Baby Steps

Have you ever noticed that it sometimes does not work to set goals? We are often exhorted to set goals and work towards the achievement of worthwhile goals. The working towards worthwhile goals is one idea of a successful life (Earl Nightingale). We are told to set big goals! Reach!

Our brain has a regulator devise installed that keeps us from getting too far ahead of ourselves. This regulator develops with experience early on in life and gets firmer and more controlling over time. We don’t like to fail so we try less and less over time to do things that are new or a stretch. Here we are being told to set big goals but we find that we really can’t achieve them so we eventually stop setting the big goals. Then drudgery sets in!

Is it wrong to set big goals? I don’t think so at all! We do need to find our passions and set big goals that give interest and meaning to our lives. So what can we do to address this seeming contradiction?

Take baby steps. Go ahead, if you want to, and set big goals. However, then break it down to smaller goals. And then, even smaller ones. Our brain has to really believe that we can achieve the goal that it is going to be actively working on. So make it small. Really small at first.

This is just like building up muscles or stamina or any skill. We start by doing something at the level that we can do it and get used to success. The brain then learns to accept this way of working towards achieving goals that we want in our lives. When that is working well, stretch a bit and make the goals a little larger. Like adding weights in your workouts or running a bit further or doing a more complex task. Step by step we build up our goal achievement ability.

So, start setting small goals, achieving them, and then making larger and larger goals and achieving them as well. Good luck. Don’t forget to enjoy the process! The voyage counts!!

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