Nicole Bensen

MVEs: Tiny Steps to Progress

Last week I went to a yoga class with an instructor I’d never met before. Toward the end of class she said we were all going to work on headstands. (Cue sweaty palms because I’m someone who has never even attempted doing a headstand.)

Usually, in yoga classes the instructor will say something like, “If a headstand is in your practice, go ahead and do one now.” …at which point I continue the pose I’m in, or sit down or stretch. (See: I don’t try the headstand…maybe you’ll find me in a pose like the below.)

Yoga pose

This instructor said, “Everyone head toward a wall to use as leverage.” Then, she broke down a headstand into bite-sized pieces, and we all went through the number of steps we wanted to take.

If you hope this story ends with me doing a headstand, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, it doesn’t. I wasn’t even close. 😆

But I did steps toward a headstand I’d never done before. 

She not only gave us the space to practice, she encouraged us to take the first step: “Head toward a wall.” I could do that.

And once I was at the wall, I could intertwine my fingers and put them on top of my head. 

And after that I could put my head on the ground. 

I didn’t get to the headstand finish line, but without the gentle push to “head to a wall” I wouldn’t have even done the first step.

It was such a great reminder of how having the space to try new things is a great place to start, BUT it isn’t always enough. It’s sometimes about breaking things down into the babiest of baby steps—and acknowledging that it’s progress.

In my one-on-one coaching practice, my online program, and my corporate workshops I close by asking you to choose your “MVE,” a minimum, viable experiment toward a goal you have…whether that goal feels more vague, like having more joy and purpose in your life, or something specific, like getting a new job.

So, think about a goal you have right now. What is one tiny thing you could do today to make progress? What is your “Head to the wall”?

I’m over here cheering for you!

P.S. If you’d like personalized support in reaching (or figuring out) your goals, check out Positive Psychology coaching, and book time if you’d like to chat. I currently have two spots open.

P.P.S. If you want a self-paced option toward greater wellbeing, see my online course, Next Level You.



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