When big goals get in the way: smaller goals to the rescue

When big goals get in the way: smaller goals to the rescue

You probably know that goal setting is a really powerful tool, right? But have you ever set a goal and then gotten scared away? I have.

Take this blog as an example. Earlier this year I set myself the goal of writing and sharing more blog posts with our readers. At first, I had great success. This motivated me to write bigger and better posts with more research and depth. I was having fun. I felt excited and encouraged!

But then the problems began. I began to experience “goal creep.” I started out with the simple goal of writing more regular posts, and now I was spending 4 to 8 hours on each one. So, after that initial flurry of posts, I found myself writing nothing because I “didn’t have that much time” to spare.

I was letting my goal get in the way of my achievement. The scale of the goal was scaring me away, so I wasn’t writing anything!

Last week I embarrassingly admitted to my accountability partner that I had once again failed to write a blog post. She gave me a challenge: write a post in just one hour. So here I am writing again and enjoying it. Brilliant!

Thinking about it now, I really should have know better. I had a similar experience earlier this year when I was training for an 80km mountain bike race.  I didn’t have the 2 or more hours each day to train, so I bailed on training altogether.

Eventually, I discovered I could trick myself by adjusting my goal. I switched my focus to just starting my workout. I figured even just 30 minutes — heck, even 15 minutes — was better than nothing. The interesting thing was once I got started I usually did the full workout that I thought I “didn’t have time for.”

All I had to do was get past the initial fear caused by the scale of my goal.

Have you set any goals that ended up scaring you off? Try scaling back your objectives and see if that helps you get the ball rolling!


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