I caught myself doing it this morning, again…I get excited about a new thing or idea, and I like making rapid progress, so I start setting a big and bold goal.

Here’s the conversation in my head:

“It’s time to get back into yoga…I feel so much better when I do yoga regularly…I’m going to set aside 30–60 minutes every day for yoga…”

Then I caught myself. I’ve had a habit in the past of doing this. I was setting an unrealistic, although exciting, goal.

I grew up in the age of coaching when small goals were frowned upon. Who are you not to dream big, right?

Big goals sound great, but if I had set the goal to do 30–60 minutes of yoga every day, starting now, I would have failed. Probably I would have failed by tomorrow, hahaha.

I gently reminded myself to set a more realistic goal. I’ll start by doing yoga twice per week. One session at home and one session in a group class.

I avoided a trap high achievers get themselves caught in regularly.

There are different theories on goal setting, and each person has to pick the style that works best for them.

I know goals are meant to stretch you. I know some people preach setting a goal way beyond what’re realistic, so when you fall short you’re at least farther along than you would have been with a small goal
The problem with that for me, is that my mind only focuses on the part I missed, rather than the part I achieved. So even with an impressive result, I still feel like I failed.

I don’t want to get in that trap again. That system just wasn’t working for me.

Here’s a great hint: if the goal setting style you’ve used in the past isn’t working for you, or it’s leaving you stressed, pick a different style.

I set small goals that I know will take me toward a big one.

For me, small steps lead to more wins. And each win gets me excited for the next.

I make sure all my small goals point me in the direction of my big goals.

I’ll explore if daily yoga really is something I want to achieve in the long term. If it is, I’ll get there by starting first with yoga twice per week. Then I’ll add a third day. I’ll work my way up to 7 days a week.

If you’ve struggled to make change in your life, ask yourself this question:

“What’s the next, single, small thing I can do?”

Can you add in 10% more of something healthy for you?

Can you remove 10% of something unhealthy for you?

Start with that. Get solid in that single result. Relish the win. Then add another.

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Visit me at www.christinebradstreet.com

Cross posted at www.christinebradstreet.com and Change Your Mind Change Your Life