Many people get lost by setting goals…
Why is this? You would think goal setting would be easy, or it should make your life easier? When we are faced with the prospect of setting our goals it becomes overwhelming. Then if somehow we manage to write our goals down how do we go about fulfilling them?
Take it one step at a time.
I know you will hear that in order to succeed you have to write down your goals/dreams and then make a plan to achieve them. This is a very onerous task. My advice is to only work on one thing and then when you are successful with one thing then you might add something else, but not before then. Discipline requires some easy tasks, ones that you can fulfil without too much aggravation.
Your first goal…
Make your first goal an easy to reach goal. One that is not too hard but will satisfy you. This first goal may be cleaning a room in your house or training your dog to come when you call him/her. Don't underestimate the power of these goals, they are triggers for the mind and will establish a routine in your life. At first, you may think they are not worthy goals, not worth achieving. But trust me they are. It's the small victories that will make the biggest difference to your life. All small victories lead to bigger victories until you reach your dreams.
Once you have achieved a small victory, celebrate! The celebration can be anything from a cup of tea to going to a movie. But celebrate! The reason you need to celebrate is to recognise when you have achieved a goal you have set for yourself and now you have a track record of your achievements.
If you don't celebrate the small wins the big wins won't seem as big!
There are other reasons to celebrate. One, you have achieved a goal you set out to do. Two, you have made the goal worthwhile by celebrating and three by adding these together larger goals will become easier and more meaningful.
Don't underestimate the power of this. What may seem unworthy, is worthy. Appreciating small things always lead to bigger things. Think of it this way. When you are at work and you complete a task, wouldn't it be nice if someone came up and gave you a pat on the back and said “well done!”. Because this is an unlikely scenario (unless you have an incredibly enlightened boss) you will have to do it to yourself. You will need to give yourself that pat on the back.
Let's take this a step further…
By patting yourself on the back you have just cemented in yourself that you are capable of achieving and getting results for yourself. If these achievements go unrecognised then you are saying to yourself you are not worthy of a reward which will hurt your chances of the bigger rewards. Lay claim to your wins every day! You are a winner and you do not need anyone else to tell you that.
Do not wait for someone else to pat you on the back!
The worst thing you can do to yourself is hope that someone else will notice your achievements. Do not put your life on hold, you are the only one who knows your self-worth and how much you put into your goals. Your rewards will show up when you least expect it. When you finally reach a goal you thought was impossible for you.
If someone does give you recognition for an achievement, do not say, “It was nothing”, just a polite, “Thank you” or ” Thanks for noticing” will suffice. Never put down your achievements big or small, they all matter.
Once you get the hang of this…
Once you have started to recognise and achieve your small goals then it is time to move on to bigger goals.
My goal is to lose about 60 pounds of excess weight. I am starting with a small goal first of doing walking/exercise each day, which I have not done regularly for over 14 years. This is not something I look forward to, but I realise if I do not do this my health will suffer.
So to motivate myself I have to think about what distance I will travel to get the most benefit and not demotivate me so that I will never do it again. To reward myself I will post on my blog a step by step account of what it is like to start a regime like this. You might find that a bit funny, but the real reward comes from people's comments on my achievements, I know I said earlier to not wait for compliments from other people and only validate your own experiences, but I do this also to see if my writing skills are up to the job.
You can read this post I wrote on eating addiction if you would like: Overeating, is it an addiction?
Find a goal that is worthy of your attention!
When you have realised the importance of achieving your small goals and you have got into the habit of rewarding yourself and now you have started believing in yourself you need to find ONE single goal that will take you one month to achieve.
Even though it may take you a month, you will have daily goals. My goal is to lose one kilo in one month and my daily goal is to walk/run every day. I am not thinking about losing all the weight I need to lose, but only a small amount and if I succeed with this I will think about the next kilo. Now the walking/running may not be enough but I will evaluate that next month. May be I will need to adjust the amount I eat, I hope not, but we'll see.
Good luck with your goal and if you have any questions please ask in the comments below or email me: michael(at)advice-for-living(dot)com.
2 thoughts on “Goals, one step at a time!”
Great post. I so agree that nothing is ever truly accomplished well without having a systematic set of rules, order and goals.
There is an old riddle about how you go about eating a whale. The answer is to eat it one bite at a time.
Thanks for your insights Christopher and sometimes we do want to swallow the whale whole and are disappointed when we can’t do it, lol !