When you witness an athlete making sports history and setting new records, you most like perceive this as that one moment of truth: the moment of success. If you read about a new product becoming the next big thing, then you might consider this to be the crucial moment of success. On the contrary, as much as these moments mark important events, they are really just the endings of long stories.
Success is not one giant leap. Success is the continuous realization of many smaller successful steps.
Chances are good that you have set some impressive goals for yourself and you are longing for that moment of breakthrough. Maybe you can already see yourself standing on the podium and accepting your award. That’s great, because big goals can fill you with energy, and they can also help you grow. Nonetheless, that’s only the sunnier side of the story because big goals seem to have one thing in common: they can seem to be far away and moreover hard to reach. As much as you long for that goal, chances are good that you can’t really get yourself going. None of your actions really feel like they are pushing you much closer to realizing your goal. After some time passes, your goal not only seems to be pretty out of reach, but almost too big, too distant and too hard to realize.
This is the moment in which many people give up – the moment when many become discouraged and turn back, and perhaps start looking for another challenge…but something smaller this time. That’s neither how it should be nor how it has to be. Failing is not the fault of the goal, and it’s not because of your inability. Not at all. You are simply using the wrong strategy.
As soon as you have set your goal, do every thing you can to get going by taking small steps.
Break your goal down. Start exercising by the yard and not the mile. Don’t try to write your first novel in one night, but commit to a couple of pages every day. Don’t code the first fully functional prototype of your app in one code-athon, instead pick one part and just start working on it. Don’t be fooled into thinking these steps are too easy and too small. That’s the whole point of the story. Your steps have to be achievable and be infused with success. Be proud of those steps, and use each step as motivation for the next one!
You can adjust the effort necessary for each step anytime. You can increase your effort if you’re still having fun. Remember: only increase the effort if you feel challenged but not overwhelmed. Stay flexible and adapt. Using your success from the early stages, you will soon feel able to increase your daily or weekly level of activity related to your goal. A few lines will turn into a whole page, or even more. Miles will be your new unit of measurement. One functional part of the program you’re writing will become many.
This is the way to success. The road there might be difficult and winding, but each step will fuel you and add to your motivation. Now you can stick with your big goal and keep at it. Feels good, doesn’t it?