Setting clearly defined goals is a great way to make big strides in life. Whether it’s a new year’s resolution or a mid-year tune-up, goals focus our attention and energy to help us achieve what we want in life.
Sometimes people set goals that get them excited at first, then feel daunting a few days later. I always say: “Start simple!” An easier way to achieve big goals is to start by shrinking the goal down into something ridiculously easy to achieve and accomplish that first. Then pick a second ridiculously easy goal and accomplish it. Repeat until the target is reached.
With each small step you take or new habit you repeat, you are slowly teaching yourself to do something new. Small, easy steps help ensure success. Along the way, reward yourself for making progress.
Here’s how it works.
First, pick a goal. Maybe you want to lose weight, get out of debt, or venture into a new career. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just pick something you really care about. Make sure your heart is in it. Never set a goal to please anyone else!
Second, pick one thing you would need to do in order to achieve that goal. If you want to lose weight, you could exercise more or eat less. To get out of debt, you could spend less money or save more money. If you want to venture into a new career, you may need to save some money for buffer to quit your job. Choose one action associated with your goal. No need to go full guns and do everything at once.
Third, play “halvesies” until the goal is ridiculously easy to achieve. Let’s say your goal is to lose weight, and you want to start by eating less. Simply cutting your calorie consumption by a large amount is likely to be difficult. Instead, start with something easy, like reducing your daily sugar intake. Imagine cutting your sugar in half. Does that sound difficult? If so, then cut that in half again. Repeat “halvesies” until it feels ridiculously easy. It should be so simple that it makes you laugh (at least that’s what mine do for me!). That’s when you have the perfect first step to take.
Fourth, choose a reward. Choose a reward that will motivate you to take steps towards your goal. Be sure it does not undermine your goal. For example, if you are trying to lose weight and eat less, chocolate chip cookies are not a good reward. Instead, consider a half-hour of indulgent television. Make sure your reward lights you up and gets you excited. It needs to be a real bribe that is a helpful motivator to keep you going.
Fifth, execute! Once you chose your goal, decided what step you wanted to take first, played halvesies, and chose your daily reward, it’s time to just go for it!
Day by day and win by win, you can achieve any goal you can imagine. This year, those resolutions just might stick!