Christmas is only seven days away, which means we are only a couple weeks away from national goal-setting season. I know I have my own goals percolating in the back of my mind. I certainly have very big things I want to reach for this year. In order to achieve those big things, I am going to do the opposite--start with really small things. In my last blog post, I wrote about knowing your "why" around your goal. In other words, know why that particular goal matters to you. Today I am talking about how to take that meaningful goal and turn it into something achievable.
As a self-proclaimed dreamer, I tend to think BIG. I don't just want to hike a hill. I want to climb a mountain. And because I'm also pretty competitive, I want to climb the biggest mountain. But if I set a goal to climb the biggest mountain this year, I would undoubtedly get completely overwhelmed after just a few weeks, and ultimately fail miserably. I know this personally, because although I've never actually set a goal to climb the biggest mountain, I have set goals to write a book; completely switch my diet from mostly junk food to 100% healthy (all at one time, of course); go from sleeping in to waking up at 4:30--every morning; and not having any kind of workout routine to running a mile every day. Guess how many of those goals actually lasted? Absolutely zero.
Trying to take too big a bite at once leads to burnout very quickly.
To avoid that, I am challenging you to take that big dream, and break it down into a very small step. The idea is to set your goal around something that feels doable. Let's say you want to write a book. Simply saying "I'm going to start writing a book" feels huge. But deciding you are going to write out an outline for a book? Totally manageable. Maybe you want to lose weight this year. First of all, please consider making your goal be something along the lines of "I'm going to make healthier choices this year", rather than "I'm going to lose 40 pounds." I am all for goals that are about feeling good, not trying to diminish yourself in any way so that you fit into society's image of perfection. Saying you want to lose a designated amount of weight indicates that there is something wrong with your appearance today, and that is a soul-stealing way of looking at yourself. But saying you want to nurture yourself with healthy food that supports your kick-ass, amazing self? Much more energizing. So, going with a positive mentality, let's say you want to make healthier choices this year. Good for you. Narrow all those possible healthy choices down to one. One healthy choice. For the whole year. Yes, I'm serious. For example, kick soda and replace it with water. Or, eat one additional serving of fruit each day. Or, switch from drinking 2% milk to 1%.
Now, I know that saying you are going to lose 40 pounds this next year feels inspiring, whereas simply changing from 2% to 1% milk feels a little boring. But try it anyway. It won't stay boring. The small goals end up being much more exciting...because they actually stick. When you see yourself making the change, and staying with it, then you feel inspired. You feel accomplished. You feel ready to take on the next goal. Rather than giving up on your goal before January even ends, you just might be patting yourself on the back for already meeting your goal, and looking for the next healthy choice you can make.
If you are having trouble taking that big dream and breaking it down into something small, I encourage you to email me. I'll be happy to help you find a way to make your goal more doable. For more help on making that goal happen, check out my post on how to accomplish your goals even when they feel impossible.
It's nice to meet you! Welcome to my blog. My name is Amy, and my husband and I have three lively kids. We are so happy to share our journey with you. Come along as we learn to embrace the messiness of life, and maybe chase a dream or two along the way.