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It’s Spring – let’s put a little pep in your step.

In our last issue I shared with you my personal mantra for this year: "Small steps lead to big journeys." I'll be honest; some days those small steps have been really difficult. Deadlines have had me chained to my desk, meetings that could have been emails have kept me away from my computer, and my to-do list is ever-growing as the spring cleaning urge has started. And don't get me started on the lack of motivation provided by Mother Nature's constant rain the past few weeks. But, even those small steps that I've forced myself to make are already leading to big journeys.

So what's holding you back from taking one more small step towards your big journey? Here are a few powerful strategies to help put a little pep in your step this spring.

  1. Use the Rule of 5

The Rule of 5 dictates that every day you should take action on five specific things that will move you closer to achieving your goal. It doesn’t matter how small these things are. As long as they are action steps that will move you closer to your goal, they are moving you in the right direction.

If you want to get ahead at work, do five things each day that will make that more likely.

  • Devote an hour of your time to learning a new skill (hyperlink this to HQ webinars)
  • Sign up for training (hyperlink this to INDD training sign up)
  • Write a list of questions you'd like to ask an industry professional (link to healthcare panel sign up)
  • Get involved – volunteer to serve on a board, committee, or even for just one event   (link to committee descriptions online)
  • Take a fellow SMPS member out for lunch and ask them for tips (hyperlink to members only area of SMPS)
  1. Link New Habits and Behaviors to Existing Actions

My second tip for you is to look for simple ways you can link positive new habits and behaviors to the things you are already doing.

For example, if you want to get more involved in the AEC industry but feel limited on time, volunteer for a one-time task (hyperlink to [email protected]) like sending a new member a welcome email, helping greet at an SMPS event, or even just commit to attending one more SMPS event than usual.

One of my new habits is trying to avoid the elevator and walk up one flight of stairs or down two flights of stairs. This means I'm still doing the same action but I'm adding in a new habit to help me keep on stepping.

  1. Track Your Progress

Thanks to the digital age it's easier than ever to track our progress — thanks to devices like FitBit and Apple Watch we can literally track our steps. But tracking the small steps of life can be a bit more tricky — and in the digital age of instant gratification we have been conditioned for the need to see our success. When your journey involves taking a series of tiny steps over time, it might be easy to overlook the fact of what you’ve actually accomplished.

For me, I try to take time each week to mentally review everything I have achieved — not just the check marks on my to-do list, or the number of emails I've cleared out of my inbox, but I also think about the conversations I've had, the connections I've made, and the seemingly nominal tasks that weren't significant enough to make the to-do list. It's in those smaller steps that I find the most gratification because it's in those smaller steps that I discover just how far I've come – and am even more motivated to continue the journey.

For the past two years, I've watched fellow SMPS members take small steps too — steps that are already leading them to big journeys full of growth, leadership, and friendship.

Small steps can often be easy to brush off or postpone since you may feel like they are insignificant. But, one small step you shouldn't postpone is getting involved in SMPS. We will soon be releasing the SMPS Nashville Call for Nominations. This year we will have more opportunities that ever to get involved on the Board of Director or on a committee. We have revamped our communications committee to provide leadership opportunities in specific areas such as website, email, graphics, and social media. We are also looking to provide short-term opportunities to get everyone involved. Being part of these planning committees provides both a leadership opportunity and exposure for you and your firm to some of the key decision makers and influencers across Middle Tennessee.

Whatever your goal may be, taking steps toward reaching it each and every day will eventually yield major progress, and often in much less time than you’d expect. To help you be successful, we have some exciting events prepared for spring and summer including the return of two of our most popular events - the Healthcare Panel (April) and InDesign Workshops (June). You will not want to miss these small steps that are sure to put a pep in your step this spring.

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