.M.A.R.T. principal. Then working backwards to create mini goals along the way. These microsteps all lead you to achieving your goal in manageable steps rather than getting frustrated because you feel nothing is happening.

For example, one of my goals is to run the Brisbane Half Marathon in less that 2hours 15minutes. I’m specific on what my goal is and have an end date. I know it is achievable if I put the training in.

My main goal – is the Half Marathon

My microsteps would be:

  • implementing a weekly running program from now until the date of the run. This would include how many runs I would do per week and how long each run would be.
  • reviewing my diet and ensure I’m getting enough energy and the correct balance of macro and micro nutrients to ensure I can run the distance.
  • getting enough sleep
  • incorporating strength and cross training
  • ensuring I take rest days

Microsteps are the tasks that you will incorporate daily, weekly and monthly to help you complete and attain your goal.

Once you have broken your main goal into microsteps you don’t have to worry about how you will achieve it. You have a plan in place by working through each microstep.

Make It Happen 2020 Challenge

Task for the week:

Each morning write down your goal in your journal – the one you are working on for the Make It Happen 2020 Challenge. By writing the goal down each morning you are reinforcing what you are working towards. It will remain your focus and also prompt ideas on how you can achieve it.

Break down your goal into several microsteps. Download the resource to help you break down your goal.

From the completed microstep goals, break these down into daily mini tasks and note any potential issues which could arise.

Select and book an appointment in your diary 5 x 10 minute slots where you can work on your goal.

Download the example below.

PrioritizeDownload the example & complete the Weekly Goal resource taken from your microsteps sheet. At the end of the week complete the progress section.

Why Checking in & Rewarding yourself is important

In the Weekly progress chart, I’ve included a column for Status and also an area to write down a monthly ‘reward’ for achieving your microsteps.

Checking In is important as it keeps you accountable and on track. It is also a way to keep the focus of your goal ‘front and centre’. Don’t forget to join the Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond Facebook Group so you can check in each Friday with your progress.

Rewarding yourself can be great motivation. Doing something for yourself is important and gives you something to look forward to.

Can you focus on your goal for 2 minutes?

You can catch up on previous Make It Happen 2020 Challenge posts HERE.

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35 Comments

  • Reply Donna Connolly January 17, 2020 at 02:23

    Hi, Sue – I agree that we can easily get stuck in the ‘terrible toos’ (e.g. I can’t do it now because I’m too tired, it’s too big, it’s too challenging, it’s too time-consuming, too, too, too……). Your advice about microsteps makes wonderful sense. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2020 at 07:14

      Thanks Donna, I love your idea of the ‘terrible toos’. I was finding life ‘too hard’ towards the end of last year so reviewing my own advice about 2 minutes and microsteps is helping me readjust to a life that I want rather than what I think is expected of me. Have a lovely week, my friend. xx

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian January 17, 2020 at 06:30

    Great advice Sue. Commitment is not easy and we can always find a reason to delay. Starting with the right motivation and breaking the task down into mini-goals and action steps makes it more palatable.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2020 at 07:16

      Hi Suzanne, it isn’t rocket science but microsteps certainly help as they are bite-sized and not too overwhelming. Starting is the hardest part sometimes but if we take the time to break our goal down in to microsteps or mini goals it can help motivate us to get going! Have a great week. x

      • Reply Jennifer Jones January 22, 2020 at 11:16

        Hi Sue. Good advice here. When I set goal, I always break them down into micro goals. Especially if they are big goals. Sometimes looking at the big picture can be very overwhelming. Loving this series #MLSTL Sharing

        • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 07:05

          Hi Jen, a major goal can be overwhelming and that is when procrastination kicks in. Breaking it down into manageable steps really helps and you can make the smaller steps enough for you to feel like you are achieving and moving forward. Have a great week. x

  • Reply Jo January 17, 2020 at 08:54

    Microstepping is such a good way of putting it. I read something this morning that said we make 35,000 decisions every day. Some of these will be a basic function such as turning left or right, but a big number will be based around how we eat and how we move. That’s a lot of opportunities to make a small difference.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2020 at 07:28

      My brain hurts Jo, just thinking about 35,000 decisions – that’s a lot! Even changing the smallest things one at a time can build a great foundation and help keep us moving forward. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply Nancy W Dobbins January 18, 2020 at 02:08

