The Cascading Effect of Action Dominoes
Written by Kirsten Ahrendt
Taking action is like dominos. If you take action, it has a cascade of effects. You feel more confident, you take more action, you feel more inspired, you take another action.
Dominos are a simple game. So you will start with absurdly simple action. Something small. Set yourself up for a win. Don’t even think about calling it a habit (too much pressure associated) and definitely don’t call it an action step (too professional). So, let’s call it…an ACTION DOMINO!
Damn! I’m so excited for action dominos right now! There’s no preconceived notion of what an action domino even is, which means it’s all the more open for you to breathe life and meaning into it!
Examples of Action Dominoes
Behavior #1: “I want to start a breath practice!”
(duh! of course you do)
Action Domino: Begin smaller than you think…5 deep breaths first thing in the morning or last thing at night. That’s it. Not 50, not 5:00, just five. Knock over the domino and feel good about it. Do that for 5-10-20 days…whatever. You decide. See how long you can keep the action domino going. Then and only then should you add another domino to the chain.
Behavior #2: I want to eat better.
Action Domino: Eat one serving of vegetables at each meal. Raw. Cooked. Whatever. If this is way too big of a domino for you right now. Start with ONE VEGETABLE A DAY (but also call me, because we need to talk, for real). Yup. You heard me. Eat a damn carrot once per day. When you finish 3 bags of carrots. We’ll move on.
Behavior #3: I want to be a better friend.
Action Domino: Call one friend per week. Doesn’t matter if they pick up. Leave a voicemail. Just call ONE person PER week. Do this for 4, 5, 8, 10 weeks. You’re naturally progressing.
Have you noticed the pattern? ABSURDLY SIMPLE. ABSURDLY SMALL STEPS. REPEATED FOR A LONG TIME. Dominos. Start with 1.