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The Magic of Small Steps

December 13, 2013 by  
Filed under blog

Everything you do is comprised of many small steps, tasks and moments. As mentioned last week, if you can break down your goals into these very small steps and just aim to accomplish each small thing, one at a time, you are more likely to be successful and will avoid feeling overwhelmed. Let’s take a goal that is on a lot of people’s minds this time of year—not gaining weight through the holidays. Whether you want to avoid gaining those holiday pounds or want to actually lose weight, here’s the thing you should try because it really does work!

Let’s say you’ve decided to set a goal to get back to your high school weight and stay there the rest of your life (and I do believe it’s always a better to set a permanent goal rather than just saying you’re going to lose X number of pounds which can be perceived as temporary). Once you have your big weight loss goal set, push it out of your mind and begin working on what it will take just TODAY or just THIS HOUR or just THIS MINUTE to keep moving towards that goal. And when you have gotten through that day or hour or minute (not doubt successfully!) do the same for the next small increment you know you can meet.

Taking on only small goals is about setting small time frames as well as small, easy to accomplish tasks. For instance, one trick that studies suggest is very effective when it comes to setting super small, short goals while at the same time building self-discipline is to not completely deny yourself the thing you want but rather, delay it. Say you have decided that you are not going to snack between meals but now it’s an hour before dinner and you are craving a treat that’s calling your name and the craving is driving you nuts. What you do is say to yourself “Ok. I’m going to give in and allow myself to have that treat BUT I’m going to wait 15 more minutes.” If you are like most people who have tried this you’ll start watching the clock and counting down the minutes, but when the 15 minutes have passed you’ll no doubt feel quite good about yourself and your self-discipline. That in itself is a treat and a reward. You have proved to yourself that you can in fact postpone a little pleasure so why not try another 15 minute delay in gratification? And after that 15 minutes do another and another till it’s time to eat dinner and you may or may not even desire that treat after a good well balanced meal.

You can do this same delay technique when you want to take a break from your work out or stop working for the day or crave a cigarette. Just give yourself small time goals to get past and see yourself get through the trying time with relative ease.

Using super small goals and steps can and will work especially if you practice breaking your goals down to manageable small items or blocks of time and do this every day. Try this on multiple types of goals that you set for yourself and you’ll see just how much you can accomplish one small step at a time.

 

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