Cracking the Goal Code
I am constantly looking for ways to improve my life. I read a blog about intermittent fasting, I want to do it. I hear about someone training for a marathon, I want to do it. I read about the best way to start writing everyday, I want to follow this advice.
My heart is right where it needs to be, looking to make my life better in someway. It’s always been this way. I get excited about a new thing I will be starting on a Monday, whether it was a diet, exercise routine or a reading schedule. Then Monday comes, I do it for a day or a couple of days and my life and old habits get in the way.
I used to beat myself up about this. “My friends can do this, why can’t I?” I’d ponder. The constant comparisons to others, which have been instilled in me since childhood, actually frustrated and unmotivated me rather than put me to work.
I also used to be baffled by this. Shouldn’t I want to be the best version of myself? Don’t I want to lose those lingering 10 pounds? Sure I did, I dreamed about it. But I constantly failed.
After many years I think I finally figured this out. Instead of reaching for the top right away, for the 6 month goal or the 1 year goal, I took it one small step at a time.
Now, rather than telling myself I will be exercising for 30 minutes, 5x a week, I started with small reachable goals. I started exercising for 10 minutes a day, 3x a week. Instead of telling myself I will cut out all processed food, I decided to start my day with a juice and see where the rest of the day takes me.
Setting smaller goals, which would give us results in a week or 2, will keep us more motivated. They will get us going faster. These are the goals that are attainable and will make us see results almost immediately.
For me, I went from exercising for 10 minutes a day to exercising for 20 minutes a day within just one week. It may not seem like a lot, but exercising for 20 minutes a day, 5x a week adds up to 2 hours of exercise per week, which is a great way to stay healthy and a lot more than what I’m now used to.
Once you set these small goals, they usually make way to form other and bigger good habits which may have seemed impossible before. Don’t let your mind talk you out of it. If you feel the goal is still too much to deal with, make it even smaller. You can do this :).
If you have any examples of setting smaller goals that led to making big, positive changes in your life, please leave them in the comments.