"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
Today’s advice includes two parts. Part one is dreaming big. Part two is thinking small. Counterintuitive, I know.
First, as we see in the quote above, we should aim high. As it’s often said, Aim for the stars and reach the moon. (I think someone says that?)
By aiming high, you train your mind that achieving half-way would be only, err, half-way. By reaching high, you might end up reaching something you didn’t expect. Always set your goals high.
Second, to think small I’m referring to breaking your big goals into their smallest action steps.
There’s a ton of research suggesting that the way to reach grandiose goals is to focus on the small steps that lead there. Instead of constantly focusing on the end, which may seem light years away, you focus on the small actions, which leads to action.
The simplest way to do this—and the most effective way to build the habits needed to reach goals—is to develop daily routines around the work needed.
For example, if you want to write a 50,000 word novel in a year, you would only need to set your daily word count to 136 words a day. (As a writer, I can tell you, that ain’t nothing.) So you decide to write 30 minutes a day, every day.
Let’s say you currently can deadlift 135 pounds and want to reach 200 pounds within 6 months. This means you need to increase the weight you can lift by 10 pounds a week. So maybe you decide to deadlift twice a week—now you only need to lift 5 more pounds a workout. So each workout your primary goal is adding 5 more pounds to the bar and picking it up off the ground.
In both of these examples, I promise you, if you stick to the routine, you’ll reach your goal.
Apply this same concept to any goal you have. Break it down into the smallest, daily, weekly and monthly routines you can. Then focus only on the next step.