Think big. Don’t sell yourself short. Achieve your wildest dreams by keeping your eyes on the prize, remembering the big picture, and doing something every day that advances your biggest, most important goal.
That’s all easy enough to say.
Then something happens: life.
Life has a way of throwing us curveballs. You cruise along, taking care of business, then one day you wake up and realize you’re at a bottleneck. A simultaneous convergence of practical challenges suddenly changes your Sunday cruise – i.e. your normal life where you handle your daily responsibilities and work towards your big-picture goals – into a chaotic snarl of rush-hour traffic you have no choice but to navigate.
The pressures you face become overwhelming. You’re nearly under water just handling the number of things you need to do every day to keep moving forward. You tell yourself – and the people around you probably say the same thing – to keep your mind focused on that one big goal. Rather than inspiring you, however, something else happens: in light of your immediate challenges, casting your mind ahead to your long-range goal increases stress, ratchets up your anxiety, and you begin to doubt you’ll ever achieve it.
You start to doubt you’ll even make it through the rough patch directly in front of you. Let’s not sugar coat-it. Moments like these can be discouraging.
First Things First
Look at it this way: when you wake up early on a day you know is going to be long, challenging, and filled with a thousand and one tasks, what you’re really looking forward to is that nice dinner at the end of it. Think of that as your big goal. To get there, however, you need to knock down one thing at a time. And the first thing you need to do?
Something simple. Something literally bite-sized.
You need to start with breakfast.
Similarly, when daily life gets crazy stressful and your big goals seem out of reach, shift your mindset. Break your goals down into reasonable chunks. Determine what goals you can manage within the next four weeks and focus on those. Your brain can handle things that look and feel achievable, because they don’t come with the kind of nagging uncertainty that manifests as counterproductive anxiety.
You’ll knock down those achievable goals like ducks in a carnival shooting game. Your confidence and enthusiasm will return, the rough patch will pass, and you’ll be back on track to achieving your bigger goal.