Do you find yourself frustrated that you’re not further along than you are at the end of the day – or the week – or the month – or even so far in your life?
Have you set amazing goals for yourself that just never came to fruition?
When you fall short of a goal that is important to you, it weighs heavy on you like a big, wet blanket, doesn’t it? You feel like you let yourself down.
It’s important to realize that we’ve all been there at one time or another. You’re not the only one who feels this way and it certainly doesn’t make you a failure.
What if I told you that the problem isn’t necessarily you, your ability, or your performance?
It’s a Matter of Perspective
The real problem could very well be your perspective.
You see, most of us set ourselves up for this feeling of failure by the way we set and pursue goals.
Something about the modern psyche has us all believing that we need to conquer the world and surpass even our most ambitious goals in one fell swoop. And that, frankly, is crazy talk.
As the achievement-driven species that we are, we are notoriously bad at goal perspective. Let me explain.
Let’s say my goal is to lose 70 pounds. While that is a completely attainable and admirable goal – thinking that I could pull it off easily, or without sacrifice, or in a month is…
Right! More crazy talk.
For whatever reason, we tend to focus on our goals with long-term vision but short-term expectations.
So we wind up subconsciously anticipating long-term level results right now. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it? If nothing else, it’s a great way to set yourself up for failure and all the negative emotions that accompany it.
Make It Micro
One way of keeping yourself from falling into that trap is to begin picturing your big, ultimate goal as a backdrop while you operate from a what I call a micro perspective. It makes progress feel more achievable and the ultimate goal look less overwhelming.
A micro perspective (small or close up perspective) means that while you are ultimately striving for something bigger way out there on the horizon, you keep most of your focus on the smaller details that are presently in front of you.
Here are five tips that I have found useful in developing a micro perspective.
1: Banish Impatience
I’m not going to snow you. This is a tough one. Realize that your goals are something significant. And just like anything else in the natural world, significant doesn’t move quickly – even if you’re standing next to it yelling, “NOW, NOW, NOW!” You can’t make a tree or a mountain or even a person come to maturity by being impatient. Your goals are no different. Realize that they need time to become significant.
2: “Chunk” It
One of my heroes, Zig Zigalr, lost 37 pounds in the 1970’s and kept it off for the rest of his life by chunking it. (My words, not his) Zig figured out that by making very modest changes in his lifestyle he could lose all his extra weight by losing 1.5 ounces (or some such tiny number) each day over the course of two years. The point is – if you pay attention to the little things, you can achieve huge feats in little tiny chunks. Look at your goals in terms of tiny little chunks and they become much easier to conquer. Zig made his weight loss goal sustainable by focusing on that one tiny detail of 1.5 ounces each day.
3: Separate Long And Short Term Goals
Once you set your ambitious, lofty goal – take some time to set smaller, related goals. What if your goal was to run a marathon and you’ve never run before? That’s going to take some time to achieve. So set various smaller goals so you can see the progress along the way. Maybe you could say, “Tomorrow, I’m going to run an extra half mile.” Or maybe, “Within two weeks I will run 2 miles without walking.” Set and re-set new smaller goals as you progress – and appreciate the fact that they are slowly but surely carrying you toward the attainment of your ultimate goal.
4: Celebrate Your Wins.
You need to appreciate the ride between here and there. So when you achieve those smaller goals, make sure you give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate the win. Remember that small wins are still wins. Give yourself some credit and then keep moving forward.
Feel The Momentum
This one is a bonus – meaning it’s a natural byproduct of the other tips. I list it because as it begins to happen, you should be aware of it and appreciate the process. When you take little chunks out of your goal and set smaller attainable goals along the way – something really cool starts to happen. You create momentum. When you see all those little things going right, you can literally feel yourself being pulled in a positive direction. (For more on creating momentum and forming a new perspective on achievement, here is a Free Gift I would like to offer to Goodlife Zen readers with my compliments.)
5: Slow Down And Appreciate Your Progress
Even when you’re not as far along the path as you hoped, the important thing is that you are moving down the path. Take the time to pause and look back from your current perspective and appreciate where you started from. It’s like looking back down a big hill halfway through a long, strenuous hike. While you know you aren’t yet finished, looking back gives you a sense of pride in how far you have come.
Enjoy The Ride
Achieving great things doesn’t have to be stressful. Don’t let the fact that you have big, significant goals hold you back from pursuing your ambitions. Savor the trip and remember…
It’s not all about crossing things off a list. It’s also about enjoying the ride and growing as a person.
So What About You?
Do you sometimes get overwhelmed by long-term goals?
How do you tackle big projects or goals?
Share your views in the comments!
Gary Korisko (@RebootAuthentic) writes about business strategy, content marketing, and integrity selling on his blog Reboot Authentic. He is also giving away FREE Airfare within the Continental USA for one lucky reader to get something amazing done for their business.