How to Create Long-Term Success in the Short-Term
“Transformation doesn’t happen overnight.” How many times have we heard that? We often have the vision clear in mind, but when it comes to getting there – well, it can be easy to get discouraged and return to old habits. It can be challenging to start or stop habits, especially when we have big visions! “How do I get there?” you might wonder, “Am I capable of creating that?” If you have the vision, I believe you have everything it takes to create that vision. Full stop.
The trick is to start taking small steps. One goal at a time. Think about it: you don’t eat a burger in one gulp. You eat it one bite at a time. As simple as that may sound, it’s a pretty powerful truth. One step at a time.
My resolution this year was to exercise more; I felt that I was spending too much time sitting at my desk. I committed to taking the daily recommended 10,000 steps.I remember beginning at about 1,083 steps a day! I’d reflect at the end of the day and I was adamant about not giving in to guilt or upset for not being at my goal yet. I broke down my big goal of completing 10,000 steps each day into smaller goals that were achievable. Each day, my actionable goal was to achieve 100 more steps than the day before. And it worked!
The likelihood of reaching your goals increases significantly when you take tiny, baby steps, according to BJ Fogg, a psychologist who studies human motivation and behavior at Stanford University. Fogg developed the Tiny Habits® program. The idea, in part, is to start with a small, and what might seem like an insignificant step, and then build on that day-by-day to reach your overall goal.
Planning to accomplish a larger goal by breaking it down into bite-size chunks does not have to be difficult. Here are some helpful ways to plan for a larger goal by breaking it down into bite-size chunks:
- Reverse engineer the goal. Think of an important goal and the intended outcomes. Then carefully break down the goal into simple steps. When the goal is entirely split into achievable steps, map out a daily plan of action to complete one step at a time. Document where you are, where you want to be, and the steps necessary to get there. Check off each level as you progress.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. Take what someone else has already created and customize it based on your needs.
- Take a few moments, think about where you want to be, personally and professionally, in the next 6-months and next year. Write down the end goals. What steps need to be taken to get to your goal? Write these down. How long should each step take? You guessed it, write it down.
As you set yourself up to win, also get clear on your vision. It’s important to connect with “why” you’re doing this, that your purpose is. This is what will keep you committed long-term. It’s about having a vision-based commitment rather than a feeling-based one. When you hold tight to your vision, you show up even when you don’t feel like it. If you base your commitment on how you’re feeling, chances are you’ll stop showing up somewhere along the way.
My best wishes for all your goals and dreams to come true!
Always in Gratitude,