Woman on bus: People ask me how did I lose 52kg in a year... and I say I didn't.
Friend: But you did!
Woman: No- I lost 10kg the 5 kg then another 5kg and so on. Cause big goals like that are way too hard, and if anyone had told me you are going to lose 52kg I would have said bullshit!
And not even started.
Small goals are achievable.
I know it sounds like I made this up to prove a point but no. I have it scrawled in my writer’s notebook . (Which is why I carry my writer’s notebook with me everywhere by the way- people say the most beautiful things.)
A big goal can be overwhelming. It feels and looks huge, like a mountain, a cliff, a wall. Instead of your goal being a place you want to get to, it turns into a block that comes right up against your nose and stops you before you begin.
Yet we need to be stretched by something. To be challenged without being daunted.
So, here's what I do. And it's nothing you haven't heard before somewhere.
It’s called breaking it down, chunking it into pieces, eating the elephant ( eeeuch) one bite at a time.
Here's my example.
And it's an easy one because it relates to fitness which lends itself to these types of things. It's also a real one, and as an approach can be transferred to just about anything.
First off, I work in 90-day increments. Even with year-long projects or goals, I break them down to see where I need to be in 90 days. That's the length of time I can easily picture and work within. And there are four of them in a year. That works out nicely.
My darling son recently challenged me to ride 30kms in a week on my bike. Now for some people this is no challenge at all but given I couldn't pump the tyres up without a serious attack of puffing and panting, it was for me. In fact, it seemed ridiculous. He kept encouraging me and believing in me though. Bless him. And I said I would give it a go.
First off, I set the challenge at 90 days instead of the 30 days he had proposed. And then I broke the first 30 days down into weeks with a weekly target.
Here's what that looks like in diagram form.
Then I transferred all my attention to Week One Day One. I am currently in Week Three and on target.
I venture to guess that starting at 5km twice a week or even 2.5 km every day would have proven too much too soon for poor unfit me and I would have given up.
But making baby steps for myself, (plus knowing DS was waiting for me to check in and report back which is the subject of another blog on having a Measurability Mate) got me out of bed and into the saddle.
Have a look at your goals for the year. Which ones are enormous? Steep? Massive?
How might you with a stroke of the crayon, carve that mountain of rock into artistic stepping stones that you can dance lightly across?