How do you get back into something that you took time off of? How do you start something new from scratch?
After the World Memory Championships last December, I stopped memory training for 2 months.
Mostly because I went home for Christmas and after that I got sick.
These things knocked me out of my daily training routine. I stopped training for 2 months (which is rare for me).
The thought of jumping back in wasn’t easy either.
I thought of ALL the things/disciplines I needed to train for….for my next competition – the USA Memory Championship.
Thinking about all the things I was behind on made me a bit overwhelmed.
The thoughts in my head put me down:
“You lost all your progress”
“Your training scores are definitely going to regress”
“You have SO MUCH to catch up on”
And guess what…
This overwhelm kept me from training for another few weeks.
This made me more anxious and put me into a state of OVERTHINKING.
I believe overthinking is one of the worst things for any human being. Most of us have been in this situation: We think way too hard and way too much about something…and ultimately convince ourselves to not do anything. So no progress happens. Making no progress induces more anxiety and it’s just horrible.
So, what’s the solution?
Teeny tiny steps.
Like….really teeny steps at first.
Small actions over a few days leads to momentum.
Momentum leads to slightly bigger steps.
Bigger steps over time get us back into a routine.
Routine creates habit.
Habit of action is where you want to be.
Here’s what I did to get back into training every day:
I picked 1 discipline to do the first day.
I only had to do 1 minute memorization of that discipline. EASY.
*I realized my progress and scores hadn’t regressed like my overthinking mind had convinced me*
I did another 1 minute training the next day.
Then on day 3, I did a few disciplines for 1 minute each.
By day 7, I was up to 15 minutes a day of practice.
I feel so much better now.
I also realized most of my “overthinking” thoughts were false or overblown.
The moral of the story is:
If you find yourself overthinking, realize that you’re stuck in your thoughts. Get out of your head. Do something small. Tiny even. Keep doing small actions until it builds.
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