If you have ever felt like a charter member of the Start Big - Finish Small, if at All Club, you may feel overwhelmed when you set targets that seem difficult to reach. Regardless of the level of effort - you have options. The breakthrough you need could be to consider thinking small to help you transform your life.
Taking On More Than You Can Manage
“Think big!” may be the war cry of pioneer business visionaries but, it could be the thing that rocks the boat over in the case of the average Joe. On countless occasions, I’ve been full of ideas that I’d finally be able to establish a brand new plan or goal and I'd jump out of bed with gusto. But like starting a race without breakfast, I would soon realize the problem was that I would typically bite off more than I could chew and expect quick success and no hitches. Often, the pain of disappointment left me feeling too burned out to follow through.
Break It Down to Bite-Sized Pieces
My stumbling blocks from where I am to were I want to be seem daunting when I look at the size of the task and how long it may take to get there. I make every effort to choose my "best" options instead of doing more thinking that equates to doing better. By focusing more on the here and now, and not so much or so far in the future, I am able to find a steady pace that works. My take on the tortoise, who may be slower, but wins every time!
Whatever we hope to gain in our endeavors, before we can achieve something in life, we need to decide precisely what it is we want. Be specific in defining what it is you want to achieve. Knowing what you are looking for makes it easier to find. Work to understand the ‘why’ for whatever you desire to achieve. Goals are often more "real" if they are written. Decide what is a reasonable length of time, and be realistic and measurable so you will have a target at which to aim. I’ve heard it stated, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time!”
Here are a few tips to help you do this:
- Determine the steps involved. Brainstorm your options. These are the stepping stones towards achieving your end result.
- Simplify the action plan. Think of the steps as actions. When you understand what actions are needed to achieve your desired result, you can pull these together into a plan.
- Establish daily and weekly tasks. When you create your action plan, work out a series of targets that you believe are possible to reach on the way to your goal. Keep it simple with many small victories to keep the momentum.
- Keep on track. The small-scale approach is flexible and allows for instant changes. On a weekly basis, ask yourself what happened and whether you could do anything differently. Keep on tweaking and completing the simple tasks to have the end result well within your grasp.
- Don't focus on long-term. Focus on your daily actions plans and not so much on the end date. Don't dwell on what’s to come in the future. Like the tortoise, concentrate on one small step and repeat consistently.
- Resist the desire to biggie-size. We often want results fast and are impatient when it comes to delaying gratification. Though you may be tempted, avoid trying to rush things and biting off more than you can chew. Refer to the reasons why you want the desired goal. Concentrate on where you are in the journey, and not on what’s next. Reflect on how far you’ve come and what a waste it would be to throw in the towel now.
In order for us to grow, we need to allow ourselves to be stretched at times. In most endeavors, if we don't grow, our plans and goals won't either. Long-lasting lifestyle change requires an investment of our time and effort, as well as some patience.
The road to achieving great things is much less intimidating when you break down the end result into smaller steps. And absolutely nothing can compare to how you will feel when you finally make it to the place you wanted to be.
~ Sheri xo
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Sheri Geyer is a Personal Coach Empowering Women to Do Life-by-Design!