It Only Takes a Moment: Using the Manageable Moments Exercise to Jump Start your Dreams

Have you had an item collecting dust on your to-do list for quite some time?

Honestly, I think there are a few items on mine that have been sitting there for weeks, maybe even months.

Sometimes you get to an item on your to-do list and it’s hard not to look like a deer caught in headlights. You stare at it. And stare at it. And you break out into a cold sweat and stare at it some more.

Because the next task on your to-do list is SO monumental, SO huge and important, that you have no idea how to make it happen.

And it’s easy to get uncomfortable and discouraged, and want to take a nap instead, or watch reruns of Full House, or any number of mindless, “filler” activities that pass the time, allowing yourself to procrastinate on your dreams.

And then, months from now, when you are still feeling stuck, you start to feel dejected because you are not seeing actual progress and your dream still feels SO FAR AWAY.

Daydreaming is nice, but living a dream feels SO MUCH BETTER.

I’ve been there my friend.

The guilt that manifests from inaction use to consume me. I felt like I was wasting time, like precious time was slipping away from me every moment I spent feeling lost on how to accomplish my dreams.

And that’s when it hit me.

Every time I pull up my calendar, or add a new thing to my to-do list, I’m essentially searching for the most effective use of my TIME. I was making the decision on how I wanted to spend my MOMENTS on earth.

Time is just a series of moments.

Something can take a year to accomplish or a minute – but no matter the time frame, they are both comprised of singular moments, one after one, that continue to add up until the project is complete.

And as long as you fill each moment to the brim with inspired activity, you will start to see change.

Decades or years sound very scary sometimes. But moments – those are easy! We can handle moments.

In order to create the change you crave in your life, you must break down every big dream into MANAGEABLE MOMENTS.

We live through moments all the time. Moments happen without us having the time to resist them, to worry about their outcome, or to fear their power. They are a part of our daily life.

Okay Brittany, I get it – but what can you REALLY accomplish in a moment?

And the answer is… not much.

BUT, what could you accomplish in a million moments? Or a trillion?

A shit ton, my friend. Because moments add up.

If you dedicated a million moments (let’s say a moment = 1 second, in this case), then it would be the same as dedicating yourself to something for over 11.5 days!

Release the fear from your concept of time. Use your Manageable Moments as the first baby steps toward the life you are meant to live.

Here’s how to start:

I like to call this the Manageable Moments Exercise and it’s precisely what I give to my life coaching clients. This exercise is great when you are teetering on the edge of a major breakthrough, but you might be feeling lost as to how to make it happen.

And the assignment is this: You will create a web (or list if you prefer) that will outline the Manageable Moments that comprise your main goal or dream.

You should find a beautiful environment where you can dedicate the next hour for this exercise. Life changing moments deserve respect and a creative atmosphere. (I love to do this while sitting on my roof deck at sunset…no better place to be inspired than by the Manhattan skyline!)

Bring a pencil and paper with you (No computers! No phones! Leave technology and distractions behind! Print out this article if you need to, but don’t let the outside world in your special space. This time is for DREAM DOIN’ only!) If you need a glass of wine – I won’t stop you. Do anything to treat yourself and make this feel like a special occasion – because it is, and it’s your job to honor that.

Sit down, take a few breaths and write your dream at the top of the piece of paper.

Next to your dream, write the date. I want you to forever remember the day that you decided to CHANGE YOUR LIFE. The day that you took the reigns and came up with the phenomenal discoveries that put your dreams in motion.

And then begin to free write any steps that you might be able to take that could bring you one step closer to your dream. The goal is to come up with as many ideas as possible, without giving any one idea too much importance.

Here are some good questions to ask yourself to jump start the process:

  • What is one step that I could take RIGHT NOW towards my goal?
  • How have other people accomplished my goal in the past? What can I learn from the people who inspire me?
  • Imagine I am standing next to a river, and my dream lives on the other side of the water. My job is to create a bridge that will get me to the other side safely. Each idea I write down is a piece of lumber I can use for this bridge. What are the pieces that I can use to get me there?

Write down everything – even if it’s scary, even if you have no freakin’ clue how you could create it, afford it, or live it!

If you are laughing at how absurd your ideas are – you are doing this exercise correctly.

You might feel like cracking your pencil in half, ripping out your hair, and tearing up the piece of paper. But hang on. You can do it. Because I’m not going to leave you hanging. Trust in this, trust in your dreams, trust in that miraculous soul of yours that will provide you with all the answers, if you only take a moment to listen.

Because after you come up with ALLLLL the ideas you can…you’re gonna start getting jiggy with it.

You are going to start BREAKIN’ IT DOWN!

Yes, the next step is to take every item on your Manageable Moments List and BREAK IT DOWN. Make it even smaller, even EASIER to handle.

For example, when I was creating Soultiply, I had “Create website” on my to-do list.

Scary, right? How in the world do I do that? Most 5th graders know more coding than I do, I’m not a web designer, and the last blog I kept was an old Xanga.com site from nearly 10 years ago – I have no clue how to build a website!

Excuses could have kept that item on my list for a LONG TIME.

But instead of giving up on this task, I took a deep breath and I continued to BREAK THAT DREAM DOWN.

