Dare to live without limits Week of 12/9/19

Bryan Golden

Big things are accomplished in small steps

The largest brick building is constructed one brick at a time. A long journey by foot is completed one step at a time. A home is built one board at a time. The most monumental accomplishments are achieved through a series of small, manageable steps.
Any goal is achieved by taking enough small steps. You start where you are and then take just one step. Taking action initiates your forward progress. If you want a new job, begin by applying to one job posting. If you want to get a college degree, sign up for one course. If you want to become a chef, cook one meal. All successful journeys consist of small steps.
Smaller steps are more manageable. A common strategic error is attempting steps which are too big. This leads to frustration, and possible abandonment of a goal which then seems unattainable. For example, a person sets a goal of losing 20 pounds in one week. Accomplishing this goal is virtually impossible. The inability to lose the desired weight in one week has the strong potential of having someone abandon their weight loss objectives altogether.
Motivation grows with success. Developing the necessary skills enhances success. Setting and achieving small goals builds both motivation and skills. For someone embarking on a diet, a starting goal might be eating a quality breakfast each day. Once this goal is accomplished, lunch could be the next meal improved.
For someone who wants to engage in more reading, an initial goal could be reading one page a day from a book they have been putting off. Success at this reachable objective would lead to one or more books being completed within a year. The progress would be easily doubled by only reading two pages a day.
A person who wants to engage in more exercise can start small with one 15 minute walk each week. Although this alone would have minimal impact on one’s physical conditioning, it will get someone successfully started. With the accomplishment of the initial goal, the frequency and distance can then be increased. Doing something is always preferable to doing nothing.
Incorporating the action steps needed for each small goal into your daily routine is another effective strategy. You could read one page in your book before or after a meal or before going to bed. When food shopping, avoid those foods you don’t want to be eating. Get up 15 minutes earlier to go for a walk.
Take the stairs instead of an elevator. When going to a store, park away from the entrance. These examples demonstrate how you can adapt new behaviors into your normal routine. Goal achievement does not require a major revamping of your lifestyle.
Accomplishing small goals builds confidence while moving you forward. Achieving a small goal is significant. It’s much more effective than failing to reach a large goal. Once you have reached one small goal, set another one. If reaching the completed goal was too easy, make your next one a little bigger. Success is what matters, not the size of the goal.
While working on a goal, consistency matters more than speed. It doesn’t matter if arriving at your goal takes longer than planned. Taking longer than expected to become successful is always preferable to failing quickly.
Set at least one small goal today. Don’t put it off. Procrastination is a goal killer. Start from where you are right now. Even small goals may require several restarts. Since quitting ensures failure, never ever give up. Achieving each goal is an exhilarating experience.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2019 Bryan Golden


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