Planning to accomplish a big goal can seem like an awesome plan, but when you get into it, things are more difficult and discouraging than they seem. The worst thing you can do during your progress is look at where you are now vs what your idea goal is. Comparison is a really effective trick that makes us feel better or worse at many things. When we see just how far we are away from something, it demoralizes people from continuing. The simple trick to getting around this is to avoid looking at the ideal goal. Break it down into many smaller goals and accomplish them 1 at a time

Let's say, for example, someone wanted to do 400 sit ups nightly. Working out isn't something many people are willing to do. Exercise for the mere sake of staying in good health/shape is a terrible motivator. . It's not fun. It's work. It's doing many of the same things over and over again for extrinsic results. Rewards later, and I mean months later, are disasters of encouragement. The fun isn't in the activity itself. Who would get excited about doing the exact same motions for many repetitions which could easily total to more than 1,000?

Let me break this down into 1, more specific example to make things easier. Let's say someone wants to do 400 sit ups nightly. That's going to take forever. Even if we be optimistic and say someone could do 1 sit up per second on average, that'd still be 6 minutes 40 seconds of the exact same painful motions over and over again. That is crazy. Who has the patience and willpower to do that? Even if someone reached 100 sit ups, if they compared their current progress to their ultimate goal, they'd feel worse, not motivated, by falling for mere psychology of comparison. 100/400 = 3/4 of the hard work yet to complete. By this point, they're probably feeling some pain and the discouragement might push them to stop. There's a reason why new years resolutions stop after a short while. People make grandiose goals for themselves and when they try and see their relatively weak progress, they stop. Or they're just claiming shit to make them feel like they're about to accomplish shit, which they won't anyways

The trick to overcoming the intimidation is to not even see the ultimate goal until it's the next step. For the same 400 sit ups example, someone could break their goals into smaller increments of 50, 25, or whatever multiple they want to use. Smaller increments are less discouraging. Wherever that person is at their count, they should never look at how far away they are from 400. They should look at however far away they are from the next increments. If 25 is their increment, their next goal is reaching to 125. When they reach it, their next goal is 150. 400 is an irrelevant goal until they reach 375. It keeps them moralized about their progress because they see themselves achieving their goals

Even if that person can't push themselves to it for whatever reason, they'll likely have completed more reps than they would have if they didn't use this strategy. More reps within safe exercising limits is better than fewer reps. In the best case, if they did reach their ideal goal and they still have some left over energy, they could challenge themself to go 1 increment further. They can start pushing themself to a new height right now

Exercise is just the easiest example to explain this idea because it involves raw willpower and numbers. Other goals will often be more complex. The FTW query of the day is; what big goals do you have and what smaller goals can you break it down into?

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Topics: Goals
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Jorge Esquivel
  • June 16, 2017
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