    Hi Sue,
    Mini steps make it all possible. When teaching, I used to tell the students “How to eat an elephant (that overwhelming task)…by taking one bite at a time.”
    Great advice!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2020 at 07:25

      Love your advice about eating the elephant Nancy. I think it is helpful to have a visual like that or some way to break down our bigger goal so it does seem more achievable. xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 19, 2020 at 19:15

    That was an interesting take on a “scarcity mindset” Sue – I’d previously heard it in reference to thinking that we don’t have enough and always looking for more. A bit like seeing all that we’re not, rather than appreciating all that we have.
    It makes a lot of sense in the context you describe too, and the idea of tiny steps to make things do-able seems like a great solution. I seem to have more time than I need atm – it’s figuring out how to fill it that I’m dealing with atm. But even that can be broken down and thought through in smaller steps – something to ponder.

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 22, 2020 at 14:37

      Hi BBB – just back for #MLSTL number 100!! Thanks for all your co-hostessing with the mostessing and another year of sharing the love xx I’ve shared your post on my SM x

  • Reply Christine January 20, 2020 at 05:09

    Thank you Sue for developing and sharing these goal worksheets – it is so much easier to figure out how to accomplish it if you break it down into baby steps. I am going to put these to good use 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2020 at 07:07

      Hi Christine, I’m pleased you liked the worksheets and thanks for the feedback. I find having a plan works well and the worksheets have helped me to work through my thoughts. Let me know how you are going with your goal. Have a great week! x

  • Reply Suzanne January 22, 2020 at 07:21

    Those words “too busy”, I think are used too often as an escape route to keep doing the same thing whether it is enjoyable or not. Like the elephant analogy, yes, it is all about taking small bites, and it is incredible how fast that elephant gets “eaten”. I liked how you broke down how to tackle the half marathon. The best advice I ever received while training for half marathons was to include rest days and stretching, that information could be applied to life in general.

    Enjoy your week, Sue.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 07:02

      Hi Suzanne, I agree with your thoughts on ‘too busy’. I read somewhere that if you say those words it means that whatever it is you are ‘too busy’ to do, isn’t a priority. You either have to let it go or change your attitude towards it. I’m in training again for our runs this year and the heat and humidity have made running difficult. I’ll get there though. Have a great week, Suzanne x

  • Reply Natalie January 22, 2020 at 08:27

    Hi Sue – Very sound advice to break the work down to micro steps. I use this approach to reach my goals. One side benefit from doing the small steps on a regular basis is that the doing becomes a habit and once we start seeing progress and results, our mind and body are encouraged to keep going. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 07:03

      Hi Natalie, good point about small steps on a regular basis becoming a habit. Thanks for the sound advice!

  • Reply Michele January 22, 2020 at 11:39

    There is so much to the idea of how our mindsets influence us- for good or bad! I have dealt with scarcity issues, especially around money. I am learning to overcome those kinds of issues and find that even just being aware of them helps me to think differently. I also wrote about Atomic habits this week- it is a fabulous book and I have gotten a lot out of it. I love the idea of micro steps because it is not overwhelming. I have also been guilty of all or nothing thinking in the past, and microsteps help you get away from that mindset. Great post!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 07:06

      Hi Michele, I’ve been an all or nothing girl in the past and although I usually achieve my goals, the journey is not as enjoyable. Now I break it down and like the feeling of small successes along the way. x

  • Reply Christina Daggett January 22, 2020 at 15:42

    Hi Sue. It’s nice to be back with all of you at MLSTL. Some goals are much easier to achieve than others. It helps if achieving the goal is something we’re really passionate about. I would think a goal like wanting to lose a lot of weight would be difficult and one might feel like they were punishing themselves. The micro-steps I’m sure would be very helpful in a case like that. I also think rewarding yourself for achieving the small steps towards your goal would work very well. I love running on my treadmill, but I have to have a little incentive to do that. Rewarding myself with a good read or a good u-tube video helps. Our main goal, right now, is to get this our new property renovated, so we have a place to travel from. The micro-steps we take in renovating room by room, really help, as well as rewarding ourselves at the end of the day with a good movie or a trip to the big city for a break. Thanks for sharing, Sue.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 07:08

