Start with Turtle Steps

Editor’s Note: Trish Lemke is the founder of Joy Rides. She leads horse riding excursions around the world and is a certified Martha Beck life coach. Lemke lives in Durango, Colorado, with her family and horses. She is part of  Camp Cayuse, a program in development.

Lemke writes:

There’s something I teach most of my clients. It’s particularly helpful in my own life right now, too, because there’s still a lot of uncertainty in our worlds. There seem to be no clear answers and collective chaos is palpable.

It’s the idea of Turtle Steps. Small steps. Baby steps.

In times of upheaval and change, it’s super hard to make big decisions or big moves.  It’s our body’s natural way of protecting itself and keeping us safe.  If you’re anything like me, you’re feeling a bit unmotivated, tired, a little bored and reluctant to make big plans right now.  And that’s all okay.

The problems arise when we don’t let ourselves be okay with where we’re at and we judge ourselves for being lazy or lame or for not getting anything accomplished. These frustrations may come from our natural desire to move forward. We’re less content when we’re not getting things done. And that’s okay, too.

So, here’s my remedy:  Turtle Steps.

You still get to plan and move forward, but the steps are small.  It may take you longer to get there and you may have to be more patient than you would like, but when the time is right and you’re ready to make the big move, you’ll be all set to go.

Maybe it’s not time to jump head first into a big move, but it is the perfect time to make small moves every day to put your plan in place.

  • Step 1: Think of a big dream or goal.  It can be anything. No “buts” allowed here.  If you can’t come up with anything you want to do, let’s you and I set up a time for a “Dreaming and Scheming” session!
  • Step 2: Write down your big dream on the very far right side on a piece of paper.  Writing it down is really helpful, so try and find some time to do it “old school.”
  • Step 3: Now go backwards.  Envision that dream right before it comes true and think of something that you will be doing right before it happens.  For example, if you’re coming on a Joy Rides trip, it might be packing your suitcase, picking out your riding clothes, picking out what you’ll wear as you’re strolling down an ancient European city.
  • Step 4: Write down the things you will do right before that step and on and on, until you get to today.
  • Step 5: Remember that you don’t have to do anything today except one baby step.  Don’t focus on all of the steps in total. Focus on the turtle step before you.
  • Step 6: Enjoy the ride when you get there because with all those turtle steps, you have arrived!

Consider a horse-y trip to Scotland next year

This is what I’ve been doing with my business and my life.  No big moves, just some small steps so I’m ready for the big leap.  I have all my trips planned for next year, but I’m taking the baby steps to develop them.  I have ideas of what horse programs I want to start in the fall, but I’m not jumping in quite yet.  My attitude feels good and it controls the conflict of feeling unmotivated while also wanting to get things done.

Here are my trips that are all lined up for 2021.  Do I want to wait that long?  Hell, no!  But the turtle steps help!

If one of your dreams is to come on a trip with me, what baby steps can you do right now to make it happen?  Call me for a free session and I can help you create your own turtle steps timeline.

Posted in Camp Cayuse, Reflections and tagged , .

One Comment

  1. Perfect advice for how we are all mentally doing right now during the Coronavirus, when we have no way to plan trips for this year. But planning now for the future is what we all need to do. Just planning a fun-filled trip is therapeutic in and of itself. Thanks for reminding us to make a plan with “turtle steps.”

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