The biggest way to set myself up for failure is to “go big.” The only times I ever really say “go big or go home” are around food 🙂 Otherwise, it’s a terrible phrase.
Going big is so built into our culture. We have to “make a big splash” and be the best ____ and the most ____. Big victories are what matter. Little victories are rarely celebrated.
I have found going small helps me actually meet my goals. Thinking too big overwhelms me, puts me in freeze and then I don’t do anything. But by micro-sizing my intentions, I can actually do them.
Take this journey of daily blogging. I’m used to writing long form – hundreds of words and many big thoughts at a time. I knew that if I set a straightforward goal to write daily I would fail. Instead, I started off with the goal of writing 100 words for each daily blog post. Taking a look at Seth Godin’s posts, I realized one does not need to write a lot to make a point. I challenged my verbose self to write very little. Going small helped me focus and build my momentum. Now, my posts aren’t quite so short, but without that initial limitation, I would have never gotten to 5 posts, much less 203.
Currently, I am going small with my running. I haven’t exercised regularly in a loooong time. Almost two years after birth #3, my body (and mind) finally feel ready to get back into shape. 3 miles was my standard distance when I used to run regularly but there was no way this body was going to be able to do that from the start. So instead, I’ve been focusing on a ~1 mile loop near my house through the woods. Through the woods = interesting terrain and away from people’s eyes that my self-conscious self did not want to be subjected to. A short loop means it is doable and those first couple of trips out where I basically ran at a walker’s pace did not last long enough to discourage me. I took run #4 today and feeling the momentum. I will probably never seek to run daily but I know going small is going to help me keep at it.
Go small, stay home, whatever works for you!
I write everyday because it allows me to voice what is at the surface. Once that is out of my head, I can dig in another layer deeper. My daily writing practice has been my greatest exploration of self and humanity. Sign up here to receive these thought nuggets in your inbox on the daily.
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