And I brainstormed some of these Manageable Moments:

  • Research my favorite blogs and see if they wrote any articles about how they created their sites
  • Come up with a name, make my site human to me
  • Come up with a color scheme
  • Learn more about WordPress
  • Learn more about web hosting
  • Would it be worth hiring a web designer? What websites do I admire?

And the list went on and on.

And the beautiful thing is, I continued to break it down even more, I broke each item until I came up with even smaller Manageable Moments.

For instance, I took my idea “Come up with a color scheme” and I broke it down to:

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Here is the picture that is the inspiration for Soultiply’s color scheme. It’s called Confetti by Christine Soccio and it’s my absolute favorite.

  • Look at my favorite art for inspiration
  • Look for beautiful color combinations on Pinterest

And all of the sudden, I was left with a beautiful, singular, MANAGEABLE MOMENT.

Go on Pinterest and look at color combinations. The idea of going on Pinterest (like I love to do everyday) was not a scary one; in fact, I felt like a PRO! If anyone knew how to spend MANY moments looking at Pinterest, it was me.

And so I did it. And I checked it off the list within minutes, because I just happened to find several beautiful pictures that inspired me, one of which became the inspiration for Soultiply’s color scheme and design.

BOOM. That’s how dreams become reality.

Be like that awkward person at a party – when in doubt, BREAK IT DOWN out there on the dance floor of your dreams!

Picture all of your dreams are like tiny statues, and it’s your job to PULVERIZE THEM with your magical Manageable Moments hammer! Keep crushing them, breaking them down, until you are left with the pieces that you can handle.

Because once you continue to build upon each moment, you will have your final product.

After a few weeks of completing my Manageable Moments, I had created the Soultiply website, a site of size and scope that I had never built before.

This exercise is a game, and you win the game by leaving with an entire list of Manageable Moments that inspire you to take action.

You get bonus points if the Manageable Moments feel like fun! Because if those moments feel fun to you, you’ve turned a scary, overwhelming dream into something you can’t wait to make happen. And that alone is a phenomenal gift.

Plus, when you sprinkle in some fun, you will WANT to work towards your dreams. Working on them will be more fun than sitting on your bum and dreaming about them, and a WHOLE lot more fun than moping around your apartment.

This is a dream dance party – NOT a pity party.

I’ve had coaching clients that have used this exercise with astounding success.

They’ve created momentum behind their careers, they’ve scheduled meetings with movers and shakers in their industries, they’ve seen progress towards their dreams JUST by taking the time to focus, face their fears, and come up with ideas that they could do RIGHT NOW.

When I hear these stories, I get major goose bumps. They tell me that they feel like they have tapped into some magical ability.

But the truth is, all they have discovered is the power that THEY ALONE can create. Sometimes we forget that we have it in us already. Sometimes it’s scary to realize how powerful and how much control we have over our own happiness.

And there are variations of this exercise that you can try as well.

You can try creating a Manageable Moments list about a person who you find inspiring, someone who has achieved something similar to what you want to achieve. What do you know about them and what they have done? Make a list. Break down those accomplishments, and then go ahead and break down THOSE accomplishments, and then keep breaking it down until it feels like you can do the same thing too.

Use someone else’s success to inspire your very own road map. Trust me, you won’t be copying them. Instead, you will tap into your very own inspiration and will make changes as you feel fit.

Or make a Manageable Moments list about one particular issue you might be facing, like an upcoming fundraising campaign for your next project.

How amazing would it feel to physically hold a road map outlining the brief moments required to accomplish anything you desire? This list can be yours in just an hour’s time.

The opportunities and the lists are endless! (Coming from an organizational freak like me, that’s music to my ears!)

I don’t care if your first Manageable Moment is “Get off Facebook”. If you do it, then GOOD FOR YOU. One point for you, you are one step closer to winning this game.

Because it feels good to check items off of a to-do list. It feels good to see your progress, to feel it in your bones. We must celebrate these accomplishments, no matter the size. And when you see that you can do something, you will do more of it. It reacquaints you with your own power and confidence. Prove to yourself how easy this can be.

Looking at the big picture is crucial, but sometimes it can leave you feeling helpless and immobilized.

If anyone would have told me all the moments that it would require between the birth of Soultiply and where I’m at right now, I’m pretty sure I would have curled up in a corner somewhere, never to be seen again.

Instead, I just lived out those moments one by one and lived them fully.

This is YOUR roadmap. You don’t have to follow anyone’s rules, or edit yourself. It’s soul writing – your inspiration revealing itself on paper. No one can create that beautiful list BUT YOU. Trust this list, it is your truth. Embrace those moments – they are yours to create. And if you sit down and feel yourself battling some MAJOR resistence, don’t stress – give yourself permission to let go and ALLOW. You are on no schedule but Divine Time.

There is no doubt in my mind that every scary dream can be broken down into many Manageable Moments.

I’m excited to hear about the life-altering changes you will make after drafting your Manageable Moments list!

And of course, if you are having any troubles coming up with your list, or if you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to me. You don’t have to do this alone.

**Have any burning questions or topics that you would like to see on the Soultiply blog? Email Brittany at [email protected] with your suggestions!**

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