My simple, fuss free, no equipment needed, Microstep is to go outside as soon as I wake up; no matter the weather it’s an instant hit to get my day started quickly and in an appreciative mood. Otherwise, the transition to being fully awake can hold me back from my best intentions. Before I started (getting a dog got me into it) I’d get in a loop with chores and family demands without setting my own priorities for the day. The fresh air, looking up at the sky, taking in the weather and the colours of the day gives me a bit of perspective and inspiration even during the winter. I’ve since read that opening a window and spending a few moments taking in the surroundings outside and the sharpness of fresh morning air also works if you don’t have outside space to go into.
Another simple step I use to make sure I’m present in conversations is inspired by a quote from Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” There are no shortage, on social media, of great quotes and mantras to set yourself by, but this is one I’ve consciously thought about pre-and post-conversations to improve my listening skills and for my own appreciation of the conversation rather than worrying about how I’m coming across, which I find never ends well! This can be a knock on the door with a delivery, take the moment to say “Hi” and wish people a good day. These moments of human connection pay you back as little moments of joy.
And my final back stop thought if I feel overwhelmed, is to remind myself, that an hour doesn’t last that long and you can’t do it all. Even if everything looks fun, worthy, intriguing, a great opportunity, is the ‘proper’ way to do something etc., you’re still allowed to say no, or take the conscious decision to drop something from your to do list, without feeling guilty. Protecting some spare time, allowing some slack in the day gives you a buffer as inevitably most tasks will have been underestimated as to how long they’ll take!