One Bite At A Time (On Setting Goals You Can Reach)

I’m all for having BIG goals in life – but to me, that means bigger than where I am right now… and not necessarily so big that my mind simply can’t wrap itself around the idea.

If your thinking gets too big too fast, your mind can’t keep up, and so it shuts down instead.

Like the old “How do you eat an elephant?” riddle, the accomplishment of anything huge must take place “one bite at a time”.

Here’s an example.

If you’ve got $50 in the bank and your dream is to make $5M, the $4,999,950 gap is a lot for your mind to take.

Instead of working on making that amount, your mind is likely to move you in the direction of giving up.

A goal like that is so overwhelming that it feels fake and dreamlike and, even though the subconscious mind is like a computer and will follow whatever command you give it, it’s not a magician.

And this is where I think a lot of people get stuck with the Law of Attraction (well, there’s another area too, which I’ll deal with in a later post).

They believe that if they just “focus” on something they want enough, it will magically float through the air and plop itself into their lap without any effort on their part.

Now, I’m not saying you couldn’t possibly win $5M in a lottery, or receive an inheritance.

In short, I’m not saying you can’t possibly get the $5M in an “plopped in your lap” sort of way.

And, I think the $5M is a great goal! But I think it’s a great goal for a little later in the future.

Because what is most likely to happen if you try to go from $50 to $5M overnight is that you’ll get overwhelmed and discouraged, and you’ll want to give up a lot faster than if you go from $50 to, say, $2,000… and then from $2,000 to $12,000… and then from $12,000 to $60,000… and so on.

You see how exciting that kind of big thinking can be, while still being believable enough to keep you motivated to achieve the goals you set for yourself?

We don’t expect babies to go from commando-crawling across the living room floor directly to sprinting marathons – so why do we expect ourselves to go from broke to millionaire in one fell swoop?

Instead of beating yourself up because you haven’t reached some outrageous goal you’ve set for yourself yet, how about setting a more reasonable goal (but one that still gives you butterflies in your stomach when you think about it) and then applauding yourself when you reach that goal, just as you would applaud a one-year-old for walking across the room?

The great thing about doing this is that, each time you reach one of your goals, you give yourself more evidence that you’re a doer, and not just a dreamer.

That serves as a catalyst for your next achievement.

And the resulting effect is that you reach ALL of your goals a lot faster and with a lot less frustration than when you try to go from zero to 60 in 2 seconds flat.

Take a look at your current goals and see if there is any way you could move a little faster toward them by wedging a few more believable “bridge” goals in there.

And then let me know what you come up with!

Helen Hunter Mackenzie