Smaller Steps Lead to More Wins
I caught myself doing it this morning, again…I get excited about a new thing or idea, and I like making rapid progress, so I start setting a big and bold goal.
Here’s the conversation in my head:
“It’s time to get back into yoga…I feel so much better when I do yoga regularly…I’m going to set aside 30–60 minutes every day for yoga…”
Then I caught myself. I’ve had a habit in the past of doing this. I was setting an unrealistic, although exciting, goal.
I grew up in the age of coaching when small goals were frowned upon. Who are you not to dream big, right?
Big goals sound great, but if I had set the goal to do 30–60 minutes of yoga every day, starting now, I would have failed. Probably I would have failed by tomorrow, hahaha.
I gently reminded myself to set a more realistic goal. I’ll start by doing yoga twice per week. One session at home and one session in a group class.
I avoided a trap high achievers get themselves caught in regularly.
There are different theories on goal setting, and each person has to pick the style that works best for them.
I know goals are meant to stretch you. I know some people preach setting a goal way beyond what’re realistic, so when you fall short you’re at least farther along than you would have been with a small goal
The problem with that for me, is that my mind only focuses on the part I missed, rather than the part I achieved. So even with an impressive result, I still feel like I failed.
I don’t want to get in that trap again. That system just wasn’t working for me.
Here’s a great hint: if the goal setting style you’ve used in the past isn’t working for you, or it’s leaving you stressed, pick a different style.
I set small goals that I know will take me toward a big one.
For me, small steps lead to more wins. And each win gets me excited for the next.
I make sure all my small goals point me in the direction of my big goals.
I’ll explore if daily yoga really is something I want to achieve in the long term. If it is, I’ll get there by starting first with yoga twice per week. Then I’ll add a third day. I’ll work my way up to 7 days a week.
If you’ve struggled to make change in your life, ask yourself this question:
“What’s the next, single, small thing I can do?”
Can you add in 10% more of something healthy for you?
Can you remove 10% of something unhealthy for you?
Start with that. Get solid in that single result. Relish the win. Then add another.
This article was written by Dr. Christine Bradstreet, Transformation Consultant and Inspirational Author
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