Goal setting: view your long-term goals as a ladder

“You never finish anything!” she would say. The words still echo in my head to this day, a relentless reminder of all my mistakes and missteps along a path to success that has been anything but a straight and narrow path. Twisting and turning, dipping and dipping, it sometimes seems like an endless maze, complete with cracks, potholes, and the traffic-causing construction crews that never seem to stop scheduling road repairs at times when you’re in a hurry to get there. where you want you go

And, in a way, that’s my biggest problem: I’m always in a hurry. My mother’s words, as frustrating as they were at the time, were correct: she was not finishing what I started. Partly because of impatience, and partly because I have possibly the worst case of attention deficit disorder I’ve ever known. My mind knows it’s going to lose interest soon, so it looks for the quickest path to success, and if it can’t find it, it marks it as another dead end on the mental road map that is my mind.

And while rushing and ADD may be your problem, I think we all share one in common: our path.

It’s not that the goals we create for ourselves are unrealistic. It is that the path to them is. We set goals as one step, go from “here” to “there” action plan, and start with all engines revving. We are working hard, moving towards what we want and things are going very well. And then we make a mistake.

Unfortunately we are human, and mistakes will happen. Suddenly, we’re like a guy sitting alone on a raft in the middle of the ocean, with no land in sight for miles around us in every direction. How far do we go? How far do we have to go?

As we know? It is easy. We apply the ladder technique and learn to use micro and mini goals to achieve long-term ones. Imagine your goal as a ladder. When you look at a staircase, your brain automatically knows that it has to climb each of those steps individually. You wouldn’t try to climb all the stairs in one jump, would you?

Some goals may require 5 steps, while others may require 50. Becoming a famous actor will probably require more steps than losing 30 pounds (unless, of course, your last name is Spielberg). But almost no goal is going to require just ONE step, or else they probably aren’t even worth recognizing as worthwhile in the first place.

When planning to get in shape, don’t set your goal as: “I want to get in shape.” It’s too broad and indefinite a goal, and it will take you 10 different ways to your result before you end up giving up in frustration that you don’t really know what you’re doing. Instead, imagine it (or even draw it) as a stair and write down the mini-goal for each step. It may look something like this:

Step 1: Clean eating habits.

Step 2: Join the gym.

Step 3: 15 minutes of cardio a day for a week.

Step 4: 30 minutes of cardio next week.

Step 5: Include a light weight lifting routine before cardio.

Step 6: Increase weight lifting, 60 minutes of cardio a day.

Ladder visualization is good for 2 reasons: not only does it give you small, realistic steps toward your long-term goals, but when you make a mistake or lose motivation, you can look back at what step you’re on and see the progress you’ve made. done so far. This is very important to keep motivation high. If your goal requires a lot of hard work over a long period of time, you will lose motivation at some point. It’s only natural. Life happens. You are going to have a bad day, or your mind is going to be distracted by other things that are happening in your life, etc. You need this indicator of how far you’ve come, how far you have to go, and how far you’ll fall if you give up now.

Think of something you want to achieve. Now draw a ladder with 5 steps that you can take to get closer to it. Now see if you can break those 5 mini goals into 10 micro goals. I honestly believe that the smaller the steps, the better, because the feeling of constantly moving forward will keep your motivation revving to the max.

Always be working to climb the next step. Don’t worry about the top. You can’t get to the last step if you can’t even get to the third. Stay motivated. Because remember, while you can’t GO UP an entire set of stairs in one jump, you certainly can GO DOWN one.

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