The biggest mistake I see people making when trying to reach their goals is trying to do too much all at once, and then getting burned out and giving up. Are you making this mistake when going after your goals?
Are You Making this Mistake When Going After Your Goals?
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Reaching your goals is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s tempting at the beginning of a project to do ten blog posts in one day because you’re excited (I’m looking at you, Dad :)), but it’s much better if you do just a few of something or take a few steps forward each day, consistently, over a longer period of time.
Consistency is what works.
It’s kind of like losing weight. If you have twenty pounds to lose, you might be tempted to eat nothing for a week and try to quickly lose weight overnight, but it’s much more effective (and ultimately faster) to just cut your calories by a few hundred per day. Then do that consistently every day over a number of weeks or months.
It may not be the glamorous way to reach your goals, but it does work.
Maybe you want to develop a meditation practice. Instead of starting by meditating for an hour today, why not start with five or ten minutes a day for a week and then working up to a longer amount of time? If you start with an hour, you’re going to end up hating it and not wanting to do it again for a long time. And we don’t want that.
Ultimately the most important thing is that you get into the habit of taking a few small steps every day, rather than erratically taking action for several hours every few weeks when you feel like it.
You can still take advantage of the excitement you feel at the beginning of a project. Maybe you want to write a book. If you feel extra motivated, maybe you could briefly outline the whole book or come up with a plot summary and do something that will make it easier to reach your daily goals in the future. You could also write a few extra pages and “count” those as work completed on a day when you just don’t feel like writing. Sometimes it’s nice to have extra completed work lying around that you can publish or finish when your motivation is lower.
So, that’s all there is to reaching your goals. Break down the goal into a few small daily steps, and then complete those steps every day until you get to your goal.