Note: This is part of a series on momentum. You can view the full series here.
Warning: I’m going to call you out on this one.
You fail at your goals mostly for one reason. You know what it is too, don’t you?
You’re completely freaking unreasonable.
We all make this mistake though. We think we can do it all!
Our hubris and naivety leads us to inflated expectations of what we can achieve at a given time.
One change isn’t enough — we must transform everything! At once and immediately!
This type of arrogance only leads overwhelm, half-assed execution and eventually, collapse.
The first couple of days we may feel high and on top of the world. Our energy is fresh, our willpower is well stocked and we’re inspired to perform a total makeover of our lives.
A few days later, reality settles in. The poor foundation we’ve built under our goals begins to show. The weight of our previous commitments, self-defeating patterns and bad habits begin to form tiny, imperceptible cracks.
They grow slowly at first, so we patch them up with excuses and canned affirmations.
But the momentum of our previous tendencies are too ingrained in our nervous systems. The cracks grow larger and the mind settles on the path of least resistance.
We fall down. Hard.
Because of this failure, we form even more self-defeating patterns. We don’t like letting ourselves down. We begin to protect ourselves by not bothering to try to follow our desires and goals in the first place.
Better to settle. Safer that way. Less disappointment and embarrassment.
This however, is no way to live. Settling is not in our blood. Yet, in order to really change and grow, we must overcome our arrogance and unrealistic expectations.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither will you tranform into a totally different person over night.
You must lay the foundation, brick-by-brick. Day-by-day.
You must learn to enjoy the process. To take pleasure in the journey, the slow, methodical, deliberate path.
Knowing your tendency to take on too much, you must fight this, tooth-and-nail. You will also need to learn to overcome that voice that says “Why bother? You’ll just screw it up again this time. Save your energy.”
You’ll need to become the type of person that shows up and follows through, and prove this to yourself.
Here’s the solution:
Make it ridiculously impossible for you to fail.
Scale back to the point of absurdity.
- If your goal is to start your own business, aim to spend two minutes working on something that will move your business forward, every day for 30 days.
Of course you can do more than this, but the goal to start is simply two minutes.
- If you want to run a marathon, aim to run 10 feet every day for 30 days.
- If you want to play guitar, pick up the guitar and put your fingers on it every day for 30 days.
I know, this sounds completely fucking ridiculous. I get it. But trust me, it works.
The aim here is to not create incredible results, but shift your belief that you’re the type of person that shows up and does what you say you’ll do.
That is much more valuable than the amount of time you put in.
Why does this work? Because you remove all resistance towards the goal.
I dare you to try it and let me know what happens.