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? I used to feel like you let myself down when I didn’t reach a goal.
We all share disappointments at one time or another. You’re not the only one who feels this way and it certainly doesn’t make you a failure.
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. 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 toxic.
As the achievement-driven species that we are, we are notoriously bad at goal perspective.
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…
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.
So… Make It Small
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 micro perspective. It makes progress feel more achievable and the ultimate goal look less overwhelming.
A micro 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 four tips that I have found useful in developing a micro perspective:
- Expel Impatience
Yes, this is a challenging one. Honor and respect that your goals are something significant. And just like anything else in the natural world, significant doesn’t move quickly – even if you read a book that said if you just can “imagine” that goal appearing the universe will provide it for you. Time is your greatest partner.
- Pay Attention to the TINY things – They add up
An amazing person in my life lost almost 100 pounds by making SMALL changes in his lifestyle over the course of a year. He paid attention to the little things, thereby achieving a huge feat in little tiny chunks. Look at your goals in terms of tiny little chunks and they become much easier to conquer. In this healthy way (realistic and not without HUGE sacrifices) he made his weight loss goal also sustainable by focusing on tiny details each day.
- Separate Long And Short Term Goals
Once you set your ambitious, lofty goal – take some time to set smaller, related goals.
When I was the publisher and editor of a fitness magazine, I set a goal to run a marathon. I’m a JOGGER. I realized it was going to take some time to achieve. So I set various smaller goals so that I could see the progress along the way.
I would “play games” with myself by suggesting to myself that the next day I would run an extra half mile – or I’d meet a friend knowing I had to show up for someone else. Then I would set a new smaller goal as I progressed (and give myself a small reward here and there – like a new book or a nap) which gave me an opportunity to appreciate the fact that I was moving toward my ultimate goal.
* FEEL The Momentum
This one is a bonus. 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 ~ and FEEL and APPRECIATE them, you can literally feel yourself being pulled in a positive direction.
- Breathe, Slow Down & 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. Yes… Yes… I’m always writing about living in the NOW, but this step of looking back is important in THIS process.
The name of this blog, “One With Life”, came from the idea that joy is IN THE NOW – and I believe that with all my heart – But… We ARE MEANT TO LIVE IN JOY… So…
~ Big Take Away… 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 finding joy in the ride and growing as a person.
Namaste ~ StephanieTweet