What’s the smallest step you could take that would bring you 10% further towards your goal? This is essentially the question my coach asked me when I came to her with huge lofty goals. I had so much I wanted to accomplish and because I have a great relationship with my coach, she could sense both the excitement that I felt about my lofty goals and my eagerness to get started, and simultaneously sense that I was overwhelmed with all that I was putting on my plate. Sometimes when we have an idea that we turn into a goal, we bite off an unrealistic set of expectations that we don’t realize we are placing on ourselves.
Sometimes our greatest stress in life comes from the expectations we set ourselves.
So, as I thought about my coach’s question, “what’s the least I could do” to start accomplishing my goals, a sense of relief came over me. I took a deep breath and realized that I needed to create about a dozen mini goals, and celebrate accomplishing each one of them, rather than wait till my overall goal was entirely completed to feel accomplished. We often feel disappointment until our goals are “perfect.” There is something to be said towards identifying and acknowledging progress.
So let’s use real examples:
You want to redo that bedroom in your house. We are talking, paint, furniture, rugs, cleaning it, throwing out old stuff and organizing…est. What would step one be? What could you accomplish in one hour?
You decide you are going to look for a new job. This can be really scary. Networking, informational interviews, resume sprucing, applications, est.… What could you do today?
You decide you want to start working out. Knowing you could always increase the amount of time you commit, what could week one look like? What’s realistic in the next 7 days? When will you actually have time?
- Sometimes step one is asking for help. From a coach, from a friend, from paid help.
- Sometimes step one is acknowledging a realistic time frame and truly understanding your circumstances (how much free time you have, how much disposable income, est…).
For me, developing a realistic time frame, complete with dates to accomplish mini goals allows me to see my progress and adjust my expectations if need be.
What will you do today that will bring you one step closer towards your goal?
Cheers to you and your accomplishments,