Baby Steps


When I was a kid we used to play a game called, “Mother May I?” One kid would be the mother and a bunch of kids would stand several feet back in a line and one by one would ask the “mother” may I take 3 giant steps, or may I take four umbrella steps or may I take six baby steps?” The purpose of the game was to travel from where you were by taking the steps until you reached the “mother” and then you got to be the “mother.” Some kids only took giant steps and some kids mixed it up but some kids only took baby steps and won anyway.

Some kids only liked to take giant steps. I still remember the day my friend Tommy split his pants open by taking a huge giant step and he ended up running home crying.

We all like to take giant steps. Wouldn’t it be great to think of some place we want to go or something we want to achieve and instantly and magically arrive there get or to complete a big project without spending much time or effort. But life isn’t really like that. Sometimes the tasks we set for ourselves can be so overwhelming that it’s hard to get started. The trick is not to begin with the end in mind. Take the smallest step forward you can think of. Take lots of baby steps.

If you want to get organized and better manage your time you could start with buying a planner and writing down a few things in it. Take it out once a day and look at it and write some more things in it.

Don’t wait to be inspired to take a baby step. Take the baby step and then another even if you don’t feel like it. I hate to clean but I like to live in a clean and uncluttered environment so I take lots of baby steps every day. I’m never in the mood to clean and organize but I will set my body in motion to put away ten things that are laying around and then I build momentum and usually feel a little inspired to keep going.

  • If your desk is a mess start with organizing a corner of your desk and see what happens.
  • If you’re always late, try wearing a watch so you can keep track of time.
  • If you want to get in shape get your body to the gym even if you don’t feel like it. Once you’re there you might as well work out.
  • If you can’t manage money try keeping your cash in a wallet.

Identify what you’re avoiding because it seems too big, too time consuming or too boring and try taking the smallest step forward and then another. You may find yourself closer to where you want to go.

Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach in Brooklyn, NY. She helps teens, college students and adults with ADHD with time management, planning and prioritizing, getting started with and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and improving social skills. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in downtown Brooklyn. For more information visit her website: or email Kathy at

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