      Hi Christina! Lovely to have you back at #MLSTL. Rewards are very important I think in achieving your goals otherwise we can lose motivation quickly. We all need an incentive to keep going especially when we just ‘aren’t feeling it’. Good luck with the renovating we are doing the same with our apartment and I must admit I will be glad when it is all finished. x

  • Reply Candi Randolph January 22, 2020 at 21:41

    Hi Sue, I have found that breaking a goal down into manageable tasks helps me to see my progress and also minimizes the “it’s too much for me to accomplish” way of thinking. That’s where I think many people get stuck. Your thought process and worksheets would be very helpful to keep things manageable and also see the small wins. Sharing on SM. Have a great week! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 06:54

      Thanks for sharing Candi and I believe we both think alike in many ways. It is so easy to become overwhelmed if our goal is major so breaking it down is an obvious and important step to making it happen. Have a lovely week and thanks for stopping by. x

  • Reply Amy Johnson January 22, 2020 at 23:11

    Thanks for the great tips!

  • Reply Jennifer January 22, 2020 at 23:20

    I haven’t heard of micro-steps, but I did hear of mini-goals. They’re goals that are so small it’s almost impossible to not meet, but in the meeting of them, you’ll probably exceed them. For instance if you have a mini-goal of 10 sit-ups each day then it’s not impossible to meet. But once you get down on the floor and complete them, you’ll probably do more and maybe even add in other exercises because you took the time to get on the floor in the first place. I like the worksheets because as you know, I’m a visual kind of person.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 06:53

      Hi Jennifer, micro steps are basically the same as mini goals. The whole premise is to break down or goal so that we don’t feel overwhelmed. I read one guy start his fitness journey but doing just one pushup a day and then adding one more until he was regularly doing 50. I’m a visual person too and I hope my readers find the worksheets useful. x

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle January 23, 2020 at 09:52

    Hi Sue, yes I have the scarcity mindset for sure! I can get overwhelmed with too much to do (like now). I do find it best to break it down into small bits and just chip away … so basically that is microstepping as you say. I’ve heard of BJ Fogg before. I’m wondering if he was one of the speakers for the Mindful in May thing we did? Hmmm…I’ll have to Google. Have a great day Sue! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 06:47

      Hi Min, I get overwhelmed also and found towards the end of last year I was feeling completely out of control. I stepped back, let go of what wasn’t important and it really took a load off my mind and my time. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan January 24, 2020 at 09:59

    I like the approach here and how you are getting lots of us to think differently too.

    Thanks and congrats on your 100th milestone with your blogging link up with Leanne.

    My Wednesdays would be less interesting without #midlifesharethelove

    Denyse #mlstl

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 06:41

      Thanks Denyse, I’m trying new ways for us all make our goals or dreams happen. 100 linkups sure went by fast! Here’s to another 100! xx

  • Reply Christie Hawkes January 24, 2020 at 11:11

    Your running goal reminds me of when I decided to train for a marathon when I’d never run before. I had a training plan that gradually increased the length of the training runs. At times I would get overwhelmed thinking how far 26.2 miles was, but then I would remind myself to just worry about today’s run. And that worked. So I like the idea of taking micro-steps toward other goals as well. #MLSTL

  • Reply Debbie Harris January 25, 2020 at 13:01

    You are so right with your explanation here Sue and I for one thank you for taking the time to help educate and improve our knowledge. This approach is sensible and achievable and hopefully can help with feelings of being overwhelmed, which is what I tend to suffer with! Thanks so much for your care and support of us all. #mlstl

  • Reply Marlene Crusta January 28, 2020 at 06:14

    Hi there! I agree. Working in small steps to achieve goals is a highly effective method. I like to set a timer for 10 minutes and do as much as I can in that time towards achieving a task, or goal. Thank you so much for the PDF resources. I will utilize them to stay the course in 2020!
    ~Yoga Woman

  • Reply Corinne Rodrigues January 28, 2020 at 22:55

    I love how you pack so many useful resources into your post, Sue! The two-minute rule makes so much sense. I’ve been trying to break things down into do-able units to achieve my goals. Thank you for the links and the PDF resources.

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