The Best Way to Achieve Big Goals

Engin Akyurt/

Having goals is fantastic. They give us something to pursue—a purpose. Moreover, having huge goals is outstanding. The bigger the objective, the better. However, sometimes being faced with such lofty dreams can be overwhelming. Suppose you have a grand intention and contemplate the enormous amount of time and effort that will be required for its achievement. In that case, you may very well experience discouragement from the beginning. So, although having gargantuan goals is admirable, it is often better to break your one colossal goal into many smaller and more manageable ones.

I love to run around my neighborhood. There is one hill not too far from my home that is relatively high and relatively steep. I love running up that hill. However, when I’m at the bottom of that hill and glance at the top, it seems so far away becomes more mentally challenging. The mental trick I find helpful is breaking that single large hill into several smaller hills. Allow me to explain. About halfway up the hill is a driveway on the left side. A short distance beyond that is a telephone pole on the right, and beyond that, there is another driveway on the left.  A bit past that is another telephone pole, and then it is about fifteen more feet to the top. 

When I begin running up that hill, my goal is not to get to the top. Instead, my goal is to get to the first driveway. Once I’m there, I feel a sense of accomplishment. The next thing I focus on is only getting to the first telephone pole. After that, my goal is the second driveway, then the telephone pole, and once there, I’m only about fifteen feet from the top. It is mentally much easier for me to run up the hill by breaking it up into several shorter distances.

Let’s illustrate this concept using a weight loss example. Let’s say you want to lose fifty pounds by eating healthy foods and increasing your level of physical activity. That is a terrific goal. However, losing fifty pounds can be intimidating. Thus, it would be much better to break this big goal into several smaller goals—perhaps losing three or four pounds each month. That’s it—only focus on losing three or four pounds over the next month. This is well within reach, and once accomplished, you will be rewarded with a great sense of satisfaction. Next, your only goal is to lose three or four pounds the following month. You will have lost weight, become healthier, and feel better each month. Then there will come the time when your scale will read fifty pounds less than it once did.

When you commit to achieving something significant, remember that gigantic goals are great, and the best way to accomplish them is by breaking them up into several smaller goals.

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